TikTok vs. Instagram: A Social Media Platform Face-Off
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TikTok vs. Instagram: Choosing the Right Platform

TikTok vs. Instagram

According to Statista, there are 4.66 billion active internet users around the world. Out of that number, 3.80 billion are on social media every month. This proves just how valuable and useful these platforms are for marketers, especially when social distancing is the norm worldwide. Having a strong online presence can increase brand awareness and expand your reach

Nowadays, people cannot imagine their lives without social media networks. Whether they are scrolling down their Facebook feeds while commuting, or posting photos of their food on Instagram, social media has become an integral part of their lives. In fact, users spend an average of three hours per day on these platforms.

Given this amount of time, marketers have turned to social media to interact with their customers, both existing and prospective. Indeed, 73% of brands believe social media marketing efforts have been very effective for their business.

But two of these platforms stand out the most — TikTok and Instagram.

These two apps seem to have started to compete against each other, especially after Instagram developed Reels. This feature is similar to TikTok and the company released it at a convenient time. Namely, the fate of TikTok in the USA was hanging in the balance when Instagram announced the new feature.

Instagram Reels is the latest buzzword in the industry. Find out more about this feature here.

As both networks are popular in their own right, we thought it would be interesting to do a TikTok vs. Instagram comparison. We will look at fascinating statistics, backgrounds, and more.

Let’s start!

Instagram: How It All Began

We will start our article with the app that has been longer on the market — Instagram.

Instagram was introduced in 2010 just when social media was blowing up. It was what people were looking for — an app where they would communicate solely through photos and interact through likes, comments, and shares. Needless to say, it didn’t take long for Instagram to experience an explosive rise.

Its growing popularity caught the attention of another social media giant — Facebook. This wasn’t surprising at all. Namely, when Instagram was released on Android in 2012, users downloaded it more than one million times in less than a day! Facebook put two and two together and decided to acquire the company for $1 billion in cash and stock that year.

Want to grow your business on Facebook? Check out this article.

The rest, as they say, is history.

Instagram has evolved throughout the years — it’s not that app we visit to see cute kitten photos anymore. Customers now use it to discover new brands, interact with businesses they already know about, and even purchase products! That’s right, the app has developed so many features that show how important it is for marketers to join it.

We have to say, it will be difficult to choose a winner in this TikTok vs. Instagram face-off.
Furthermore, Instagram is one of the most business-friendly apps out there. 200 million Instagram users visit at least one business account every day. So, it’s not surprising that more than 70% of U.S. businesses said they would use the network in 2020.

Live video is becoming the favorite content type for viewers. You have a chance to go live on Instagram as well through Instagram IGTV.

Instagram: An Integral Part of Users’ Lives

As you know, Instagram is a photo- and video-sharing social media platform. It enables users to capture, edit, and post visual content that other people can view and interact with. Although it was mostly used for images, the app has embraced online videos as well. After all, 55% of people watch this medium every day, and Instagram doesn’t want to miss out on capitalizing on its popularity!

Today, it’s difficult to remember a time before Instagram. While customers use it to publish content from their holidays, parties, and other, brands also rely on it to give a glimpse into their businesses or announce a new product launch. Everything and everyone is on Instagram!

Want to increase engagement on Instagram? Carousel posts can help you with that! Find out how you can use them here.

If your business is not active on Instagram, you might want to reconsider. The app is a great way to keep your consumers posted on new developments, share your brand’s story, and showcase your products or services.

Now, let’s move on with our TikTok vs. Instagram comparison!

TikTok: The Early Beginnings

TikTok is one of the “youngest” social media platforms in the world. Although launching in 2016, it has proven to be a serious competitor to major apps such as Snapchat and Instagram

TikTok merged with musical.ly in 2018 in order to expand its online video community. It quickly became popular around the world, with users rushing to create their own online videos.

The fact that people quickly noticed the app is understandable. After all, our attention span is decreasing, and visual content is able to engage and entertain us. Plus, people don’t go on TikTok only to watch other users’ content. Quite the contrary, they are able to make their own videos and have a chance to get noticed by a large audience.

In China, the company has a separate app, called Douyin, which is basically TikTok’s equivalent. eMarketer expects that Douyin will grow its user base to 442.6 million by the end of 2020. In case you’re wondering, this means that over half of China’s smartphone users will access this short-form video app.

