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Difference Between TikTok and YouTube

The battle of the video sharing services has always been a hot debated topic. And the most talked about digital battle among which is the fight between TikTok and YouTube – two of the most popular video sharing platforms in the world. As it seems, the content creators of both the platforms have been neck and neck for a long time. Let’s take a look how the two stack up against each other.

What is TikTok?

TikTok is an addictive video-sharing platform mostly loved by teenagers and those in the early twenties. You can upload videos of around 60 seconds or so sharing stories, do prank videos, dance videos, fashion and beauty videos, and a lot more. Majority of the videos on TikTok are 15 seconds or less. TikTok was developed by a Chinese tech company, ByteDance, initially for the Chinese market, but its popularity has surpassed their expectations and it still continues to grow at a dramatic rate. It has over one billion active users all over the world, and the number continues to grow. In the first quarter of 2018, TikTok was one of the world’s most downloaded iOS apps. After ByteDance purchased Musical.ly – a once popular app known for its lip-syncing videos – it merged Musical.ly with TikTok, finally taking over the former’s content and user base to create TikTok.

What is YouTube?

YouTube is a free and probably the world’s most popular video sharing and social media platform. YouTube is a video sharing service where anyone can create, upload and share videos with the world. Millions of users around the world use YouTube to watch and share all kinds of video content. Although, it’s not the only video sharing platform out there, its rapid rise in the mainstream media landscape make it truly stand out across the contemporary popular culture. Users from all over the world watch over a billion hours of videos almost every day. YouTube, owned by Google, covers just any topic you can think of or anything that’s worth uploading. YouTube videos can be shared via other social media forms such as email and messaging apps.

Difference between TikTok and YouTube


 – TikTok and YouTube are two of the world’s most popular video sharing platforms with a massive content and user base. TikTok is owned by a Chinese tech company named ByteDance which originally released the infamous vide sharing service in 2006. TikTok is the international version of the popular Chinese app Douyin. YouTube is a popular social media and video sharing platform owned by search giant Google. YouTube was originally launched by Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, and Jawed Karim in 2005, and one year later, it was bought by Google.


– TikTok is largely about video content, which are short videos of around 60 seconds, with most of the videos around 15 seconds or less. The majority of TikTok content is funny/entertaining videos, from comedians doing stand up to prank videos, dance videos, lip-syncing videos, fashion and beauty videos, skateboarding videos, and a lot more. This is the same with YouTube, but the content is more refined and tailored. To upload videos on YouTube, you need a good camera setup and video editing skills. With TikTok, you just need a smartphone camera and you’re all set.


 – TikTok contributors are mostly social media influencers who are paid to endorse well-known brands within their videos. Anyone with a good reputation within the social media circle can be a TikTok contributor – you just need the right content and a great user base. YouTube contributors, on the other hand, are a diverse group of participants from large media producers such as television stations, broadcast partners, sports, companies and major advertisers to cultural institutions, education institutes, social activists, media fans, and amateur individuals.


– Advertising is quite similar in both the platforms but YouTube has a diverse set of options to earn money. Users with most number of subscribers probably use AdSense as their primary means of earning some money. There are other ways to earn money on YouTube, such as affiliate marketing, promoting your product or service, Super Chat and Super Sticker, brand endorsement, and so on. Brand promotion is also of great monetary value on TikTok along with affiliate marketing.

TikTok vs. YouTube: Comparison Chart


While both TikTok and YouTube are popular video sharing services that allow their users to create and share all kinds of videos to the world, TikTok is about short videos, meaning you can create only up to 60-second videos on TikTok. Following a backlash from the Indian Government, TikTok was banned in India along with other mobile apps which deemed harmful to the “sovereignty and integrity of India”, as cited by the Ministry of Information Technology under the Information Technology Act. YouTube, on the other hand, has been on the field for as long as video content has been around, so there’s truly no competition there.

What is the point of TikTok?

TikTok is a social media platform and a video sharing service that allows its users to create and share short videos, up to a maximum of 60 seconds. People with all kinds of talents upload their favorite videos to TikTok. People even upload videos of them showing them using their favorite products.

Why is TikTok so dangerous?

Many users, especially parents, raised concerns that TikTok has no regulation in the kind of videos it showcase and the way it stores users’ data on the platform raised some suspicions. Although, hailed as a lighthearted, fun app, TikTok has shown some concerning vulnerabilities in its platform, which forced the U.S. armed forces personnel from using it and described it as a threat to cybersecurity.

Who is the Queen of TikTok?

The 17-year old American Charli D’Amelio is the video sharing platform’s biggest star and most of the fans would agree that she is the ‘Queen of TikTok’. She is the most-followed TikTok user and the first to reach 100 million followers.

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References :

[0]Stay, Jesse. TikTok For Dummies. New Jersey, United States: John Wiley & Sons, 2021. Print

[1]Burgess, Jean and Joshua Green. YouTube: Online Video and Participatory Culture. New Jersey, United States: John Wiley & Sons, 2021. Print

[2]Choudhary, Sangeet Paul. Platform Scale: For A Post-Pandemic World. Haryana, India: Penguin Random House India, 2021. Print

[3]Image credit: https://pixabay.com/es/photos/tiktok-medios-de-comunicaci%C3%B3n-social-5323005/

[4]Image credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Youtube.png

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