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Is YouTube Considered Social Media: What You Need To Know

Let's look at what makes YouTube such a social media powerhouse and why it's such an important part of your online presence

Fatjon Kabashi

Head of Social Media

Is YouTube Considered Social Media: What You Need To Know

In the world of social media, platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram usually dominate the conversation. Yet, YouTube stands as not just a part of social media but a great platform in its own right. Any ambitious marketer understands how important it is in the current landscape. Let’s look at what makes YouTube such a social media powerhouse and why it’s such an important part of your online presence.

What is Social Media?

As social media covers a wide range of platforms, determining what makes up a social media platform can be more difficult than one might initially believe.

 

Social media refers to websites and applications that allow users to create and share content, connect with other users, and participate in online communities. Popular social media platforms include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat.

Social Media Features

To determine whether YouTube is a social media platform, it is necessary to examine its characteristics and compare them to the characteristics of social media. The following are the fundamental components of social media platforms:

  • User-Generated Content: Social media platforms rely heavily on user-generated content, in which individuals create and share content with their peers.
  • Interaction: Social media platforms allow users to interact with one another through activities like commenting, liking, sharing, and direct messaging.
  • Personalization: Users of social media platforms can personalize their profiles and manage their online presence.
  • Networking: Social media platforms enable users to connect and create networks with others who share their interests.
  • Virality: Because social media platforms allow for a quick spread of content through sharing and engagement, content has the potential to go viral.

Is YouTube Considered a Social Media? Reasons Why

YouTube can be considered a social media platform because it has important features associated with such platforms, such as user-generated content, interaction, personalization, networking, and the potential for content to go viral.

Here are some features that support YouTube’s categorization as a social media platform:

Personal Accounts

To unleash the full potential of YouTube, creating a profile is the first step. While watching videos doesn’t require an account, it’s when you create a profile that interaction becomes possible. 

Liking, sharing, commenting, and subscribing are all at your fingertips, customizing your YouTube experience. Your feed becomes tailored to your preferences, delivering videos that align with your interests. Playlists for uninterrupted viewing are a testament to the personalized touch YouTube provides.

Opportunity To Engage

Beneath every video, the thumbs-up and thumbs-down buttons allow viewers to rate the content. High engagement pushes favorable videos to the forefront, while less appealing ones fade into the background. 

This seemingly minor feature, in fact, plays an important role in content creators’ strategies. It drives them to create content that resonates with their audience and fosters engagement.

A Platform For Influencers

Influencers have carved their path to stardom on YouTube. Unlike traditional media, where TV networks call the shots, on YouTube, individuals can rise to stardom. 

Influencers understand that their followers drive content development and that going viral can catapult them to success. They actively engage with their audience, conducting live Q&As, and product reviews, and sharing user-generated content.

Viewers’ Interaction, Feedback, And Engagement

YouTube’s comment section is a bustling hub of discussion. Here, viewers applaud, critique, and suggest future content. Subscribing to channels fosters communication between creators and fans. 

It’s a place where users passionately defend their favorites, making it a truly “social” platform. On occasion, it even transforms into the stage for some of the internet’s most epic showdowns.

Which Social Media Platform Category Does YouTube Fall Under?

YouTube is most similar to other video-sharing platforms like TikTok and Instagram Reels but with a focus on long-form video content. Moreover, the Community posts and commenting features draw further similarities to conventional social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

 

As a result, YouTube can be considered a video-sharing social media platform.

YouTube vs. Facebook And Other Platforms

While Facebook reigns as the most popular social media platform on the internet, YouTube is rapidly gaining ground. With approximately 2.3 billion active users compared to Facebook’s 2.9 billion, it’s well on its way to becoming the new king of social media.

 

The key reason for this is YouTube’s rapid growth rate, especially among 18-29-year-olds. According to reports, YouTube’s user base grew from 73 percent of adults in 2019 to 81 percent in 2021, while Facebook’s numbers remained stagnant.

Leveraging YouTube as Social Media

Know Your Tone And Genre

When creating a YouTube channel, focus on finding a unique voice rather than copying what’s already popular. Your viewers will tune in to hear your perspective, so while getting inspiration is great, replication is not the path to success. The key is finding the right balance between your passion and your audience’s interests.

Know Your Target Audience

With millions of channels on YouTube, someone else might already be covering your niche. To thrive, be laser-focused on your specific area and audience. Tailor your content to cater to their interests and needs.

Increase Your Brand’s Value

Video is a powerful tool for conveying your message. It captures the essence of your content, making it more relatable and engaging for your audience. Use it to enhance your brand’s value and reach a broader audience.

Collaborate And Interact With Other Channels

Collaboration is the name of the game on YouTube. Networking with other creators, especially in the early stages of your channel, can help you tap into new audiences and grow your brand.

Make your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Better

YouTube is the second most popular search engine in the world. Optimizing your videos with compelling titles, descriptions, and tags can significantly improve your search engine ranking.

Explain Complex Concepts Relatively Easily

Video excels at simplifying complex ideas. Use screen captures, live demonstrations, or whiteboard drawings to make difficult concepts accessible to your viewers.

YouTube Is Mobile-Friendly

Given the prevalence of smartphones, creating mobile-friendly video content is a smart strategy. YouTube’s mobile compatibility ensures that your message reaches a wide audience.

Spread Your Message To A Wider Audience

YouTube is a hub for shareable content. Make your videos shareable across various platforms, allowing your message to reach an even larger audience.

It Is Cost-Efficient

Not every video requires a massive budget. You can create compelling content with minimal equipment. This cost-effective approach opens up endless possibilities for content creation.

Community Tap And Posts

YouTube now offers features like Community Posts, allowing creators with over 1,000 subscribers to share text, GIFs, playlists, photos, and polls. This further solidifies YouTube’s identity as a social media platform.

User-Generated Content

YouTube is distinct from traditional video streaming services because it allows users to produce their content. Anyone can upload and watch videos, transforming YouTube into a genuine social media platform.

Monetize Content

YouTube’s business model mirrors that of other social media networks. Users enjoy free content, while the platform generates revenue through advertisements. This model has similarities with platforms like Instagram.

Using YouTube Strategically

A successful YouTube strategy isn’t about going viral but rather building a consistent and valuable presence. It’s all about creating a connection with your audience. Here’s how:

Have Q&A Sessions

Answering your audience’s questions builds relationships and positions you as an expert who can provide solutions.

Be Consistent With Quality Videos

Maintain a regular publishing schedule to keep your subscribers engaged and establish yourself as a trusted expert.

Customize And Personalize Your YouTube Videos

Use the customization options available to personalize your channel, organize your videos, and create playlists.

Collaborate With Other Content Creators

Networking with other creators in your industry can introduce you to new audiences and help you share your expertise.

Have A Call-To-Action

Include reminders in your videos and descriptions to encourage likes, subscriptions, and engagement.

Be Interactive

Ask questions that prompt viewers to comment, and be sure to respond to their comments. This interaction builds trust and rapport with your audience.

Final Thoughts

While YouTube’s initial purpose may not have been to serve as a social media platform, it has transformed into one thanks to user engagement features. From its beginnings as a video hosting site to becoming the second-largest search engine, YouTube has come a long way and is undoubtedly here to stay. It’s a multifaceted platform, offering a wide array of opportunities for individuals and businesses alike. Understanding its power and using it strategically can help you thrive in the digital age.

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