Which Social Media Video Platform?

Video is not the future video is now. Across all demographics and the major social media platforms, the correct video content is an extremely powerful form of digital content with the power to transform your business. In fact, latest stats indicate that 72% of people would rather learn about a product or service through video.

Whilst YouTube is the grandfather of social media video for both creators and audiences. Has it been replaced as the go to video platform?

Tiktok is possibly to new and although it has over a billion users there appears to be a narrow demographic.

IGTV on the other hand is about a year old and has gained some ground on YouTube, especially when you look at how Instagram is pushing IGTV.

With this in mind let's look at YouTube and IGTV, both offer certain benefits and limitations to growing your business.

As a business you want to know which is better for the growth of your business. As I always say, you need to consider the following in respect to the needs of your own business, test and measure the results.


Sharing Your Video Content To Other Mediums

If sharing your content via other mediums of communication such as your website, emails etch then YouTube is the one for you. It’s easy to share YouTube videos all over your social network and all over the web. Embedding YouTube videos in articles and blogs is also easy.

IGTV does have the option to copy a link to the videos but playing the video outside of Instagram is difficult and as of yet they have not developed the level of sharing that YouTube offers.

Going Mobile

While you can access IGTV from a web browser, Instagram is primarily a mobile app, designed to be viewed on mobile phones. With this in mind you have to be aware of the orientation of your videos and the viewing space on a mobile devise. This means that the thumbnails of the videos you have uploaded to IGTV will be displayed differently than on your YouTube channel.

If you want video content that can be viewed around the web and on both desktop and mobile, YouTube is a better choice.

Know Viewing Habits Of Your Audience.

If the vast majority of your audience is on Instagram, then using IGTV just makes sense. After all, sending most of your audience on one platform to another platform to enjoy your video content can make for a drop off in viewing figures. Yes, you see many Instagram influencers attempting to send viewers to Youtube for numerous reasons, but until your audience are advocates and will happily move social media platforms, safer to show your videos on their preferred platform,

Instagram are currently forcing IGTV notifications into audiences’ feeds to help change the behaviour of its users. Therefor there are benefits from using IGTV over the regular Instagram video post. This will help to both keep your current Instagram following engaged and grow your presence.

Being Found On The Internet.

If being found in search engine search results such as Google and Bing, then YouTube is a far better option. Most search engines will show video results in their results. Indeed we tested this very theory with a couple of random videos on very unrelated topics and with very little effort managed to get the videos listed on page one of Google results. YouTube is still the go to place to learn via video. If your marketing content includes how to videos, tips, advice etc then YouTube is still were you want your video content.

Instagram is only searchable within Instagram, and IG content cannot be searched for on Google. Also, while YouTube allows you to search by keywords and creators, it is not easy to search by creator when it comes to IGTV.

The Length Of Your Videos

At present IGTV videos can be between 15 seconds and 10 minutes long. Unless you have a verified account, then you can post videos up to an hour long. Although not many of us need to post videos longer than an hour. Depending on your audience the average video viewing time can range from 20 seconds to 10 mins.

Most viewers prefer shorter video content, even if it means creating the whole content in parts. You will see many YouTube videos created in parts to keep the audience engaged. There are other strategic benefits to creating a series of shorter videos rather than one long video.

However, if the nature of your business and subsequently your video marketing content dictates that you need videos of over an hour then YouTube is the social media video platform.

Vertical Video

If your audience loves to watch their videos in portrait and using the whole screen, then IGTV is your social media video platform of choice. Remember to record/make your videos in the same orientation as your viewing platform. YouTube videos can be viewed vertically, but it doesn’t look as good as it does on IGTV.


At the moment, YouTube videos can be monetized and as of yet IGTV videos cannot. Therefore, you see some of the major Instagram influencers either trying to entice on IGTV with a video tasty to ultimately drive audiences to YouTube. The alternative is for an Instagram influencer to gain finance via brand sponsorships. YouTube creators, however, have had the option to monetize their videos through Google Adsense for years and years.

You need at least 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of viewing time before you can make use of YouTube’s Monetize feature.

Analysing Your Data.

How important is it to your business to have detailed marketing management information? If you are looking for in-depth statistics and analytics about your video content performance and audience, YouTube is the way you want to go. While IGTV does offer some analytical info, it is nowhere near as comprehensive as YouTube’s analytics.

Which you choose will depend on how important in-depth analytics are to you and how much detail you truly require. If IGTV gives you enough of a big picture that you can use the data to improve, it is a fine solution for you. However, if you want as much detailed information as you can have, YouTube will be able to show you much more.

Which Is Best For Your Business?

Ultimately, which social media platform wins for you depends entirely on the needs, priorities, and goals of your business. It will also depend on your content. Which platform will serve your content best really depends on its genre, length, and intended audience.

As I said at the beginning If you are unsure, try both. See in practice which network gets you better results and closer to your goals. You don’t necessarily even have to pick just one. If you learn how to leverage one or both sites properly, the true winner will be your business.

Final Thoughts

Don’t assume that you can upload the same kinds of content on both platforms just because they are video sharing platforms. They are both different and will come with different audiences, pros, and cons.

Then of course there is TikTok?

The fact that IGTV caps video length can be a blessing or a curse. However, if you choose to focus on IGTV, you will need to be much more selective about what gets posted and much more aware of its aesthetic values.

A collaboration between Friendly Organics and Friendly Consultancy

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