The Influence of TikTok and Reels on Social Media Marketing

The Influence of TikTok and Reels on Social Media Marketing

Trends | Feb 10, 2021

We’re not living under rocks. Under the digital revolution we’re living in, we’ve all heard of TikTok and Instagram Reels. 

TikTok is the third most used social media app, while Reels is the Robin to Instagram’s IGTV. Last summer, TikTok was under fire. It was threatened by then President Trump. Many thought that was its end, and Reels was to replace the short-form, video-sharing app. 

Contrary to popular belief, there is no beef between TikTok and Reels. The two apps are not splitting any markets. There’s no need for a dance-off. If anything, content creators are financially encouraged to maintain their presence on both apps.

But let’s try and dig a little deeper into the world of short-form video content, its creators, and the platforms they use.

TikTok logo


The short-form video platform is a common ground for light-hearted entertaining videos, with a few exceptions of political education in the early days of summer 2020 when Black Lives Matter protests erupted.

The app’s primary users are aged 10-19 at 32.5% and 20-29, 29.5%. While the app is viral across all ages, it’s a platform dominated by Gen Zs creating and recreating the latest craze, fun challenges, and easy-to-cook meals.

Instagram Reels logo


Instagram released this new feature to record and share posts to their profiles, aside from regular posts, IGTV, in-feed videos, stories, and Live.

Differences between Reels and TikTok

Let’s start with the obvious. With Reels, you can upload videos up to 15-30 seconds long, while TikTok peaks at 1 minute. Second, Reels is an Instagram feature, and TikTok is a social media platform on its own. 

Instagram logo on smartphone

TikTok has more effects, filters, and templates compared to Reels’ limited options when it comes to creating videos. TikTok also Duet and Stitch feature, while creators on Reels can only record their own clips or upload videos from their phones.

Are the apps splitting the market?

Don’t get rattled, but there are other short-form video platforms out there like Byte, Triller, and Dubsmash. So, if you’re thinking that TikTok and Reels are dividing the market, they’re actually not.

Sure, we can say there’s a friendly competition, but overall, markets aren’t being split in two. Just like other people prefer Coke over Pepsi or vice versa, it’s a matter of preference and demographics.

There are 1 billion Instagrammers and 800 million TikTokers. Many of these users are on both apps, while some are on an either/or basis. The market is broad enough for any of us to show concern for a thinning market.

TikTok  profile on phone beside indoor plant

Surfing the tides of both platforms

According to Chris Sawtelle, ICM Partners’ head of digital ventures, “brands and ad agencies are asking for Instagram and TikTok to be distribution points for campaigns.” Big brands and agencies know the swelling opportunities in riding the waves of the social media platforms.

Even influencers Amanda Cerny knows the importance of being on both platforms. In a TIME interview Cerny says, “just as brands shouldn’t advertise on only one platform, I can’t put all of my eggs in one basket either.” 

She also says that “if I did that in 2014 with Vine, I wouldn’t be around today.”

In short, the more social media platforms there are, the more opportunities there are for brands to engage potential consumers, especially for small businesses.

Stuck in a pickle if you want to focus your efforts on Reels, TikTok, or both? Send us a message, and let’s talk! Our expert social media specialists can help improve your small business’ social media presence.

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