The Great Video Debate

TikTok vs. YouTube Shorts vs. Instagram Reels

Who Will Wear the Crown?

It’s an all-out war between the three most popular video-sharing apps.
In a bid to reign supreme in the short-form video space, YouTube and Instagram seek to compete with TikTok.
Instagram launched Reels globally in August of 2020. Not long after video giant, YouTube followed suit with Shorts.
The question remains, where should your video content strategy lie?

Meet The Players

  • TikTok: The current market leader in the short-form video space. TikTok allows users to make and share vertical videos up to 3 minutes long.
  • Instagram: Instagram Reels allow users to create 15 to 30-second videos. But, you better not repurpose content from other apps or IG's algorithm won't be friendly.
  • YouTube: These 60-second videos have their own viewing system apart from typical, long-form YouTube videos. Complete with an editing suite to add text and music, but unlike its rivals, lacks AR filters. 

Who Has the Biggest Audience?


1 Billion

Monthly active users

1.1 Billion

Monthly active users

2 Billion

Monthly active users

Who's Online?

  • On TikTok, Gen Z holds a large share of the pie in the US with 62% of users between ages 10 and 29. 
  • Meanwhile, 32% of Instagram users are Millennials (between ages 25 and 34).
  • Instagram is still hip with the younger generation with about 30% of users bring between 18 and 25 years old. 

What about YouTube?

95% of 18 to 29 year olds in the US use YouTube.
91% of 30 to 49 year olds in the US use YouTube.
49% of 65+ year olds in the US use YouTube.
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Average Time Spent Per Day Spent on Each Platform




Which Tool is Best for Small Business Marketers?

Did you know? 72% of customers say they would rather learn about a product or service by watching a video.


How do you know which platform is best for your brand message?

90% of Instagram users follow at least one business account.

What are the Advantages?


  • It’s captivating. People don’t gloss over and endlessly scroll, they watch TikToks.
  • It’s engaging. 25% of TikTok users say they’ve purchased or researched a product after watching a TikTok.
  • It’s for every brand. From before and after photos to legal advice every brand can find its niche on TikTok. For example are you a …
    • Lawyer. #LawyerTikTok has almost 800M views
    • Dog Groomer. #DogGroomer has more than 400M views
    • Bee Keeper. #beekeeper has more than 1B views 

Instagram Reels

  • It’s already big. Many brands already have a strong Instagram presence making it easy to roll out video content to your existing audience.
  • It’s a video-sharing platform, now. With the recent announcement that Instagram is no longer a photo-sharing app, the algorithm is likely to push new video content strongly making creating content here worth your while.
  • It's shoppable. You can now tag products in your reels making it easy for your customers to buy right from your reel.
    • Plus, if you have a Facebook for Business account you can set up appointment booking right from your profile.

YouTube Shorts

  • It's the biggest. YouTube already has 2 billion users. A billion more than its closest competitor.
  • It's committed. Shorts is now a prominent feature on YouTubes interface making it easily accessible to its users. 

What are the Disadvantages?


  • It’s not data-driven, yet. While other platforms have robust analytics features TikTok is still in its infancy here.
  • It moves fast. In order to stay on top of trends, you have to go fast making it hard to keep up.

Instagram Reels

  • It's competitive within the app. Instagram has a lot of video formats. Four to be exact. Stories, Reels, Lives and IGTV. With all the content to push it can be harder to stand out. 

YouTube Shorts

  • It's the new guy. Yes, YouTube has the most viewers but it's still new to the short-form video game.

of TikTok users say that after watching a TikTok they take action.

What does take action mean? It means that these users will like or comment on a video, share it with friends, follow a brand or purchase or research a product.

Want to learn more? 

Check out these video resources: