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I vividly remember the first time I browsed videos on TikTok. Going through many videos of people dancing and doing lips, I thought to myself: « Oh my god i feel old, « and »wait… I love it.« 

It almost reminded me of the early days of Instagram – back when we posted grainy brunch photos with that horrid Kelvin filter – and older generations weren’t sure why anyone would want to see photos of our food.

But Instagram has ultimately become one of the most popular apps in the world and continues to transform the way businesses market themselves.

Could TikTok take a similar path…?

It looks like it already is and he is quickly catching up on Instagram.

Last year, TikTok went from an app for pretty dance videos to a global video platform; according to some recent statistics from TikTok, TikTok is now the seventh most popular app in the world.

And it is still in its infancy.

As TikTok continues to grow and deliver more products for companies, people started to wonder if they should focus their attention on TikTok or if they should stick to Instagram.

Today we dissect TikTok vs. Instagram so you can understand which platform fits your needs, both as an individual and as a business.



TikTok is a video platform where users can record videos of up to 60 seconds in length. In the Chinese market, TikTok is known as Douyin and was launched in September 2016 by its owners, ByteDance.

In 2018 ByteDance merged with Musical.ly and TikTok was born.

TikTok has roughly 800 million monthly active users.


Instagram started out as a photo sharing app, but has since grown to include videos, stories, reels, and more. Instagram, currently owned by Facebook, was launched in October 2010.

Instagram has 1 billion monthly active users and more 50 billion photos have been shared so far.

Key points

Instagram currently has more monthly active users than TikTok:

  • Instagram has 1 billion monthly active users
  • TikTok has 800 million monthly active users



Many people think that TikTok is an app for the younger generation and are surprised to learn that young and old like to use it.

Statistics: Breakdown of TikTok users in the United States in June 2020, by age group |  Statista
Find more statistics on Statista

In the USA, 62% of users are under 30 years old.

However, TikTok still has a fairly large segment of users over 40. If you are a business that targets this age group, it may be less competitive to reach them through TikTok.

And where do most of the TikTok users live? While TikTok has a strong presence in China – and formerly in India – there are roughly 30 million monthly active users the United States.

In terms of gender, there is more women on TikTok than men (58.8% against 41.2%) and the largest segment is that of women aged 18-24.

Finally, 30% of TikTok users report household income greater than $ 100,000. A large user base with a high disposable income is attractive to many businesses.


Instagram is known to be the The Millennium App of Choice, but is it still true?

Absolutely – Millennials are slightly outperforming other generations on Instagram.

Statistics: Distribution of Instagram users in the United States in June 2020, by age group |  Statista
Find more statistics on Statista

On Instagram, you will find fewer younger users than on TikTok.

But is it a good thing?

Based on recent spending data, maybe not.

Gen Z spends more per transaction compared to millennials and on average more transactions. Although younger, Generation Z is a powerful and profitable segment.

And what about where Instagram users live? Americans are Instagram’s largest user base, but they’re not the majority. 89% of Instagram users are located outside of the United States (followed by India and Brazil), and it is possible to reach many different nationalities through Instagram.

Like TikTok, there is more women on Instagram than men, but not by much (52% vs. 48%).

In terms of income distribution, 42% of Instagram users earn over $ 75,000 per year.

Key points

Overall, TikTok users are slightly younger than Instagram users, however:

  • Instagram and TikTok are distributed evenly for men and women
  • TikTok and Instagram have large segments of affluent users
  • TikTok is the most popular in China while Instagram is the most popular in the United States
  • TikTok users are affluent and enjoy shopping



Here are some key features of TikTok:

  • Short videos (60 seconds maximum)
  • Sound library
  • Duo
  • Respond to comments via the TikTok video
  • Video editing in the app
  • Social sharing
  • Direct
  • Effects library
  • Filter library
  • Clickable link in the bio
  • Coins
  • Creator Fund
  • Paid ads
  • Analytic
  • Shopping in the app
  • For your page when opening
  • Content graph

Many of TikTok’s features are community and creator driven. The ability to duet, respond to comments, and use people’s sounds are all incredibly useful features for brands who want to build community with their followers.

