There is a question you have to face in the process of being a content creator or considering becoming one of them: which video platform is the best for you? That’s why we are bringing you a YouTube vs TikTok comparison, so you can decide which one suits you better and how you can make the best out of it.
To start, it is important to clarify that gone are the days where YouTube was a merely horizontal long form video platform or where TikTok was a short-form video social media platform.
YouTube, the Google-owned company, has been in the market since 2005 and is the most popular platform in the world with over 2 billion monthly users. On the other hand, the TikTok app has become the fastest growing social media platform, reaching over 1.2 billion users in just 3 years.
When comparing TikTok vs YouTube, keep in mind that the historical popularity of YouTube or the continuous growing success of TikTok shouldn’t be the only reason why you would create an account and share content. It also depends on your goals, type of content and audience, financial expectations among other matters…
Let's have a look at the similarities and differences of YouTube vs TikTok, as well as their monetization options for influencers and content creators.
TikTok vs YouTube: What are the similarities and differences?
What type of content are you willing to share? Here we will help you clarify the YouTube vs TikTok dilemma.
Starting with the obvious, both TikTok and YouTube are video platforms designed to watch and post videos, as well as interact with them. Each platform is mostly known for as specific format and ratio:
YouTube: long-form horizontal videos (16:9 ratio) up to15 minutes on normal accounts and no maximum length on verified accounts.
TikTok: short-form vertical videos (9:16 ratio) up to 10 minutes.
This means YouTube favors longer videos while TikTok focuses on shorter ones, at least for now.
Recent updates are blurring the differences in YouTube vs TikTok features, as YouTube launched YouTube Shorts, their own short-form vertical video up to 60 seconds length, while TikTok has been increasing their time limit, starting with 60 seconds and now allowing up to 10 minutes.
Video length also has to do with the type of content: TikTok is better for casual, entertaining and funny content, while YouTube works better with an open range content of many kinds, including comedy, educative, informative videos, news, cultures, movies among many others. Content is a relevant aspect in the YouTube vs TikTok comparison.
In the same way, YouTube videos tend to require active watching, while TikTok watching is more passive and relaxed…
Have you thought of a video format or specific content yet?
Your target will be a key in order to identify which video platform suits you better as a content creator.
When it comes to reaching a more broad and mixed audience, YouTube is the leader and wins on theTikTok vs YouTube comparison. There are a variety of age groups, starting with the little ones who watch YouTube Kids and attracting the following generations up to seniors.
On the other hand,TikTok has captivated the Gen Z audience. Around 43% of their users are between 16 and 24 years old and 31% are users between 25 and 34 years old. This social media app has the interest of young people and may be a good option if it's the target you are looking for.
Another detail to consider is the minimum age limit. In order to create a YouTube or TikTok account, users must be at least 13 years old (YouTube Kids works with the parent’s accounts).
Have you decided your target yet?
Music and soundtrack
Audio has become an extremely relevant subject when it comes to videos and of course is one of the subjects on this YouTube vs TikTok comparison worth mentioning.
Both TikTok and YouTube allow users to include background music, but here comes an important difference:YouTube cares about copyright, while TikTok doesn’t have any restrictions on music ownership:
YouTube: Audio tracks must be in edit, royalty free or have the permission of the artist.
TikTok: You can share personal music and audios, popular songs and audios from other creators.
Besides YouTube restrictions, both platforms have the power to showcase music to the world.Video platforms are getting songs viral and it even has turned into a phenomenon, as many artists have jumped to fame thanks to them. Top TikTokers like Bella Poarch are building a music career thanks to their popularity on the app.
Privacy and sharing options
Imagine YouTube as a video repository, while TikTok is more of a social network. This will lead us to another important difference on the YouTube vs TikTok confrontation as YouTube has more sharing options than TikTok:
YouTube: when you post a video you can choose from Public(everyone can see it), Unlisted (will not show on search results, tabs or channels, but is accessible to anyone with the link) or Private (you are the only one who can see it).
TikTok: The visibility of your videos depends on the privacy of your account (Public or Private). You can also post drafts (you are the only one who can see it) and then share it to your followers or the general public.
