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


Short video space is a highly demanded content format on social channels. A video-sharing giant like TikTok dominated the market, 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 gain deep insight into the topic.

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

Both platforms take on simplified transition tools and short-video content styles, which hit all over digital space these days. However, there are many 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 of 60 seconds are termed Instagram Reels; they are 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 short 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 is 15 to 60 seconds long; the user-generated videos are in portrait mode. It enables users to add captions and licensed music.

Viewers can quickly 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?

YouTube and Instagram have created a buzz, attracting brands and marketers to invest in video streaming platforms for sharing content. With the increasing popularity of video watching, a feature-rich streaming platform like Netflix has become a leading player, offering a diverse range of content.

As brands seek new avenues to connect with their target audiences, the dynamic landscape of video streaming, encompassing streaming platforms, presents a compelling opportunity for engagement and brand visibility.

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 essential; many businesses try to buy it instantly to gain many followers.

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

Seeing every short-form video or social channel Story feature might be overwhelming for a marketer. You might wonder whether YouTube shorts offer more opportunities than Instagram reels. Keep reading the article to solve all your doubts.

Boost Reach

There were 815 million users who accessed the photo-sharing platform. Instagram is the most preferred; the number of users on the platform will reach 1.2 billion by 2023.

Number of instagram users worldwide from 2019 to 2023Image: (Source)

Marketers can utilize both platforms to reach a huge audience base; they can know which segment of the vast audience they want to market to before producing reels or shorts. If marketers have good followers or subscribers, they can create content 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, continuously creating long-form content related to your business product or services will help you engage the audience. However, you can even create short-form content like reels or shorts to educate your audience about your product or service in short video 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 use these libraries to add text to videos, change video speed before posting, and record using a countdown timer.

Timer and Augmented Reality Filters

Short videos can last 15 seconds, but users can upload small 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, which 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 products 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 feeds. 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, and YouTube, which have revolutionized 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 how sharing on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter have begun 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 so as not to 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. 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.