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Things to Consider: Instagram vs YouTube

When it comes to video work you always have to consider where the finished product will be going. While there are many options, Instagram and YouTube are the two that I use in my own projects more than others, so these two sites will be the examples I work with. 

Whenever a person makes a video for people to see they want it to get as many views as possible. In order to maximize views the content creator needs to consider where their work is going in order to tailor the content to that site.


Two things to consider about Instagram: length limits and how people use the site. Instagram used to only allow short videos but at the time of this post it has a 1 minute limit. This is longer than it used to be, but it is still not very long especially when you compare it to YouTube. In addition to the relatively short time limit Instagram is a very “scroll happy” site. What I mean by this is that when people see your content on Instagram then more often than not they are scrolling down their feed, which for a video editor means that the video has to catch a person’s attention right off the bat. If a video does not seem immediately intriguing to your audience, then it is very likely they will keep scrolling. When editing for Instagram your video needs to be concise and attention grabbing since you do not have quite the captive audience you do with YouTube.


In the case of YouTube there is a little more breathing room since it is a site dedicated to video. People looking on YouTube are generally looking to sit and watch something rather than how it is with Instagram where the viewer is generally scrolling down a feed. Although it is not quite as fast paced and high pressure, YouTube still has things to consider when you post your videos. With YouTube the concern is not as much the video itself, but the presentation. Of course any video you post should be as well made as it can be (tailored to your target audience), but the main things to consider with posting on YouTube are titles and thumbnails (the little picture that is displayed by the title). Both the title and the thumbnail should catch the viewer’s attention since it’s less likely that someone will click on a video if the title is uninteresting or if the thumbnail isn’t visually appealing.

The takeaway is that when you are creating content you should always keep in mind how people use the site you’re posting on in order to maximize the video’s potential.


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