So, it’s easy to see in our TikTok vs. Instagram comparison that both of these apps have left a significant mark on the world. We expect that their popularity will only grow in the future.

But now, let’s discover more about TikTok.

TikTok’s Quick Rise

TikTok is a short-form, video-sharing app that allows its users to make and share 15-second videos which are often accompanied by music. These videos range in topic, so it’s safe to say that there’s something for everybody on the app. From DIY tips and tricks and makeup tutorials all the way to gaming and sports content.

What’s more, the app enables people to be as creative as possible, giving them a chance to share their artistic prowess with the whole world. There’s a place for any kind of content on TikTok. In fact, users even have a chance to pick up a new skill, learn some fun facts, or communicate with people they have things in common with on the app.

Over the years, it has become obvious that young people love TikTok’s focus on short-form videos. Many of them use it as a tool to express their creativity and fun sides.

But TikTok has become valuable for businesses as well, especially those that want to reach younger demographics. Its popularity and video-focused posts create marketing and brand awareness opportunities. Indeed, many companies use this tool to engage new audiences, including Washington Post.

However, TikTok only recently started to accept ads, so it seems that companies are focusing on increasing brand awareness rather than on generating more leads or driving traffic to their websites.

Learn how you can make full use of TikTok’s potential here.

If you want to succeed on the app, you have to get creative. While it may be easier for entertainers and publishers to use TikTok, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to catch the attention of its users.

If you ask some marketers to weigh in on the TikTok vs. Instagram face-off, you might hear them saying that the latter is way easier to use and implement in their marketing strategies. However, it wouldn’t be wise for all businesses to ignore TikTok. And these statistics will prove that.

TikTok vs. Instagram: Statistics

To help you reach your own decision in regards to TikTok vs. Instagram argument, we’ve decided to single out various statistics in relation to the use of these two platforms. Let’s check them out!



As you can see, Instagram has over 200 million more users than TikTok. However, people tend to be more active on TikTok than on Instagram, increasing brands’ chances to have their posts seen by many users.

Don’t know what to post on TikTok? We’ve got you covered! Take a look at some creative ideas in this article.

But one thing is important to emphasize — TikTok and Instagram attract different demographics.

Demographics on the Two Apps

As we already said, TikTok is particularly useful if you want to reach a younger audience. Indeed, 41% of its users are aged between 16 and 24. In particular, the app attracts 60% of Gen Z-ers. However, during the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, more and more millennials turned towards this app as they started to adjust to the new normal.

On the other hand, Instagram caters to a slightly older user base composed of millennials and Gen Y-ers. According to one research, 57% of people between the ages of 25 and 30 are on Instagram. In addition to that, 47% of 30–49-year-olds also favor this app.

Marketers have started to focus on millennials more in recent years. Find out how you can get this group on your side.

So, for this part of our TikTok vs. Instagram comparison, we’d say that the app you choose to promote your brand on depends on the audience you want to target. If you want to acquaint Gen Z-ers with your business, go with TikTok. But if millennials interest you, choose Instagram!

TikTok vs. Instagram Reels

This year Instagram launched Reels, a feature that allows users to create and watch short, entertaining online videos on the app. They can record and edit 15-second videos, adding audio, effects, and other content to them. The end result can be shared on Instagram Stories, users’ feed, and even in Explore. Sounds a lot like TikTok, right? Well, perhaps Instagram was going for this!

Namely, TikTok faced a ban in the USA which meant that 60 million active users would potentially lose their favorite app. Instagram wanted to develop a feature that would appeal to these people, in case TikTok left the US market. We now know that TikTok can continue to operate in the country (for the time being, at least).

So, if Instagram wants to take TikTok’s place, it should come up with newer and more innovative uses for Reels. Until then, TikTok remains the king among short video apps. It offers a wide range of video editing and filter options, greater chance to get your content viewed, and a user base that adores online video content.

Closing Thoughts

So, who is the winner of this TikTok vs. Instagram face-off? We’d have to say that it’s a tie! Both apps can propel your business to stardom if used right. If you ask us, go with the app that is most suitable for your marketing needs, keeping in mind which demographic you want to target!