If you are an influencer or are willing to become one, the most common privacy setting is to have a public account, no matter which platform you choose. Even if there may not be a radical difference in this TikTok vs YouTube, it is always important to recognize the opportunities and restrictions every platform has to offer.
A key feature for both platforms is live streaming. It lets content creators interact with their audience in real time and, as you will see later, is also a way of generating revenue. Here are the requirements for each platform:
YouTube: This platform offers three live streaming options: Mobile, Webcam and Encoder (multiple cameras or hardware). You need at least 1000 subscribers in order to enable live streaming on Mobile.
TikTok:You should be over 16 years old and have a minimum of 1000 followers.
Live streaming is an incredible format when it comes to engaging with your audience and gaining visibility, so you should definitely consider it.
TikTok vs YouTube: how to make money in each platform
There are different ways creators can make revenue through video platforms like TikTok or YouTube and most of them are directly promoted by the platforms. Influencers and content creators are experts on attracting people and keeping them watching videos on these platforms, which at the end of the day means money.
If you compare TikTok vs YouTube, you will discover both of them have funds specially created for influencers and, in the case of YouTube, you can earn money with each video reproduction.
Here are some of the options offered by these platforms:
How to make money on YouTube
In order to generate revenue, your YouTube channel must join the YouTube Partner Program (YPP). To qualify for monetization, you must have 4000 watch hours over the last year and at least 1000 subscribers. You also have to follow the community guidelines.
Monetization options with the YouTube Partner Program:
● Include ads before or during your videos.
● Show advertisements with Google AdSense.
● Add affiliate links for products or services in your videos.
● Livestream and incentivize viewers to buy coins like ‘Super Chat ’or ‘Super Sticker’ so their comments get highlighted.
● Incentivize users to buy ‘Super thanks’ feature so their comment stands out on streaming’s and uploaded videos.
● Get paid memberships on your channel by offering exclusive content.
YouTube also launched a fund exclusively for Shorts creators and it's not required to follow the YPP. Shorts -and its fund- are definitely blurring the differences between YouTube vs TikTok features.
Finally, the monetization options listed above are legit YouTube incomes, but it doesn’t mean they are the only way to make money.Brand sponsorships are an excellent way to generate revenue without relying on the platform.
How to make money on TikTok
Content creators can earn money on the short-form video app by joining the TikTok Creator Fund. The requirements are having a profile with over 10K followers and having reached at least 100K video views in the last 30 days. Once again, you have to follow the community guidelines.
Partner programs are a common aspect on the YouTube vs TikTok comparison. Just like YouTube, TikTok has a program for creators who want to monetize their content. It's calledCreator Next and the TikTok Creator Fund is part of it.
Monetization options with TikTok’s Creator Next:
● Generate revenue from your livestreams withLive Gifts Diamond rewards (users can purchase Diamonds and send them to you asa gift. You will be able to redeem them as money).
● Make money from Video Gifts (they work exactly like Live Gifts but are eligible for video shorts instead).
● Receive tips from viewers who want to support you.
As a disclaimer, Creator Next features are currently available in the US, UK, Germany, France,Italy and Spain, and the features may vary depending on the market.
YouTube vs TikTok: Which one is better to make money?
If you have a quicklook at each platform’s monetization options, you may think YouTube is better because it offers more revenue possibilities. Well, yes and no.
As YouTube audiences tend to be more targeted and engaged, influencers get better leads and inconsequence more revenue. That’s the reason why you may think there is an obvious winner on the YouTube vs TikTok comparison. But joining the YouTube Program is not a thing you do as soon as you create your channel, it takes time and effort.
Another point to keep in mind is that many content creators are earning a lot of money in TikTok.This platform is way much younger than YouTube and has grown quickly so we can expect more monetization opportunities in the future.
That being said, which one is better for influencers?
YouTube vs TikTok: Which one to choose?
You don't necessarily need to choose one instead of the other, as they can be compatible. In order to get over the TikTok vs YouTube dilemma you have to analyze your goals, target and content, as well as identify how much time you have and how much effort you can put into it.