TikTok vs. Instagram Reels

The battle between the two endless video services


Solen Feyissa

“TikTok” by Solen Feyissa is licensed with CC BY-SA 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

The debate on which software to use is currently in question for a lot of people. The rumored ban of TikTok became real when thousands of users bought tickets to President Trump’s rally mid-September. In an effort to earn some extra income, Instagram released their own version of TikTok in early August, calling the platform Instagram Reels. Before TikTok was bought by Walmart and Oracle, its future was unknown to most, leaving many users to begin to use Instagram’s rivaling program. Reels is not its own app but rather is an addition to the Instagram app, now having its own icon on the explore page. Although both platforms were created for the same use, they have differences that distinguish them from each other.

  • TikTok:
    The TikTok app is dedicated solely to videos
    Up to 15 or 60 second videos
    A ‘For You’ page designed for videos alike to the content you watch and create
    As you like videos, TikTok will recommend new content based on your interests
    Separate page for the people you follow
    Videos can be downloaded and shared easier than Reels, where the ‘Share’ button copies a link to your phone rather than downloading the whole video
  • Reels:
    10 to 30 second videos
    An explore page instead of a ‘For You’ page
    Most videos on Reels are just Tiktok videos that were downloaded and published on others’ accounts
    Hidden under Instagram’s explore page rather than having its own app
    Reels from people you follow will show up on your homepage
    Reels can be added to your Instagram story