TikTok vs. Instagram Reels

Over the past eighteen months, TikTok has exploded onto the social media scene. In this short period, it has cemented itself as the most popular social platform of the moment – particularly among a younger demographic. However, not to be outdone, Instagram recognised the rise of TikTok and swiftly released its own competitor within the Instagram app, known as Instagram Reels.

Upon first glance, anybody who has used TikTok will notice a striking similarity between the two platforms, to the point where marketers may in fact be asking themselves if there’s any real discernible difference when it comes to utilising each platform. Let’s dive in and compare the two video streaming platforms from a business marketing perspective.

TikTok vs. Instagram: video lengths

Perhaps the most obvious difference between TikTok and Instagram Reels is the permitted video length. Instagram Reels allows users to record up to 30 seconds of content, while TikTok allows for double that amount (one minute precisely).

From a marketing perspective, TikTok allows for more expression, whereas Instagram Reels means you’re going to have to be more succinct. With some careful editing, there’s no reason why you can’t opt for both, though.


Like Instagram itself, little is currently known about the Instagram Reels algorithm. As any regular user will attest, there seems to be a pool of unlimited – and not always related – content.

TikTok, however, specifically caters to each user and generates a dedicated FYP (For You Page). Each user has a unique FYP which is generated based on user interactions, language preferences, location, search history and the hashtags you’re engaging with on the platform.

There’s an argument that going viral on Instagram Reels makes more sense from an algorithmic perspective, as your viral Reel is already connected to your existing business Instagram account, thereby inviting more clickthroughs. However, going viral on either platform is bound to be good for business.


If you’re looking to get creative with organic-style viral videos, TikTok offers far more in terms of effects and filters, whereas Instagram Reels is pretty much limited to IG’s existing filter library. This will undoubtedly impact which platform your business chooses based on the products/services your business wants to market.

TikTok’s extensive editing tools allow for more dynamic, comedic and creative content, and the platform lends itself to the interaction between brands and users. On the other hand, Instagram Reels lends itself to cleaner, more subdued video, where you can really allow a product to sell itself based on aesthetics.

Ultimately, the products and services you offer will dictate which platform you should invest more time in. Are you offering something fun, friendly, social and snazzy? Go for TikTok. Do you sell smart, sophisticated products that speak for themselves? Choose Instagram Reels.


As you might expect, Instagram Reels users tend to be slightly older than their TikTok counterparts. It is estimated that approximately one-third of IG Reels users are between the ages of 25-34, with around 22% between 18-24. Just over half the IG Reels audience is female. By comparison, TikTok users are more likely to be between 16-24 (60% of users), and female (again, 60% of users). The products and services your business has to offer are therefore likely to influence which platform you rely more heavily on, based on your target demographics.

TikTok vs. Instagram Reels: which is best for business?

Ultimately, there is no hard and fast answer to this question. Instead, there are several factors you’ll need to consider before you decide which platform is best for YOUR business. Your existing followers, target audience, the goods/services you provide and the sort of marketing content you want to produce will all help you to determine whether TikTok or Instagram Reels is the better marketing option for your business.

The best solution is to capitalise on the unique benefits of both, particularly if you have a reasonably varied target demographic.

If you’d like more information on how social media marketing could help propel your business to new heights, why not contact us today?