The world has come a long way from pure texts and low-quality graphics on the internet. In fact, in modern times, video is the most preferred medium of consuming content. After all, it is the most convenient form of content for consumers. Unlike audio and textual content, you don't need to strain your mind when consuming video content, where you will need to visualize the graphics and even sound depending on the medium of content. Some of you may have a voice narrating this text as we speak. Keeping that aside, you can find a wide variety even in video content - and one of the most popular types of video content trend in 2022 is short videos and reels.
What are Short Video and Reels?
What are short videos and reels? Although shortfrom video contents and reels are not the same, they are essentially video content designed to provide high value within a short duration. If you have been on the internet for more than a day, then you probably know about TikTok and how its format of video content. Although TikTok is not the end-all-be-all for shortform video content, it is the poster child for this type of content in 2022.
But did you know that TikTok may be why short form contents and reels rose to popularity?
When did short videos become a trend?
Would it surprise you if we say that the rise of the short form contents began with the rise in popularity of Tiktok, then known as Musically? This may not be much of a surprise if you follow online trends. However, if you use the internet for purely work-related activities, which we are sure many of you do, you may be out of the loop.
Although the story behind the rise of short video as the preferred trend is long, the general gist is that vines made use of this format to entertain people, and then TikTok/Musically added more to it till be became a trend.
Vines and TikTok on Short Video
Source: Gadget 360
Vines was an American shortform content hosting service that enabled users to share six-second looping video clips. Now we can see that six-second is extremely short, but back in 2012, this was the new trend. Vines ruled the shortform video trend until 2016. This was when TikTok, then known as Musically, began its rise.
While vines was a good platform, it essentially had no way to enable monetization. This meant no money for the development teams and creators, but TikTok did. Although the video duration was only 15 seconds back then, it was still much longer than vines. On top of that, you could chain up to four videos to create a minute-long video.
This enabled the creators to display 10-second long social media ads and sustain their creation through earnings. This embarked on the downfall of vines and the rise of a new form of video trend- Short videos.
Instagram Reels Short Video enters the competition.
If something gets popular, it will gain competitors in the digital space. The meta of the shortform video content is the same. Not long after TikTok, then known as Musically, gained popularity, Instagram entered the competition with its version of Shortfrom video. It was and still is called Instagram reel short form content.
Although not the same as TikTok videos, Instagram reels did initially have 15 seconds limitation on their video. But when TikTok enabled users to increase the video length by chaining 15-second long videos, Instagram simply increased the maximum length of their reels to 90 seconds.
Instagram Reels Vs. TikTok
Instagram reels short form content was a similar shortform video content with unique perks. While TikTok was purely dedicated to shortform video trend, Instagram provided its users with images and some socialization. Although TikTok has a chat system, it still lacks features compared to Instagram Chat. Then again, this lets TikTok users focus on the videos.
Because of this slight variation in platforms, TikTok was and still is mostly preferred as a primary medium for consuming shortform videos. Instagram reels short video is just a taken as a side feature of Instagram, even though both are essentially the same.
YouTube Shorts Enters the Competition
Youtube was never a part of this fiasco regarding the short videos. That said, as this form of video content grew in popularity, it could not stay out of the competition. Before TikTok rose to fame, YouTube was the primary source of video. Twitch catered to a completely different audience, so it was never in competition with YouTube - but TikTok was.
YouTube launched its version of shortform video in the form of YouTube shorts. This was the same year when the popularity of TikTok boomed. Initially, YouTube shorts acted as a buffer for its users. After all, watching some short, quick videos after binging on three hours of the reaction channel is nice. However, the primary audience of YouTube was still those preferring long-format videos.
Long-format videos were and are still better for monetization as well. That said, this form of shortform content on YouTube was not without some controversies. The YouTube Monetization algorithm doesn't count the views or view time on YouTube shorts. This essentially makes it unprofitable for the creators and their popularity. However, a few creators work hard and publish a ton of shorts. Per the consensus among the creators, it's mostly to maintain their channel's visibility and stay on top.
TikTok Vs. Instagram Reels Vs. YouTube Shorts
All of these are platforms for shortform content, with each having an average video length of roughly one minute; the contents in these forms of short video content are concise and quick, resulting in great entertainment value per time.
But what is the difference? To make it easier, we have represented the key differences in the table below.
|TikTok||Instagram Reels||YouTube Shorts|
|Video Length||15 sec to 10 min||15 sec to 90 sec||15 sec to 60 sec|
|Monthly Active Users||1.2 Billion||1.4 Billion ||2.5 Billion|
Can this quick table tell us about which is the best platform for short video content? Nope, ther is no clear way to tell which one is the best. However, we can see that TikTok and Instagram are nearly neck to neck in this competition whereas YouTube Shorts is falling a bit henind on engagement rate.
As you can guess, although these are the big three for shortform content, YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram are not all end-all for this form of video content. There are a few more platforms. So let's make quick honorable mentions of these platforms before we go.
Yes, Snapchat, an app primarily meant for chatting and sending images/videos without worrying about them being leaked, is a platform for shortform video. If you swipe right a few times on this app, you will land on the Spotlight page, which is essentially the same as TikTok. You can easily guess why this is not as popular as the rest of the giants. Snapchat is not meant for shortform video.
Facebook Reels and Short Videos
The virtual short video format is nothing new on Facebook. Shortform video trend has been a thing since the days of Facebook Story. However, it didn't become its own official thing before 2021.
That said, Snapchat, FB reels, and short videos are not the primary way of using this social media app. So, you can easily guess why it is not as popular as the big three in the shortform content.
We will keep this short here. Twitch clips are not exactly complete shortform video content. They are simply snippets of live streams. That said, it still is a great way to stay updated with your favorite streamers and get some context of what is going on without needing to watch three to four-hour-long live streams or stream recordings.
In the end,
Video content is one of the easiest forms of content to consume for the average user. They take less of our time, have great content value, and we can binge a lot of them in a relatively short period. At the same time, it can also be quite profitable for the content creators - if the platform allows it to be so. This is why TikTok rose to fame, and Instagram reels managed to stay in the competition. Although YouTube is a giant in short video content, it may take a bit before it can properly compete with these two - at least in the meta of shortform content.
We hope you found this interesting and entertaining. And as always, thank you for reading till the end.
Q: What is Reels and Short Video?
A: Reels is a new way of shortform video content for Instagram and Short Video is simply a video that has lesser video length.
Q:Which one is better- Shorts or Reels?
A: It depends on what you seek from the platform but if we keep aside TikTok from this, then Reels is a bit better than Shorts so far.
Q: Can you monetize reels?
A: Yes, you can monetize reels!
Q: Can you monetize YouTube Shorts?
A: So far, YouTube has no plans for monetization of their Shortform Video Content!
Q: Which is better reels or TikTok?
A: There is no clear answer to this and it entirely depends on what you need. If you want to consume shortform video content without any distractions, then TikTok is the best for you. However, if you want socialization and HD images along with Shortform content then instagram Reels is better option for you. Both Reels and TikTok video recommendation works in a similar way.