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It’s no secret that influencers are a big part of any social media. Brands are constantly partnering with influencers to reach bigger audiences. But when it comes to TikTok vs Instagram, creators must alter their content to fit the medium. As the digital world evolves, it’s important that brands find the right creator on the right platform. But how do creators use these social media platforms differently?
Well, there is the obvious difference in that TikTok is all short form video content, whereas Instagram offers the option to post both photos and videos, with up to ten slides per post. For a while, the platforms were at odds, as Instagram launched the Reels function, which offers short form videos in a format similar to TikTok, and the future of TikTok in the US was uncertain. But despite Instagram’s copycat Reels and the threat of a country wide TikTok ban, TikTok has managed to stay afloat.
TikTok vs Instagram: The Key Differences
There are a few key differences between these two apps you should be aware of when considering how influencers curate their content based on the app itself.
1. Tiktok introduced a new form of content delivery
While your Instagram feed is limited to the people and hashtags that you follow, TikTok’s algorithm exposes us to creators we may never have heard of. You can argue that Instagram’s Explore page does the same thing – exposes you to posts based on your interests and the accounts you follow – but TikTok’s algorithm curates your main content, your “For You” page, based specifically on videos you like and share, making it a new form of content delivery altogether.
POST WORKOUT @shaunt 🔥💪🏾🥵 WHICH ONE SHOWED UP ON UR FYP? 👀👀👀👀
You still have the option to follow people on TikTok and can view their content in a separate feed from your For You page, but overall most of your For You page will be creators you don’t follow. This helps new creators gain a reach that they may not be able to get through Instagram alone.
Looking to get on the For You page? Read our full explanation and guide here.
2. TikTok has a finely tuned algorithm
TikTok’s main feed is curated based on interests, rather than who you follow. On Instagram, you curate your own feed. This algorithm, which gives you suggestions based on your interests, begins working the minute you download the app. Let’s say you like cats. TikTok knows the minute you like that first cat video, and it will continue to suggest cat videos for you. It even works down to the specific type of humor you like.
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3. TikTok is more candid
While users on Instagram are searching for the perfect shot to post, TikTok users are more focused on realism. People get really candid on TikTok about everything from mental illness to body image issues to politics. Instagram sells a dream, which is perfect for a lot of creators and a lot of brands’ marketing strategies, but for people who are less focused on the production value of a post, TikTok is perfect.
4. Instagram provides more stability
While TikTok provides everyone with the opportunity to go viral and gain followers, it is much less stable than Instagram. Those with an Instagram following have likely worked hard for their followers, who are more loyal to the creator. But if someone on TikTok goes viral for one video and does not continue to make the same kind of content, it’s likely they may lose followers. On the flip side, going viral on TikTok does not ensure a following, since people can like a post without following the creator. So, while it may be easier for everyday people to gain followers on TikTok, those who build a following on Instagram are ensured a more stable follower count.
5. Instagram provides more opportunity for interaction
Instagram is definitely more advanced in terms of follower interaction. TikTok offers direct messages and comments, just like Instagram. But Instagram’s tools for engagement are much more advanced, with features like:
- Direct messages
- Swipe-up links on stories
- Direct shopping through the app
- Account branding and business profiles
6. Sponsored posts on Instagram cost more
When it comes to sponsored posts on TikTok vs Instagram, Instagram costs more. You can expect to pay between 20 cents and $2 per click (cost per click) on any Instagram campaign. Right now, the only self service ads TikTok provides are biddable ads, which allow you to bid on ad slots, and the Cost per Click for those is $1 or less. Biddable ads let you place a video ad on the app’s For You page.
If you’re thinking about an Instagram sponsorship, check out our full guide for brands and influencers here.
Types of creators that use TikTok vs Instagram
TikTok has become increasingly popular among teens and twenty-somethings. It’s definitely the app of Gen Z. But Instagram just celebrated its 10th anniversary and has become a staple amongst social platforms. While Facebook is mainly for your older relatives and TikTok is for the younger generation, Instagram provides a platform for people of all walks of life.
Additionally, based on the type of content typically posted on each app, different people will tend to gravitate toward one or the other. As previously stated, Instagram sells the dream. It’s where we post the best parts of our lives, so people who want to focus on that sort of content may favor Instagram over the more candid TikTok. TikTok breeds authenticity. People are super open about both their triumphs and their struggles, which helps breed trust between creators and audiences, thus helping brands that decide to partner with these influencers.
For influencers, the two social media networks can work hand in hand. Although they have similar features, the two apps are still different enough that you can use them for different types of content.