Instagram Reels vs TikTok: A Beginner’s Guide

Video content accounts for nearly 80% of internet traffic on smartphones.

That’s why it’s good that 85% of businesses are using video content as an integral part of their marketing strategy and to drive sales. Instagram Reels and TikTok, for example, are two video sharing platforms often used to upload short clips. Many businesses, individuals, and influencers have already invested in them and others are beginning to ride on this video marketing trend. You, too, will have to familiarise yourself with them to remain competitive.

Through this post, you’ll get to know the main differences between the two platforms and decide if you should create an Instagram or TikTok profile for your business.



TikTok, also known as Douyin, is a Chinese platform developed by ByteDance.

It has been recognized as the fastest-growing social networking app and is particularly popular among Gen Z users for its fun elements. Moreover, it is one of the top apps for video marketing.


Instagram Reels

After the resounding success of TikTok, Instagram launched Reels, a feature specifically for short videos.

Prior to this, Instagram launched some great video functions, including Instagram Story, Feed, IGTV, and Live. The launch of Reels just goes to show the fierce competition in the realm of short videos. And this is only the beginning. 

That’s why you’ll need to learn how to use TikTok and Instagram Reels and align your video marketing strategies with their features.


Instagram Reels vs TikTok: A Beginner’s Guide

What are the differences between these platforms?

Video files – size and length

One important advantage of TikTok over Instagram Reels is video length. While you can record and share videos of up to 3 minutes on TikTok, Instagram only allows you to share videos of up to 30 seconds on Reels. However, Instagram offers other features such as IGTV for sharing longer videos.

You can upload TikTok videos of up to 287.6 MB (iOS) and 72 MB (Android), as well as ads of up to 500 MB. On the other hand, the maximum file size allowed by Instagram Reels is 4GB. 

The videos on both platforms can be uploaded in either MP4 or MOV.


Editing features

Editing tools are integral parts of video-sharing platforms, allowing users to share their videos with unique filters.

The advantages of TikTok outweigh that of Reels because TikTok offers numerous filters, voice effects, and templates. TikTok users often do not need to use any third-party platforms to edit their videos.

Instagram Reels, however, offers a limited selection of editing tools for users to choose from at the moment. 



One of the most important features of every social platform is the ability to track results.

You need a Pro Account on TikTok to access its analytical features. This allows you to learn more about your videos and thereafter improve your content marketing strategy.

Unfortunately, Reels does not have any in-depth analytical features. You can figure out the engagement rate of your videos through the number of likes, views, and comments.



Instagram now allows ads to be posted on Reels. On the other hand, TikTok provides sponsored options, allowing businesses to create and share branded videos more efficiently. 



Reels and TikTok both offer interesting features and it is advisable to use both of them to reach out to a wider audience. Build a unique and consistent presence across both platforms. This way, users will remember your brand and ultimately recognise you as a thought leader in that niche.


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