Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between TikTok and Reels

Instagram introduced Reels as an additional feature to expand the capabilities of the Story feature as well as to give brands a way to get creative with their content without affecting the look of their main Instagram grid. Reels are the Instagram’s answer to TikTok, which already took the world by storm. We take a look at the two video sharing platforms to see how they stack up against each other.

What is TikTok?

TikTok is a video creating and sharing app owned by Chinese tech company ByteDance. It’s one of the fastest growing social media platforms in the world. TikTok was initially launched in 2016 and went global in 2017 as TikTok. TikTok is probably the next big social media sensation, at least for the teenagers who wouldn’t stop using TikTok. In fact, they say, once you’re on TikTok, it’s hard to resist. You wouldn’t watch just one video and stop there; the infinite number of funny, entertaining videos would take you on a scrolling frenzy. TikTok is basically a standalone video-sharing app that allows its users to create and share short form videos, of up to 15 seconds. It also allows them to become influential on the platform and earn money through brand endorsement.

What is Reels?

Reels is the latest video creating and sharing feature by Instagram and which is strikingly similar to TikTok, with the ability to create and share all kinds of funny, entertaining videos, and sometimes educational. Reels are just a unique way for the brands to increase their online presence and expand their reach. Like Stories and IGTV, Reels give brands a way to get creative with their content without affecting the look of their main Instagram grid. Reels are 15-seconds or 30-seconds in length, which means users can record and edit short-form videos with music, effects, filters and other creative add-ons. You can share reels with your followers on your main feed or you can make them available for everyone to see through the Instagram’s Explore feed.

Difference between TikTok and Reels


 – While both TikTok and Instagram Reels allow you to record and share short form videos on their respective platform, they are not the same. TikTok is a standalone video-sharing app that was created in China where it is known as DOUYIN and globally known as TikTok. TikTok took the reign from Musical.ly, once popular lip-syncing videos sharing app. Reels, on the other hand, is not a standalone app; in fact, in fact, it’s built right into the core functionality of Instagram. Reels came as a direct response to the insane popularity of TikTok.

Video Length

 – One of the main differences between the two video sharing apps is that Reels allow users to create and share videos of up to 30 seconds in length whereas TikTok has an additional 30 seconds limit, meaning users can create videos of up to 60 seconds in length. Both are short form videos which are fun and are intended to attract more engagement from audiences. The difference is not much but some content creators would definitely want to make the most out of that extra 30 seconds.

Video Editing

 – TikTok videos appear on the “For You” page whereas Instagram Reels appear on the Explore page. Although TikTok and Reels are quite similar, TikTok has massive music library that allows content creators to turn their content into an MTV! Reels also has a broader music selection for applying soundtracks to your blockbusters. In addition, users have access to all TikTok’s sound library, which is great, especially on a platform where sound matters.

TikTok vs. Reels: Comparison Chart


Reels came as a direct response to the insane popularity of TikTok that already surpassed 3 billion downloads recently, crossing a significant milestone that only Facebook could achieve. It’s great to see Instagram is not backing down and it’s fighting back by replicating the TikTok functionality and adding its familiar Instagram charm to it. And the best thing, Instagram has the privilege of being owned by one of the biggest players in the social media circle. So, Reels could be a great contender and a genuine rival for TikTok.

Are reels and TikTok the same?

TikTok is mostly used to create short music, lip sync, dance, comedy and talent videos of up to 15 seconds in length, and short form videos of 3 to 60 seconds. TikTok is a standalone app whereas Reels is build into the core functionality of Instagram. Reels is the Instagram’s response to TikTok. So, they are not the same.

Will a reel replace TikTok?

In a short time, TikTok has garnered a significant traction in the social media space than any other social networking platform. With some imagination and creativity, you can be a great influencer with a massive fan following. Reels is just another TikTok wannabee that’s part of regular Instagram and replicating TikTok functionality by its own Instagram charm to it.

Will reels kill TikTok?

Considering, TikTok has been banned by the Indian government saying it deemed harmful to the sovereignty and integrity of India, the app has been under the government’s radar ever since. Despite this, it’s showing no signs of slowing down and recently it crossed a whopping 3 billion downloads, which is a huge milestone.

How do you upload a reel more than 30 seconds?

As of now, you cannot make reels of more than 30 seconds in length. For longer clips, say up to 60 seconds, you can choose normal post or you can upload in IGTV, if the videos are more than a minute long and up to 15 minutes.

What is a reel?

Reel is the latest video creating and sharing feature of Instagram like TikTok. Reels are a unique way for the brands to increase their online presence and expand their reach.

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References :

[0]Herman, Jenn, et al. Instagram For Business For Dummies. New Jersey, United States: John Wiley & Sons, 2021. Print

[1]Stay, Jesse. TikTok For Dummies. New Jersey, United States: John Wiley & Sons, 2021. Print

[2]Rogers, Adam. Taking Action Online for the Environment, Social Justice, and Sustainable Development. Indiana, United States: Balboa Press, 2021. Print

[3]Moriuchi, Emi. Cross-Cultural Social Media Marketing: Bridging Across Cultural Differences. Bingley, United Kingdom: Emerald Group Publishing, 2021. Print

[4]Image credit: https://pixabay.com/photos/instagram-reels-tiktok-social-media-5469069/

[5]Image credit: https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50179272367_0b04115068_b.jpg

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