TikTok vs. YouTube: Which Video Platform Is Better?

This post may contain affiliate links and I may receive a small commission if you make a purchase using these links – at no extra cost for you. Please read my disclaimer here.

Until a few years ago, YouTube enjoyed its place as the leading video platform. However, the platform has been challenged in recent years. As Gen Z comes of age, they show a clear preference for another video platform: TikTok.

While YouTube remains highly popular, TikTok is giving it a run for its money. YouTube realizes its dominance is being threatened by TikTok’s surprising rise, evident by its release of shorts, a feature inspired by TikTok.

If you are an emerging content creator, you might wonder which platform suits you the best. Unfortunately, the answer is not so straightforward

We can determine which platform fits your content by comparing YouTube with Tiktok on crucial issues. Before contrasting the two giants, it is vital to understand the reasons behind TikTok’s marvelous success:

Why Is TikTok So Popular?

TikTok has firmly cemented itself as one of the most popular apps that Gen Z uses. Some of those distinguishing features that contrast TikTok from YouTube include:

1. Trends

TikTok trends are a key selling feature of the app. Participating in trends makes you feel like part of a community, and helps you reach out to more people in a fun and effective manner.

TikTok vs. YouTube Which Video Platform Is Better

There is always something to create, while the YouTube community offers no such analog

2. Letting You Use Licensed Music

If you dare use copyrighted music without following the internet laws and obtaining the necessary permission on YouTube, they will take down your video quickly

However, you can include licensed music in your TikToks without violating copyright laws. Nowadays, the tiktok video editor tool aids in the use of specific music and dancing to it. Artists also benefit from the attention TikTok brings to their music. 

After her song “Wildest Dreams” went viral on TikTok, Taylor Swift released a re-recording. She accredited her decision to release her re-recorded song to the attention its original audio received from TikTok. 

3. Fun and Creativity

While you can use YouTube to watch funny parodies and creative dance stints, that is not the platform’s primary content.

On the other hand, TikTok targets fun and creative content. Kids who want to have fun and show off their creativity prefer TikTok due to its arsenal of various dance moves they can master and show off. Not to mention, it’s also a safe platform for kids thanks to its TikTok parental controls.

TikTok also has more video editing features than YouTube. 

The platform houses numerous filters, text effects, sounds, and music you can use to edit your clip. Using these effects creatively can make your video more exciting and more likely to go viral.

4. Easy to Use

YouTube allows for uploading a video on its platform, but there is no mechanism in place that will enable you to record and edit the video.

Users have to make their content and edit it using external software, and once they have a final product, they can add it to YouTube’s massive repository of videos.

TikTok eliminates this by allowing you to record, edit, and share your content within the app. The integration of video recording and video editing within the app makes TikTok easier to navigate for its users.

5. Direct Messaging

YouTube lacks a crucial feature: you cannot interact with your followers on the app except through comments or in the live chat if you stream live.

In the case your followers have questions regarding your content, the only way to reach out is to do so publicly unless you provide them with an alternate route to contact.

TikTok removes this problem by introducing a direct message feature. Your followers can reach you out through direct messages if they have any queries

You can also prevent an influx of spam messages by turning direct messages off or restricting them to those you follow in your privacy settings. 

Which Platform Is Better Suited for Your Content?

TikTok is a popular platform among millennials and Gen Z, but YouTube is still the giant in the video platform category.

Which Platform Is Better Suited for Your Content

Which platform is more suited to your content depends upon the kind of content you will post and what demographics you will target. Here are some factors that will affect your choice:

1. Format

Consider the format of the content you’re creating.

YouTube provides a versatile range of video content, from serious talk shows to informative documentaries and motivating podcasts to fun dances. On the other hand, content hosted on TikTok is primarily trendy and for fun

2. Duration

The critical difference between the humorous content of TikTok and YouTube is that TikTok mainly hosts short clips, usually less than one minute long

You may expect to find a stand-up comedy session on YouTube and a meme of about 15 seconds on TikTok. 

