What is the difference between Instagram Reels and TikTok?
Before discussing the differences, let’s take a moment to go over the similarities between Instagram Reels (left) and TikTok (right). Both platforms allow users to share short-form videos of just a few seconds up to 1 minute (or up to 3 minutes with the new TikTok update). In addition, they give their users the option to use in-app features, including filters and music, to increase their creative potential.
But there are also some stark differences! One of the reasons TikTok has been snowballing is its specialty. Unlike Instagram, it doesn’t try to be good at everything. Instead focussing on short-form videos in vertical formatting that allow users to endless scroll on their app. On the contrary, Instagram offers many different features in a singular app, such as Reels, Feed posts, Guides, Stories, and Shops.
Of course, each app has its pros and cons. To help you decide which app to prioritize, here are seven main comparison points on Reels Vs TikTok.
Instagram Reels Vs TikTok
According to Statista, the primary Instagram user audience was between 25-34 years old, and these users represented 31.4% of the platform. On the other hand, TikTok takes the lead on younger audiences, with 42% falling in the 18-24 category and 27% in the 13-17 age group.
Therefore, if you want to target generation Z (people born between 1997 and 2012), you’ll be better off focusing on TikTok, while millennials (people born between 1981 and 1996) can be found on Instagram.
Let’s look at a couple of brands targeting the right audiences!
Burberry has amassed over 18.6 million followers on Instagram and gets hundreds of thousands or even millions of views on each Reel they post. This reach is powerful for their marketing as they are targeting millennials, aged 25-45 with disposable income. On the contrary, Ryanair, a European budget airline company, uses TikTok to target its market of people under 30 with lower disposable income looking for a cheap way to go away. They have been effective with their TikTok marketing strategy collecting over 1.3 million followers by utilizing new features to make humorous videos that capture the attention of their primarily Gen Z and younger millennial audience.
2. Video Length
Of course, TikTok has to compete with another video-sharing platform competitor, YouTube. So the platform had to do something to win the battle of attention. Leading to TikTok extending its video length up to 3 minutes instead of 15 – 60 seconds. The results? Longer retention on the platform and a shift to long-form storytelling.
Another essential difference between Instagram Reels (left) and TikTok (right) is their features and video editing tools. TikTok offers a wide variety of effects, filters, sounds, and voiceovers that make the platform fun and engaging for users. In addition, users can interact with popular sounds or duet and stitch other creators’ videos. These features allow businesses to expand their communities, utilize trends to get ahead with their following, and even go viral!
Instagram still has some catching up to do as it has a limited library of filters and sound effects. For example, it may support voiceovers but doesn’t offer additional sound effects. It also lacks the Duet and Stitch features, which means users can only upload videos straight from their camera roll, which doesn’t allow for healthy debate and a community feeling.
Overall, Instagram Reels are more limited than TikTok features, so if your focus is having options in tools and music, TikTok might be the way to go.
Luckily for creators, both Instagram Reels (left) and TikTok (right) offer thorough analytics on how each video performs.
With a TikTok Creator or Business Pro account, you can obtain detailed insights on a video’s performance, including views, likes, comments, shares, traffic sources, and audience demographics. These insights will help you not only discover trending sounds, themes, and challenges but also find inspiration and get to know your audience and improve your content in the future.
Instagram also introduced Reel analytics, where creators can view their metrics, including plays, likes, comments, saves, and shares. Not only that but its analytics provide access to accounts reached and audience demographics.
With today’s gen Z set on creating an online following overnight, the platforms offering valuable insights tend to climb up on top of their list. In the battle of analytics on Instagram Reels vs TikTok, TikTok’s analytics tend to be a bit more detailed.
Let’s shed some light on the Instagram Reels vs TikTok algorithm (pictured: Instagram Explore page, left, and TikTok Discover page, right). By now, you’ve probably heard consistency is vital no matter which platform you choose. But what else do you need to know to perform well in these algorithms, and which platform is easier to ‘hack’?
TikTok’s “Following” page summarizes the latest videos from creators you follow. Whereas the “For You Page” is customized to your interests. When you express interest in a video, the algorithm detects your preferences and shows you more similar content. TikTok will consider:
- Αccounts you interact with by liking, commenting, or sharing.
- Τheir video information such as captions, sounds, and hashtags.
- Υour device or account settings such as your language preferences, country, or device type.
Instagram’s algorithm is quite similar to TikTok. Its “Explore” page offers a search tab for Reels where creators have a chance of getting featured and reaching new audiences. To get on Instagram’s Explore page, the algorithm looks for:
- User activity and interaction with other creators’ accounts.
- Reel information including hashtags, tagged locations, and trending sounds.
- Creator’s virality, such as how engaging other users find a creator’s video.
To give yourself the best chance of getting ahead on Instagram, use Flick’s hashtag analysis tool to find new hashtags, improve your strategy and track your analytics in one place.
At the end of the day, you just want to know which platform has the potential to bring more viewers and potential customers to your page. So, is it easier to go viral on TikTok or Instagram?
TikTok is indeed reputed as the top platform for organic growth right now. However, before jumping to conclusions, we want to point out these important factors to consider when prioritizing a platform.
Instagram has various features such as Shops, Feed, Highlights, Guides, packed with value and reach-out points. Once your Reel gets viral and users become aware of who you are and how you contribute to their lives, you get to hook them for the long run.
Different forms of content signal more touchpoints with consumers and, therefore, more profitable actions on their part. As Reels are a newer feature, many Instagram users are resisting the change. If you are among the first in your niche to utilize this feature, you can get ahead of the competition as Instagram will promote your Reels over other static content.
TikTok, on the other hand, tends to be more singular. So yes, you get double the chances of virality, but you don’t open up for success since you’re just another brand in the pool that needs to prove itself worthy of retaining attention.
7. Growth Methods
TikTok is new in the market and ads are limited to video formats on the ‘For You Page’. The ads manager is not yet available to all businesses and advertisers. In addition, video content is more laborious for companies to produce.
So which is better? TikTok Vs Reels summary
So, after analyzing all these aspects, is TikTok better than Instagram Reels?
Some claim that TikTok’s algorithm works better and favors creators. Others argue that Instagram boosts Reels more than ever to compete with the virality of TikTok. On the one hand, Instagram is not as popular as TikTok. On the other hand, when Reels go out of style, Instagram will still offer a variety of content forms for businesses and creators.
Of course, in an ideal world, you could post content on both social media channels. Still, since this option is usually not feasible for most businesses, you’d be better off prioritizing.
To focus on the best platform for your business, you’ll need to reflect on your goals:
- Who is your target audience?
- What are your goals?
- What features draw you to each platform?
You know your business better than anyone, so you’ll likely know the right solution for your brand.