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Sep 13 2021

Instagram Reels Vs TikTok: What’s the Difference?

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In the beginning of 2020, TikTok’s popularity soared. Its short-form video content provided those in quarantine and lockdown with continuous and snackable entertainment that is tailored specifically to each user. Its success began with Gen Z before spreading to a variety of other age groups. In response to this, Instagram launched Instagram Reels in August 2020. But what is the difference between TikTok and Reels? Before we get into the TikTok vs Reels debate, let’s get into each platform first. 

What is TikTok?

TikTok is a social media platform that is used to share up to 3-minute long videos. TikTok creators can leverage the platform’s vast catalogue of audios, music, filters and effects to create entertaining and snackable content. Users can find any type of video on the platform from music covers, tutorials, reviews, memes, gaming and more. 

What are Reels?

Instagram Reels were launched to directly compete with TikTok. Reels allow Instagram users to create up to 60-second videos that can be made with music or a custom audio and have filters and effects applied. Reels can be shared to the Explore feed by using the right Instagram Reels hashtags, news feeds, the dedicated Reels tab and Instagram Stories.

Reels are a creative content format if you’re struggling with Instagram post ideas; many Instagram trends have been born from Reels. Reels can help content creators grow by engaging new and existing audiences. If you’re wondering how to gain followers on Instagram, Reels is a good place to start. Instagram has been well loved by top Instagram fashion influencers, travel influencers, musicians and more. 

Instagram Reels vs TikTok: Views and Engagement

Insights from Reels’ launch revealed that Instagram’s short-form video content was working. 61% of TikTok users claimed they would use Reels and spend more time on Instagram as the features were so similar. In addition, on average, the two platforms had around the same video views, with Reels at 1.2 million and TikTok at 1.92 million views. However, TikTok pips Reels to the post when it comes to engagement—the average TikTok receives an average of over 200,000 likes and 2,000 comments, compared to Reels’ 100,000 likes and 800 comments. 

Instagram Reels vs TikTok: Video Content

Both Instagram Reels and TikTok began with 15-second videos before expanding. At the time of writing, TikTok offers users 3 minute videos compared to Reels’ one minute. In addition to this, TikTok recently added a scroll feature to some of its videos, allowing users to skip through parts of a TikTok. 

The style of video content differs on each platform. Instagram Reels content is polished and produced to a  very high-quality, which can help with Instagram monetisation. TikTok lends itself to raw, authentic content. 

Instagram Reels vs TikTok: Audio

TikTok has a vast sound library that includes, but is not limited to, chart music. Users frequently create their own sounds that often become new trends and have helped indie artists make their way into the charts. Music and audio trends on TikTok are one of the fastest ways to achieve a viral hit. 

Reels has a wide range of audios available, but it is not as extensive as the TikTok library. Most audios are brought across from TikTok. As Instagram isn’t a music-based platform, it has tighter copyright restrictions because it is based around artists sharing their original work. 

Instagram Reels vs TikTok: In-app Editing

TikTok offers a wide range of editing capabilities. Many TikTok trends stem from specific video effects and the platform has recently launched a new TikTok Effect Studio that provides users with the tools needed to create their own AR effects. 

Reels only offers users filters used in Instagram Stories and doesn’t have anywhere near the amount TikTok has. Also within Reels, users can only pick one filter, whereas on TikTok they can have multiple within the same video. 

TikTok also offers more general editing capabilities than Reels, such as voiceovers and the ability to rearrange clips to build a finished video.

Instagram Reels vs TikTok: Analytics

Instagram has a notoriously tricky algorithm to navigate, and it is still undetermined how the Reels algorithm works. It is likely that using the most popular Instagram hashtags will help users be discovered. TikTok’s main appeal is that it is easy to achieve a viral video as all videos stand a chance at making the For You Page. TikTok also offers in-depth insights to creators and brands to help them understand who their audience is and the most suitable way to target them. 

Instagram Reels vs TikTok: Advertising

Apart from partnering with influencers on TikTok, there are various other ways brands can advertise on the platform. The cost of advertising on TikTok has dropped since 2020 and the platform offers several standard advertising features, including targeted advertising. The other common types include: 

  1. Brand Takeover Ads
  2. Top-View Ads
  3. In-feed Ads
  4. Hashtag Challenges
  5. Branded Effects

Instagram advertising is powered by Facebook. Reels now offers to advertise, though it is still new. The ads run full-screen and in between Reels, similar to Instagram Stories. Reels ads appear in the Reels tab, the Explore page and natively in-feed. 

FAQs

Will Instagram Reels replace TikTok?

While Instagram Reels have been shown to improve Instagram growth, TikTok remains superior. TikTok’s remains the most downloaded application in app stores—a title it has defended for over a year. 

Is Reels similar to TikTok?

Instagram Reels is similar to TikTok. They are both short-form video formats that include an infinity-scroll and tailored algorithm. The Instagram demographic aligns with TikTok’s demographic which is likely why they are such fierce competitors. 

Can Reels beat TikTok?

While Instagram Reels is popular with Instagram users, TikTok is globally more popular. It is unlikely Reels will win the TikTok vs Reels debate.

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