We live in an era where both Instagram Reels and TikTok dominate the social media platform with amazing video content to grab people’s attention. Although the former debuted in 2020, the latter was launched much before, in fact, in 2016 for both Android and iOS. However, both allow you to record, edit, and share short-form videos up to a specific length. But now the real question is: which platform is better? In this Instagram Reels vs. TikTok article, we will discuss and compare the features, functions, and target demographics of Instagram Reels and TikTok to determine the best-performing social media platform. However, before that, we will give you brief accounts on Instagram reels and TikTok.
What are Instagram Reels?
In August 2020, Instagram launched a new feature called Instagram Reels. The feature allows users to easily create and share short-form video content. The length of the videos can be 15, 30, 60, or 90 seconds. Reels are similar to TikTok videos when it comes to features, and today, we cannot think of Instagram without the reels. Recent statistics show that Instagram reels have garnered an average of a thousand likes, boosting user interactions with likes on the reels and saves.
The Variety of Instagram Reels Content
Instagram reels comprise various types of content, including how-to-do tutorials, artistic reels, behind-the-scenes stories, funny reels, challenge reels, product showcase reels, and many more. This stand-out feature of Instagram enhances user engagement because one can see the reels on the Explore page of Instagram. It allows users to reach out to a wider audience and build a separate identity through reels.
Building Partnerships and Boosting Sales with Instagram Reels
In addition to enhancing user engagement, Instagram Reels are instrumental in building partnerships and can facilitate collaborations between content creators and brands. By partnering with influencers or content creators, brands can increase their reach and exposure, resulting in more engagement and potential sales. Brands can use Instagram reels to showcase their products and services creatively, making them more appealing to their target audience. Instagram Reels are indeed a powerful feature for brands to capitalize on if they want to boost their sales.
Comparing Instagram Reels and Stories
Reels Outperforming Stories
How Instagram Reels Work
Creating an Instagram Reel is a simple process. To get started, choose the Reels option in the Instagram camera. From there, you can use various editing tools to customize your Reel’s appearance. You can add audio by selecting tracks from the Instagram Music library or recording live audio. The platform also offers a wide range of effects through the Instagram effect gallery, created by both the platform and its users.
In addition, you can use the timer and countdown feature for hands-free recording and adjust the video speed to create slow-motion or fast-paced videos. The align feature is particularly useful as it allows you to line up previous clips, making for smoother transitions between shots. With its user-friendly editing tools and range of features, Instagram Reels provides a seamless and exciting way to create and share short-form video content on the platform.
What Is TikTok?
TikTok is a social media platform that became extremely popular during the Covid-19 lockdown period. It is known for its vertical video content and has been the most-used application on iOS and Android devices in 2021 and 2022. Its success has also paved the way for the introduction of other vertical video platforms like Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts.
TikTok’s “For You” page uses an advanced algorithm to identify users’ interests and suggest videos that match them. Although TikTok videos are informal and lack professional quality, many brands still use the platform due to the massive engagement of users. Furthermore, brands collaborate with TikTok users to promote their products and services. TikTok has also emerged as the go-to platform for indie singers, musicians, music producers, and creative visual artists.
How Does TikTok Work?
You can easily create a video and post it on TikTok. First, enter the camera mode by tapping on the center tab. Then, tap the Flip icon to ensure that you are facing the camera in the correct direction. You can now use other available tools like speed, beauty filter, color filters, timer, and flash to make your video more attractive. Further, the “Add a Sound” tab will be on the camera screen’s top center. You can even record and use audio outside the TikTok app in your video.
As you are all set now, you can press the red record button to create your video. The video can be recorded completely at a time or in pieces. Finally, do the edits, add captions, and post the video on your account.
TikTok vs. Instagram Reels: Features
You can draw comparisons between TikTok and Instagram based on several parameters explored below.
Length of Videos You Can Post
Both Instagram and TikTok remain great platforms for posting short videos with catchy content. But, the length of videos you post varies in these two.
Over the years, many changes have dictated the length of videos on TikTok and Instagram reels. At present, the format of Instagram allows you to go for 60-second reels. But in TikTok, one can post videos of up to three minutes. Moreover, TikTok gives us the option of loading already-created videos 10 minutes long.
Remix and Duet
TikTok offers a feature called “Duet,” which involves posting a video side-by-side with another one made by another creator. This feature shows the two videos playing simultaneously in a split-screen format.
A similar feature called “Remix,” available on Instagram, allows users to record and post reels side-by-side with a reel from another user.
