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    Instagram Reels Vs TikTok – Boosting Brand Engagement in 2024

    logopoppin Published: April 19, 2024 14 min read

    Discover What Platform to Use to Boost Brand Engagement – Instagram Reels or TikTok

    TikTok has established itself as one of the top social media platforms in recent years, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite facing backlash from many countries over its time, it has beaten the odds to challenge the social media giant that is Meta for a spot with the big dogs. And today, the massive number of users it sees daily is testament to the fact that this platform popularized the now common content type – short-form video content.

    Due to its popularity, many other platforms tried to incorporate some form of short-form video content into their workflows to boost social media engagement. However, Instagram is the only one to have released something that could be a problem for TikTok. That has given rise to the popular Instagram Reels Vs TikTok rivalry, which has many digital marketers up in arms defending their platform of choice.

    But for someone new who wants to know what platform to incorporate into their social media strategy, what are you to do? With both sides readily defending their preferred platform, which platform should you go for?

    Let’s dive into the pros and cons of both social media platforms as experienced by professional branding services experts, and discover the answer to the question – Should I use Instagram Reels or TikTok?

    Instagram Reels Vs TikTok – An Introduction

    Both Instagram Reels and TikTok are highly popular platforms for short-form video content. And with user bases that run in the hundreds of millions and even billions, we can safely assume that consumers like what they have to offer.

    With Instagram being part of the Meta family that includes Facebook, WhatsApp, and the new Threads app designed to rival Elon Musk’s X, you would assume that it has a clear advantage over TikTok. But TikTok surprised everyone when it rapidly gained users, with its unique, short form video content as its USP. Originally taken from the short-lived Vine app, TikTok quickly used it to carve itself a niche in the social media sphere.

    Today, you will find most social media influencers using both Insta Reels and TikTok to grow and engage their social following. Even businesses, who started out with Instagram Reels due to its seamless cross-platform connection with Facebook, are now exploring TikTok before incorporating it into their social media strategies. Overall, the importance of social media for business has become quite well-known, heating up the rivalry between Instagram Reels or TikTok, as well as many other platforms.

    Instagram Reels – An Overview of Meta’s Short-Form Video Content Platform

    Instagram Reels logo

    Instagram Reels are one of the top platforms for short-form video content, often represented by fast-paced videos that are no longer than a minute and a half. Often comprising of carefully edited and stitched clips of a longer video, Reels allow content creators to fine-tune and edit the video before posting, adding music, filters, and more to it.

    Once a content creator publishes a Reel, it can be viewed across newsfeeds, Instagram Stories, and even the Explore tab. Now, the Explore tab is the to-go place for all Reels, as that is the key to expanding your reach and going viral. Incidentally, that one feature alone is what catapulted Reels over traditional Instagram posts for most social media influencers today.

    Many popular brands, especially makeup and wellness businesses have used Reels to boost reach and engagement, with Sephora regularly posting Reels to promote its products across the Meta apps. This shows that Instagram Reels are a great tool for business promotion, especially when you follow the social media best practices.

    TikTok – The Go-To Short Video Content Platform for Social Media Influencers Today

    TikTok logo complete

    Everyone today is familiar with TikTok. In fact, TikTok sees a far greater awareness across a wide variety of age and social demographics. And the fact that it is a relatively new platform, and managed to achieve this level of fame against seasoned social media veteran Meta, is a surprising in itself.

    One of the most striking element of TikTok videos is their vertical orientation, which allows the videos to fill the screen in the natural browsing position. And despite its rapid rise, TikTok seems to have avoided many of harmful effects of quick growth, only improving since it took over Vine’s 15-second dance and lip-synching video format.

    In the past couple of years, businesses have identified the potential benefits of using TikTok for business, and have been taking over the platform. Today, large, national businesses like Chipotle are using TikTok to go viral across the social sphere.

    With TikTok mostly saturated with creative, entertaining content, businesses too try to mimic that vibe in their posts, which shows a subtle difference between the aesthetic of videos here and on Reels. And if they manage to find the best time to post on TikTok for maximum engagement, than that’s even better.

