Instagram's Reels have been around for a while now, but there are still some questions about their utility. Is it better than TikTok? Should I be using it instead?
Here's what you need to know about both platforms and how they might affect your content strategy.
Instagram Reels vs Tiktok
If you’re a content marketer, you’re probably already familiar with Instagram Reels and TikTok. They’re both short-form video apps that are great for sharing with friends and followers, or for reaching new audiences. They even have a lot in common—like how they both let you add text overlays to your videos, or share them on social media. But there are some key differences between the two apps that you should know about:
Length of the Video
When you're making a video on Instagram, you'll have a pretty strict limit on how long your content can be. A single Instagram video can run up to 60 seconds long.
TikTok is a bit more flexible in terms of length—you can upload a video that's up to 15 seconds long, but there are some restrictions. You will need to ensure that your videos are under 15 seconds if they contain any content that's not appropriate for all audiences, including things like nudity or violence.
Another major difference between the two platforms is the way they handle comments and likes. On TikTok, users can only comment once per day. That means if you post a video and someone likes it, they won't be able to leave another comment until the following day. On Instagram, users can leave multiple comments on one post as long as each one doesn't exceed 300 characters in length (or three lines of text).
Access to Music/Sounds
The second key difference between Instagram Reels and TikTok is creators' access to music or sounds to enhance their videos for promotional video production company.
On Instagram, you can choose from a variety of royalty-free songs that will appear in your commercial video production services. However, if you want more control over the soundscape of your video, you can upload your own audio files. On TikTok, users are limited to the sounds already available through the app, so it's best to find creative ways to use those sounds in creative ways.
One feature that has caught the attention of many content marketers is the ability to create Reels on Instagram. With Reels, you can combine multiple videos into one long-form video that plays in a loop, or you can break it up into individual clips that play one after another. This format allows users to tell longer stories through their content marketing efforts and gives brands more creative freedom to engage with their target audience.
Unfortunately, while TikTok has embraced this format wholeheartedly, Instagram has been slow to adopt it—and when they finally did so earlier this year, there were some major issues with how users were able to implement it into their existing content marketing strategy.
First of all, the demographics of the two platforms are slightly different. On Instagram, users are typically between 18 and 24 years old; on TikTok, they’re usually between 13 and 17 years old. So if you’re trying to reach a younger audience that tends to prefer short videos in affordable video production services over longer ones, then TikTok is definitely worth looking into.
But if you want more control over your content—for example, if you want more advanced editing capabilities than what TikTok provides—then Instagram Reels might be a better fit for your brand or business!
Reel advertising was introduced by Instagram in 2021, providing companies the option to leverage the feature in a brand-new manner to reach specific demographics. However, many businesses continue to use the workaround of paying a content creator to produce branded content that performs the same function as an advertisement, but instead of utilizing sponsored placements that correspond with your target demographics or keywords, you rely on that person's network to reach your audience.
But, TikTok offers alternatives for sponsored content, which amplifies the advantages of collaborating with creators in your industry. TikTok is perhaps the better option if you're thinking about creating branded content to advertise on one of these two platforms.
Instagram Reels are like a video version of Instagram Stories, with the added benefit of being able to monetize them. You can post up to three videos at once in one Instagram Reel, and monetize each one by adding a link and tagging it. You can also add an end card that includes a call-to-action button for viewers to click on.
TikTok is a new social media platform that has been gaining in popularity since its launch in 2016. It's focused on short videos for explainer video production services, so it's a great place for marketers who want to share quick-hitting content or create ads for their brand.
So, for my brand's content, should I concentrate on Reels or TikTok?
Our advice is straightforward in light of the information above: Create content for both platforms and determine for yourself which one improves over time.
Why? For starters, it's too soon to say whether one platform will emerge as the winner hands down. For instance, it took some time for devoted Snapchat users to adopt Instagram's imitative function when Stories was introduced and directly competed with Snapchat. It's too soon to say for sure, but this process could follow the same pattern.
Beyond that, it's possible that your content won't perform as well on both platforms. It's possible that one will outperform the other even if you submit the exact same information in both locations.
As an illustration, the TikTok algorithm might make your TikTok video popular, while the Instagram algorithm might highlight your material on the "Explore" page. Maybe you can rapidly find that one platform has a larger audience than the other. Also, you might discover that one of the two platforms is strongly favored by your target demographic, meaning you should definitely give that platform equal priority.
Furthermore keep in mind that your Instagram following, which is probably already established, may contribute to the popularity of your Reels material. This is a double-edged sword, too, since you might already have a content plan for Instagram.
You might have more creative flexibility to try something novel and experiment with the look and feel of your material on TikTok because it is a more recent platform and exists independently from other places you upload content. If you've been publishing to Instagram's main feed and Stories already, you've developed a look and feel that your followers may expect to carry over into your Reels content. Your inventiveness on Reels can be stifled as a result of this.
Last but not least, by producing content for both platforms, you can still choose one to concentrate on in the future (if you want). But by experimenting with both, rather than putting all your eggs in one basket at first, you'll gain a sense of how your brand fits with each platform and which one is best for you and your audience. You'll be able to decide based on information rather than a whim.
We'll all just have to wait and see what transpires after these suggestions, though. Nobody knows which platform will prevail in the end, but both show promise right now. Test them out and report your findings to us!