YouTube is More Popular than TikTok for Discovering New Books


A new report has found that YouTube is more popular than TikTok as a platform for 14-25 year olds to find books.

Nielsen Book Data reports that 34% of young people discover new books on YouTube, compared to 32% on TikTok. This suggests that longer form content, including in depth reading vlogs and reviews, is more popular among readers who want to find their next favourite book.

This survey comes after the growing popularity of book-related content in the last few years. The once-niche community of reading influencers now encourages hundreds of thousands of viewers to get into reading.

BookTube and BookTok target Millennials and Generation Z, with the hope of making reading a popular hobby. From reading-challenge videos, to reading and rating popular books, to organising bookshelves, the online book lover community aims to make reading cool.

Popular BookTubers include Jack Edwards, Jesse The Reader, and Hailey in Bookland. The older platform of YouTube allows content creators to make longer form videos, which gives it an advantage over TikTok when it comes to reviewing books. Needless to say, both YouTube and TikTok are remarkably influential, with many bookstores having dedicated shelves to books trending on social media. Even the publishing industry is starting to take content creation into account from the aesthetic of book covers, to the glossiness of the books cover.

The book-loving trend has benefitted authors like Taylor Jenkins Reid and Colleen Hoover, whose books have soared in popularity due to online recommendations. However, there are also creators who promote diversity in literature, such as reading books by BAME or LGBTQ+ authors.

Despite the high figures of people finding books on social media, the survey found that people are more likely to find their next read with traditional methods. 41% of those surveyed said they find books from recommendations by their friends, and 36% said they found books in book shops.

Nonetheless, the findings of this report suggest that the online book community is growing in popularity and turning more people into readers.

Words by Katie Nelmes


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