If you hadn’t heard of TikTok before lockdown, chances are you are fully aware of it now.

Thanks to many different dance challenges, Tiger King videos and general lockdown escapism, TikTok really has gripped the nation.

TikTok Stats

  • There are over 800 million TikTok users that are active, worldwide
  • The app has been downloaded over 2 billion times on App Store and Google Play.
  • 41% of TikTok users are aged between 16 – 24.
  • Users spend an average of 52 minutes per day on TikTok.
  • Available in 155 and in 75 languages, TikTok has also been downloaded 611 million times in India alone – roughly around 30% of the total app downloads.

We all know it wouldn’t be too long before a rival company tried to get in on the action.

A new challenger?

Enter YouTube. Google’s video channel has been around since 2005 (Google bought it in Nov 2006 for a cool $1.65bn) and currently has over 2 billion logged-in monthly users worldwide.

However, wanting to get in on the action that TikTok has created for itself, YouTube has started to trial short-form video content in limited markets – starting in India.

YouTube Shorts is described as:

“Shorts is a new short-form video experience for creators and artist who want to shoot short, catchy videos using nothing but their mobile phones.”

Allowing creators and artists to create short videos with the following features:

  • Stitch shorter clips together with a multi-segment camera
  • Alter the speed of videos either to be faster or slower
  • Timers and countdowns
  • Add music to videos direct from YouTube’s music library
  • Edit videos with a number of creative tools
  • Create and upload videos 15 seconds or shorter

In addition, once videos are uploaded they will feature in their very own short video carousel which is accessible from the YouTube homepage.

Although not available in other locations yet, YouTube is actively encouraging creators with short videos to upload them already so that they are prepared:

“We encourage any mobile creator or artist to start uploading their existing short videos on YouTube today to start getting discovered.”

Why India?
It seems there was a further reason behind choosing India to pilot this new concept, which isn’t necessarily tied to the huge population numbers. TikTok was banned in India on 29th June 2020, and shortly after that, Facebook-owned Instagram started testing out their short video content ‘Reels’ on 6th July 2020.

With the ongoing talk regarding TikTok being banned in more locations, Instagram continues to push reels, launching in more and more countries.

But what sets YouTube Shorts apart from TikTok and Insta Reels?

Numbers! Let’s look at the numbers of active users again.

Monthly ACTIVE users worldwide
TikTok – 700 million

Instagram – 1 billion

YouTube – 2 billion

With YouTube receiving more monthly active users than TikTok and Instagram combined, it makes perfect sense for YouTube to want to grow that platform even further whilst keeping hold of their current users. Add in YouTubes monetisation features that make the platform very attractive to content creators and it is a win-win.

Let’s see how this all plays out over the next couple of months!


If you are thinking about social media marketing, but not sure where to start, what platforms would be best for your business and how to create the right content – get in touch with the team at Seriously Helpful today – we can help you to understand what you need, where and when!

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