Here’s why it’s important.

Building a community with your audience will increase your return on investment; 70% of people who feel a connection with a brand spend twice as much as those who don’t.

TikTok $ 1 billion Creators Fund also shows how TikTok values ​​its creators and wants to reward their efforts. As an individual or a small business, making money on TikTok can be easier than on Instagram.

TikTok also offers amazing built-in editing. Want cool videos? No need for external software or specialized skills; you can edit your videos right in your TikTok app.

Finally, TikTok is a content graph, which means quality content takes priority over social following. As a small creator, you don’t need to focus on the algorithm game (Instagram pods, anyone?) if you want to get more likes, all you have to do is create great content (and you can potentially become TikTok famous in the process).


Instagram also offers tons of useful features for businesses such as:

  • Messages (photos and videos)
  • IGTV for long videos
  • Instagram Live
  • Instagram stories
  • Coils (maximum 15 seconds)
  • Purchases
  • Clickable link in the bio
  • Link up in Instagram Stories (for creators with 10,000+ followers)
  • Paid ads
  • Analytic
  • Social sharing
  • Limited edition in the app
  • Sound library
  • Follow the flow at the opening
  • Social graphic

With different options to choose from, you can personalize your brand’s experience through your Instagram account. Whether you prefer photography to videography, there are features you can use to grow your business. There are also plenty of Instagram apps to help you edit, schedule, and schedule your content compared to TikTok, where there aren’t as many dedicated apps yet.

Instagram also offers more possibilities for external links, but only if you have at least 10,000 followers; small creators can only include external links in their bio.

Compared to TikTok, Instagram is more of a social graphic, with a focus on followers. Going viral on Instagram vs TikTok is much more difficult because you need to access a large number of Instagram followers for your content to take off. However, if you have a large following over your competition, you can be sure that they won’t be able to overtake you anytime soon.

However, with the addition of Reels, growing your Instagram account just got easier.

Key points

  • Instagram offers more robust shopping and promotion features than TikTok
  • TikTok is integrated with Shopify and works at a Teespring integration
  • TikTok is a content graphic–The platform rewards good content
  • Instagram is a social graph–The platform rewards large accounts or those who spend tons of time « socializing » on the app (but that seems to be changing with Reels)

Is TikTok overtaking Instagram?

Instagram hit 800 million monthly active users in September 2017, seven years after its launch in the United States. By comparison, TikTok reached the same number of active users just a year after launch.

And seen as Instagram recently featured Reels, a competitor of TikTok, Instagram knows that TikTok is a major source of competition.

But should you ditch your Instagram efforts for TikTok?

Whether or not you start focusing your marketing efforts on social media will largely depend on your goals!

For example, Instagram has more useful features, especially for ecommerce businesses. However, TikTok has tested some ecommerce features and I think we’ll see more options for retailers in the future.

Another thing I noticed is that both polished and unpolished content works well on TikTok, which is great news for creators who want to create simple videos.

Instagram, on the other hand, requires tons of planning changes. Not to mention that Instagram’s in-app edition is limited, and most users need additional tools to polish their content (such as professional cameras and editing software). TikTok offers incredibly in-app editing capability, so creators don’t need special skills or equipment to create frenzy-worthy videos.

TikTok appeals to many users because the pressure to look perfect does not exist in the same direction as on Instagram.

So who wins our Instagram vs TikTok showdown?

Unfortunately, there is no clear answer and it is entirely up to your business! For me personally? I still love Instagram (especially now with Reels) because that’s where my audience hangs out and it’s so much easier to connect with them. But I still like to jump on TikTok.

You can still use both Instagram and TikTok to see what provides a better ROI for your business and brand.

Do you like TikTok or Instagram better? Leave a comment below!

This article may include affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn Qualifying Purchases.

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