Instagram Reels A Replacement For Tiktok?

By on August 10th, 2020

5min Read

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Not too long ago, Instagram launched a ‘creative’ feature for its users that allows them to share short-form video content in a whole new way. Officially known as Instagram Reels, this new feature comes just days after the US issued an order banning TikTok from operating in their country. If you have ever worked with any best SEO agency in Sydney, then you have probably interacted with TikTok during your brand campaigns. 

With so many striking similarities to TikTok, many can’t help but wonder if Instagram Reels is the answer to the former.  Even though it is being rolled out in phases, many social media users and influencers are already pitting the two against each other. 

In recent months, TikTok has been creating a lot of buzz in the social media space. The platform’s rise has no doubt been phenomenal, but the entry of Reels is a disruption we cannot afford to ignore. It is important to point out that Reels is not an app but a feature that operates inside of Instagram. 

We dive further into this debate to show you the similarities and differences between the two and how you can use both to your advantage. 

Different Time Limits 

Initially, TikTok videos were limited to 15 seconds. But this changed in early 2020 when they increased the time limit to 60 seconds. Users were allowed to string up to four 15-second video segments. This update was received well by many of its users. Brands and individuals have been able to share more content, an opportunity you too can leverage well when you work with a good digital marketing agency in Australia. 

As rivals, you would imagine that Instagram Reels would set the same time limit. But they didn’t.  The video length on this new feature has been capped at 15 seconds. For seasoned TikTok users, this is not new and adapting to it would be pretty much like going back to ‘old TikTok’. 

As for which you should use between the two with regards to the time limit, that will depend on your creative inclinations and marketing goals. Consult with a good SEO agency in Sydney if you feel you could extra help in figuring this out. 


If the openly intrusive TikTok’s logo and brand details on your videos have been making you uncomfortable, then you have every reason to embrace Instagram Reels. In the later, the logo and brand details seem more muted and less intrusive, meaning you have all the space to yourself. 


As for the timeline and use, their differences are subtle. Reels will display all your posts, complete with the usual details such as comment boxes, share buttons, number of views and other engagement metrics, which you can access on the bottom left corner.

In both, you can put together short videos using customisable text, special filters and effects, music and video-stitching technology. Early videos currently on Reels are pretty similar to what you would find on TikTok. Unfortunately, you cannot post ‘Duets’ on Reels. These are the side-by-side responses popular with Tiktok. 

For Instagram, video content is not soo new and different as prior to Reels,users would share up to 1-minute long grid videos, 15-second clips on Instagram Stories, and longer videos on Instagram Live and IGTV. 

However, unlike TikTok, Reels is set to include its own massive collection of licensed music and audio. This not available at the moment but Facebook confirmed that the addition is in the works. Also, note that right now, you cannot upload your songs directly into the feature. 

Discovery Mechanism

Many social media influencers and users admit that they mostly look forward to how Reels will implement their discovery mechanism. One unique thing many creators love about TikTok is how their discovery mechanism can surface content from strangers, basically unique content outside your friend network. You may be unknown on TikTok but one great video of yours going viral could be your big breakout, as has been the case for many of the current influencers on the platform. 

It is obvious that you will need different approaches if you intend to make use of both platforms for promoting your brand. Knowing how involving this can get, we would suggest that you hire digital marketing experts in Sydney who have experience in social media management to help you develop an effective marketing strategy for both. 


This might not be clear to you at first, but when you think further you realise that essentially, Instagram and TikTok serve different purposes.  On TikTok, you will mostly come across dances, funny content, lip sync videos and other content that is more inclined towards entertainment.  

Instagram, on the other hand, has established itself as a platform where users mainly share photos and content that lets you further into their lives and activities. Put simply, Instagram content is less on entertainment and more on personalised content, which is the opposite of TikTok. 

How Reel will navigate this delicate path remains to be seen. But that also means you will need to structure your content differently for both platforms.

Just like you need SEO services in Sydney to increase your visibility on search engines, you will also need to figure an effective way to make yourself popular on both platforms. The good news is you can still hire SEO experts in Sydney Australia to help you with this. 

Final Thoughts 

Because technology evolves day and night, especially in the social media space, you should be careful putting all your eggs in one basket. Remember, before Tiktok, Instagram Stories and Reels, there was Vines and Snapchat, both of which can barely catch up to the current giants of short video content. 

That aside, your followers could be on both platforms and you don’t want to miss out on that opportunity to reach both. You are, therefore, better off embracing Instagram Reels even as you continue to take advantage of TikTok.  

For the most affordable digital marketing services in Sydney Australia, including social media management, look no further than Digital Hub Australia. Our team is ready to help you stay a step ahead and make the most of emerging technologies and trends. 

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