YouTube has introduced a new feature, YouTube Shorts, that will compete with TikTok in the short humorous clips genre. However, TikTok remains the more popular platform for short clips with trendy content.

3. Targeted Demographics

If you want to target your content to Gen Z, you should use TikTok. If your target audience is older, YouTube is the better option. However, there is a sizable older audience on TikTok, and stereotyping the platform as a hub for youths is inaccurate. 

The popularity of TikTok and YouTube varies from country to country as well. While the user share of YouTube and TikTok is roughly equal in the United States, some countries have a more significant user share of one app over the other.

There are also countries where TikTok is banned, so if they are among your target audience, YouTube will be better at reaching out to them.

If you target your content along gender lines, YouTube’s share of the male audience is higher than that of the female audience, whereas TikTok has an edge among female viewers

If your content isn’t meant for a single demographic and you want to reach out to as many people as possible, go for YouTube. Youtube has about two billion users per month, whereas TikTok only has one billion users per month. 

How to Earn Using YouTube and TikTok

While both TikTok and YouTube can help you earn money, content monetization looks different on both platforms. If making money is your purpose for starting a YouTube or TikTok channel, let us help you pick the better option:

1. Content Monetization on YouTube

Your YouTube earnings are a share of the ad revenue the platform generates from the ads on your videos.

Content Monetization on YouTube

To monetize your videos, you must fulfill the following requirements:

  • You must not have any community guideline strikes on your YouTube channel
  • You must have over 4,000 minutes of watch time in the last year
  • You must have 1,000 subscribers
  • You must link your Adsense account

Once you fulfill these requirements, YouTube will offer you monetization. Getting 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 minutes of watch time is no easy feat, so your choice of content matters.

Ensure you make engaging, catchy, and fun content and market it to your target demographics. Monetizing your videos takes patience and grit. No one starts earning a fortune from YouTube from the start.

2. Content Monetization on TikTok

TikTok does not offer you a share of ad revenue as YouTube does. Instead, it has a creator’s fund and pays content creators with a certain number of monthly followers which allows them not only to create fun content but also to make money on TikTok.

For example, TikTokers with over 100,000 followers can get anywhere from $200 to $1,000 per month. Those with over a million followers can earn between $1,000 and $5,000.

Apart from the TikTok Creator Fund, TikTok influencers can also sell products to their followers. TikTok launched TikTok Shopping in 2021, which lets you curate a personal store

You can start a small business through TikTok Shopping if you exert considerable influence.

Becoming an Influencer on YouTube and TikTok

TikTok requires you to have over 100,000 followers before earning through their creator’s fund, whereas YouTube requires only 1000 subscribers. The first step in your journey is to pick a niche and research it well.

Becoming an Influencer on YouTube and TikTok

Your niche should be something you enjoy and have expertise in, as you will have to create a lot of content! You should also know what type of audience is interested in your content so you can target them in your marketing campaigns. 

Analyze what type of content your competitors are making and how you can offer something better to the audience. Once you start making content regularly, make sure to engage your audience. 

For TikTok, take part in challenges and host ‘ask me anything’ events. Doing a giveaway or a contest can also help you gain followers. 

Soon enough, you will have an impressive follower count and be approached by potential sponsors and brands for a partnership. 


YouTube and TikTok are the two biggest video platforms, and both offer financial opportunities through monetization of your content.

There are stark differences between the type of content and the audience on both media, so you should choose the appropriate platform according to your content

Whether you opt for the relatively new medium of TikTok or the established repository of YouTube, earning will take time and patience as you accumulate followers.

The hard work and patience will pay out in the end, so be optimistic and keep making engaging content. 

About the author 

Peter Keszegh

Most people write this part in the third person but I won't. You're at the right place if you want to start or grow your online business. When I'm not busy scaling up my own or other people' businesses, you'll find me trying out new things and discovering new places. Connect with me on Facebook, just let me know how I can help.

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}