YouTube Story vs Instagram Reels: Which TikTok Clone Is Better

YouTube Story vs Instagram Reels: Which TikTok Clone Is Better

TikTok’s popularity as a short video platform and its amazing success in a short time has not gone unnoticed. Instagram, owned by Facebook, is already making headway with the launch of Instagram Reels. Google is also diving into the short video content space with the new YouTube Shorts. It’s easy to get confused between Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts for posting or consuming content. We help you understand the differences between the two services.

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Fortunately, Google and Facebook don’t offer a separate app for creating and browsing videos. Instagram reels and YouTube shorts are tightly integrated into the respective parent app making the whole experience smooth.


Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts are best served on mobile devices. At the time of writing, Instagram Reels is available worldwide, while YouTube Shorts is limited to India and the United States.

User interface

As I mentioned earlier, Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts live in the main app. As for Reels, swipe right on the Instagram homepage and you will see the Reels option right next to the default Story menu. We like how the main functions are on the bottom left (you can change the position on the right side using the Settings menu). They are also easy to reach on large phones.

Instagram reel placement

On YouTube Shorts, the main options like Add Music, Speed, and Timer are at the top. You will have to stretch your thumbs every time you want to create the Short video.

Add music

Instagram wins over YouTube in this department. On Reels, when you try to add audio, Instagram opens the Music menu with a bunch of categories like Trendy, For You, Original Audio, and Pop. You can tap the little music icon next to any song and see which reels other users have used with the selected song.

Instagram music

You can also use audio from other rolls. If you find a song or audio clip that you like, you can tap on the music and select “Use audio”. The Reels menu is now configured to use your chosen song and you cannot edit the audio.

YouTube Story’s music menu is dark compared to Reels. However, you can use audio from other shorts.

Youtube music

Fun elements

Let’s talk about the crowd favorite whimsical ways to personalize the video recording experience on Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts. Here’s where an average implementation differs from a thoughtful implementation.

The reels let you play around with the recording speed. You can use a timer and alignment option to get the perfect timing of the video. Effects are at the heart of the Instagram experience. Depending on the mood, you can add a silly face, party lights, green screen, and choose one from dozens of other effects for the perfect Instagram Reels.

Instagram filters

Instagram timer

Compared to Instagram, YouTube only offers the ability to adjust video speed and a built-in timer. We know this is an early stage, but YouTube clearly has more experience and could have added a few more features to stand out.

Youtube short film timer

Text and stickers

Stickers play a huge role in the overall Instagram Reels experience. The company has years of experience with Instagram stories, and they also carry the same strength here. Instagram has dozens of funny stickers. You can also add your current location as a sticker. YouTube Shorts does not have such an option, which is a shame if you ask us.

Instagram reel stickers

YouTube offers different styles of text and customizes them with different colors, alignments, sizes, etc.

Youtube text

Authorization sharing

Here’s where YouTube comes right back into the game with higher sharing permissions.

YouTube offers various permissions for sharing short films. Before finalizing the video for viewers, you can choose between public, unlisted, or private permission. Most will opt for public permission, but unlisted and private permissions are also useful at times.

Youtube authorization

Youtube Adult Filter

Instagram has various options for sharing reels. You can either share it as a Story (in this case, the Reels will be deleted after 24 hours), share to feed, or just keep it in your account and access it from the Explore menu.

YouTube also offers an adult filter, which Instagram Reels lacks. At any time, you can change the Short permission from the YouTube library menu.

Instagram sharing

Future prospects

With Reels, Instagram has added another way to create media to share with followers. Since its introduction in August 2020, Instagram has seen growth in the number of downloads and active users.

Instagram Reels got 22% more engagement from NBA franchises than the average engagements they got from standard Instagram posts or Instagram Stories.

YouTube Shorts is still in beta and is only available in certain regions such as India and the United States. It is already becoming popular with 3.5 billion views per day in its first tests in India. One can only imagine the potential when Shorts will be available worldwide in the future.

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Create short funny videos

Instagram nailed the execution of short videos. YouTube Shorts started off well with a few missing features. The real battle is behind the scenes, however, as these short video format features aim to take Tiktok’s ever-growing popularity. With YouTube’s advanced algorithms, we won’t be surprised if Shorts becomes a crowd favorite in the future.


Looking to master Instagram reels? Read the article below to learn more about the top fifteen Instagram Reels tips and tricks.

Last updated on March 29, 2021

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