YouTube vs TikTok is a question for ages even though there are stark differences between the usage and purpose of both apps. Where one is a full-fledged search engine for videos, the other does the job in 3 minutes. It is understandable that both platforms have a different kinds of audiences but it seems that TikTok viewers have been using their favorite app a lot more than their counterparts are using YouTube.
There is a massive number of online content creators on both platforms. YouTube certainly has more because it’s been dominating the video-sharing market since 2005 while TikTok is way younger. It just got out of mainland China in 2017 and reached other parts of the world including the United States. In 2020, it was already the third fastest growing brand after Zoom and Peacock, having over 2 billion downloads across the world.
Its short format for videos has drastically changed the way users consume information or entertainment online.
YouTube vs TikTok – Total Time Spent Watching Videos
There are not many comparisons of YouTube vs TikTok stats on the internet because of how different both are in nature. However, a specialist firm App Annie closely monitors the app market and has prepared a report detailing the skyrocketing rise of TikTok. The report, published in September 2021 revealed that UK and US internet users have been spending more time on TikTok than YouTube.
Under one year, TikTok’s viewing time rose considerably from 400 minutes per month in 2019 to 850 minutes per month in 2020. It already overtook YouTube in 2020 in terms of total time spent on both apps. Despite being a larger platform, YouTube faced tough competition from TikTok fans. As of 2021, they have watched 24 hours of content on TikTok as compared to those who spent around 22 hours on YouTube. These numbers are from the US only but the UK ones are even more astonishing. The UK users have been on TikTok for almost 26 hours per month while YouTube’s view time is a little less than 16.
However, the stats may not encompass all mobile users as the report only presented data from Android mobile users. It also doesn’t include China’s records, where TikTok is known by its original version, Douyin. Still, the report showcases the rise in TikTok’s popularity in other parts of the world. YouTube still holds the top spot for overall views because of its time in the market and over 2.4 billion users.
The Popularity of Short-Form Videos
Despite being the youngest in business and facing bans in multiple countries, the short video-making app managed to come out as the most popular platform among YouTube vs TikTok in recent years. App Annie cites the 3-minute video format, authentic content, and live streaming as the key reasons for this meteoric rise. TikTok has helped create a new creator economy with these features.
It also inspired YouTube to create its own version of short-form video making known as YouTube shorts. It rolled out in 2021 and became quite popular with the content creators for 60 seconds video limit. Both features allow content creators to make money but in different ways. YouTube Shorts pays creators from the 100 million USD ‘Shorts Fund’ and TikTok pays through shoutouts and gifts.
Even though both may serve the same purpose their usage is different from one another. YouTube Shorts can feel like a much bigger feature due to its endless library of songs whereas TikTok can fall short because of only popular songs in its library. TikTok’s library of filters on the other hand offers way more than YouTube’s. It has AR and greenscreen effects while Shorts has basic functions like brightness, temperature, tone, etc. Users can also view analytics easily on TikTok while Shorts require a separate app called YouTube Studio to show analytics.
There are also duets, Q&A, and discovery features in TikTok that Shorts doesn’t have. Meanwhile, Shorts have a dislike button, age restriction setting, and option to edit the published video which TikTok doesn’t offer.
TikTok Makes it Amid Controversies and Bans
The competition of YouTube vs TikTok is not always fair due to the regulations. The Chinese app is marred with controversy regarding censorship in many countries. India and Pakistan have banned it permanently, Indonesia, Bangladesh, and the US have temporarily banned it many times at irregular intervals. China has also banned its western version in the country, where Douyin dominates. The Asian governments said that if people used the app properly then they would never ban it. The US on the other hand banned it due to political rivalry between former US President Donald Trump and China.
However, it didn’t hamper the platform’s popularity. In fact, many other platforms like YouTube started to introduce a short video-making feature like TikTok. After Facebook, Amazon and Netflix have also joined the race to compete with TikTok on short video making, further expanding the content creator economy.