Reels vs TikTok: What Are The Differences?

5 Aug 2022

Over the last few years, video has rapidly become the go-to content output for marketers. Video drives engagement, is inclusive and is not actually as difficult as you might think due to the accessible in-app editing features produced by the likes of Instagram and TikTok.

Given the success and popularity of TikTok’s video platform over the last few years, Instagram stepped up its game and introduced its competing Reels platform to help influencers, brands and businesses create short-form, trend-driven content to appeal to their audience.

TikTok videos and Instagram Reels offer a lot regarding audience engagement. However, it is important that marketers who wish to succeed on these platforms know the differences and consider them to create video content accordingly.

Video duration

The biggest difference when it comes to Reels and TikToks is the video duration. While both have a relatively short form, a TikTok video can be up to 3 minutes long, whereas Reels are limited to 60 seconds.

Due to the fact Reels are so short, it is important to get messaging and tutorials across simply and concisely.


Created as a form of entertainment, TikTok is a place for creative individuals to connect with viewers casually to share their personalities and unique ideas.

On the other hand, Instagram is a creative space for artists and creators to share original content that would help influence their brand or business. At the moment, Reels tend to be more aesthetically driven and focused on giving information.


The audience of TikTok is younger than that of Instagram. However, TikTok continues to grow popular amongst older age groups so this is likely to change as popularity with video content grows.


Studies show that engagement is generally better on TikTok, and established accounts on Instagram may have more success with engagement on Reels.

That doesn’t mean to say that you can’t grow your engagement on Instagram. Posting Reels frequently means that your brand or business stands a better chance of more people seeing your content. This is because the algorithm boosts new features to encourage user adoption and also prioritises content with the most engagement.

Sounds & Music

TikTok is renowned for its varied sound library, filled with user-generated sounds and trending music. Most of the time, trending TikTok sounds carry themselves over for use on Instagram.

In comparison, Instagram has tighter copyright restrictions and requires users to share more original content instead, especially as a business account.

However, you can share popular music if you are the owner of an Instagram creator account.


Instagram’s algorithm succeeds more in pushing Reels to existing followers rather than new ones, whereas TikTok’s algorithm is able to get new eyes on the content.

That being said, both algorithms are changing all the time, and it is suspected that Instagram might be starting to hide content that contains the TikTok watermark.


Both video platforms offer detailed analytics to help you understand how your video content performs online.

Expect to see analysis on plays, reel interactions, reach, likes, comments, and saves for Instagram. For TikTok videos, you will be able to view detailed content insights such as views, shares, time spent watching, traffic source type and lots more.

So, generally, most brands and businesses can benefit from producing engaging video content on either TikTok or Instagram. Making videos has the same end goal, but it is important to tailor it to your demographic, product and platform of choice.

Want To Talk Reels?

If you’re looking for some help producing engaging video content to better your business and social media presence, get in touch with the HushBots. We are efficient at building your online presence to promote your brand and attract new customers.

Start A Project

Start a project

Thanks for your interest in working with us. Please complete the details below and we’ll get back to you within one business day.