YouTube vs. Instagram: Which Platform Is the Best for Streaming?

7 min read
YouTube vs Instagram

Streaming online content has become a major way for entertainers and business owners to connect with their audiences. As a streamer, you know the importance of choosing the right platform to showcase your content. With so many options available, deciding where to invest your time and energy can be tough. Two of the biggest players in the streaming space are YouTube and Instagram. Each platform offers unique features and caters to different types of content and audiences. YouTube focuses on longer-form video content and creators, whereas Instagram emphasizes short-form visual content and real-time updates through stories and posts.

This blog post aims to help streamers like you understand which platform best fits your streaming goals. We’ll compare YouTube and Instagram based on their features and benefits. By the end of this comparison, we’ll also guide you on how to stream on both platforms simultaneously to reach a wider audience.

Instagram vs. YouTube: A Comparison Table

Metric YouTube Instagram
Launch Date February 14, 2005 October 6, 2010
Active Users Over 2.491 billion Over 2 billion
Ad Revenue (2024) Over $8.09 billion (Q1) $70.9 billion
Key Features Video sharing platform

Monetization through ads and subscriptions

Tools for managing channels

Extensive viewership and watch time

Photo and video-sharing app

Evolved to include stories, live streaming, and videos

Hub for influencer marketing

Tools for personal branding and audience engagement

Overview of YouTube

YouTube started on 14th February 2005 and quickly became a go-to site for sharing videos. It has grown massively since then. Now, it is a platform where YouTube creators can share content with the world. YouTube has become a place for streamers to build their careers.

As of now, YouTube stands tall in the market. According to Statista, it has over 2.491 billion logged-in monthly users. These users watch billions of hours of YouTube videos every day. This makes YouTube a key site for streamers looking to reach a large audience.

YouTube also helps creators make money. It does this through ads and paid subscriptions. In Q1, 2024, YouTube’s ad revenue was over $8.09bn. This shows that there is a big chance for streamers to earn on this platform.

For streamers, YouTube offers many tools and features. These help you manage your channel and understand your viewers better. This can help you grow your audience and make your streaming career successful.

Overview of Instagram

Instagram began its journey on 6th October 2010, as a photo-sharing app. It quickly grew into one of the top social media platforms. Over the years, Instagram has evolved to include features like stories, live streaming, and Instagram videos. This evolution has made it a key player in influencer marketing.

Today, Instagram boasts over 2 billion active users. It is a hub for streamers and content creators who want to connect with their target audience. Instagram’s revenue is mainly from advertising. It reportedly generated $70.9 billion in ad revenue in 2024. This shows its strong position in the market.

For streamers, Instagram offers a unique way to engage with followers. It provides tools to share content creatively and interactively. With its large user base, Instagram remains a vital platform for personal branding and audience growth.

Key Features of Youtube

For streamers looking to share their video content, YouTube offers a range of features to enhance the viewing experience for YouTube viewers and improve content discoverability through search engines. Here are the key features of YouTube:

Channel and Subscription Model: YouTube allows streamers to create their own channels. YouTube viewers can subscribe to these channels to get updates on new video content.

Video Length and Types: Streamers can upload long-form content or short videos. There is no strict limit on video length, which is great for various content types.

Monetization and Algorithms: YouTube offers monetization through ads, memberships, affiliate programs, etc. The platform’s algorithms can help discover your videos to search engines and viewers.

Audience Engagement Features: Features like likes, comments, and shares help engage the audience. These interactions are important for building a community.

Live Streaming Capabilities: YouTube provides robust live streaming tools. Streamers can interact in real time with their audience, and these streams can be archived as videos.

Key Features of Instagram

Profile and follower model: Instagram allows you to build a personal or business profile. Followers can easily find and follow you.

Video formats: Instagram offers various video formats. These include Instagram Stories for temporary posts, Reels for short videos, IGTV for longer videos, and live streams for real-time engagement.

Monetization options: Instagram creators can earn money through sponsored content, Instagram Shop, and badges during live streams.

Engagement tools: Instagram provides likes, comments, and shares. These tools help you interact with your audience and measure the popularity of your Instagram posts.

Influencer and brand collaboration features: Instagram has built-in features that make it easier to partner with brands. You can tag products in your posts and be part of brand campaigns.