    Instagram Reels or TikTok – Analysis of Pros and Cons for Both Platforms

    Insta Reels versus TikTok

    Now that we have taken an overview of the two platforms and what they offer in terms of value to their users, its time to take an in-depth look at both platforms to see, finally, which of these reigns supreme. Although there is no doubt that both of these platforms offering short-form video content are amazing overall, its natural that even the closest of competitions has one participant edging the other out. With that in mind, as well as common social media dos and don’ts, we will be evaluating the two platforms side by side.

    So, here we are going to look at a variety of factors to see who stands the victor in this Instagram Reels vs TikTok battle.

    Video Length and Format

    Let’s start with the most important of these factors – video formats. Here’s where the first of the major differences between the platforms start to emerge. When it comes to Instagram Reels or TikTok in terms of video length and format, let’s start with Meta’s feature option.

    Compared to TikTok, Instagram has a more polished aesthetic, which defines the style of videos that it allows to be posted to Reels. It allows content creators to stitch together different video clips, add interesting filters, and even add music over it to make it more interesting. That’s for the style. Now for length, Instagram believes in short, impactful video content – ala short-form video content.

    That is why is allows content creators to record and share videos between 15 and 90 seconds, thus keeping true to its origins. On the other hand, TikTok takes a more relaxed approach, allowing content creators to record videos that are between 15 seconds and 3 minutes, adding from a large audio library for a more raw approach. Moreover, TikTok also allows you to upload videos up to 10 minutes long; a feature that is some might feel lacking in Instagram Reels.

    That’s for the differences. As for the video orientation and pixel size, both offer a 9:16 aspect ratio, with a 1080 x1920px resolution. So, overall, some big differences, but otherwise both offer a variety of tools to add a little panache to the content in order to stand out.

    Demographics of Consumers

    The next most important factor are the audience themselves. While Instagram Reels or TikTok have some overlap when it comes to consumer demographics, a few market segments are more partial to one or the other.

    Due to its connection to Facebook and Meta, Instagram Reels see a wide range of consumers, from teens to older generations. The reason for that is quite straightforward, as Meta products have a more mainstream appeal in the Instagram Reels vs TikTok race. And as many people of these generations are already established on Instagram, either directly or via Facebook, it just seems more convenient to use.

    TikTok however, seems to be the preferred choice for the younger generations, taking the crown in the Instagram Reels or TikTok debate. Many Gen Z and even the younger generation like Gen Alpha are now more interested in TikTok compared to Instagram Reels, due to its more unfiltered and rawer format. Moreover, the need for instant gratification is more common among youngsters, making it natural that they would be attracted to TikTok.

    With dance challenges, meme and slang subculture, as well as the ability to deliver instantly satisfying and fun content shows that TikTok is more oriented to younger generations. And Instagram Reels is a more suitable platform if your target market includes older generations.

    Advertisement Formats

    Ads are an intrinsic part of any social media platform that allows businesses to promote themselves and their wares. And in this Instagram Reels vs TikTok debate, both allow advertisements to be added. Although they do have some slight differences on how those ads are displayed to a user.

    Let’s start with Instagram. Meta’s short-form video content platform has found a natural way to incorporate ads into the user feeds, making it part of the scrolling process. These advertisements are in the same aspect ratio and style of the reels themselves, which makes them blend seamlessly with the content users view on the platform. The ads can be shared, liked, and even skipped if desired, and it has required marketers to be more creative in the way they promote stuff.

    For example, the quick-skip instinct on Instagram Reels require advertisers to be quick and smart with their messaging. That narrows the field of competition, especially if you know how to leverage this to your advantage.

    TikTok advertisements, on the other hand, offer a variety of formats for businesses to structure their ads. Like Instagram, they too allow marketers to incorporate ads into the main feed, so that they reach your target audience as they scroll.

    The most popular format however, is the in-feed ad, which shows to-the-point videos no longer than 15 seconds, which have the chance to generate massive engagement and conversions. Interestingly, TikTok offers businesses quite competitive conversion rates, which makes the platform highly lucrative for marketers.

