YouTube Shorts vs TikTok: Which Is Best For Creators in 2024?

Discover when to choose YouTube Shorts or TikTok for your content as a creator. Explore perks, platform-specific content style and deeper insights into audiences on each platform.

Temitayo Michael


Both YouTube Shorts and TikTok have taken the world by storm with their addictive format of short-form videos. 

But beneath the surface of endless dance trends and hilarious skits lie some key differences that might sway your allegiance.

Let's dive into a detailed comparison of both platforms to help you decide which platform reigns supreme for your bite-sized content type and content distribution needs.

What Is “YouTube Shorts”?

YouTube Shorts is a section on YouTube dedicated to short, fun videos made for mobile.

Think silly skits, quick hacks, dance challenges, and anything else you can imagine in under 60 seconds

What Are the Similarities Between “YouTube Shorts” and “TikTok”?

1. Video Length: 

Both platforms center around videos under 60 seconds, perfect for quick consumption on mobile devices. 

However, TikTok allows videos up to 10 minutes now, while YouTube Shorts remains capped at 60 seconds.

2. Aspect Ratios: 

Both platforms favor the portrait orientation we naturally hold our phones in.

3. Emphasis on music and trends: 

Catchy tunes and viral challenges play a big role in both the TikTok and YouTube shorts communities.

4. Built-in video editing tools: 

Both YouTube Shorts and TikTok offer basic editing features, such as adding text to videos, layering content with music, and direct video shooting within their apps.

YouTube Shorts vs TikTok: Major Differences

1. Differences In Monetization

Although still in its early stages, YouTube Shorts monetization options are consistently being developed.

Creators may earn ad revenue through Shorts if they meet the specific eligibility requirements for the YouTube partnership program and have a linked AdSense account to their YouTube channel.

However, on TikTok, no official monetization system has been provided within the app itself.

Creators then have to rely on brand deals, sponsorships, and live streams for income.

2. Differences In Algorithm

YouTube Shorts employs a recommendation algorithm similar to regular YouTube, suggesting videos based on watch history, search queries, click-through rates, and average watch time.

YouTube Shorts also focuses on driving viewers back to the creator's main YouTube channel.

In a nutshell, a viewer who watches your YouTube shorts is often recommended your longer-form content by the algorithm, even if they've never visited your channel.

TikTok, on the other hand, utilizes a powerful but opaque algorithm that prioritizes engagement and viral content.

This means the algorithm often propels unknown creators to overnight fame if they have content that can keep users glued to the platform itself.

3. Differences In Community and Content

YouTube Shorts, as a reflection of YouTube itself, leans towards a broader range of content, which includes educational snippets, how-to videos, and vlogs alongside comedy and entertainment.

However, TikTok is primarily known for dance trends, lip-syncing, comedy skits, and challenges.

The focus on TikTok is more on entertainment and virality, making TikTok primarily a trend-driven community.

4. Differences In Engagement Rates

According to SocialInsider, TikTok boasts a higher average engagement rate, with an estimated 3.8%, compared to YouTube Shorts, which has an estimated 2.8%.

However, YouTube Shorts is catching up quickly.

5. Differences In User Base

TikTok leads with over 1 billion monthly active users, while YouTube Shorts has surpassed 1.5 billion monthly viewers.

[P.S: Users actively engage with the platform, while viewers can passively watch content without further interaction.]

SUMMARY: YouTube Shorts Vs TikTok-In A Nutshell

Mobile Responsive Page
Stat TikTok YouTube Shorts
Monthly Active Users (MAU) 1+ billion 1.5 billion (monthly viewers)
Average Daily Watch Time per User 42 minutes 26 minutes
Average App Engagement Rate 3.8% (estimates) 2.8% (estimates)
Video Completion Rate 85% 70%
Comment Rate per Video 0.09% 0.05%
Average Video Views per Week 35.7 20
Platform Focus Entertainment, Trends, Challenges Diverse Content, Education, Tutorials
Monetization Brand deals, Sponsorships, Live Streams Ad Revenue (limited), and Brand deals

Conclusion: When To Choose Which To Use.

The choice of whether to create content for TikTok or YouTube shorts ultimately boils down to your goal as a creator, your content style, and your desired engagement dynamics.

You may choose, based on these needs, to lean towards the established and diverse landscape of YouTube shorts, or you may focus on the swift virality of TikTok. 

However, it is important to note that YouTube Shorts presents a promising avenue with its integration into the broader YouTube ecosystem, as it provides an evolving monetization system and a recommendation algorithm that seamlessly directs viewers to your main channel. 

On the other hand, TikTok's powerful yet enigmatic algorithm can propel you to instant fame, especially if your content relies on a more entertainment-centric and trend-driven community.

In a nutshell, while both platforms offer a similar premise of quick, engaging videos, the distinctions are crucial for you as a content creator currently weighing your options.


1. Socialinsider: Ultimate Comparison: TikTok vs Instagram Reels vs YouTube Shorts

2. YouTube Shorts Help Center: Google My Business Video Size Limits and Verification Explained - Reviewgrower

3. TikTok Newsroom: Newsroom | TikTok