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Citation formatting is not guaranteed to be accurate.
MLA Full: "The Real Difference Between YouTube and TikTok." YouTube, uploaded by vlogbrothers, 23 September 2022,
MLA Inline: (vlogbrothers, 2022)
APA Full: vlogbrothers. (2022, September 23). The Real Difference Between YouTube and TikTok [Video]. YouTube.
APA Inline: (vlogbrothers, 2022)
Chicago Full: vlogbrothers, "The Real Difference Between YouTube and TikTok.", September 23, 2022, YouTube, 03:57,
It's a lot smaller than you think.

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Good morning, John.

It's Friday! I am currently at the YouTube Creator Summit.

Look at this.  Which is a little event that YouTube has been throwing for creators for a while,  but not recently. So this is the first one in a long time and  I'm really excited to be here. Seeing old friends, making new friends,  thinking about what it all means.

I was talking to a guy who was like,  "Can you believe the power that is inside of this room!?  The cultural creation that occurs at the hands of these people!?"  Now, obviously YouTube is a lot bigger than the people who are in that room,  but it is interesting and there are a lot of interesting and, I think,  important conversations. One of the things  that folks were trying to get to the bottom of a lot  is that YouTube is kind of undergoing one of the biggest shifts in how content   on the platform works in a very long time. And that is, specifically, that there are these  things called Shorts, which are what YouTube calls TikToks.  Except, that's actually, probably best not to call them that because, ultimately,  YouTube is culturally very different from Tikok  Obviously, YouTube wanted to clone the  effectiveness of that content tool,  but that doesn't mean that it's going to be the same thing.  There are lots of different things,  and they are extremely subtle, that go into what content gets made  and how a platform feels, like, what its vibe is.

This, by the way, is the thing that says,  "I don't have Covid" so… that's how you get one of those. And as an example of how important and subtle this is  I think that we misunderstand what is the difference between  a YouTube video and a YouTube short, or a TikTok,  or an Instagram Reel or whatever. And, and, I think it's important for  everyone on Earth to understand this.

And the people who most think about it  often times don't. So you're gonna now, get ahead  of those people. It's not about "this",  it's not about it being vertical.

It's not about it being short.  The biggest difference between a YouTube short and a YouTube video  is that one, you decide whether to watch it;  and the other, you decide whether to keep watching it. Does that make sense to you? Because the difference is massive.  When I'm trying to decide whether to watch a YouTube video  I'm presented with many YouTube videos  and they have titles, and they have thumbnails,  and they have faces of people I may or may not recognize.  Many of those people, I care about.

I know their stories, I've been involved  with their stories for many years, even if I've never met them. But with a TikTok, or a Reel, or a Short,  I'm not deciding what video to watch. I'm deciding which video I keep watching.  I think there are a lot of things that people would watch  that they kind of don't think they would.

I think that some of that content is probably  not that great, fail videos,  football highlights, it's fine.  And I think there are a lot of videos that I click on that maybe wouldn't be  the thing that I would most stick around to watch in a feed of, otherwise,  very engaging content. But when you're not deciding  whether to watch, you're deciding whether to keep watching,  I think you're a lot more open to new creators.  So both of these things are good. Don't get me wrong,  they can both do bad things and they could both function in a bad way  if we use them poorly.

But I am glad to have both of them. And at first, I wasn't really sure if that was the case.  But I think it's really important that we have systems that allow for  the discovery of new, talented, interesting, innovative creators. And I feel like TikTok and TikTok-like things  are really great for discovery and for people to, sort of, build early in their careers.

It's like a greenhouse: there's a lot of energy packed into a really small space and  it allows for a lot of diversity and a lot of thriving. But only certain kinds of things can grow forever in a greenhouse.  Most things have to move out of the greenhouse in order to  keep growing and thriving. It's really, deeply different and I think  that the only actual difference is not the format, it's not the length,  it's whether you choose to watch it or whether you choose to keep watching it It's really amazing to me how massive the impact on our culture  such subtle changes in these content platforms can have.  And so many of those massively important  differences are really subtle and terribly difficult to notice.

But I think that it is valuable to notice them. And that's what I've been thinking about  here, at the YouTube Creator Summit. John, I will see you on Monday!  Because, next week… Pizzamas begins.