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YouTube Shorts vs. TikTok: Which One Is Better?

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Nov 29, 2021• Proven solutions

YouTube Shorts is the latest feature designed to mimic TikTok's creation, but can it go hand in hand with one of the biggest social media apps? Let's discuss this scenario in detail in this article!

YouTube's TikTok competitor, YouTube Shorts, is now rocking globally. Seeing the success of Instagram Reels and TikTok, it seems like YouTube didn't want to lag behind the game. So in September last year, it decided to step into short-form content via YouTube Shorts, a social platform for quick 60-second videos hosted on the YouTube app.

According to the Shorts product lead Todd Sherman, the social media giant aims to unleash new grounds for creativity.

On the other hand, TikTok is a short-form, video-sharing app that assists users to share and make 15-second to 60-seconds videos on any topic.

TikTok contains a separate app for the Chinese market, Douyin, with 300 million-plus active monthly users. The new app's logo is a merger of the Duyin and Musical.ly logos.

And, we're going to discuss the comparison of both these giants, i.e., YouTube Shorts vs. TikTok, in terms of which app is better for making short videos.

Part 1: Is YouTube Shorts the New TikTok?

In general, we can't say that YouTube Shorts is the new TikTok because YouTube Shorts is YouTube's expansion and have its own identity than TikTok.

YouTube Shorts is playing hand in hand with TikTok as the short-form video platform, but the Shorts integration with the broader ecosystem of YouTube is its key selling point according to Google's service.

Ironically, while YouTube is laying ways to emulate TikTok’s format, TikTok is experimenting with formats that are closer to YouTube’s traditional focus. This is why TikTok has tripled its maximum video length to three minutes for everyone and has been developing apps slowly on TV platforms like Fire TV and Android TV.

At a glance, YouTube Shorts looks pretty similar to TikTok. However, there are certain TikTok features that even the Shorts product manager Todd Sherman disagrees with is that of the YouTube Shorts. Sherman said the way TikTok works is quite an industry-wide standard than the point of view of any single app.

Even though YouTube is quite late to the short-form content game, it has a strong brand of YouTube behind it.

Thus, saying that "YouTube Shorts is the new TikTok" doesn’t even qualify in terms of the $100 million fund sanctioned for the creators of YouTube Shorts.

Part 2: YouTube Shorts vs. TikTok: What Are the Similarities and Differences?

In this section, we’ve defined the analysis of YouTube Shorts vs. TikTok in the form of both a comparison table and specific points of similarities and differences.

Basis of Comparison

YouTube Shorts

TikTok

Video Length/Duration

Up to 60 seconds

Up to 3 minutes

Aspect Ratio

9:16

9:16

Video Captions/Description

You can find the video title in the exact location as the TikTok caption, but the description is visible only after users click on the three dots.

Video captions are located at the bottom left.

Placement of Analytics

YouTube Studio

TikTok app itself

Dislike Button

Yes

No

Section 1. The Similarities Between YouTube Shorts and TikTok

  • Both these platforms are for short-form video content.
  • The TikTok and YouTube Shorts both assist creators in adding music from their audio libraries, and users can view all videos beneath the audio library.
  • Both offer analytics, including video views, likes, comments, watch time, shares, impressions, and reach. You can view these analytics on a desktop or mobile device for both platforms.
  • The Shorts and TikTok feed provide a full-screen immersive experience with the engagement menu shown on the right-hand panel.
  • Their feeds scroll in the same manner. Plus, there is an endless number of videos lined up for users to discover and watch. Yet, there's no auto-scroll on either, and users must scroll manually for the following video to come up. 
  • Both provide tools that assist creators in earning money from their content creation.
  • Users can subscribe or follow creators directly from their videos in both feeds.
  • Both offer creators the ability to alter their video content's speed and help them to set timers with the filming process.
  • YouTube Shorts TikTok give creators the ability to upload video content they've previously filmed.
  • You can add closed captions and overlaying text to both of these platforms.
  • They both assist creators in setting a video for the public, so anyone can view it or set it to private.

