IG Reels Versus TikTok – What’s The Difference?

Olivia Yetman

TikTok took social media by storm during the Covid-19 pandemic, as millions of people around the country were quarantined and spent more time than usual on their phones. Dance videos, pranks, recipes, and inventive hacks flooded the internet, creating a unique community. Compared to January 2018, the platform's user base had grown by 800 percent by August 2020. When then-President Trump announced his plans to ban the popular app in August of 2020, loyal users and producers were in a panic. Reels, Instagram's short-form video feature, was born. Now TikTok is going strong, Reels has grown, and short-form video is here to stay, it seems. 

Even though TikTok and Reels function similarly and deliver similar material, the two platforms have several distinctions you might not have been aware of. This article will cover all you need to know about the differences between Instagram Reels and TikTok.

1. Video length

Users on TikTok can record videos for up to ten minutes (as of February 2022), whereas users on Instagram Reels can record videos for up to 60 seconds. The 60-second limit on Instagram Reels may seem small depending on the content you publish, or maybe it's just right. Plan out some content you might want to do, and then choose which length of video will work best for your purposes.

2. Music option and licensing 

Due to copyright issues, Instagram business accounts can only use Reels' royalty-free music collection. You may also add your audio. That can constrain you a bit in terms of creativity. One of TikTok's apparent advantages is that everyone on the platform has access to its entire music library, which is reflected in the platform's popular trends.

3. Video editing tools and features

TikTok has various effects, filters, soundtracks, and voiceovers to keep consumers entertained and engaged. Users can also engage with popular sounds or duet and stitch videos from other makers. These features enable businesses to grow their communities, capitalize on current events to gain a leg up on their competitors, and even go viral!

Instagram's library of filters and sound effects is a little more limited, but they continue to add more features. Instagram has a remixes feature, which is similar to TikTok's duet. Overall, Instagram Reels have less functionality than TikTok for right now.

4. Algorithm

You can access TikTok's analytics if you have a TikTok Pro Account. You can target the right audiences and learn what they're interested in with TikTok's built-in audience and content analytics. Also, you can see when (and if) your video was trending and the traffic sources that brought it there. TikTok also displays the sounds your followers have heard, which might help you pick which sound to utilize next.

The Instagram algorithm is very similar to that of TikTok. Its "Explore" page has a search bar for Reels, allowing producers to be showcased and attract new audiences. The algorithm looks for these things to get on Instagram's Explore page: 

  • User engagement and interaction with other creators' profiles.
  • Hashtags, tagged locations, and trending sounds are all included in this reel.
  • A creator's video's virality is measured by how entertaining other users find it.

Use Flick's hashtag analysis tool to uncover new hashtags, develop your strategy, and track your stats all in one spot to offer yourself the best chance of succeeding on Instagram.

5. Paid advertising and E-commerce

Brands may advertise on TikTok in various methods, including directly collaborating with influencers on the network. Previously, TikTok's advertising opportunities were quite limited, with only big-name corporations being allowed to participate. Since 2020, the cost of advertising on TikTok has decreased dramatically, and the ad platform has permitted various standard advertising features, such as DMA targeting. Five of the common TikTok ad types are below:

  • Brand Takeover Ads
  • Hashtag Challenges
  • Branded Effects
  • Top-View Ads
  • In-feed Ads

However, some media buyers have indicated their dissatisfaction with TikTok. Some people complain about the inability to scale up campaigns. To put it another way, a campaign will start strong but eventually fade away. There have also been concerns about TikTok's unresponsive customer service, billing troubles, and arbitrary ad account bans.

On the other hand, the ad platform on Instagram is powered by Facebook- possibly the most efficient advertising platform ever. So, with Reels advertisements, you have great targeting options. Ads in Reels are full-screen and vertical, like those in Instagram Stories.

They appear in the gaps between Reels. Like the rest of the Reels material, the adverts loop and can last up to 30 seconds. Reels advertising can be commented on, liked, viewed, saved, and shared. Reels advertising can appear in the most popular places to access Reels content, such as the Reels tab, Explore, and your feed.

6. Demographics and content

According to Statista, the majority of Instagram users were between the ages of 18 and 34, accounting for 62 percent of the platform.

TikTok is a little stronger with the younger audiences, with 42 percent of 18-24 year olds and 27 percent of 13-17 year olds. As a result, if you want to reach generation Z (those born between 1997 and 2012), TikTok might give you an advantage, whereas millennials (those born between 1981 and 1996) prefer Instagram right now. Interestingly, it's been reported that 87% of Gen Z TikTok users think that Reels are basically the same, so keep your eye on where your target audience is and keep flexibility in your strategy for change if necessary. 

While the short-form video continues to grow in popularity, don't feel like you have to be on both platforms. Choose the one where more of your ideal audience is.

7. Analytics

Analytics features are another area where Instagram Reels could be improved. Users can only check the number of likes, comments, and views, and therefore there aren't many insights. However, if you have a Pro account, you will have access to all of TikTok's analytics. Audience and content analytics allow you to observe your target audience and quickly learn about their needs and interests.

Aside from that, TikTok allows users to see if a video is popular and where the traffic originated. You can also see which sounds were heard by your audience. As a result, you can select the music background you want to utilize at the following time.

Which Wins? IG Reels or TikTok

The answer to that question depends on why you are using the platforms.

  • Do you wish to publicize your company?
  • Are the majority of your clients under the age of 35?
  • Do your customers look to your brand for lighthearted entertainment and content?
  • Is your content attractive to younger audiences?

These and other questions are crucial to ask whenever you're considering joining a new social media platform. Short-form video content is popular on social media for shorter attention spans and more frequent engagement from viewers. If this is a form of media that suits your audience and you're thinking about trying it out, we hope this information has been helpful to you. Contact us if you're looking for help preparing a short-form video strategy that aligns with your unique purpose and mission on digital.

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