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YouTube is the most popular video sharing platform in the world. With its endless stream of videos spanning across every topic imaginable and over 2 billion active monthly users, it has become an integral part of users’ daily online experience. While the platform is mostly known as a video-sharing site, its other features like polls, comments and community sharing entices user interaction. So, the million-dollar question is: Is YouTube a search engine or a social channel? Keep reading to find out.

The Social Side

YouTube’s social dimensions are undeniable. It holds all the key characteristics of a social media platform – content creation, personalization, interaction, networking and the potential for posts/videos to go viral. Creators engage and interact with their audience through comments, shares, likes and subscriptions. They can do this through commenting on the video itself or through YouTube’s Community post feature. This feature allows users to share polls and GIFs to their community tab, which is a form of subscriber engagement. Another reason YouTube classifies as a social media channel is because of user generated content. Users who are registered on YouTube can upload their videos to the platform however many times they want and whenever they want. Registered or not, the audience can view them for free. The integration of all these features into a single platform gives rise to YouTube, resulting in a familiar vibe similar to traditional social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

The Search Engine Side

Consider this: every day, people view over a billion hours of video content, driven by their search for information, tutorials, entertainment and more. The search bar at the top of YouTube’s webpage is the gateway to an expansive list where users can explore an array of topics. Users’ personal algorithm curates recommendations based on past searches, guiding users through a plethora of video content. Just as Google’s search results guide us to web pages, YouTube’s guides us through a sea of videos, highlighting its search engine-like functionality.

Why It’s the Best of Both Worlds

The line between search engine and social channel is blurred when we see videos being uploaded that mirror the content style of social media updates but are delivered to us through search results. What truly sets YouTube apart from other platforms is its ability to balance both. It thrives on easy content discoverability and community engagement. It offers creators a platform to simultaneously share their content creations while viewers seek that information and entertainment they’re looking for. This balance defines YouTube’s character and purpose as a platform.

It’s safe to say that YouTube is not a one size fits all and refuses to be put into a box. It is unlike any other platform because it delivers a truly unique online experience, thriving as both social media channel and search engine that evolves with each interaction.

At JSK Marketing, we specialize in optimizing YouTube to boost your SEO and effectively run ads for lead generation. As a true extension of your team, together we can unlock the full potential of this dynamic platform and give your brand the recognition we know it deserves. Send us a message today if you’re ready to amplify your online presence through YouTube!

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