The year was 2018, and a relatively new app entered the global market. Originally named Douyin, the app, renamed TikTok, was garnering attention among young creators. With Vine breathing its last and the necessity of expressing oneself through short communications grew exponentially, TikTok had entered the lives of creators with a new light of hope, and by 2020, was home for over 2 billion users across the globe.
When the pandemic began, TikTok was on fire as billions were in quarantine and spending more time on their devices. Dance and exercise videos, pranks and skits, recipes and Do-It-Yourself videos, everything suddenly popped from around the world, connecting the world unlike any other.
That was until former US President Donald Trump had issues with it, and the Government of India banned it, both in 2020. The change in the political atmosphere cost the app heavily, and in its wake Instagram launched a new solution: Reels! And since then, Reels have been in a direct battle against TikTok.
The advantage that Reels has over TikTok is that for brands it is an appropriate medium of communication, for brands have seen a slump on TikTok, where feeds are dominated by authentic personalities, and brands can gain better traction only through influencers and not by themselves. Reels, on the other hand, is growing, and it continues to add new discovery tools and options to make it a more appealing option, in a bid to lure both creators and viewers over to its app instead. In simpler words, while brands may find better results through Reels, individuals will find more authentic content on TikTok.
Statistically speaking, it has been found that average impression rates for brands on Reels are higher than those on TikTok. As per the studies of PRDaily, on Reels, the cross-posted brand content receives an average of 12% impression rate, compared to a 5% average impression rate for the same content on TikTok.
It is also to be noted that while they both may appear to have the same average number of views per videos, videos on TikTok receive greater engagement rate than on Reels. The reason for this is simple: TikTok capitalizes on community! TikTok, unlike Instagram, is incredibly inclusive and has an array of young users to senior citizens among their creators. As such, all creators in the app, regardless of where they are from, feel ordinary without exceptional abilities.
TikTok caters to the consumers pretty well. When one scrolls through their feed, they come across content that match their interest, current location or region and similar videos to those they already follow. It is something at which Instagram and even Facebook has failed, to create an algorithm that tailors content that appears on your discover-page based on your interest.
The audience platform is also different. On TikTok, most of the audience is between 14 and 24 years old and the number of people over 34 is residual. Instagram, on the other hand, has 57% of users between 25 and 30 years old and the rest is divided between young people from 18 to 24 and people from 30 to 49.
In short, one must believe that while both platforms have got their strong points, for a brand or a company, a presence on Instagram and creating Reels to reach more of their target audience seems like a better choice. However, when it comes to unique content creations and innovative communications without a community gap, TikTok is the platform to look into.