In a nutshell

  • Diversifying your online presence is essential to mitigate risks associated with platform uncertainties, as seen with platforms like Vine.
  • Adapting to a new platform, like transitioning from TikTok to YouTube, requires understanding the unique content presentation and viewer engagement strategies of the platform.
  • Leveraging tools like YouTube Shorts allows TikTokers to easily repurpose their content, but it’s vital to ensure monetization on the new platform before making a complete switch.

Whether or not TikTok is ever actually banned in the United States, it’s always smart to think ahead. TikTok, like any other social media platform, could disappear at any moment for any number of reasons. Just ask anyone who built a following on Vine before its closure in 2017. One way to mitigate this risk is to diversify. That’s why, in this article, we’ll explore what TikTokers can learn from Viners who moved to YouTube.

Why build a brand on YouTube

You know the saying, “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket”? This is exactly the mentality you should have when it comes to how you make money online. If your main platform, say TikTok, goes under or goes through a tough period — or gets banned — you want to make sure you have alternative revenue streams lined up.

And TikTok is in no way unique in this regard. Dozens of social media platforms have come and gone over the years. Vine is one example, but we can also point to Mixer, the ill-fated, Microsoft-backed streaming platform. Even OG social media giant MySpace serves as an example. When a platform like that closes down, you risk losing your entire community unless you have another landing pad set up for them in advance.

But a platform doesn’t need to shut down altogether to disrupt your normal revenue streams. The 2017 Adpocalypse on YouTube, for instance, caused a dramatic drop in ad revenue earned across the platform. Creators who relied mainly on AdSense revenue to pay the bills learned a hard lesson: Cultivating multiple revenue streams is essential to the stability of your channel.

Now that you know why you should build a brand on YouTube, let’s look at how.

Learn the YouTube format

Every platform is unique when it comes to which videos are successful and which ones never find an audience. For instance, when Vine shut down, Viners who wanted to move their content to YouTube had to learn to make longer videos. Moving from seven-second shorts to videos at least a minute long was a big leap for many creators. That includes ex-Viner and current YouTuber Howieazy.

“I felt like I was dragging on the videos ‘cuz I’m used to doing quick things,’” Howie says. However, those who stuck with is were able to embrace the new format. “Over time,” Howie continues, “like, after being on YouTube for, I would say, like, about a year or so, I got used to the format, too.”

Besides the videos being longer — and even longer on today’s YouTube — there are other factors that make switching between platforms challenging. To transition from TikTok to YouTube, you’ll need to think about how each platform presents videos to potential viewers. For example, both platforms have powerful recommendation algorithms that can help viewers find your content. However, YouTube is much more reliant on title, thumbnail and search tags than TikTok. You may need to spend more time on these elements to attract viewers on YouTube.

You’ll also want to consider the styles and trends that are popular on YouTube compared with TikTok. There are plenty of cross-over viewers, but there are also plenty of YouTube viewers who have never opened the TikTok app. That means YouTube viewers may respond to your content in surprising ways. You don’t have to change up your content to suit these new viewers — your core viewers will still find you — but be prepared to see your uploads perform in unexpected ways.

Embrace YouTube Shorts

Fortunately, TikTokers switching to YouTube today have one big advantage over the ex-Viners of 2017. And that’s YouTube Shorts.

Before the introduction of YouTube Shorts, the only effective way to repurpose Vine content for YouTube was to combine a bunch of individual Vines into Vine compilation videos. The algorithm was (and still is) much friendlier to longer compilations compared to second-long video.

Now, TikTokers can easily repurpose their TikTok content thanks to YouTube Shorts. After all, Shorts and TikToks have a similar run time and both use the vertical video format. Shorts are also a great way to attract new viewers to your YouTube. That makes reposting your TikToks to YouTube Shorts an extremely efficient way to boost your YouTube subscriber count.

Monetize your YouTube channel before quitting TikTok

This may sound obvious, but don’t abandon your TikTok account until your channel is monetized on YouTube. To get fully monetized on YouTube, you’ll need at least 1,000 subscribers and either 4,000 public watch hours on long-form videos in the last 365 days or 10 million public Shorts views in the last 90 days.

It’s tough to build your community on a new platform when you don’t have a reliable income source, and steadily hitting those numbers on a new platform requires effort. Knowing you have the monetized status will take away a lot of stress.

Ex-Viners who found success on YouTube

If you want to learn more specific techniques for making the switch to YouTube, check out ex-Viners like Howieazy, Logan Paul, Liza Koshy and King Bach. These are just a few of the many examples of Viners who successfully moved to YouTube when their main platform shut down.

Making the switch

Building a following on a new social media platform can seem intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. All you have to do is leverage your existing content creation skills while keeping in mind the factors that make each platform unique. In the end, the peace of mind that comes with diverse revenue streams is worth the extra effort.