Given the size and reach of TikTok in today’s Internet-centric society, you could be forgiven for thinking the video-sharing platform had been around for much longer than the four years it has. And, like most social media platforms that centre around video-sharing (YouTube, Instagram, Vine, etc) TikTok has made many stars and a lot of money for its more successful users. It makes sense, then, that YouTubers would be looking to expand their brand to this relatively new upstart.
Of course, making content for YouTube is already a lot of work, so adding a new platform to create content for may feel a bit like an overwhelming task. The next logical question is “can I use YouTube videos on TikTok?” Doing allows YouTubers to get a footing on TikTok by leveraging their already significant body of work, exposing them to a new audience in the process.
But, is it allowed? Can you use YouTube videos on TikTok?
Yes, you can use YouTube videos on TikTok. There is no rule on the platform about not uploading content that exists elsewhere online. That being said, it should be your content.
Using Other People’s YouTube Videos
TikTok may not have a specific rule against uploading duplicate content to their platform, but they are subject to the same rules regarding copyright as every other user-generated content platform on the web. This means that they have a mechanism for reporting copyright infringement.
If you upload someone else’s YouTube content without permission, that YouTuber could get your TikTok taken down for copyright violation. Furthermore, while it is highly unlikely in this type of situation, that YouTuber could decide to sue you for damages.
Now, being realistic, the chances of someone going through the hassle and expense of suing you over a TikTok video are very slim. But it could happen, and you have to accept that risk if you decide to use someone else’s content in your TikToks.
Of course, you could ask that YouTube for permission to use the content, removing all of the risks in the process. You could also rely on fair use, but as we’ve talked about both on this blog and on the YouTube channel, fair use is a tricky thing to wield effectively, and can easily backfire on you if you rely on it to avoid ending up in legal trouble.
Using Your Own YouTube Videos on TikTok
Using your own YouTube videos eliminates this risk, of course. As we’ve mentioned, TikTok does not have a rule against uploading content that exists elsewhere on the web, and you own the content you’re uploading. So, unless you plan to put in a copyright complaint against yourself, you should be good to go.
The question then turns from can you do it to how do you do it.
The important thing to remember when cross-posting content across different platforms is that no two platforms are the same, and you need to tailor your posts to suit the platform they are being published on.
This can come in the form of hard limits, such as the length of the video. TikTok videos have an upper limit on the length of 60 seconds. In contrast, unverified YouTube users can upload videos as long as 15 minutes, and verified have no upper limit (though there is a limit on size).
Clearly, then, just uploading your YouTube videos wholesale to TikTok will not be an option in most cases. But beyond the hard limitations, there are other things to consider, such as the fact that TikTok users consume content differently from YouTube users. Or, more accurately, people go to TikTok for a different experience than they expect at YouTube.
TikTok is primarily a light-hearted platform where the content is humorous and entertaining. It is not impossible to succeed with more serious content, but it is less common. If you can make your TikTok video fit that light-hearted mould, you will stand a better chance of success.
You will also need to determine what your goal is. If you are just looking to grow a following on TikTok, you can focus on succeeding on TikTok alone. If you are looking to use TikTok to drive traffic back to your YouTube channel, you will have to find a way to balance your content between being entertaining and engaging enough to draw TikTok users in, while still leaving something for them to want that they will be prepared to head over to YouTube for.
Can You Make Money on TikTok?
An ideal scenario in the world of content creation is one in which you can earn revenue multiple times for the same content. In this case, that would be uploading a YouTube video and earning revenue there, and then uploading that same content (modified as per above) to TikTok and earning more money there.
Well, good news! You can make money directly through TikTok in a very similar fashion to the YouTube Partner Programme. The TikTok creator fund shares a huge pot of money to its top performing content.
The bad news is that the barrier to entry is quite steep. In order to make earn revenue through TikTok, you have to be at least 18 years old, have at least 10,000 followers and have had at least 100,000 video views over the last 30 days. No small feat. Still, if you can reach those levels using your YouTube content, you will be growing your revenue disproportionately to the additional effort you’re putting in.
Like other popular video-sharing platforms, TikTok represents an excellent opportunity to expand your brand, drive additional traffic to your YouTube channel, and generally increase your skillsets when it comes to creating content.
The important thing is to remember that every platform is different, and what works on YouTube isn’t guaranteed to work on TikTok (or Instagram or Snapchat, etc). Always try and spend some time on the platform before uploading content to it. Get a feel for what works so that you can apply that to your own TikToks.
Top 5 Tools To Get You Started on YouTube
Very quickly before you go here are 5 amazing tools I have used every day to grow my YouTube channel from 0 to 30K subscribers in the last 12 months that I could not live without.
1. VidIQ helps boost my views and get found in search
I almost exclusively switched to VidIQ from a rival in 2020.
Within 12 months I tripled the size of my channel and very quickly learnt the power of thumbnails, click through rate and proper search optimization. Best of all, they are FREE!
2. Adobe Creative Suite helps me craft amazing looking thumbnails and eye-catching videos
I have been making youtube videos on and off since 2013.
When I first started I threw things together in Window Movie Maker, cringed at how it looked but thought “that’s the best I can do so it’ll have to do”.
I soon realized the move time you put into your editing and the more engaging your thumbnails are the more views you will get and the more people will trust you enough to subscribe.
That is why I took the plunge and invested in my editing and design process with Adobe Creative Suite. They offer a WIDE range of tools to help make amazing videos, simple to use tools for overlays, graphics, one click tools to fix your audio and the very powerful Photoshop graphics program to make eye-catching thumbnails.
Best of all you can get a free trial for 30 days on their website, a discount if you are a student and if you are a regular human being it starts from as little as £9 per month if you want to commit to a plan.
3. Rev.com helps people read my videos
You can’t always listen to a video.
Maybe you’re on a bus, a train or sat in a living room with a 5 year old singing baby shark on loop… for HOURS. Or, you are trying to make as little noise as possible while your new born is FINALLY sleeping.
This is where Rev can help you or your audience consume your content on the go, in silence or in a language not native to the video.
Rev.com can help you translate your videos, transcribe your videos, add subtitles and even convert those subtitles into other languages – all from just $1.50 per minute.
A GREAT way to find an audience and keep them hooked no matter where they are watching your content.
4. Learn new skills for FREE with Skillshare
I SUCK reading books to learn, but I LOVE online video courses.
Every month I learn something new. Editing, writing, video skills, how to cook, how to run a business – even how to meditate to calm a busy mind.
I find all of these for FREE with Skillshare – Sign up, pick all the courses you want and cancel anytime you need.
5. Shutterstock helps me add amazing video b-roll cutaways
I mainly make tutorials and talking head videos.
And in this modern world this can be a little boring if you don’t see something funky every once in a while.
I try with overlays, jump cuts and being funny but my secret weapon is b-roll overlay content.
I can talk about skydiving, food, money, kids, cats – ANYTHING I WANT – with a quick search on the Shutterstock website I can find a great looking clip to overlay on my videos, keeping them entertained and watching for longer.
They have a wide library of videos, graphics, images and even a video maker tool and it wont break the bank with plans starting from as little as £8.25 ($9) per month.