Instagram vs Tiktok

Want to be on top of your game for your Influencer Campaign?⚡️ The two Social Media giants have a lot to offer, but which one is the best for your brand??

July 12, 2021
Clémence Del Castillo

Setting the context :

The two platforms don’t share the same concept! Instagram is network-based, while TikTok is content-based. But what does that mean exactly?

As you might have noticed, when scrolling through Instagram’s feed, the content has been posted by users’ family, friends, or the influencers they follow. That’s because Instagram’s strategy is to connect its users, creating micro connections that intertwine to build extensive networks.  

However, when entering the TikTok app, you automatically land on the “for you” page. The objective is very simple: TikTok analyses the content its users enjoy, like, and share. Once the IA has determined their preferences, it will share specific yet diverse content on their for you page. Thus when scrolling through TikTok, users don’t necessarily expect to see content from specific creators but posts related to their interest.

Next stop, let’s talk about their audience! 🗣

Both platforms’ algorithm starts by showing any user’s new post to a small circle of spectators. Then, it evaluates the number of likes and the time of watching. If the first test delivers promising figures, the video will be displayed to a larger circle and so on. However, Instagram shares the post to a selective pool of the creator's followers while Tiktok shares the post to a circle of unknown viewers. It is therefore this difference that influences the content posted on each network. The creators of Instagram and Tiktok can present themselves however they wish to the rest of the users, however the expectations are different!


  • Creators must focus on their network
  • Photography tools
  • Posts generally represent the idealistic side of influencer life
  • Users yearn for content that is aesthetic and related to their interests and passions
  • Celebrities share moments of their lives with the public on this platform
  • Frequently used to build an image by regulating how users perceive personality

👉 Remember: On Instagram, the more an account gains subscribers, the more visibility it will have and therefore continue to grow. On the other hand, if the quality of the content drops, the algorithm will greatly reduce the visibility of the account to its subscribers.


  • Creators must focus on the creativity and originality of their content
  • Video editing tools and access to a wide range of sounds
  • Audiences rely on relevant, entertaining and authentic content
  • The public expects to feel close to the creators
  • Influencers share personalized content following Tiktok trends

👉 Remember: On Tiktok, the number of followers is not everything. That is why a user's post can buzz due to an important number of reactions from users other than subscribers. Therefore, an influencer can have 1M views on one TikTok and 200K on another without impacting their account.

In conclusion, it's easier to keep an Instagram account at its peak but harder to get it back up after a long period of downturn. In contrast, it will be easier to build a TikTok account regardless of its current growth but more challenging to maintain visibility with each post.

Instagram or Tiktok, choose your weapon! ⚡️

To wrap it all in a shell!

Instagram influencers prioritize creating and maintaining a consistent feed. Thus, when partnering, they decide how they will present the product or service, and companies must expect them to be autonomous when sponsoring. Moreover, as said previously, Instagram is a platform where influencers build their image; this is an excellent advantage if you are looking to sell a specific vision of the product/service. For a professional, well-organized, and clean outcome, Instagram is the perfect platform! Influencers will save you some time by planning the post, the stories, and the comments.

However, since the post must fit their original content, you must also consider the limitations: every influencer has a particular feed, comment, and caption strategy; thus, all specificities can also become restrictions.

On the other hand, Tiktok influencers are much more flexible when it comes to partnerships. If you have a clear idea of presenting your product in less than 3 minutes, Tiktok is your go-to! Tiktok influencers are much more open to the idea of following a script; thus, co-producing a short video with them step by step is a possibility. However, it would be best if you kept in mind that their subscribers are very diverse; therefore, when partnering with a TikTok influencer, reaching a large audience doesn’t necessarily mean the campaign is a success. Nonetheless, Tiktok has an extensive database that helps creators and businesses track the growth rate of their accounts as well as a small market study. Thus reaching out to Tiktok influencers also includes signing up for data.

Now, which network will you choose for your next influencer campaign?

How the Business War started!

Let’s go back to 2020 when it all started. Even though Tiktok started growing after its headquarter, ByteDance, acquired the app in 2017, its success began in 2020, in the COVID era. People were looking for entertainment in lockdown, yet companies like Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter started lacking content, and so did the movie industry.

That’s when Tiktok comes in!

A new company that enables its users to have fun making content and share their passions from their homes. There is no need for fancy pictures, perfect meals, or exhausting workouts; users will share a key concept that will create Tiktok’s huge success: relatable content. People needed to feel connected to others more than ever, and Tiktok became that connection. The app’s number of active users went through the roof during mid-2020 but Instagram was quick to respond.

The Social Media giant has a particular habit of finding inspiration from its neighbors. With similar stories as Snapchat, a resembling YouTube concept with IGTVs, and the same hashtag use as Twitter,  Instagram saw a new opportunity arise, which we now know as “Reels.” 📲

The company has installed a very similar, almost identical section in its app, where users can post short videos and scroll through their feed to find new content. But this business war is far from over.

It looks like the new “reels” feed still needs work. Unlike Instagram, the Tiktok community shows a higher number of interactions as well as a higher engagement rate thanks to various tools like the comment, share, duo, and collage tools. Moreover, Instagram seems to face a new challenge: a Tiktok invasion, thus the company is building an anti-Tiktok watermark policy for its reels to be Tiktok free!

All in all, it seems like Instagram might have underestimated its opponent!

About the author

Clémence Del Castillo

Our daydreamer, Clémence, develops her creativity on a daily baisis by drawing, playing the piano, and singing! A true artist at heart. ✨As a TikTok influencer, she'll share her top tips on the blog.🤓 Does this ring any bells? You may have seen her in Spain, Singapore, or Paris. She's constantly on the move! 🌎 #Creative #TikToker #ESSEC