Differences in Instagram Reels vs. TikTok Videos

06 October 2023

Instagram Reels has become a great alternative to the content you can create on TikTok. Do you want to know what are the differences between Reels and TikTok? Who wins this IG Reels vs TikTok battle?

Although the type of content is similar, since they are short videos in which you can add effects, texts or emojis, there are big differences between the two.

➡️ The first, as you already know, is the application they belong to: Instagram and TikTok.

In addition, while Reels are an alternative to the different features that Instagram has, on TikTok these videos are the main content.

How are Instagram Reels Different from TikTok’s?

By the nature of their content, it is inevitable to compare Instagram Reels and TikTok.

These short videos are one of the biggest claims on social networks, where the possibilities to awaken creativity are multiple.

Thus, Instagram Reels allows us to grow in interactions and followers, as is the case with the influencer ‘Junesixtyfive’, which has reached 2.5 million visits on one of its reels. For its part, TikTok managed to exceed one billion downloads worldwide at the end of 2019.

Do you have doubts about which one to keep? We will tell you the differences between the two applications to create your content.

The length of the videos

One of the things that most concern users of these platforms is the length of the videos. That is, how much time they have to record your content.

Here you will find the first key difference:

On TikTok you have up to 3 minutes to record your video, while on Reels the limit is 30.

✅ Although it is a big difference, it all depends on the type of content you are going to record.

If your goal is to upload a recipe in short video format, the 60 seconds will be great for you. While a dance challenge can be recorded in 30 seconds easily.

The target audience

It is important that you keep in mind that, although it is the same type of video content, the audience of Instagram and TikTok is not the same.

While TikTok only dedicates its content to videos, Reels is part of Instagram, which has other functions and content also aimed at a more professional audience.

✅ In this case you must ask yourself what your objective is. If the content is focused on being fun and carefree, take advantage of TikTok with its viral challenges and its ability to reach the youngest.

💡 On TikTok most of your audience is between 14 and 24 years old and the number of people over 34 is residual.

Reels, on the other hand, can help you expand the content that you often upload in your feed, in stories or video. It is also important to note that the ages of the audience are different on Instagram vs TikTok.

💡 Instagram 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.

Video editing

One of the things that content creators take into account is the ability to edit their videos. And also one of the key points of the differences between Reels vs TikTok.

On TikTok, the possibilities to edit your video are almost endless:

  • You can add your own filters
  • Choose community filters
  • Add voice over
  • Use your own music or sounds
  • Text with different fonts or emojis.
  • In addition, you can create duets where you can “share screen” with your favorite user.  

On the other hand, Instagram Reels is somewhat limited compared to TikTok’s video editing. It is similar to the stories options, where you can add audio or mute it, write a text, add emojis or a gif.

Even so, Instagram has chosen to introduce a copy of the duets in Reels, which it has called Remix Reels, and that you can share in your stories.

✅  Comparisons are odious but it is clear that TikTok beats Reels in this section. However, there are other alternatives to not limit yourself to the possibilities that Instagram Reels offer: You can edit the video externally before uploading it to the platform.


We come to a key point for these two platforms: the ads or ads in the content.

On TikTok, the ads as you usually know them in other social networks, are not available to all companies, since the cost of them is quite high. Paid ads are not viable for everyone, but you can propose collaborations with influencers to advertise your products.

For their part, Instagram Reels does not have the option to create ads just yet. However, you can work on your content to sell your products or items.

✅ Unless you have a large company or e-commerce, it is recommended that you bet on your own content and work with influencers to try to reach a larger audience.

The algorithm

One of the biggest concerns for content creators or companies is the algorithm of the applications. This is the one that decides what to show the user based on some parameters. How do they work?

On TikTok, the ‘For you’ page selects a type of personalized content based on the interests you have shown, interactions (likes, comments, shares) and the language in which you usually search for videos. In this way, it is almost impossible for there to be two identical TikTok pages because the preferences are personal.

On the other hand, Instagram has not yet ruled on an algorithm in Reels. However, it does take into account user interactions to show them the content in the ‘Explore’ section or the Reels column.

✅ To beat the Instagram and TikTok algorithm, it is important that you work on your content, are persistent, are in constant communication with your community and bring content that generates interactions.

Music options

One of the features that users and content creators like the most on TikTok and Reels is the ability to put music and voices to their videos.

However, it is on TikTok where you have more possibilities: you can choose a sound from the extensive library of the app, use the ones that other users have recorded and even record your own.

In Reels the options are more limited, since not all Instagram accounts can access the music option.

✅ If you want to upload videos with a multitude of music options, TikTok is your platform. On the other hand, if you want to upload music to Reels, you will have to edit it outside of the application.

The possibilities for sharing

TikTok only has short videos as a content type. Meanwhile, Reels is just one of many features that Instagram has.

One of the differences between the two platforms is how to share the content you upload. On TikTok you can only have it in your feed, which is where you upload it permanently.

The fact that Reels belong to Instagram, it allows you to show them in your feed, in the single column of Reels, and in stories. This will increase the chances of reaching a larger number of users.

✅ Remember that you can share your content in all Instagram options. They feed back to each other so you can increase your interactions.

The data to analyze

Having the data about your content handy allows you to know your audience, know what they like about what you upload, and how your videos have performed.

With a TikTok Pro account, like the ones companies have on Instagram, you can see all the data about your content. Thus, you can analyze the behavior of your audience to increase the performance of your content.

Instagram Reels, for their part, offers basic information about performance: likes, comments, and visits to Reels.

✅ Take advantage of any type of information in your content to know how it has worked, discover the tastes of your audience, and work on it.

Check out this YouTube video below to best understand which apps you should be utilizing based on your brand goals:

These are the differences between Reels and TikTok. What app do you prefer?

sophie sophie , 06 October 2023

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