A2 Blog

What You Should Know About Instagram Reels and TikTok

Wednesday, May 22, 2024 3:20 PM

A hand holding a smartphone with Instagram type logo on the screen. Video production for Instagram Reels TikTok and social media Edmonton Calgary Alberta Canada

The digital landscape has been transformed by the rise of short-form video content, and at the forefront of this revolution are two platforms: Instagram Reels and TikTok. Both have captivated millions of users worldwide, offering a unique way to create, share, and discover engaging video content. Whether you’re a content creator, a marketer, or simply an avid social media user, understanding the nuances of these platforms can help you leverage their full potential. Here’s what you need to know about Instagram Reels and TikTok.

1. Platform Overview

Instagram Reels:

- Integration: Reels is a feature within the Instagram app, allowing users to create and discover short, 15 to 60-second videos.

- Audience: Primarily leverages Instagram’s existing user base, which tends to be slightly older than TikTok’s demographic.

- Content Style: Often polished and curated, aligning with Instagram’s overall aesthetic.


- Standalone App: TikTok is a dedicated platform for short-form videos, allowing users to create videos up to 10 minutes long (though most popular content tends to be around 15 to 60 seconds).

- Audience: Attracts a younger demographic, including Gen Z and Millennials.

- Content Style: Known for its raw, authentic, and often spontaneous content.

2. Algorithm and Discoverability

Instagram Reels:

- Algorithm: Reels uses Instagram’s existing algorithm, which considers user interactions such as likes, comments, and shares to recommend content.

- Discoverability: Reels can be discovered through the Explore page, hashtags, and user profiles. Instagram’s algorithm prioritizes engagement and relevance to the user’s interests.


- Algorithm: TikTok’s algorithm is highly sophisticated, focusing on user behavior such as watch time, video completions, and interactions. It quickly learns and adapts to user preferences.

- Discoverability: TikTok’s For You Page (FYP) is the main discovery tool, showcasing a mix of trending and personalized content. The platform’s ability to surface content from any user, regardless of follower count, offers high viral potential.

3. Creation Tools and Features

Instagram Reels:

- Editing Tools: Includes basic editing features like trimming, speed adjustment, AR effects, and a vast music library. Users can also align clips for smooth transitions.

- Integration: Seamlessly integrates with other Instagram features such as Stories, IGTV, and Shopping, allowing for diverse content strategies.


- Editing Tools: Offers a robust suite of editing tools including filters, effects, text overlays, transitions, and a vast music library. Advanced features like green screen effects and duets enable creative collaborations.

- Trends and Challenges: TikTok is known for its viral trends and challenges, often driven by user creativity and participation.

4. Engagement and Community

Instagram Reels:

- Community: Benefits from Instagram’s established community of users, making it easier for brands to engage with their existing followers.

- Engagement: Engagement on Reels can boost overall Instagram profile metrics, driving more traffic to other content types.


- Community: TikTok has a vibrant, highly engaged community that thrives on interaction and content sharing.

- Engagement: High potential for virality, with users frequently engaging through likes, comments, shares, and remixes.

5. Marketing and Monetization

Instagram Reels:

- Marketing: Ideal for brands already active on Instagram. Reels can be used to showcase products, share behind-the-scenes content, and participate in trends to increase visibility.

- Monetization: Brands can utilize Instagram’s ad platform to promote Reels and integrate shoppable posts.


- Marketing: TikTok’s unique culture and trends offer creative marketing opportunities. Brands can engage through influencer partnerships, branded hashtags, and native ads.

- Monetization: TikTok offers various ad formats, including In-Feed ads, Branded Hashtag Challenges, and TopView ads, allowing brands to reach a large audience effectively.


Both Instagram Reels and TikTok provide powerful platforms for short-form video content, each with its own strengths and unique features. Instagram Reels benefits from its integration within a well-established social network, making it a great choice for brands looking to leverage their existing audience. On the other hand, TikTok’s dynamic and highly engaging environment offers unparalleled opportunities for creativity and virality.

Understanding the key differences between these platforms can help you make informed decisions about where to focus your content creation efforts. Whether you choose Instagram Reels, TikTok, or both, embracing the power of short-form video can significantly enhance your digital presence and connect you with a broader, more engaged audience.  If you would like to find out how we can assist your company with its video production projects, please call Andy Holt on 780-907-1445 for a free, no obligation meeting or telephone call.