There has been a massive spurt of TikTok users in the past few years, making it today’s most popular social media platform. Upon the platform’s surge in popularity, its competitor, Instagram, released Instagram Reels, a new and similar video feature.
The similarity between the two social platforms prompts the questions— “How are they different?” and “How can I best use these two to promote my business?”
Looking closer at both of their differences will allow businesses to elect which app will help them more efficiently in their social media promotion. Let’s plunge into it.
Promoting on Instagram vs. TikTok: What’s the Difference?
One of the most glaring differences between Tiktok and Instagram Reels is the length of the videos. On Instagram Reels, users can only record up to 30 seconds maximum, while TikTok allows users to record up to 60-second videos. So, depending on the kind of content you want to create, longer versus shorter videos might make a difference.
The only analytics Instagram Reels provides are likes, comments, and shares, along with the basic analytics platform for your overall Instagram account if you hold a business profile.
Whereas TikTok has built-in audience and content analytics for users with a Pro account. Your analytics are divided into the overview, followers, and content sections. Businesses can see data such as the percentage of views by country, average time watched, total time watched, and the rate of views based on how users discovered your video (example: follow vs. for you page ). You can even see the videos and sounds your followers watched in the prior week to learn what types of content they watch besides your videos!
Instagram is more restricted to the already-there filter library for stories, while TikTok offers more effects and filters. Although Instagram can expand its filters, the available choices on both platforms suit each of their unique content.
The diverse effects on TikTok allow the platform’s comedic and creative content, whereas Instagram Reels’ limited filters result in more cleaner, aesthetically pleasing content. Additionally, TikTok has stitch, duet, and reaction features that allow users and brands to interact with one another in a more meaningful and creative way than just by liking or commenting.
The demographics of both social media platforms are also somewhat different, as Instagram users tend to be slightly older compared to TikTok users.
According to Statista, the most significant percentage (33.1%) of Instagram users as of January 2021 was between ages 25 and 34. The second-largest (22.8%) was between 18 and 24 years of age. In addition, more than half of Instagram’s audience is female. While TikTok also has a predominantly female audience. 60% of its users are within the 16 and 24-year range, while 26% consists of 25 to 44 years old.
Given the different demographics among the two platforms, you may want to adjust your content based on your business’s target audience.
The algorithm behind Instagram Reels is relatively unexplored and results in what seems to be a cache of unlimited content. On the other hand, TikTok explicitly designs and caters to the user’s “For You” page, or FYP. Everyone’s FYP is unique to them and is fashioned by different factors, including:
- Video information: the hashtags, sounds, and captions of videos you interact with or use when creating your content.
- Device and account settings: what country you are from, your language preference, and more.
- User interactions: the types of videos you are sharing, commenting on, or liking.
TikTok’s algorithm next processes the various factors and weighs them depending on their significance to the user.
Despite the different algorithms, going viral on either Instagram Reels or TikTok can benefit your business. One could even claim that a Reel going viral is almost better since it’s already directly linked to your business’s account. But eventually, that’s still up to the user’s volition.
Which is Better for Business: Instagram or TikTok?
When determining whether Instagram Reels or TikTok is more advantageous for your business, there are several factors you need to put into consideration. Your target audience demographics, existing follower base, and the content you’ll be producing are some of the examples that will help decide which of the two is better for your business.
A study executed by Markerly studied the difference in the performance of both apps. By comparing ten brands and 80 influencers across both Instagram Reels and TikTok, the study found that the engagement rates on TikTok transcended those on Instagram Reels for celebrities and influencers. However, as to the brand pages, Instagram Reels beat TikTok, most likely because of the preexisting follower base on the platform.
Both Instagram Reels and TikTok provide perks and shortcomings, and it’s up to the brand or user to select which of the two they will be using. Users can capitalize on the different benefits Reels and TikTok offers by taking advantage of both platforms.