It should come as no surprise that the short-form content giant TikTok is still leading in terms of engagement. But this is nothing new, in fact, it’s old news.
Instagram Reels may not be as engaging when compared to TikTok’s content, but the video format is top of the leaderboard when compared to other content formats on the app itself.
But what about Youtube Shorts? Where do they stand in the content and platform wars for engagement?
Well, thanks to a recent study we can now get to the bottom of the video performance data for all three platforms.
In this article, we’ll be taking a look at the results of the survey and sharing how you can adapt your strategy to get the most engagement from your video content.
Best Short Video Platform According To 2023 Data
Who Conducted the Survey?
The “TikTok vs. Reels vs. Shorts: Which Is the Best Short-Form Video Platform?” study was conducted by Socialinsider a competitive social media analytics platform that offers its userbase insight into their competitor’s social media strategy for platforms such as Youtube, Twitter, Facebook, and even Instagram.
The tool is used by social media managers and small brands, to enterprise marketing teams, meaning that everyone can benefit from assessing their competitor’s data.
The company offers insights and analytics for Instagram and Facebook for an unlimited amount of brand profiles. This allows users to compare their stats to that of their top competitors and adapt their social strategy accordingly.
The brand’s ethos is all about knowledge – their key goal is for you to be able to understand what other businesses in your niche are doing giving you the information you need to be able to make the necessary changes.
So, it’s no wonder they conducted this study! The company has access to tools that allow them to cross-compare datasets from different platforms and different content formats.
According to Socialinsider the study’s findings are based on an analysis of Reels, Youtube Shorts, and TikTok videos posted during a two-year timeframe from February 2021 to February 2023.
Here’s a breakdown of how each data point was calculated:
- Instagram’s rate of engagement per post was calculated by adding the number of comments and likes and then dividing the total by the number of followers the specific profile had. The end results were then multiplied by 100.
- TikTok’s rate of engagement per post was calculated by combining the sum of comments, likes, and shares on a post, and then dividing the total by the follower count. The end results were then multiplied by 100.
- Youtube Short’s rate of engagement per post was calculated by adding together the number of likes and comments, then dividing the total by the number of profile followers on the account. The end results were then multiplied by 100.
- The watch rate average was calculated by the number of views divided by the number of followers, then multiplied by 100 to allow for a percentage-based result.
- The metric for average posts per month was calculated as the total number of new posts divided by the interval of days during a selected period of time.
The rise in popularity of TikTok and short-form made it clear that this type of video content was the future of social media. Platforms such as YouTube and Instagram followed suit launching features of their own that allowed users to post video content in the form of Reels and Youtube Shorts. The platforms hoped that by doing so, they could outshine the competition.
Social Insider’s study reveals which one of these three platforms is winning the race.
Let’s break it down:
According to the data, Social Insider suggests that TikTok provides a higher ROI for brands using social media as part of their marketing efforts. This is especially true when it comes to Gen Z.
Whereas Instagram Reels were shown to be far more effective for a Millenial demographic. This means that brands will have to cater to different platforms depending on the audience they want to reach.
Youtube was the last platform to join the party with their release of Shorts making the data more limited. Yet, according to the study, Youtube Shorts account for 15 billion views daily which makes it safe to assume that the platform and content type is rising in popularity. The number of active users stands at 1.5 billion.
Social Insider also determined that TikTok content amasses 44% more comments than Shorts and Reels. This is a key metric to look at when calculating engagement rates.
In fact, it’s clear as day that TikTok trumps Shorts and Reels when it comes to engagement. But from an overall comment perspective, the data suggests that a post on TikTok received an overall average of 0.09% comment engagement, whereas the average for Youtube Shorts and Reels is around 0.05%.
Social Insider also discovered that TikTok is top of the leaderboard when it comes to the number of posts that users are uploading to the platform. The data suggest that twice the amount of videos are posted on TikTok than on Youtube Shorts and Reels. This metric is what gives the platform an edge, especially when taking all of the other data into consideration.
Nevertheless, there is one aspect where TikTok is falling short, and that’s the watch rate. TikTok’s watch rate is 9.06%, which is low when compared to Instagram Reel’s 13.08%. The takeaway from this metric is that although the platform seems to be dominating some users prefer the quality that Reels offer over the quantity on TikTok.
Both platforms fat outperform Youtube Shorts – the platform has an average watch rate of 2.85%. But, as mentioned previously, Shorts is a fairly new feature so there’s definitely room for growth and improvement in the future.
What Does This Mean for Influencer Marketing?
Staying on top of trends is crucial nowadays. Competition is steep and creators and brands need to bring their A-game.
The biggest trend right now, and one of the content types that is creating the biggest impact is short-form video. But, before you decide to leverage this type of content format you’ll first need to asses what platform is the best fit for your brand goals.
For instance, if you’re wanting your audience to watch your videos at a higher rate then you should opt for Instagram Reels. Likewise, if you’re audience is of a Millenial demographic.
Whereas if you’re interested in getting higher overall engagement then TikTok would be a better fit. This is true also if you’re audience is within the Gen Z demographic.
Once you’ve assessed what platforms are better suited to your needs you’ll need to put together a short-form video content calendar. For this, you want to try and keep consistent with your posting schedule and the number of videos you’re wanting to create and post per month.
Getting a clear idea of your posting frequency will help you plan and execute your content creation efforts, and make the whole process more streamlined.
If you’re running social media for a brand then 10 to 15 videos per month on any of the three platforms is about average when compared with other businesses.
But, if you’re a content creator that rule doesn’t apply and the more content you produce the better your metrics will be. Just remember to not sacrifice the content quality for quantity.
Link to the Report
Now that you have a better idea of what platforms are performing best when it comes to short-form video content you can take this new knowledge and implement it into your strategy.
The TikTok vs. Reels vs. Shorts: Which Is the Best Short-Form Video Platform? can be found on their website, along with other interesting reports and blogs that share tips and tricks for social media management, content creation, influencer marketing, and social trends.