    So, depending on how you want to position your business, both platforms offer amazing advertising opportunities.

    Audio Library

    When it comes to audio options for videos, Instagram Reels or TikTok both offer a variety of sound options to use. For Instagram, the platform has a large library of licensed music tracks that can be incorporated and synched with the videos before posting.

    From simple, calming melodies, to fast stomping beats, theirs is a large variety to choose from, albeit with options limited due to geographical location. Moreover, there are also many sound effects and voiceovers that can be similarly added to your videos to give them a deeper meaning.

    TikTok however, goes a step above. Not only does it offer a fully stacked music library, it also allows you to create your own soundtracks too, so that others can use it in their videos, making you go viral. And to add icing to the cake, TikTok’s propriety synchronization tool allows you to synch your videos perfectly in tune with your chosen audio.

    Overall, TikTok clearly wins this factor over Instagram Reels by a landslide.

    Popular Content Styles

    Short-form video content can be designed to incorporate a variety of styles, which is dictated by the purpose for which a business created that piece of content. So far, we have seen factors such as the length of videos, audio options, and age demographics separating the two platforms of our Instagram Reels vs TikTok debate.

    Now let’s take a look at various content styles used by these platforms, dictated by business purpose.

    Starting with Instagram Reels; there are a number of different directions a short-form video on the platform can take. Now, we will be discussing the most successful types of video marketing content here, based on the specific strengths of the platform.

    • Simple entertainment posts are the most common type of Instagram Reels, released by businesses and individuals both. It can be short comedy sketches, funny clips, or something similar.
    • How-to videos are small video clips that tell consumers how to perform something. Popular media channels like 5-minute crafts seem to have this type of content down pat.
    • Style Reels are the most popular type among influencers, most of whom are in the beauty and fashion niche. It can be something like “Get Ready with Me” video, or a quick makeup tutorial, and even something like “Who Wore It Best” comparisons.

    TikTok on the other hand, takes a slightly different approach to preferred content.

    • Short comedy videos and gag reels are similar to the entertainment Reels posted on instagram. For the most part, individual content creators who create them alone, or collaborate with others for better reach, post these.
    • Lip-synch and dance challenge videos are what put TikTok on the map. Coming over from its predecessor Vine, content creators post short videos of them singing in synch to a popular song, while performing a popular dance move, like the “Stanky Leg”.

    Editing and Creative Tools

    Finally, we come to the last comparison factor for our Instagram Reels vs TikTok – the creative and editing tools available to content creators. The hallmark of a good platform is that it allows access to a pool of great tools that are both comprehensive and easy to use. Let us look at whether Instagram Reels or TikTok has better toolkits.

     Instagram ReelsTikTok
    Duet ✔️
    Stitch ✔️
    Video Effects✔️✔️
    Text and Stickers✔️✔️
    Video Trimming✔️ 
    Audio Editing✔️ 
    Transition Effects ✔️

    Instagram Vs TikTok –Verdict on Who Reigns Supreme in Engagement Boosting

    So, now that we have looked at a variety of factors that influence the Instagram Reels vs TikTok debate, what platform do you think would emerge victorious? Well, from what we have gathered, we can say that the choice of platform is dictated by the purpose of your content creation, as well as the target demographic.

    Everything else derives from these two points. Therefore, in summation, we can say that as far as purpose is concerned, TikTok should be your preferred platform if you want to share entertaining content for greater engagement. However, if your brand wants to share more informational/educational content, then Instagram Reels are your best option for short-form video content.

    In the end, boosting engagement is all about finding the best time to post on social media, so that your message reaches the maximum number of target consumers at the best possible time.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Is Instagram Reels better than TikTok?
    One cannot be said to be better than the other because both offer different benefits to content creators. So, to answer the question of “Should I use Instagram Reels or TikTok”, you should evaluate the purpose of your content creation activity.
    Is Instagram Reels beating TikTok in short-form video race?
    Well, Instagram does have the advantage of being part of Meta’s seasoned social media family. However, the meteoric rise of TikTok has shown that it should not be underestimated. So, no. Instagram Reels is not beating TikTok so far.

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