Section 2. The Differences Between YouTube Shorts and TikTok

  • The monetization features of both these platforms are entirely different. Shorts offer their 'Shorts fund,' whereas TikTok provides Shoutouts and Digital Gifts. 
  • Shorts can only be 60-seconds long, whereas TikTok's can be as long as three minutes (it could soon be stretched to five minutes duration as per their recent test).
  • TikTok allows users to add video captions that are present in the bottom left area of TikTok. At the same time, users can add a video title in Shorts which is present in the exact location as a TikTok caption. And, a video description that is only viewable when users click the three dots above the link button and click 'Description' can be in YouTube Shorts.
  • YouTube has a large music library which gives users an abundance of undiscovered and popular songs to select from, possibly more than the TikTok offerings list.
  • TikTok has a vast library of filters, including greenscreen and AR effects, whereas Shorts only provides filters that edit the video's tone, temperature, brightness, etc. 
  • Shorts' 'private' video option allows creators to choose or see who watches your video. On the other hand, TikTok's 'private' video option only allows the creator to view the video. 
  • You can view the TikTok analytics directly in the TikTok app. On the other hand, YouTube Shorts analytics can be visible in YouTube Studio. 

Features TikTok has, but YouTube Shorts does not…

  • A stitch and duet feature, where users can add other creators' videos to their accounts.
  • A Q&A feature to leave questions for creators to answer with a video. Creators can also reply to their comments.
  • A discovery tab that assists users in viewing trending sounds, effects, and hashtags.

Features YouTube Shorts has, but TikTok does not…

  • A scheduling tool that assists creators in scheduling the timing of their Shorts going live.
  • The option to select whether their videos are for kids or not. Or if they'd like to restrict their videos to viewers under 18.
  • You can edit even after publishing.
  • The option to "unlist" your Shorts, which means anyone can view it with a link to that video.

Part 3: YouTube Shorts vs. TikTok: Which One Is Better for Short Video Promotion

One of the differences that may determine the success of YouTube Shorts is that it is not a traditional social media app. While TikTok entices users to create, watch, and even share videos with friends within the app, the YouTube Shorts format is pretty different from TikTok. 

Since YouTube doesn't have this simple method of direct messaging and isn't wholly dependent on creating, sharing, and watching Shorts, it looks that it may have a hard time keeping up with TikTok's success.

Another drawback of YouTube Shorts in comparing YouTube Shorts vs. TikTok is that Shorts isn't available through a dedicated app like TikTok. Thus, even though it keeps up the promise of creating, watching, and sharing both long and short-form content, it may turn away those who prefer focused access to quick content. Regardless, with YouTube Shorts now starting to become available to more users, the battle in the viral video market with TikTok is sure to heat up.

Before giving you our opinion on which is the better platform for short video promotion, go through the following conversation first. 

Ramona Pringle is an associate professor and a tech expert at Toronto's Ryerson University. She said in an interview that because YouTube already has figured out video content, the transformation to add short-form video will be natural.

She also mentioned that YouTube Shorts is the platform best placed with the competition from TikTok than all other platforms. However, YouTube doesn't need to be TikTok as it has its strategies and broad audience base. 

Like Pringle, Matt Navarra, a social media consultant based in the U.K., said in an interview that Shorts is a logical evolution and extension of YouTube, which has further given rise to TikTok. But unlike TikTok, Shorts has a few features that it can take benefit from. Among these features is the extensive audio library content, the greater scope for users to remix and create duets and stuff from scratch. Undoubtedly, you can't deny the experience of YouTube in terms of access to partnerships with the music industry and licensing. 

Thus, keeping all these factors in mind, we'd like to conclude that both the YouTube Shorts and TikTok are great and considerable platforms for short video promotion. Still, we'd like to place YouTube Shorts in the upper place due to its global availability. Whereas TikTok is already banned in certain countries. 

It also depends upon the audience base of the country as to which platform is in use the most. Suppose it's TikTok that people primarily use in a particular country or location where the brand wants to advertise itself. In that case, going with TikTok for short video promotion is better and vice versa. 

Conclusion

So, this is our detailed overview of YouTube Shorts vs. TikTok.

Since YouTube wants its new platform to progress and stand a chance in front of TikTok, they will make Shorts a priority, and thus much more likely to promote it to a broad audience.

As we step further into the year, it is yet to consider which short-form video platform will be popular among the creators, marketers, and consumers. 

author avatar
Shanoon Cox
Shanoon Cox is a writer and a lover of all things video.