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Difference Between TikTok and Snapchat

The two platforms share similar features but the difference lies in their offerings, content, user base and marketing viewpoint. Snapchat have ample marketing opportunities when it comes to brand awareness, while TikTok has a massive user base and it favors those who are pressed for money. Let’s see how the two stack up against each other.

What is TikTok?

TikTok is a popular video sharing app owned by the Chinese tech conglomerate ByteDance and which changed the social media game and has encouraged millions of users, young and old alike, to join in on the endless fun. Most popular among the Generation Z, TikTok is known for its short form videos that allow you to showcase everything from lip-syncing videos to your beauty and make-up transformations, fun dances, mimicry, and everything in between. It offers users a wide selection of sounds and music, as well as the freedom to add special effects and filters of your liking. In a short time, it has changed the social media landscape. In Oct. 2018, TikTok was the most downloaded photo and video app in the Apple Store worldwide.

What is a Snapchat?

Snapchat is an American communication and multimedia messaging app which allows you to take a ‘Snap’ and share it with anyone you want. It opens up the smartphone camera, allowing you to take a picture or video and send it to your friends or family. Advertised as a new type of camera, Snapchat has become one of the most popular and commonly used messaging apps for its easy and entertaining way of sending photos and videos which disappear after they’re viewed. The way Snapchat works is extremely fun and promotes serious interactivity between users. The application was developed by Evan Spiegel, Bobby Murphy, and Reggie Brown in 2011, and originally called “Picaboo.” Snapchat is a great way to increase your online presence and gain followers from around the world.

Difference between TikTok and Snapchat

User Base 

Since its launch in 2016, TikTok has gained immense popularity in East Asia, South Asia, Russia, Turkey, the United States, and other parts of the world. As of October 2020, TikTok has reportedly crossed the 2 billion mark in mobile downloads worldwide. Snapchat is more personal than any other social media apps around. As of December 2020, Snapchat had recorded over 260 million active users. By the numbers, TikTok’s user base has grown dramatically, more than any other social networking app.


– TikTok is a video sharing app that allows you to create and share videos that are available to general public and the content is both branded and non-branded. The content on TikTok is short-form videos, music videos, dance videos, or vlog-styled mini clips. Snapchat is a photo and video messaging app designed to send short-lived photos and videos, also known as ‘snaps’, to a controlled list of friends in real-time, meaning the message self-destruct after it’s being viewed. The content on TikTok, however, stays forever.


 – TikTok is still in its early days when it comes to marketing and advertising, although, it has over a billion download on Apple Store and Google Play Store combined. Like Snapchat, running ads on TikTok is quite expensive and requires a healthy budget. If you’re targeting the Gen-Z crowd, TikTok is probably worth a try. Brands can get really creative with the AR and Lens capabilities of Snapchat, and the newly redesigned Snap Map is a bonus. Plus, there’s a broader age group of both of Gen-Z and millennials on Snapchat.

TikTok vs. Snapchat: Comparison Chart


The main difference between the two apps is that the content posted on Snapchat have a limited life span, which means they do not last forever; the snaps disappear from your feed within 24 hours of being sent. Unlike TikTok which relies on its special effects and filters, Snapchat allows creativity and being playful through the use of doodles, filters, lenses, and stickers. Another big plus about Snapchat is that the way it works is extremely fun and promotes serious interactivity between users. TikTok, despite the controversies and allegations, is changing the social media landscape through its short-form videos.

Is TikTok more popular than Snapchat?

When you go strictly by numbers, then TikTok has gained immense popularity in a very few time since its launch and managed to garner a massive user base. In fact, as of late 2020, TikTok has reportedly crossed the 2 billion mark in mobile downloads worldwide. And the numbers don’t lie.

Will Snapchat replace TikTok?

Snapchat is surely leading the way into the future of social media. Although, both are prominent apps used by Gen Z, Snapchat is more authentic and relies on creativity, and being playful through the use of doodles, lenses, filters and stickers. Snapchat is more about personal experience and less about likes and fame, unlike TikTok. Considering all the controversies and allegation surrounding TikTok, it seems the good days for TikTok are over. 

Who owns TikTok?

TikTok is owned by a Chinese multinational internet technology company ByteDance based out of Beijing.  It goes by the name Douyin in China.

Which country banned TikTok?

Over the many concerns regarding its content, TikTok was completely banned in India. Bangladesh and Indonesia have already banned TikTok before India

Why was TikTok banned?

In Bangladesh and Indonesia, TikTok was banned amid public concerns about illegal content such as blasphemy and pornography. In India, the app was banned following a border clash between the Indian and Chinese troops, resulting in 20 Indian soldiers being killed in action. Tensions spiked between the two nations and as a result, India put a ban on more than 50 apps of Chinese origin, including TikTok. 

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References :

[0]Rocha, Álvaro, et al. Marketing and Smart Technologies: Proceedings of ICMarkTech 2020. Berlin, Germany: Springer Nature, 2021. Print

[1]Smith, Aaron. Snapchat 101: An Easy Get Started Guide On Snapchatting. Budapest, Hungary: PublishDrive, 2017. Print

[2]Brock, David. Snapchat Marketing Excellence: How To Become A Snapchat Marketing Expert, Build A Following, And Get As Much Targeted Traffic As You Want!. Hanover, Germany: Scribl, 2019. Print

[3]Image credit: https://live.staticflickr.com/4199/34780502532_4670fdda03_b.jpg

[4]Image credit: https://pixabay.com/es/photos/tiktok-tik-tok-app-smartphone-5390055/

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