Many marketers and content makers have asked themselves since Instagram introduced Reels in 2020: Should I start focusing on this instead of TikTok?
Kylie Jenner and other prominent Instagram influencers have lately voiced worry that the business is pushing the Reels feature too aggressively in an effort to emulate the success of the short-form powerhouse TikTok.
To what extent, though, is Reels like TikTok? In this article, we’ll compare and contrast the features of both platforms to help you decide which one is best for your business’s content marketing efforts.
Comparison between Instagram and TikTok Highlight Videos
As you weigh the merits of each route for your company’s name, keep these distinctions in mind.
Length of the Video
The duration of your videos may be the first noticeable variation between the two services. The duration limit on TikTok has been increased to 10 minutes, but on Reels it is just 90 seconds. This fundamental distinction will have repercussions for the natural progression of content across each medium. Because their production time is so much shorter, Reels tend to have a narrower focus and a quicker pace than TikTok films. TikTok allows content makers to expand upon their themes and tell more intricate stories.
You shouldn’t let this distinction be the deciding factor in the platform you use, but it is useful information to have before you start creating content. Because of this distinction, you can’t share the same video on both services if it’s more than 90 seconds in length. A three-minute TikTok video would need to be edited down to 90 seconds in order to be uploaded to Reels.
Availability of Audio
The availability of music and other sound effects for use in video production is a second important distinction. If you’ve used either service for any length of time, you know that sound plays a key role. However, at the moment, many users (particularly business accounts) are unable to access the Instagram music library on Reels, meaning they cannot use specific audio files in their videos. When you add a Reel to your collection of saved images, the audio is not included.
Next, we must recognise that there are certain discrepancies between the two platforms’ user bases.
Statista provides the following information on the age distribution of Instagram users:
The largest adoption rate is seen in the 25-34 age bracket, however it is still quite high in the 18-24 age range.
TikTok statistics have a little age bias. Although the majority of its users are members of Generation Z and the Millennial generation, the service is not without its share of elder users.
The lesson to be learned? It’s possible that you should choose Reels over TikTok if your target demographic consists largely of people born in the 1980s and later. Either platform will serve you well if your target demographic is predominantly members of Generation Z or Millennials.
In 2021, Instagram introduced Reels advertisements, providing businesses with a novel means of using the feature to reach certain demographics. While sponsored placements can help brands reach their target audiences, many continue to use the workaround of hiring a content creator to film branded content that serves the same.
Finally, one significant point that probably won’t be influenced by brand accounts: how much more money can creators make on TikTok than on Reels?
In an effort to get TikTok Creators to switch to Instagram, Instagram has introduced the Reels Bonus Programme to reward its most successful creators for using the app to make money off of their videos.
Reels vs TikTok: Which is better for your brand’s content
In light of the foregoing, our advice is straightforward: Create material for both channels and determine which one performs better in your opinion.
Why? For one thing, it’s too soon to say if one platform will emerge victorious in the long run. For instance, it took some time for Snapchat’s devoted user base to go over to Instagram once the app introduced Stories and became a direct competition. It’s possible that the same thing will happen here, but it’s too early to tell.
Beyond that, though, your content may not perform as well on both channels. You may publish the identical thing to two different sites, but one might get more attention.
An algorithm may cause your video to go popular on TikTok, or it may choose to highlight your material on Instagram’s “Explore” page. It’s also possible that one service will attract a larger following than the other. It’s also possible that your ideal customers are more highly represented on one of the two services than the other.
Think about the Instagram followers you may already have and how they may contribute to the success of your Reels content. The fact that you could already have an Instagram content plan makes this a double-edged sword.