Both platforms offer fun tools to add great aesthetics or fun effects to your short videos. These give you filters and visual elements to make your videos more aesthetically pleasing and engaging.
Instagram allowing you to give only 60-second reels can be more apt in catching the attention of viewers. But, such a short-span video gives you a restriction to avoid content that needs more time to demonstrate.
On the other hand, TikTok gives you more liberty in terms of duration and thus allows you to experiment more. Another distinct feature between the two platforms is you can find professional content in Instagram reels, whereas TikTok has lots of casual content in short videos.
Ease of Grabbing Audience Attention
People nowadays complain about the Instagram algorithm becoming complex and not giving sufficient leverage to gain followers and engagement. That may hint that Instagram features are a bit tricky to promote engagement compared to easy content creation in TikTok. However, the Instagram algorithm currently favors reels.
Options for Music and Sound
You can select from a wider range of music and sound for your TikTok videos. You can have the same fun on Instagram but with a comparatively smaller audio collection.
Both Instagram and TikTok differ in downloading options for videos. You can download and save videos from TikTok on your phone. On the other hand, Instagram allows you to save your favorite reels in your profile. But it restricts you from downloading the reels directly on your device.
Options For Sharing
You can share your videos posted on both platforms through texts or messaging. Also, you can add links to reels on other social media platforms like Facebook.
TikTok has emerged as a valuable tool for marketers due to its informal video content and advanced algorithm. Brands can use this platform to reach their target audience without investing large amounts of money. TikTok’s algorithm analyzes user behavior and suggests videos that match their interests, which makes it easier for marketers to generate conversions. Additionally, even without a large following, marketers can achieve millions of views on their videos, thanks to the platform’s algorithm.
Recently, Instagram introduced Reels, a feature that works similarly to TikTok in terms of its algorithm. Marketers can increase their visibility by adding Reels to their Instagram content. When a Reel is featured on the Explore page, it introduces the brand to potential customers and initiates their journey through the digital sales funnel. Brands can also maximize their reach on both platforms as users have the option to share Reels on Facebook.
The Importance of Cross-Platform Marketing
Sharing Instagram Reels on Facebook is a simple yet effective way for marketers to increase their reach. Facebook’s algorithm recommends Reels based on the viewer’s interests and relevance of the content, allowing brands to engage with potential customers on multiple platforms. Thus, with the help of Instagram Reels and TikTok, brands can make an impact on social media, even with limited resources
Instagram Reels vs TikTok Users Demographics
Both Instagram Reels and TikTok share similar fast growth and brand popularity, but their user demographics differ significantly. While Instagram has a balanced male and female user ratio, TikTok has more female users. TikTok is mostly popular among people aged 10-29, whereas Instagram Reels is favored by users aged 25-34. Moreover, the top interests also differ, with beauty, fashion, travel, pets, health, fitness, lifestyle, and business being the top choices on Instagram Reels and dancing, comedy, lip-syncing, cooking, arts, crafts, couple goals, fashion, and fitness being popular on TikTok.
The differences in user demographics between Instagram Reels and TikTok videos are summarized in the table below for quick reference. Understanding the demographics of each platform is essential when choosing between the two for your marketing campaign.
Instagram Reels vs TikTok: Which One is Better?
It’s hard to say which platform is better when comparing Instagram Reels and TikTok. Both social media platforms are great for sharing vertical videos, but they cater to different demographics or niches. TikTok is a better platform if you’re looking to collaborate with trendy content for the quick growth of your brand. However, Instagram still has untapped potential for marketing, with a diverse and eclectic audience base.
Choosing the Right Platform for Your Brand
Your target audience is a significant factor in deciding which platform to use. If your brand caters to the millennial group, Instagram Reels will be better for you, while TikTok videos will be a smarter choice if Gen Z is your target audience. However, most brands nowadays use both platforms to optimize marketing opportunities.
To succeed on both platforms, creating or collaborating with fresh, relevant, and different content is necessary. As the audience on both platforms is different, it is essential to tailor your content accordingly. At the end of the day, the goal is to use social media tools smartly to create and share content that raises brand awareness and converts into sales.
I’m Armand Manibo, an expert in influencer marketing with years of valuable experience. Through my work, I’ve partnered with hundreds of prestigious brands and thousands of influencers worldwide, generating over $500,000 in revenue for businesses. With a successful track record in influencer campaigns, I am proud to bring a wealth of insights.