Reels vs TikToks has become the ultimate question for social media marketers. Video is becoming the go-to content format for marketers due to its high engagement, inclusivity, and easy in-app editing features provided by popular social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram. TikTok’s extreme popularity pushed Instagram to increase creator visibility through their competing Reels platform. While they both feature short-form, often trend-driven content, they differ quite a bit when it comes to their audience. This includes how users engage with the post and the overall content vibe. Marketers who wish to succeed on both platforms need to consider these differences and tailor their video content accordingly.
IG Reels vs TikToks
#1: Reels vs TikToks: Video Duration
Both platforms require video to be short-form, but they different when it comes to how short. TikToks can be up to 10 minutes while Reels are limited to 90 seconds. Because Reels are so short, they often feature concise messages and simple tutorials.
#2: Reels vs TikToks: Sound Libraries
TikTok has a vast sound library filled with user-generated sounds as well as trending music. A lot of the trending sounds from TikTok get carried over to Instagram. Instagram business accounts are limited when it comes to using existing music to create sounds, as Instagram has tighter copyright restrictions and requires users to share original content.
#3: Reels vs TikToks: Purpose
TikTok was created more as a form of entertainment and a place for creators to connect with viewers casually. On the other hand, Instagram was created as a space for artists and creators to share original content that would advance their influence and brand. Reels content tends to be more aesthetically driven and information based.
#4: Reels vs TikToks:Audience Age
TikTok’s audience is younger than Instagram’s but we suspect that is projected to change as TikTok continues to garner mass appeal among older age groups. Brands wishing to market to Gen Z and beyond will want to build a TikTok presence.
#5: Reels vs TikToks: Editing Features
TikTok and Instagram Reels have pretty similar editing features at this point in the game. Both platforms allow you to record live reactions to other users’ videos in a side-by-side format; the feature is called Remix on Instagram and Duet on TikTok. TikTok has an additional feature called Stitch that allows users to add a cut of another video to the beginning of their own.
#6: Reels vs TikToks: Algorithms
TikTok’s algorithm tends to get new eyes on content better, while the Reels algorithm succeeds more in pushing Reels to existing followers. However, be aware that both algorithms are constantly changing. It’s suspected that the Instagram algorithm will hide content with a TikTok watermark and that videos edited with IG’s native editing tools perform better than those edited in a third-party app.
Most brands will benefit from posting unique content on both platforms when it comes down to it. The content has the same main idea but should differ slightly considering each platform’s different purposes, sound options, audience demographics, etc. The question of Reels vs TikToks is not about which you should use, it’s how you should use both.