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TikTok and Instagram are both great social media platforms for creators. TikTok allows its users to post dances, comedy, lip-syncing, and more in the format of short, 15 to 60-second videos. Instagram, on the other hand, is a social networking platform that allows users to share photos and videos with their followers. Although each platform has unique features that set it apart from the other, both platforms include a live streaming feature. Creators have the option to start live videos and stream to their followers in real-time. Live-streaming is a great way for a creator to showcase their personality to their audience. But, which platform should they use if they want to start a live stream?
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What is TikTok Live?
In addition to posting 15 to 60-second videos on their feed, creators also have the option to start live streams on TikTok. Some users may host a live stream if they want to interact with their followers or further establish their personal brand beyond their usual content. On these live streams, creators can use different effects or filters and interact with their viewers through a live chat.
One live-streaming feature unique to TikTok is its virtual currency system. This system allows users can buy virtual coins with real money and use these coins to buy virtual gifts for their favorite creators. Once the creator receives a gift during their live stream, diamonds corresponding with the price of that gift are transferred into their account. These diamonds can then be exchanged for actual money through PayPal.
The requirements to use the TikTok Live feature:
- Must have a minimum of 1000 followers on the platform.
- Must be at least 16 years old.
- Must be 18 or older to receive virtual gifts.
How to start a live stream on TikTok Live:
- Open TikTok.
- Press on the plus button at the bottom of the screen. This is the same button you would press if you were to make a regular TikTok.
- Scroll to the “LIVE” option beneath the record button.
- Enter a title and start your live stream.
How is TikTok Live different from Instagram Live?
Instagram Live is a feature offered by Instagram that is very similar to TikTok Live. It also allows creators to live-stream and interact with their audience through a live chat. Although each app’s live stream feature has the same overall concept, both TikTok Live and Instagram Live have features that make them different from one another.
These are some features that are unique to Instagram Live:
- Anyone with an Instagram account can use the feature.
- Live streams can be saved on IGTV once they end.
- Two creators can go live together.
- There is a Q&A option.
- There is an option for users to hold a fundraiser for a non-profit organization during their live stream.
How to start a live stream on Instagram Live:
- Open Instagram.
- Tap the plus on your profile picture. This is the same thing you would do if you were to post an Instagram Story.
- Scroll to the “Live” option beneath the record button.
- Give it a title and set up your Q&A or fundraiser.
- Press record and start your live stream.
Which platform should you use for your live stream?
Social media platforms are constantly competing with one another for users and popularity. In the past year, TikTok has become the app everyone is talking about. But, Instagram continues to be its greatest rival. While TikTok has been available worldwide for two years, Instagram has been used consistently for 10 years and has over one billion active users. So, if you are hoping to live-stream to your followers on one of these platforms, which one should you use?
Let’s take another look at how TikTok Live and Instagram Live compare to each other:
|Feature||TikTok Live||Instagram Live|
|Is there a chat feature?||Yes||Yes|
|Can effects or filters be used?||Yes||Yes|
|Is there a Q&A feature?||No||Yes|
|Can multiple creators go live together?||No||Yes|
|Can the videos be saved on the creator's account?||No||Yes|
|Is there a fundraiser option?||No||Yes|
|Can creators profit from their live streams?||Yes||No|
After looking at the two live-streaming platforms side by side, it is clear that Instagram offers a few more features than TikTok. But, there are some circumstances where streaming on TikTok Live could be more useful than on Instagram Live. Both Instagram and TikTok’s live stream features provide creators with a great way to showcase their personal brand to their audience. Keeping that in mind, it is important to identify which platform is best suited for your specific content and audience.
When to use TikTok Live:
- If you are doing a live stream to interact with your followers informally and aren’t planning on saying or doing anything worth saving on your account.
- If you want to receive gifts from your viewers.
- If you are live-streaming content that is unique to TikTok (dances, POVs, etc.)
- If you are hoping to appeal to a younger audience.
When to use Instagram Live:
- If you are doing or saying something on your live stream that you want to be saved on your account (workout, beauty routine, important announcement, etc.)
- If you want to collaborate with another Instagram user.
- If you want to hold a Q&A with your followers.
- If you are holding a fundraiser for a non-profit.