Revealed: Is YouTube a Social Media Platform or Not?


Yes, YouTube is a renowned social media platform where registered users can connect, share videos, and even monetize their content. Explore the major reasons that make YouTube a prominent player in the social media realm.

If you were asked to name some of the most popular social media sites, I bet you’d mention the likes of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. In answering, I’d also list YouTube among the top five. I know you’re wondering, “Wait…is YouTube a social media?”

Social media refers primarily to online platforms and websites that allow users to create, share, and interact with content and one another. Now the question is, “Does YouTube fit into this definition?” The simple answer is yes. But let’s see how.

What Makes YouTube Social Media?

According to a comprehensive study by the Pew Research Center, YouTube has emerged as one of the most influential platforms, with a vast majority of adults regularly accessing it for various purposes. This recognition is echoed by experts in digital media from Harvard Business School, who acknowledge YouTube’s significant role in shaping public opinion and fostering community engagement, much like traditional social media platforms.

This convergence of opinion from renowned institutions sets the stage for understanding YouTube’s alignment with other social media platforms. It’s evident in several features common to all social media platforms that YouTube also embodies. Some of these features include:

Opportunity for Interactions

One of the fundamental characteristics of social media sites is the opportunity it provides for users to engage with one another and/or with content. On YouTube specifically, users can engage with videos through likes, dislikes, and comments.

I’ve seen full-blown conversations in a video’s comments section many times, which is even easier with the new YouTube Handles features. Users can tag each other via their handles to refer to them and it could grow into a discussion with many others joining in (as with other social media sites).

Personal User Accounts

Another quality of YouTube that makes it a social media is the presence of personal accounts. On popular sites like Facebook, you have to sign up and follow some pages based on what you like to personalize your feed. You can also post content with your account. YouTube has the same model.

You need a profile to upload videos. But you can watch video content without creating an account. However, you need an account to subscribe to a YouTube channel, create playlists, and save videos for later.

A Platform for Influencer Marketing

From my research, Influencer marketing has been a thing for decades now, but it only became popular when social media sites became famous. Today, YouTube stands as a popular social media site for influencer marketing, alongside Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, and Twitter.

YouTube facilitates interactions between influencers and their audience through comments, likes, and shares. This engagement helps influencers build a loyal subscriber base and strengthen their influence.

Monetization Features

All the social media sites I know of have some ways for users to earn money. On TikTok, users who meet the eligibility criteria can earn from the TikTok Creator Fund. There are also monetization tools available on Facebook and Instagram. Similarly, YouTube also has its monetization features. When you cross the eligibility threshold, your YouTube channel can earn you anything from a couple of bucks to millions of dollars.

User-Generated Content

YouTube relies heavily on user-generated content (UGC). UGC refers to any content created by users rather than the platform or its owners. This is a trend among social networking sites. Users often create their content and share it on the platform for other users to see and engage with.

YouTube vs Other Social Media Platforms

Currently, Facebook is the most popular social media site. But YouTube is not far behind. From my analysis, the platform has been growing rapidly and might overtake Facebook soon.

One of the reasons YouTube is becoming so popular is the relative ease of making money on the platform. All you’ll have to do is build your subscriber base and watch time to meet the eligibility criteria. This is made even easier with YouTube growth services.

Additionally, people love watching videos. While some social media sites like Instagram are currently placing more emphasis on videos, YouTube is already characterized as a video-sharing platform. There are even YouTube Shorts that mimic the short-form videos you’ll find on sites like TikTok.

7 Steps to Maximizing YouTube as a Social Media Platform

As much as YouTube is a popular social media site, it’s also one of the largest search engines in the world. So to use YouTube as social media, you must learn how to leverage its features to enhance engagement, grow your audience, and achieve your brand’s goals. Here are some ways to achieve this:

1. Identify Your Niche

Clearly define your niche to know the type of content to create and how to structure it for your audience. Some of the popular niches on YouTube are gaming, cooking, fashion, and lifestyle.

2. Define Your Target Audience

Your target audience is the specific group of people you intend to reach with your content. Knowing who they are will also guide your tone in the video creation process.

3. Enhance Your Brand’s Value

You can use YT videos to communicate your brand’s identity. Make quality videos that deliver your brand message, maintain a regular schedule for posting, and encourage viewers to leave feedback in the comments.

4. Increase Your Reach

As the second largest search engine in the world, YouTube gets a lot of traffic. You can direct some of this traffic to your YouTube channel by frequently posting engaging content and optimizing your videos for SEO.

5. Collaborate with Other Creators

Collaborating with other creators on YouTube can be your ticket to gaining even more subscribers interested in your videos. Find creators in your niche and send them collab emails. Then schedule the video creation date and pick the best date to post the collab video.

6. Simplify Complex Concepts in Your YouTube Videos

You must employ different video types like animated explainer videos to explain complex concepts. Additionally, use easy-to-understand language to communicate with your audience.

7. Leverage the Community Post Tab

Making connections with your subscribers has become much easier with the Community Post Tab feature. The feature allows you to share images, GIFs, and interactive content like polls and quizzes to form a deeper bond with your audience.


How to Leverage YouTube for Your Business Growth?

YouTube can be a marketing tool to generate more leads and increase brand awareness for your business while you earn as a creator on the platform. Here are some tips you must implement to get the best of both worlds:
1. Consistently Post Quality Videos
2. Make Attention-Grabbing Thumbnails and Video Titles
3. Share Engaging Content
4. Include a Call-to-Action
5. Conduct Q & A Sessions
6. Interact with Viewers
7. Promote Cross-Platform

Is YouTube Considered a Social Media Platform?

Yes, YouTube is one of the largest social media sites, next to Facebook.

Why Is YouTube a Good Social Media Platform?

YouTube is a good social media site because it’s much easier for content creators to make money compared to other social networks.

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Written by
Daisy Hoda

As a senior editor, Daisy Hoda creates well-structured website content, combining her knowledge and skills of digital media and writing in a pot. Her expertise extends to various platforms, including YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

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