Earlier this year, YouTube launched its Shorts video format. YouTube Shorts are vertically-oriented videos with a browsing mechanism similar to TikTok. Even in this early stage, a number of creators have greatly expanded their reach through this new format.
With YouTube being a priority for me, I decided to start making videos within the Shorts format. I was already making clips for Twitter and Instagram, so making YouTube Shorts was simply a matter of reformatting them for a vertical screen.
As it turns out, that YouTube Shorts vertical format is also same as TikTok. Though I’ve been reluctant to support more platforms with my content, I figured that if I’m going to make vertically-oriented clips for YouTube anyway, why not also post them on TikTok for greater reach with little extra effort?
Thus far, not much has come out of YouTube Shorts. TikTok though…
For those who haven’t used TikTok, I’ll take a moment to explain what makes consuming content on TikTok different from other platforms. While a user can navigate to a person’s page and consume their content, most users view videos from the For You page. The app immediately shows you a video based on how you’ve responded to similar videos or hashtags you’ve interacted with. From there, you swipe up to get a new video. The more information you give it, the better TikTok will be at serving videos you want to see.
On top of that, TikTok’s algorithm seems to give creators a bit more of an algorithmic push per video. With Instagram, I find that my videos are only pushed for a few hours and generate roughly 20-to-30 views. Save for my one-off hot tub effect video that completely bombed on TikTok, the floor for my content is about 200 views with a seemingly-minimum push of a day. A worst case scenario of 200 views is still orders of magnitude better than how my videos perform on Twitter or Instagram.
I would have continued making videos for TikTok solely off the success of my worst-performing videos still doing way better here. But the heights my content has reached here have been staggering.
My Tetris 99 videos have caught a lot of momentum on TikTok. Multiple videos have been viewed over 100,000 times. Two of my videos have hit over 200,000 views as of writing. Some of my non-Tetris videos have also been viewed north of 1,000 times.
Strictly from a metrics perspective, these videos have performed better than anything I’ve ever created on any medium. Not to degrade the years of work I’ve put into the website, YouTube channel, Twitch channel, or my social media, but what I’ve been able to achieve on TikTok in such a short period of time is stunning.
And there’s still so much more room for me to grow! Almost all of my TikTok clips are adaptations of live streaming content. How much farther could I go if I make videos specifically for the TikTok audience? I have dabbled a bit with original material, but it hasn’t taken off in the same way. Nevertheless, I really like how my TikTok unboxing videos came together and I hope to do more original content for this platform.
In retrospect, I really shouldn’t have been so stubborn with trying out TikTok. Within the first few days of using the platform, I could already see that my videos were performing way better there than they were elsewhere. Going forward, TikTok will likely be my primary focus in terms of social media.
If you aren’t already on there, should you sign up for TikTok and start posting? Maybe. If you make video content, the TikTok algorithm seems to give creators a great platform for reaching more people who are interested in your work. At the very least, it seems like the type of content I’ve been making on Twitter and Instagram works much better on TikTok. In apples-to-apples tests, TikTok was the clear winner for me by a landslide.
For streamers in particular, I really think you should give TikTok a serious look. You can repurpose your highlights to work on TikTok as a means of not only sharing your content with a new audience, but also as a means of promoting your Twitch channel. I personally use InShot on my phone to create vertical videos, but a free and simple tool like Stream Ladder may be just the thing to get you started. Results will vary and there’s very much an art to crafting content that works with the TikTok crowd, but your first big TikTok video might already be a past clip on Twitch just waiting for you to upload it elsewhere.
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