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Reels Vs. TikTok - Everything You Need to Know

Unless you haven't been on social media lately, you know how bite-sized video content is all the rage. The big question is, what's the difference between Instagram Reels and TikTok? We're breaking it down.

Instagram officially launched its video platform Reels in August 2020. Since it came after TikTok and resembled the TikTok format, most users have viewed Reels as Instagram's version of TikTok. Over the past six months, Reels have become a niche of their own. Before we discuss the significant differences, let's discuss the similarities.

So Alike

Instagram Reels and TikTok are both formatted in a vertical story-like video. This format takes up the entire screen of a cell phone, which keeps users engaged. Both platforms allow users to use effects, text overlay, and music with their video and photo content. Both have a remix/duet feature, where you can add your reel to a popular one. See an example here.

Yet So Different

Let's dive into the differences. First, Reels attract more millennials while TikTok attracts mostly Gen Z. This is crucial for brands to know and understand. If you're advertising low-rise jeans, your crowd is waiting for you on TikTok, but Reels might be more critical for high-rise leggings and home decor.

With Instagram Reels, you have the option to put the video into the grid format or just to leave it in the Reels tab on your profile. We have noticed on many accounts, including our own, that those who put their Reels into their grid have a higher viewership and engagement level. Therefore, we see more curated content and "grid-worthy" content on Instagram. While TikTok is more experimental and attention-grabbing.

When it comes to trends, while both platforms are hot-spots for trends, we see more original content coming from TikTok. On Instagram Reels, we often see trends from TikTok carrying over. We also observed more educational content on Instagram Reels, like recipes, tips, hacks, and tricks in daily life, while TikTok is heavily music-based. Part of this music phenomenon could be blamed on Instagram having limited audio options due to copyright, while TikTok has a more extensive audio library for all users.

We hope you have a fantastic time creating content and connecting with others no matter what you choose, Reels or TikTok. Video content makes social media are relatable and fun and can take your brand to the next level.


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