TikTok and Instagram Reels Face-Off: Is There a Difference?

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TikTok and Instagram Reels Face-Off: Is There a Difference?

Industry | Mar 21, 2022

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It’s the battle of the Titans! Or, it can certainly seem that way. Many people wonder if there is a difference between Instagram Reels vs TikTok. There definitely are, which we’ll explore more below. As to which one will emerge the winner? Time will tell!


Content Creation and Editing Tools

There’s actually quite a difference between the video creation and editing tools on Tiktok and Instagram. The video effect library is much larger on Tiktok; for Instagram you need to choose the filter before filming the video, whereas with Tiktok, filters can be applied later on, too.

There are also more content creation features for Tiktok, unlike Instagram Reels; these include the duet, stitch, and the reaction features.

Additionally, there is a wide range of voiceover tools and voice effects on Tiktok, as compared to Instagram Reels which don’t offer any voice effects for the audio. Some business accounts aren’t even able to access the Instagram music feature for Reels.


Post Analytics

Although you can look into some basic insight features for an Instagram business account, there aren’t any insights offered for Instagram Reels; you can only see the number of likes, views, and comments for any video.

TikTok however, offers quite detailed analytics that give you an in-depth review of how your posts perform. It showcases where your content is most watched, when and where it trends, as well as other audience analytics.

TikTok analytics also recommends other sounds that perform well with your audience, for future content creation.



While there is a paid advertisement feature for Instagram, there are currently no advertisements allowed for Instagram Reels.

TikTok however, does allow content creators to make use of paid advertisements through various features including branded effects, in-feed ads, and branded hashtag challenges.

If you really want to promote your Instagram Reels, the best way to do it would be to collaborate with influencers and content creators to help boost your Reels exposure.


Target Demographic

When it comes to social media platforms and their use for ecommerce and brand management, knowing your target audience is essential to determining an effective social media branding strategy.

For example, the target audience or demographic for TikTok is mostly Gen-Z, while the demographic most reached through Instagram Reels are millennials. Both these groups interact with and prefer different types of content.


Video Length

Another big difference between TikTok and Instagram Reels is video length. For Instagram Reels, users can only make videos lasting up to 30 seconds, whereas with TikTok, video length limit is up to 3 minutes.

This can be a huge challenge for content creators, as well as businesses, who might not be able to say their piece, or showcase their products in the limited 30 second video length available with Instagram Reels.


Although all social media platforms work on algorithms nowadays, each is unique in their own way. The FYP (For You Page) on TikTok is customized to show the user more of what you like to see; you get to see more of the type of content you engage and interact with, through liking, commenting, and/or watching the full video instead of scrolling.

The Instagram Reels feature doesn’t work the same way. There seems to be a decided lack of information about the Instagram Reels algorithm, with no clear way to tell how videos are chosen for showcasing in the featured section.


TikTok vs Reels: Who’s the Winner?

While Instagram is definitely a useful social platform, as it currently stands, you may have better luck at gaining traction on TikTok initially.

Whether that traction translates into sales is decided by how well you brand your business and how creatively you promote it, as well as how targeted your videos are to the right people.

Whatever you do, it certainly doesn’t hurt to test them both out for yourself, and see which seems more beneficial for your brand goals.

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