YouTube Shorts Rolled Out Globally

When you look at the success of short-form video app TikTok, it’s no surprise that other platforms are trying to get in on the action. First, Instagram added their “Reels” feature: users can create a 15 second video that can be shared to stories, the explore page, and the newly-added Reels tab. Now it seems that video-streaming juggernaut Youtube is ready to throw its hat into the short-form ring, with the newly rolled out YouTube shorts.

What Is YouTube Shorts?

After claiming to exceed 6.5  billion daily views in India, where the feature was first tested, YouTube has decided to roll out their Shorts feature in 100 countries. YouTube Shorts will allow users to create 15 second videos with a variety of features including adding music & text, a multi-segment camera, speed control, & auto captions. Sound familiar?

Why Does It Matter?

Many marketers are watching TikTok’s progress to figure out whether it’ll become a viable platform for marketing in the future. With YouTube bringing such a close competitor to the market, there’s likely to be significant competition between the two. This may impact TikTok’s suitability as a marketing platform and should therefore be closely monitored by marketers (especially those who plan on integrating it into their marketing strategy).

Which One Is Better?

While YouTube Shorts boasts some pretty impressive numbers for their beta test in India, they still have a lot to compete with when you factor in all of TikTok’s recent progress (especially over the course of the pandemic). Also, while TikTok has no formal infrastructure for paid advertising at the moment, it could still be developed in the future. In fact, some popular content creators are already working with brands to produce paid advertising materials. There’s a cultural aspect to consider as well: TikTok has become the calling card of gen z content creators who use the platform for everything from viral dance challenges and comedic skits, to educating their followers about various social causes across the globe.

However, YouTube is at a significant advantage due to its well-established brand in the online video space, as well as its higher number of active users worldwide (2.3 billion compared to TikTok’s 689 million). Many businesses will already have a YouTube page set up, therefore YouTube Shorts may provide them with a suitable alternative to TikTok on a platform that they’re already familiar with. YouTube’s existing advertisement infrastructure is also a significant factor to consider when making comparisons between the two.  TikTok skews towards younger users with approximately 66% of their user base being under 30, whereas Youtube appeals to a much broader audience. It is also the second most popular search engine after Google, highlighting its versatility and popularity as a video-sharing platform. 


In conclusion, YouTube’s expansive user base and existing advertising infrastructure are enough to pose a significant threat to the gen-Z giant, TikTok. However, since B2C (& by extension B2B) businesses follow consumers, they will be the ones to determine the platform most suitable for future marketing activity. Until TikTok introduces a formal advertising system and YouTube Shorts has been around long enough to make reasonable comparisons, those developing marketing strategies will need to closely watch the development of both platforms to discern which one is the most suitable. So, which platform is better? We’ll have to wait and see.

By Ore Ige

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