That title may now belong to TikTok, though another study by Pew suggests YouTube is still ahead. TikTok is the fastest-growing social media platform in the world. In just three years, the Chinese social media app has amassed over 1 billion active users; and in the first quarter of 2020, TikTok generated the highest number of downloads for any app ever in a single quarter. Unlike YouTube, TikTok’s audience is large and growing at an unprecedented rate. But that’s not the only way TikTok is taking over where YouTube has failed. YouTube recently had to create a “Shorts” feature with 60-second videos in an attempt to mimic TikTok’s short-form videos. This led TikTok to float the idea of releasing long-form videos of up to 10-minutes for their creators. This is the two platforms officially declaring war on each other—but one has an aging audience while the other has captured younger generations.

YouTube Is Dead, Artistically and Creatively

YouTube is tantamount to MySpace in more ways than one. Before Myspace fell, it had become entirely corporatized. The website featured ads and content from celebrities and Fortune 500 companies instead of the independent artists that made it what it was. This made it possible for Facebook to knock MySpace off its pedestal as it featured fewer ads and a much cleaner user interface. The same thing is happening to YouTube. The platform is a corporate wasteland filled with ads, clickbait, product placements, and it favors content from celebrities over independent users. It’s easier to become a content creator on TikTok than it is on YouTube. YouTube has begun to hate its grassroots underground celebs. They’d rather give money to people that are privately vetted by them. — Moon, independent journalist. YouTube caters to the established artist, musician, or celebrity. If you’re not one of those then it’ll be harder for you to get monetized and make it a career.

The War Over Music Videos

The top 10 most-watched videos on YouTube are all music videos. (And you can believe that Gangnam Style isn’t even one of them?) TikTok is already blazing the trail for exclusive songs that were popularized through their platform. If they start eating away at the music video market, it will be a huge blow to YouTube. It’s just more ground that TikTok could take from YouTube.

Censorship Hellscape

Lil Nas X released a video where he gives Satan a lap dance, licks his nipples, snaps his neck, and puts on his crown of pure evil. That video was not demonetized. Meanwhile, long-form podcasts featuring Sam Harris, Jordan Peterson, or Joe Rogan featuring civil discourse about COVID-19 or the future of Western civilization are demonetized. Now, what about the music video for “WAP” (Wet Ass Pussy) starring Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion. It features the two making out while snakes slither down their exposed cleavage. Certainly, it was demonetized? It was not. But videos by YouTubers such as Blaire White, who is a transgender woman that has conservative political views, have been demonetized and removed. Clearly, YouTube is biased against certain creators and topics. And this isn’t to say TikTok doesn’t have its own biases, such as criticizing the Chinese Communist Party. But this is only part of the problem. The other is that YouTube clearly favors corporate interests and establishment over independent creators. At this point, we need anti-trust laws to help break up Facebook, Google, and YouTube. They are almost utilities now, and having them in the hands of a few people is not a good idea. If the government was smart they would crack them up like the old oil and telephone monopolies. There needs to be competition, especially because these platforms are clearly being used as political tools. What would happen if Mark Zuckerberg wanted to run for president or Susan Wojcik the CEO of YouTube—do you think they wouldn’t use your data for their presidential run? It’s time to break up the giants and scatter their bones.

YouTube Brings Out the Worst in Us

The good thing about creating content on Medium is I don’t have to ask you to “LIKE and SMASH the SUBSCRIBE button, and CLICK THE BELL ICON too so I don’t have to starve.” I also don’t have to put a picture of my face in the thumbnail with my mouth wide open, and a bunch of “OMGs OMGs OMGs” or red circles and arrows pointing to random shit. YouTube is cringe. It’s shameless and cringe. It’s why Joe Rogan left. It’s why content creators rely on Patreon for money. And it’s why people are fleeing to TikTok. Let me close by saying: I don’t like Tik Tok. I don’t have the app downloaded and I certainly don’t want to live in a timeline where it replaces YouTube. But I can’t deny that YouTube is its worst enemy, and TikTok is better for content creators in 2022. This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters. © 2022 Bilal Umer Rajpoot

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