We all know how Instagram has taken the social media world by storm, but do we know about this giant named TikTok that is gaining followers and users every single day. We’re pretty sure that Instagram is aware of how fast technology is changing and how people have fallen in love with TikTok short videos, so it came up with Instagram Reels, the 15-30 second videos set to music. What marketers need to learn is that if they want to reach out to Gen Z then TikTok is the right platform for them, but if they need a platform for marketing and proper engagement then Instagram Reels are their thing!
In this article, we’ll learn about the difference between Instagram Reels and TikTok as we dive deeper into the discussion.
What is TikTok
With more than 2.5 Billion followers in 2020, TikTok has won the heart of millions of people. It allows you to create short videos, it’s a great platform for showcasing your talent. Whether you want to create funny videos or you want to show your talent to the world, TikTok will be of great help. It also has an interesting feature of creating duets with other content creators while a catchy tune or song plays in the background. It has given birth to new talent and dancers, making them bloom on social media.
What are Instagram Reels
Instagram Reels are a similar feature where you can create short and entertaining videos and play music in the background. You can share those videos on your story, and pin them to show on your feed too.
Instagram reels are slowly becoming everyone’s favorite as they’re learning to use them. Similar to IGTV, Instagram reels have their own explore tab within Instagram now. Just like TikTok’s “For you” page, where you see your algorithm-favored videos that the app thinks you like. The best part about Instagram reels is that you can edit videos within the app, without using any further editors which makes it easy for beginners and nonprofessionals to be creative with their content.
The differences between Instagram Reels and TikTok
Along with numerous other features that distinguish these two platforms, notable differences are that Instagram reels can only be as long as 15 seconds whereas TikTok allows you to create 1-minute videos, the second difference is the variety of music. TikTok has millions of sounds you can add to your video but Instagram reels being a new feature do not have as many tracks. Another reason need more details so we’ll discuss that below.
Network vs Content
Another difference between the two is that Instagram is more network-related and TikTok on the other hand is content-oriented. For example, people on Instagram will see content from their friends or family members or anyone that belongs to their network. Tiktok users often see content from people they don’t know. Demographics show that TikTok attracts the younger generation (Gen Z) and those people who want to attain marketing goals are choosing Instagram Reels instead.
Views vs Community
Instagram Reels seem to focus more on views than comments. A study shows that when users post on Instagram their content gets fewer likes but when the same kind of content is posted on TikTok they receive more feedback and hence more engagement. Tiktok shows the number of times a video has been shared as a metric but Instagram reels doesn’t have that option. For numerous users, the number of shares matters a lot. It encourages them to do better and sometimes when their content isn’t shared enough, it gives them a hint that their content needs improvement.
Duration of the video
As mentioned earlier, TikTok allows its users to make a video of up to a minute but Instagram reels allow its users to make a 30-second video. Though TikTok has given a better timeframe, if content creators get their brain juices to work they can make 30 seconds look long enough by making their message clear.
Tools and features (including the music features for business account)
One of the biggest differences between Instagram reels and TikTok is that Instagram reels are yet to launch Instagram music in some regions of the world. Business account owners on Instagram have to edit and create sounds outside Instagram to add to their videos. TikTok on the other hand has a huge advantage. You can use the original sound by the user which increases the chance of your content or video going viral. You must be wondering how TikTok videos tend to get viral so fast. This is how!
Also, when you save a video from TikTok, you can save the video with the music and water but on Instagram, you can’t share anyone else’s video. Just your own, that too without a watermark and music.
Let’s talk about editing tools now. Even though the two apps look similar and it looks like editing tools and features on both are similar but that’s not the case. TikTok has a huge variety of filters that users can add before or after recording the video. Instagram on the other hand has limited filters to add before record a video.
Another attractive feature of TikTok is its stitch and duet feature. It enables users to engage and connect in a fun and entertaining manner. One example is the account of @geia.rvnclw above. Instagram, as yet, does not have any of those features.
TikTok’s algorithms were a mystery for a while. However, Tiktok cracked the code and let the world know how they work then. TikTok’s “For you” page shows you content according to your interests, what you like, what you prefer etc. They figure that out when you join as a new user, or when you ignore content you’re not interested in. Quite interesting, right? They use your preferred language that you choose, the area that you belong to, the videos you like and comment on, and the kind of hashtags you follow to conclude the kind of content you’d like to see on your feed. GENIUSES.
Instagram is a little different in this aspect. We’re unclear about how Instagram figures out what content we’re interested in whether it’s your preferred language or the videos or accounts you interact with. However, we might get a better understanding of How the Instagram Algorithm Works here.
“If your Reel is featured in Explore, you’ll receive a notification. Featured reels are a selection of public reels chosen by Instagram to help you discover original content we hope will entertain and inspire you”, explains Instagram.
Paid Advertising and Content
Tiktok isn’t as big on ads as other platforms are, not as yet. But yes, it does show In-Feed Ads, Brand Takeovers, TopView, Branded Hashtag Challenges, and Branded Effects. It does offer paid advertising.
Instagram is crawling up to the e-commerce space, enabling brands and users to create and share branded content. There’s also a major achievement in TikTok milestones, it has recently partnered with Shopify, giving it major break. It’ll also be a big break for Shopify as it will be able to reach the largest population of the world: youth.
Let’s talk about content now. We see that on Instagram everyone tends to keep or make their feed as aesthetically pleasing as possible. On TikTok, users don’t bother with making their feed look aesthetic as they are more concerned about posting creative or funny, or artsy content.
Tiktok pro users have the access to all the analytics, they can even view what kind of videos their viewers have watched or interacted with. So you have an idea of what music to use next and what content to create. The best part is that you get to know when and where your video is trending. On Instagram, the only things you can view are likes and comments.
Which one should I use?
Both of these apps have their pros and cons. If we look at the brighter side of Instagram, then we’ll see how rapidly its demographics are growing. Millennials use Instagram more than TikTok and that proves that there’s a bigger chance of doing business on this app as most of the startup owners or even consumers are millennials.
On the other hand, Tiktok has come up with a new platform called “Tiktok for business”. the best part about it is that it provides an e-learning center for users so that they can best better at marketing and make the best out of this platform.
Instagram Reels and TikTok Benefits
Let’s start with listing how Instagram can be essential, Instagram has a wide audience which means it has users of all age groups so it gives marketers or content creators a bigger chance to connect and engage with the audience. You can be as creative as possible and attract your audience. The chances of you failing will be less.
The main benefit of TikTok is that it’s easy to make anything a “trend”, which opens doors to great opportunities as a large audience engages in those trends and it stays on for a long, long time.
You can’t tell which app is the best among these two as both have their advantages. What matters is your target audience. If you want to attract a younger audience, then TikTok is your friend. But if you’re looking for a long-term relationship with your audience then Instagram Reels should be your go-to.