Shreyas Kulkarni
Social Media

The battle of the short video apps may begin soon...

...because YouTube is reportedly working on its short-form video app "Shorts" to take on TikTok and its surging popularity

No two giants can co-exist in the same room, they are bound to square off against each other. The business world is the best example of this.

The soft drink category has the rivalry between Coke and Pepsi- such has been the popularity of this rivalry that graphic artists create ads of the brands taking shots at each other on a random basis.

Another popular rivalry in the modern era is between Burger King and McDonald’s with the former always taking the mickey out of the latter. On Valentine’s Day 2020, Burger King India released this ad on social media which not only taunted McDonald’s but gained immense traction too.

It appears that the next big rivalry will take place in the world of short-video apps between YouTube and TikTok.

In the last two years, Beijing-based ByteDance’s TikTok which lets you create short lip-sync, comedy, and dance videos has enjoyed spectacular success. As per a TechCrunch report, it was the fourth most downloaded app in the world for 2019 (iOS and Google Play combined).

A report in MediaNama had said that YouTube is in the works of developing its own short-form video app called 'Shorts'. It is supposed to release by the end of the year and “…users will be able to upload short-form videos into a feed within the YouTube app.” Also, the users will be able to leverage YouTube’s vast library of licensed music in their videos - a huge advantage.

But, how do the two apps stack up? While TikTok is a young sensation, YouTube remains the go-to place for videos.

Bhuvan Bam
Bhuvan Bam

Digital superstar Bhuvan Bam feels that with the 'Shorts' concept, YouTube will be a much more engaging concept. On his experience as a content creator, he says it takes time to create content on YouTube. “ In my case, it’s a character-based comedy so it takes a long time.”

Bhuvan Bam’s YouTube channel ‘BB Ki Vines’ has 16.80 million subscribers and 2.80 million followers on TikTok.

He was also certain that TikTok isn’t a threat to YouTube. He says, “When YouTube was new, no one thought it’ll take on Bollywood. Both are parallel to each other. Similarly, TikTok and other apps have a different audience and vibe.”

The battle of the short video apps may begin soon...

Heeru Dingra, CEO, WATConsult, agreed with Bam’s views on TikTok being a threat to YouTube. She says, “Both platforms have their own powers for the users and the brands. For example, TikTok would give you the power of instant gratification and fame while YouTube lets you promote your content with in-depth context.”

“As per their formats, Youtube gives the users and brands an unlimited time limit to create their videos while TikTok just allows a user to create a 15-second video. For brands and users who would like to promote their content in a long-format would opt for Youtube before anything else. Youtube is a platform where millions and billions of people come daily, similarly, TikTok is a platform that is witnessing downloads and uploads in millions every day.”

She also made a poignant note about YouTube’s single advantage: “If the reports and speculations are to be believed, YouTube's upcoming feature, 'shorts' would have a few advantages over TikTok. For example, the users would be able to leverage YouTube's expansive music library while making their short-clips.”

She summed it up saying, “To sum it up and as a matter of fact, YouTube also has a much larger daily user base as compared to TikTok. Thus, influencers would likely to might, find it better to stay on the platform and access more potential viewers. Also, one cannot deny the fact that YouTube has a better monetization system in place that influencers are already taking advantage of.”