What makes Instagram Reels better than TikTok

Instagram Reels vs TikTok: Similarities and Differences

TikTok is probably the biggest social media success story in recent history, especially among young users. But for some time now, Instagram has been attacking. The feature launched in the summer Instagram Reels is based on short videos that users can create and add music to. Does it sound familiar to you? U.S. as well.

But how does Instagram Reels compare to TikTok and does Instagram manage to make the copy more successful than the original as it did with the Snapchat stories?

We have Thoroughly compared TikTok and Instagram Reels and at the end dare to take a look.

The principle

We hinted at it: The central principle of TikTok and Instagram Reels is the same.

Users can create, edit and publish short videos. An important difference is the length. Videos on TikTok can be up to a minute long, on Instagram reels the length is limited to 30 seconds.

How it works

This is how TikTok works

Unlike Instagram, TikTok is all about short videos. Is central the video feed personalized for each user (for you). Here you can find a selection of popular videos, as well as clips that TikTok thinks you will be interested in. As known from other social networks, you can like, comment and share content. There is also the possibility to follow accounts. However, followers on TikTok are less important than on Facebook or Instagram.

Videos can be created directly on the platform. Various functions are available during the recording, for example for setting the speed or for AR effects. You can make finished recordings edit in different ways. The option to add sound to clips is particularly popular. Voice-over is also possible. The duet function allows two videos to be combined.

This is how Instagram Reels works

Instagram Reels is a feature of Instagram that you now have can be found below in the main navigation - where the magnifying glass used to be.

Creating and editing Instagram reels works much the same as with TikTok. The platform has also recently added new functions that the competitor has been offering for a long time. Videos are no longer just like that with songs from the music library, but also with your own audio recordings.


At first glance, there are hardly any. Anyone who has previously created TikTok videos will feel at home on Instagram Reels. That shows how Instagram is strongly based on the model from China.

A “duet” is not (yet) possible with Instagram Reels. The same goes for the voice over of videos.

Reach and distribution of videos

What the Reach and dissemination of videos As far as is concerned, there are key differences between TikTok and Instagram Reels:

  • User numbers: TikTok has grown tremendously in the recent past and had almost 700 million users worldwide in July 2020. With more than 1 billion active users, Instagram is still a whole lot bigger.
  • Target groups: Young, younger, TikTok. Only 15 percent of users are over 35 years old. This also means that companies can reach a particularly young target group in this channel.
  • Go viral: On TikTok, it is possible to go from zero to one hundred hits and produce a video that will be viewed hundreds of thousands of times. For this, followers play a subordinate role on the platform. Because the views come primarily from the “For You” page.
    Reach on Instagram means hard work. But this pays off in the long term. Anyone who has collected a lot of followers and provided them with good content can reliably achieve high reach. What is better depends not least on your own goals.
  • Share: Instagram reels can be shared and sent on Instagram. That's it. TikTok videos, on the other hand, can be distributed across channels with just a few clicks. This also applies to clips from other users that you like yourself.

One of the many pieces of evidence that Instagram really wants to push its new baby is that Instagram reels appear particularly large on the Explore page. Anyone who uses the new format can therefore hope for additional attention.

Opportunities for businesses

The opportunities available to businesses on TikTok and Instagram Reels are largely the same.


Challenges are one of the most popular stylistic devices on TikTok. The participation concept gives companies the opportunity to Increase the reach of content, promote brand awareness and gain new followers. Influencers ensure that the competition gets rolling.
Was particularly successful with it Guess. The #InMyDenim challenge asked users to show their best Guess Denim looks.


I don’t even have a husband 😂 what did I just make @guess ## inmydenim ## sendhelp

♬ Low - PAM

Challenges are also popular in Instagram reels. One of them is there Sephora.


30 seconds or one minute are not long. Nevertheless, video clips on TikTok or Instagram Reels can be used well for users To give inspiration around your own products or topics and to transport one or the other how to.
The Furniture online shop Westwing does that quite skillfully.

That platforms like TikTok can also be used to to convey serious issues and to discuss important questions young people have, demonstrates the profile “Mr. Lawyer”.


When can I start taking the pill? Show that to your friends. 😊🤗 ## 1minutejura ## learnmittiktok ## lawyer ## jura ## fürdich ## girl

♬ Original sound - Mr. lawyer

Behind the scenes

TikTok has proven to be a great channel to To make companies more “human” and to bring users closer to the people behind the scenes. This works best with a good dose of humor.


Why Zoom with your coworkers when you can talk to their kids? ## ZoomSchool

♬ original sound - We are a newspaper.

Employer branding

If you want to attract young people as employees, it is best to address them through modern channels. The armed forces also uses Instagram reels for this.


What about paid advertising on TikTok and Instagram Reels?

  • TikTok: The TikTok Ads Manager is currently only available for selected companies in Germany. However, there are first reviews. According to this, TikTok advertising works the way you know it from other platforms, from the pixel to various campaign goals. In a direct comparison, however, companies can achieve a lot of coverage for little money.
  • Instagram Reels: There are currently no ads available for Instagram Reels. For this purpose, users can choose from a variety of other advertising options on Instagram.

Our interim conclusion after the first few months of Instagram Reels

At the end of the day, the similarities between TikTok and Instagram Reels are bigger than the differences. In other words, Instagram Reels is one very accurate copy of TikTok. That includes the content. Currently these consist almost exclusively of typical TikTok videos.

Exactly that could significantly contribute to that the Stories success story is not repeated this time. Because one reason for the popularity of TikTok was from the beginning that the platform is different from the others and especially gives young people an opportunity to try out themselves in a creative way. TikTok celebrates not-being-perfect. Unlike a platform like Instagram, which mainly stands for glossy visuals.
Whether many young people can now be persuaded to switch from TikTok to Instagram Reels or prefer to stick with the original remains to be seen and will certainly also depend on whether TikTok will remain in the AppStores in the USA. For companies it can worth trying to experiment with reels, especially if you already have a large number of followers on TikTok.

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