Recently, it was announced by Google that around 1.5 Billion People view their YouTube Shorts per month. On the other hand, TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance reported that 1 Billion People watch their shorts per month last year. When it comes to the shorts game, TikTok changed the way people watch and engage with their content. TikTok creating a platform that specializes in shortened videos has allowed for them to gain market share not just in video and content spaces, but also in areas such as Netflix and traditional TV. Although TikTok is the king of shorts, YouTube looks to become a real competitor to TikTok.
YouTube Is Taking Advantage of India
One of the key reasons why YouTube has a shot at competing with TikTok is because YouTube has the ability to gain views from India. TikTok is currently banned in India, and as a result has lost a significant opportunity for revenue. In a report done by CNBC, when YouTube was testing its Shorts feature in India, it was reported that India was responsible for about 3.5 billion views per day. If we put that into perspective, assuming that you have a CPM (Cost Per 1,000 Impressions) of $0.25-$4.00 of that would mean that you can generate anywhere between $875,000 to $14 Million Dollars Per Day.
To make matters worse for TikTok, they laid off 2,000 of its employees who work in India last year. Before TikTok was banned in India, TikTok was seeing 120 million people use the short-form based video platform. It’s clear that this was a major blow to TikTok, and YouTube since has taken the opportunity to gain serious revenue in India. In a report done by globalmediainsight.com, India was reported to have the most users who use YouTube, being reported at a staggering 467 million people.
TikTok Made Companies Like Google & Meta Change The Way They View & Use Shorts
The average attention span of an average user is 8 seconds. 8 seconds is not a lot of time as a business, or creator to share a message, product, or promote your brand. Shortened content has been a key solution for organizations to promote their content in a quick and efficient way. TikTok has been able to take advantage of this and as a result, has secured over 1 billion views monthly.
Although using the short-form content model has proven to be an effective idea, it is costing companies money and may prove to not increase revenue as much as people once thought. According to an article from yahoo.com, YouTube reportedly spendt almost a quarter of a billion dollars within the last 2 years on their shorts and enhancing its product. In a study done by MoffettNathanson, their prediction of YouTube growing their ad-revenue by 9 percent to $7.49 Billion fell short, as with the emerging trend of short-form content, it’s only predicted to increase by 5 percent.
YouTube currently leads all social media platforms trying to copy TikTok, as an impressive 50 percent of its users actively use shorts every month. To compare, Snapchat only sees 30 percent of its 600 million+ active monthly users while Instagram’s Reels feature only sees 43% of its 150 million+ active monthly users using their platform. But that seems to make sense considering YouTube’s more dominant fanbase.
TikTok Shorts Are In The Same Situation as Snapchat
If you think about it, TikTok Shorts are essentially turning into the same scenario as the Snapchat of 2013. In 2013, Snapchat introduced its wildly successful stories feature, allowing its users to post content to their profile page which disappeared after 24 hours. Since then, it’s become something that Meta created for Instagram back in 2016, with YouTube creating something similar following suit. And it’s worked for them. In 2022, over 500 million people interact with Instagram Stories Daily, while on YouTube, over 122 million people watch over 3 billion hours of content daily. Snapchat was really the first social media platform to take advantage of the short-form content, and seeing how successful it can be, companies like Meta, Google and ByteDance mimicked the short-form model.
And the next company looking to take action in the short-form content area is none other than Twitter. In a recent article done by thestreet.com, the new owner of Twitter did not hide his ambition to emulate platforms like TikTok and WeChat to reach his goal of reaching 1 billion total users. When asked about why he wanted to mimic TikTok, he said: “We could hone Twitter in the same way to be interesting,” It also seems an important social mission to Twitter: “I think Twitter can be much better about informing people of serious issues.”
Recently, a memo was sent throughout rival company Meta that announced an overhaul of new changes to compete with TikTok, and it’s not just just about promoting its Reels feature anymore. While Reels remains the most important short-form content that Meta has, they proposed the possible change of uniting Facebook and Messanger into one app. They currently work separately. With reels, they are looking to implement reals on all features of Facebook, including the Home, Watch, IFR, and Groups tabs.
More and more companies are starting to use short-form based models more to market products and grow their fanbase. It’s clear that shorts are the new form of content that companies should specialize in, and is the key area that looks to be the most profitable for organizations. Whether anyone will surpass TikTok in the future is yet to be told. However, companies are copying TikTok, and taking advantage of the potential profit that shorts represents.