On the Social Scene

By Diego Caceres and Evelyn Paulino

Spotify vs. Youtube

Listening to music is such a hassle if you’re a cheapskate like me. I’m always using free trials then canceling them at the last minute to get the most out of my experience. If I ever need to jam out to music or feel sad for no apparent reason, I mainly use the free versions of Spotify or Youtube. I have never paid for a music subscription, so I have a lot of experience with the free versions, and I can safely say that Youtube is better than Spotify on mobile.


If you want to hoard your money like me, on Spotify, you are stuck with playlists that play on shuffle, meaning a song sounds at random. Listeners only get six skips per hour on top of the frustration of shuffle play. At least if you watch a short video, you will not have to listen to ads for 30 minutes. Even then, it feels like such a short amount of time. One of Spotify’s best features is the ability to play your music when the screen is off. This should be a feature across all platforms, but then again, I choose to listen for free, so I pick my poison.


When listening to music on Youtube, you can pick any song you want without being restricted to shuffle or six skips. On Youtube, the optimal way to listen to music is to choose a long video to avoid frequent ads, like a movie soundtrack or full album. Youtube has loads of unofficial content that will not appear on Spotify. This includes remixes, slow and reverb videos, and lofi to keep you company while finishing homework at 1:00 a.m. You cannot turn off your screen on the mobile version, which is a bummer in terms of convenience.


It mainly comes down to the number of ads you want to suffer through. Spotify has 30 minutes of ad-free music while Youtube only has occasional ads.


This is a close race, but Youtube comes out on top, in my opinion. You can pick any song you want with minimal ads and tons of unofficial content. Just make sure to lower your brightness, so your phone doesn’t die!


TikTok vs. Instagram Reels

Instagram’s latest feature, Reels, was launched at the beginning of August 2020. Let’s just be “reel” for a second and acknowledge the fact that Instagram Reels is a blatant ripoff of TikTok. For starters, the two platforms have almost identical appearances and formats. Practically every detail about Reels, from where the like and comment sections are located, to how the video clips appear on device screens, originated from TikTok. However, Instagram couldn’t perfectly replicate all aspects of TikTok.


First of all, TikTok has the option for its users to record 15 or 60-second videos, whereas Reels only offers 15-second clips. TikTok is also well known for its spot-on algorithm, giving its users precisely the content they want to see. Plus, they don’t have any ads taking up space anywhere on their platform. On the other hand, Instagram has a disappointing and inaccurate algorithm. If you’re still not convinced, some Reels users don’t even record their videos on the Instagram app. It’s obvious that most clips were created on the TikTok app since the TikTok logo can be seen in the corner of the videos. TikTok will always reign supreme, no matter how much Instagram Reels tries to steal their ideas.