TikTok vs YouTube - Which Platform is Best?

Mar 15, 2022


Looking for a comparison of TikTok vs YouTube for content creation and making money? If so, you've come to the right place.

For many years, YouTube was the undisputed king in the online video sharing space. In recent years, however, TikTok has become more popular and is now a major competitor to YouTube. But which of these platforms is better?

In this article, you will learn:

Difference Between TikTok and YouTube
YouTube vs TikTok Similarities
What Is More Popular TikTok or YouTube?
TikTok or YouTube to Make Money?
TikTok vs YouTube for Business

Read on and learn everything you need to know about YouTube vs TikTok.

Difference Between TikTok and YouTube


Before we can go over whether TikTok or YouTube is the better video-sharing platform, we must first go over the main differences between each platform. Depending on your needs, one platform might be more ideal than the other based on the differences present.

Max Video Length

TikTok has a maximum video length of 3 minutes. However, the platform is mostly known for the short-form content that is published by creators. Many of the videos published are under 30 seconds long.

YouTube, on the other hand, is known for the long-form content posted on the platform. Unverified accounts can publish videos up to 15 minutes in length, and verified accounts can publish videos up to 2 hours in length.

User Base

While YouTube had a monopoly on online video content for many years, TikTok has become a major competitor. It is estimated that TikTok has over a billion monthly users, and this number is growing daily.

Keeping this in mind, it's amazing to think about the fact that YouTube is still getting double this number of monthly users. That's right, YouTube is used by over 2 billion users every month.


Similar to YouTube, TikTok monetizes videos from creators based on the authenticity of their views, the number of views they receive, the engagement level of the video, and the subject matter.

YouTube monetizes videos that are published by monetized channels. These are channels that have over 1,000 subscribers, 4,000 watch time hours, and publish content that does not violate the Terms of Service.


Since TikTok is a relatively new platform, the advertising world hasn't begun to leverage its advertising capabilities on a mass scale. However, this doesn't mean TikTok is a bad platform for paid advertising- it's quite decent.

The types of ads present on TikTok are:

  • TopView Ads
  • In-Feed Ads
  • Branded Hashtags, Takeovers, and Effects

On the other hand, YouTube is a proven advertising platform and has continued to be a great option as time has passed. Many businesses have been built with the help of YouTube advertisements, and more will be in the future.

YouTube has the following types of ads available to use:

  • Skippable and non-skippable in-stream ads
  • Video discovery ads
  • Bumper ads
  • Responsive display ads
  • Masthead ads

YouTube vs TikTok Similarities

While there are many differences between YouTube and TikTok, there are also many similarities. Recognizing the similarities between the platforms is important, as you may think a certain platform is better for you than the other when it might not matter.

Content Type

Both TikTok and YouTube are video-sharing platforms. This means that the content posted to both platforms is video-focused. Since this is the case, many content creators are often faced with the task of choosing which platform they'd like to focus on.


TikTok and YouTube both feature interactions. Meaning, on both platforms you can like, comment, follow/subscribe, etc. Interactions hold a different weight on each platform, but the features are present on both.


It's no secret that social media platforms have algorithms. Obviously, YouTube and TikTok are no different. What's surprising, however, is how similar the algorithms are for both of the platforms.

The algorithms for both of these platforms prioritize the interests and viewing habits of users. If a user watches sports content, for example, the algorithms on both of these platforms will take note of this and will suggest more similar content.


Some social media platforms either don't track analytics or don't allow regular users to access them. On TikTok and YouTube, however, this isn't the case. These platforms both have an in-depth analytics suite that can help you learn how your content is performing with viewers.


You might be wondering- which of these two platforms is more popular? YouTube has been around for a long time, but a lot of people online seem to publish content to TikTok. Is one platform the definitive king in the video-sharing space?

YouTube is more popular than TikTok. TikTok receives over a billion monthly users, whereas YouTube receives over two billion monthly users. Also, people tend to consume content on YouTube for a longer duration.

With this said, it is important to recognize that TikTok is continuing to gain popularity- more users are joining the platform daily. So, eventually, there may come a day when they are a more popular platform than YouTube.

At the end of the day, both YouTube and TikTok are platforms with an incredibly large user base. There is an audience on both platforms for everyone, no matter what kind of content they create.

TikTok or YouTube to Make Money?


Let's face it- a lot of people are attracted to creating video content because of the amount of money many influencers make. Wanting to make money is fine, but it does take a lot of effort. Since this is the case, you must select the right platform to use.

For making money, YouTube is a better platform than TikTok. Viewers on YouTube are typically more targeted and engaged, making them better lead sources than those on TikTok. Higher quality leads tend to lead to more revenue.

Something else that's important to keep in mind is that YouTube makes it very easy to utilize paid advertising to target your existing audience. So, you're able to build a stronger relationship with viewers that are often of higher quality.

It is important to note that many people earn a significant amount of money on TikTok. This platform is also newer and has room to grow. Many businesses and brands have only just started working with influencers, for example, so there's plenty of money to be made.

TikTok vs YouTube for Business


At this point, you might be wondering- which of these two platforms is better for business? Should you create business-oriented content for TikTok or YouTube? Which platform will deliver the best results?

The ideal platform between TikTok and YouTube for business will depend on your needs. For example, if you need to target older viewers, YouTube will be a better option. Different audiences exist on each platform so one might be better than the other for your business.

It's important to remember that businesses have success on many different platforms. Some primarily use Twitter, whereas others use Pinterest. Marketing skills play a role in the effectiveness of a platform.

On YouTube, there is a fully-functioning search engine and multiple traffic sources. Content has a much longer shelf life than on TikTok. However, TikTok is a younger platform and less competitive so it might be a better option for your business.


You now know the main differences and similarities between TikTok and YouTube. Both of these platforms are great options for content creators who create video content. Depending on the needs of the content creator, one platform might be more ideal than the other.

Daniel James
Hi there! I’m Daniel, the founder, and CEO of Tubefluence. I help businesses and influencers utilize the power of YouTube marketing to grow an audience and generate leads.
TubeRanker offers the ultimate toolset for Creators & Marketers to optimize their videos against the YouTube algorithm and rank higher in YouTube & Google searches and recommendation engines.
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