Benefits of Streaming on YouTube

Global Reach: YouTube gives you access to a huge international audience, which means more people can find and watch your streams.

Monetization: There are several ways of making money on YouTube, including ads, channel memberships, and donations during live streams.

Interactive Engagement: You can chat with viewers in real-time, making your streams more engaging and personal.

Content Variety: YouTube allows for a wide range of content, from long-form videos to short-form content like YouTube Shorts.

Content Preservation: After you finish streaming, YouTube automatically saves your live streams as videos for future viewing.

Discoverability: YouTube’s recommendation algorithms can help new viewers discover your channel more quickly than on other platforms.

Flexibility and Convenience: You can schedule streams at your convenience, and viewers can watch from anywhere, on any device.

While YouTube remains a dominant force for streamers and creators alike, it’s essential to consider that success on one platform may not directly translate to another. However, YouTube’s infrastructure and support for diverse content types, including live streaming, make it a strong contender for streamers looking to grow their audience and revenue.

Benefits of Streaming on Instagram

Instant Audience Access: Go live and instantly connect with your followers.

Authentic Engagement: Real-time interactions build stronger connections.

Enhanced Visibility: Use hashtags and algorithms to reach new viewers.

Interactive Features: Polls, Q&A, and emoji sliders make streams engaging.

Cross-Promotion Opportunities: Share your live streams on other platforms easily.

Story Integration: Promote live sessions through IG Stories.

Mobile Accessibility: Stream from anywhere with just your phone.

Integrating Shopping Features: Use in-app shopping to sell products directly.

Trendy Content: Create visually appealing Instagram content like Instagram Reels.

Content Creation: Tools and filters enhance your creative process.

More Money: Monetize your content and earn more money through various Instagram features.

How to Choose the Right Platform for You

Choosing the right platform for streaming can take time and effort. If you enjoy making long videos, YouTube is your best bet. It’s perfect for content that takes time to dive into a subject. But if you prefer short, snappy videos, Instagram is the way to go. Instagram’s features are great for visual presentation and quick stories.

It’s not just about the video length, though. You should also research where your target audience hangs out the most. Different audiences prefer different platforms. If your viewers are mostly on Instagram, that’s where you should be. The same goes for YouTube.

Remember, your chosen platform should match your content style and where your audience spends their time.

Can You Stream on YouTube and Instagram at the Same Time?

Yes, you can stream on YouTube and Instagram at the same time. This is possible by using multistreaming software like Castr. With Castr, you can broadcast your content to both platforms, reaching a wider audience. It’s a cost-effective way to engage with more viewers across different platforms. Castr also supports streaming to over 30+ other channels, including Facebook, Twitch, etc. This means you can maximize your presence on multiple platforms without choosing just one. By streaming to two platforms or more, you can grow your audience and take advantage of each platform’s unique features.

How to stream on YouTube and Instagram with Castr

Subscribe to a Castr plan. This streaming software helps broadcasters stream to 30+ platforms simultaneously, including Instagram and YouTube.

Log in to the Castr dashboard and click on ‘Create New‘.

Select ‘Multistream‘ to stream 30+ streaming platforms.

Then add your stream name and hosting region and click on ‘Create Multistream’.

For setting your streaming destinations, click on ‘Add Platform

You can add 30+ platforms as streaming destinations.Stream on Twitch and Youtube at the Same Time

Select ‘Instagram‘, and you will see the option to connect your IG, from which you can add your  IG using streaming key.

Follow the same method to add your YouTube channel.

Activate ‘Chat Overlay‘ to read the comments on both YouTube and Instagram.

Finally, start your live streaming on Instagram and YouTube simultaneously.


When choosing between YouTube and Instagram, streamers must consider their unique features. YouTube offers longer content, monetization options, and a vast audience. Instagram excels in real-time engagement and stories.

For maximum reach, streamers should utilize both platforms. Castr can help you stream to both YouTube and Instagram and other channels like Facebook, making your streaming efforts more cost-effective and efficient.

Castr is the best streaming software because it provides adaptive bitrate streaming, uses multiple powerful CDNs, offers cloud transcoding, and includes many other powerful features. By using Castr, you can ensure a smooth streaming experience across all platforms.

Ready to expand your streaming potential? Try Castr for free for 7 days and easily experience the benefits of streaming to multiple platforms.

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