Instagram Reels vs. YouTube: Which One Is Better For Marketing

Short video space is a highly demanded content format on social channels. However, the market was dominated by a video-sharing giant like TikTok, but it will be taken over by other brands that follow the same system like Instagram and YouTube. If you’re searching for the best marketing platform and want to know the difference between Instagram Reels and YouTube shorts, this article can help you have deep insight into the topic.

Instagram Reels led the market while YouTube shorts made an entry with its edits, updates, and filters. Both the social media platforms have a considerable user base and cover the majority of market shares. Both the platforms are known to be giants in the social segment and video-sharing platforms.

Both the platforms take on simplified transition tools and short-video content style, which hit all over digital space these days. However, there are lots of similarities between Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts for this kind of content sharing. There are a few points that help you know the potential possessed by the business.

What are Instagram Reels?

Videos can be up to 60 seconds are termed Instagram Reels; it is entertaining and short videos where you easily express your creativity and bring the brand to life. People can easily participate in cultural trends, discover new ideas, and collaborate with the community via Reels. With creative tools like music, AR effects, text overlays, and more, your business can create videos as people do.

What are YouTube Shorts?

Short-form video-sharing platforms offered YouTube shorts features to the users. The video-sharing platform hosts content such as YouTube’s primary service and limits pieces to 60 seconds in length. YouTube Shorts has earned more than 5 trillion views since its launch.

This advanced feature of YouTube resembles TikTok and presents around 15 to 60 seconds long; the user-generated videos are in portrait mode. It enables users to add captions and licensed music.

Viewers can easily scroll through endless videos and offer editing capabilities and the ability to interact with viewers by replying to comments with extra videos. However, primarily intended to be watched on smart devices, YouTube Shorts can be viewed on a personal device by typing #Shorts into the YouTube search bar.

What Makes YouTube Shorts and Instagram Reels Differ from Each Other?

Videos will account for around 82% of internet traffic by 2022, demonstrating the importance of this content. As a result, more than 86% of businesses and marketers utilize video content as effective advertising or marketing ways. Video marketing has increased as a competitive way to advertise business products or services.

Looking at the growing popularity of video-sharing platforms, many brands and marketers are choosing to invest in feature-rich video streaming scripts, making their work easier and faster. Lots of video streaming platforms are launched on a regular basis for users to share their content. Thus choosing a perfect platform for marketing is critical in such circumstances.

You can’t seize movies and send them now and then to friends and family. YouTube Shorts and Instagram Reels are sought-after networking platforms that are best for marketing. Owning an account on the platform is important; many businesses try to buy it instantly to gain many followers.

Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts are quite similar to each other; however, it’s crucial to understand their differences, especially when you are choosing to use this platform for marketing. This post can help you find which is ideal for your business.

As a marketer, seeing every short-form video or social channel Story feature might be overwhelming. You might be wondering whether YouTube shorts offer more opportunities compared to Instagram reels? Keep reading the article to solve all your doubts.

Boost Reach

Gen Z users flooded Instagram and YouTube, causing its astounding early growth. The second largest website, YouTube, had more than 2,240.03 million users in 2021. The number of users is estimated to reach around 2,854.14 million users by 2025.

youtube users

There were more than 815 million users in 2019 who accessed the photo-sharing platform on a monthly basis. Instagram is the most preferred and used platform these days; the figure of users on the platform is projected to reach about 1.2 billion users by 2023.

Instagram users

As of January 2022, it is also found nearly 31% of Instagram audiences are aged between 25 and 34. Almost two-thirds of Instagram audiences are aged 34 years and younger, which makes this platform particularly attractive for marketers.

Instagram Users

Marketers can utilize both platforms to reach a huge audience base; they can know which segment of huge audience they want to market to before producing reels or shorts. If marketers have good followers or subscribers, they can choose to create content that is relevant to the audience, even in the short form.

Your subscribers or followers know you for your content and, as a platform, works best with consistency. For example, if you continuously create long-form content related to your business product or services, it will definitely help you engage the audience. However, you can even choose to create short-form content like reels or shorts to educate your audience about your product or services in short content topics.

Access Existing Song Libraries

Instagram reels and youtube have similar capabilities to offer. It enables users to access the existing song libraries or audio from other shorts and reels. Marketers can even choose to use these libraries; they can add text to videos, change video speed before posting, and record by utilizing a countdown timer.

Timer and Augmented Reality Filters

Shorts videos themselves can be a maximum of 15 seconds, but users can upload videos for up to 60 seconds. Meanwhile, Instagram Reels has a maximum video length of 30 seconds, whether uploaded or recorded.

Youtube does not enable you to use augmented reality filters while recording your marketing content, compared to Instagram reels enable you to use filters. YouTube is planning to enable users to add audio from other videos in the future; this is where Instagram can’t match the platform.

Share Content

Instagram reels are the perfect option to advertise the product or services with short content, but YouTube is not left behind. The video-sharing platform enables you to upload or create longer videos. However, the YouTube layout is less efficient compared to Instagram.

Instagram Reels is visible in a separate tab on the app; hence it becomes easier for users to explore reels without feeling like a departure from the feel of Instagram stories or feed. Additionally, users can easily send these Reels as well as other forms of content to friends through direct messaging.

Compared to that, YouTube’s primary focus is enabling users to search and watch longer videos; with its design, there is a lack of a direct messaging system, making it harder for marketers to expand the audience of their short as their targeted users can’t share the content to their friends, family, or others.


Gen Z and minimalism are shifting away from traditional platforms into newer ones like Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, and others which have revolutionized the way how content is consumed. Like other revolutionized, popular social platforms are not going to be left behind in the race to take their thrones.

“Stories” changed the way of sharing on Instagram and Facebook, YouTube and Twitter have begun the process of adapting it. Instagram and YouTube have started fighting with short-form content of their own. Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts are quickly expanding their functionality and presence in an effort to not abdicate ground to the TikTok juggernaut.

In the competition of short content, it can be quite challenging for marketers to understand which is best for branding and advertising. In fact, there is a reasonable hypothesis about which of the platforms are effective for marketers. They can choose to explore the difference between the two to understand what these multi-shot short video tools can do for you as a marketer.


Author Bio

Gaurav Kanabar is the Founder and CEO of Alphanso Tech; an India-based IT Consulting company that provides Eventbrite clone and other app development services to individuals as per their specified demand. Besides this, the founder also loves to deliver excellent articles helping readers to have deep insight into the topic.

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