Instagram reels vs Tik-Tok, who is winning?

Stephen Turner
3 min readJan 27, 2021
Instagram reels vs Tik-Tok, who is winning?
Instagram reels vs Tik-Tok, who is winning?

The new video function for Instagram, i.e., Instagram Reels, is remarkably similar to TikTok, with users uploading and film music-set videos.

The parallels raise the question: is there a difference between Tik-Tok and Instagram Reels? Instagram launched Instagram Reels, a different feature for users to film 15 to 30-second videos set to music, with the increasing success of Tik-Tok. Although this video feature is a new domain for Instagram users, the media space is not new!

With all the exposure to Facebook’s recently debuted Instagram Reels and Tik-Tok’s hilarious, weird universe, here’s the first view on both sites and how they compare from a developer’s viewpoint.

So there are some differences between Tik-Tok and Instagram reels.

Video length: Users can capture video of up to 60 seconds on Tik-Tok, and users can record videos of up to 30 seconds on Instagram Reels. Although it’s only a difference of 30 seconds, users have been quick to point it out.

Music option for a business account: The music feature is one of the primary differences between them. Currently, many business profiles on Instagram Reels are incapable of accessing the music feature of Instagram.

Video editing tools and features: Although both the editing interfaces for Reels and TikTok look identical, they differ. Filters are super standard on TikTok; users can select from various effects, models, and filters.

Content creators’ point of view

In terms of creator help, Tik-Tok has operated much like Instagram. Content creators could post supported videos or receive cash during a live video stream, but there was no ongoing monetization scheme.

As influencers offered much of a social media site’s most shareable material, their acceptance and continued posting creates a two-way impact: 1) Providing entertaining and useful information for social media users and 2) growing up an influencer’s follower base on a given platform.

On Instagram Reels vs. Tik-Tok, when it comes to uploading and maintaining content, reels will be secondary to Tik-Tok.

Instagram Reels gives influencers a method of creating their audiences and followers, but only 25% of surveyed influencers chose to use Reels in this way. Influencers are a prominent force in the growth of social media sites. Many surveyed pointed to the algorithm and flourishing culture of Tik-Tok and the absence of it on Instagram and other rivals of Tik-Tok.


There is a stigma on Instagram about people sharing “perfect reality,” whereas, on Tik-Tok, the videos are a less filtered version that even includes the quotation of “Real People, Real videos” on its site. Since all images, Stories (short-form videos that vanish after 24 hours), and IGTV (long-form videos) are already in the Instagram app, including Reels is another update for people to deal with. Instagram seems to have a rap for promoting more funded posts and content, but it could be only a matter of time for any website with a broad audience. A definite similarity between the two applications is that both apps are identical in terms of how users grab short video clips, add music/filters, and final edits before publishing.

Both channels may satisfy the need for their viewers to do something provided the boredom of quarantine. How they vary in how to promote creators but still building real relationships between creators/followers and the wider community may make this war fascinating to watch in the future.



Stephen Turner

SEO Expert. SERP Expert. Social Media Strategist. Love Reading books, listening music. Wine Lover.