TikTok vs YouTube: Which Is the Better Video Platform

TikTok vs YouTube

There is no doubt that video is one of the most powerful forms of communication, entertainment and marketing today. As a result, YouTube and TikTok are among the most popular social media platforms.

While both platforms are excellent tools for video sharing, they both have similarities and differences. So let’s take a look at this TikTok vs YouTube comprehensive comparison and weigh all of the pros and cons.

What Is TikTok?

TikTok is a video-sharing app developed by the Chinese company ByteDance and was launched in 2016. Before ByteDance took over the app, TikTok was known as Musical.ly, a platform where users mostly shared short lip-syncing videos. Since its launch, TikTok has been praised for its creativity and ability to connect people and influencers worldwide. 

As a social media app, TikTok allows users to create and share short videos and interact with their audiences. The app is popular with younger users and has been downloaded over 3 billion times. Since its launch, there are around 7.38 million users in Australia alone.

What Is YouTube?

YouTube is a video-sharing website that allows users to upload, share, and view videos. Established in 2005 in California, the platform offers a wide variety of content, including music videos, movie trailers, news clips, and educational videos.

In addition to being a popular destination for online viewers, YouTube is also a powerful video marketing tool for businesses and individual users alike. With millions of visitors per day and unique 16.5 million Australian visitors per month, the site provides an effective way of reaching a large audience with little effort invested.

YouTube vs TikTok Similarities

Although it may seem like the two social media platforms are inherently different, they lay on the same basic principle of functioning. Here is what YouTube and TikTok have in common:

  • Video-sharing platforms
  • Attracting content creators, businesses and viewers
  • Interaction features (subscriptions, follows, likes, comments)
  • Video recommendation algorithm
  • Captioning of videos is available.

While these common features can easily be noticed by all users, let’s take a look at some similarities of these platforms from the creator’s point of view.


TikTok has overview, content and followers analytics that allow you to see your profile and video performance with metrics such as followers, profile views, number of likes, comments and shares, etc.  

Similarly, YouTube offers an overview, content, audience and research analytics. The handy YouTube tool will provide you with information like returning or unique viewers, average view duration, number of subscribers and other analytics.

Earning Money 

Most of the revenue from TikTok and YouTube comes from advertisements, and both platforms use that money to pay creators. On the one hand, YouTube uses 55% of the collected ad revenue to monetise creators, but on the other hand, TikTok invests money in the Creator Fund, which they use for monetising creator videos.

Having said that, these platforms may have similar purposes, but if we dig deeper into the subject, we can conclude that both apps have used the similarities and turned them into their differences by providing users with different user interfaces.

TikTok vs YouTube Differences

When it comes downs to TikTok vs YouTube, their biggest differences can be seen in the individual features that set apart the basic principles of the two social media platforms. 

Let’s take a look at a detailed TikTok vs YouTube comparison and find out how they make a better experience for the users and the content creators in their unique ways. Here are the differences between the two platforms.

Monthly Active Users

  • TikTok – 1 billion global and 1.1 million Australian monthly active users
  • YouTube – 2.56 billion worldwide and 16.5 million Australian monthly active users

The statistics show that TikTok is getting wildly popular among Aussies, with a 40% year-over-year positive change in the monthly time spent on the platform. On the contrary, usage of YouTube has increased by 5% in February 2022 compared to the same time the previous year. Additionally, Australians are spending 23.4 hours a month on TikTok and 17.1 hours on Youtube.

According to social video statistics, YouTube reigns supreme among video-sharing platforms, revealing that the average YouTube watching session lasts over 40 minutes.

Global Audience Demographics

  • TikTok – 57% female and 43% male, with most representatives between 18 and 24 years
  • YouTube – 46.1% female and 53.9% male, the age group from 24 to 35 years being most present on the platform

TikTok is home to younger generations like Gen Zs and Younger Millenials, but YouTube has more diverse user demographics of all ages.

Most Popular Content 

  • TikTok – entertainment, dance, pranks, sports, DIY, beauty care routines, and cooking
  • YouTube – product reviews or launches, how-to-videos, vlogs, history, music, and unboxing videos

TikTok videos are primarily for entertainment compared to the wide range of in-depth content on YouTube.

YouTube videos, with 56%, are the third most used format used by influencers.

Maximum Video Length 

  • TikTok – up to 3 minutes
  • YouTube – up to 15 minutes for unverified accounts and a maximum of 12 hours for verified accounts

Creating videos on TikTok is easier, as it requires almost no editing or special equipment, whereas an excellent high-quality YouTube video usually takes more time.

Not only does filming and editing a video for YouTube require more skill and effort, but you’ll also need a professional microphone and camera.

Ad Formats

  • TikTok 
    • In-feed ads – are 9 to 15 seconds long and appear on the For You page 
    • Brand takeover ads – the first video the audience will see when they open TikTok
    • TopView ads – up to 60 seconds shown in-feed in the first 3 seconds since the app is opened
    • Branded effects – custom brand filters with stickers, AR filters, or lenses creators can use to promote a brand
  • YouTube
    • Skippable ads – can be skipped after 5 minutes and are shown before, during, or after YouTube videos
    • Non-skippable ads – also played before, in the middle of after other YouTube videos and must be between 6 and 15 seconds
    • Bumper ads – maximum 6 seconds long, and viewers cannot skip the ad
    • Overlay ads – overlay images that can appear on the lower portion of the video

With both video-sharing platforms, you can see your audience reach, but they have different approaches. For example, if you run ads on TikTok, you can set your Audience Size Indicators and see your ad’s estimated reach.

As for the YouTube ads, you can create a Reach Planner and balance the ad performance by inputting your desired Awareness parameters which increase the expected reach and Consideration parameters which increase your views.

Content Monetization

The requirements for earning money on these social media apps are as follows: 

  • TikTok – profile with a minimum of 10,000 followers and 100,000 overall views in the last month
  • YouTube – channel with a minimum of 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours in the past year

TikTok pays content creators according to the number of authentic views and engagement levels on the enabled branded content on TikTok. On the other hand, you can make money from YouTube from advertising revenue, channel membership, merch shelf, super chat and super stickers, and YouTube premium revenue.

A recent study reveals that an average mid-tier YouTuber earns about $18 for 1,000 ad views, coming up to $3 to $5 per 1,000 video views.

But how many views do you need to reach an average Australian salary of $57,000? The answer is 121 million TikTok views or almost 10.45 million Youtube views. 

Direct Messaging

TikTok has a direct messaging feature that allows you to choose who can send you messages on the app through the Privacy settings. On the other hand, YouTube doesn’t allow messaging someone directly on the platform, but as an alternative, you can send an email to the creator of the YouTube channel. 

Bottom Line

Which video-sharing site is better depends solely on how you want to spend your free time and the audience you want to target. While TikTok typically targets younger generations, the videos are intended to be short and entertaining. On the other hand, YouTube offers more room for longer educational videos or even video game streams.


1. Is YouTube or TikTok more popular?

Considering the time Australians spend on the app, TikTok seems to be the more popular platform. But, if we compare the numbers of monthly Aussie users, YouTube takes the lead over Tiktok.

2. How many people have TikTok?

TikTok has 1 billion monthly active users worldwide, out of which there are 1.1 million Australians. 

3. How is TikTok different from YouTube?

When it comes down to TikTok vs YouTube, the two main differences are the video length allowed, and the type of content shared among users. Additionally, TikTok has features like video saving and direct massaging that YouTube doesn’t have.

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