Is Instagram Reels The New TikTok?


As you may or may not have heard, TikTok is in trouble, at least in the US.

Donald Trump is waging war on the latest social platform, declaring that it will be banned in the US, which has prompted many TikTok Influencers to start to look elsewhere for their following.

As fate would have it, Instagram has coincidentally launched their latest feature: Instagram Reels.

tiktok bannedWhat Is Instagram Reels?

Reels lets Instagram users record short 15 second videos and add music and effects to the video, similar to the way that TikTok works.

Instagram has also added a specific spot for reels on its explore page, which can be scrolled through vertically, just like TikTok’s ‘For You’ page.

It seems that TikTok’s success has caught everyone’s attention, and now Instagram wants a piece of the action.

instagram reels

Instagram’s Success

Instagram is without a doubt one of the most successful social media platforms in history, but if we look at their journey, we can see that some of their best ideas were emulated based on other platforms.

When Instagram launched Stories back in 2016, many people said that they has blatantly copied Snapchat’s story feature.

Instagram Stories very quickly surpassed Snapchat in users numbers and engagement levels, so it is tough to say that Instagram is just copying ideas.

A wise man once said that the best ideas in life are emulated, and these two examples prove that Instagram has the ability to recognise strong ideas in the social media realm and incorporate them into their platform model.

This is a very different concept than just stealing an idea, Instagram had to make Stories and Reels work with their existing model and come up with a way to make their version better.

Instagram ReelsFeatures on Reels

Instagram Reels and TikTok’s platform do have some differences, and there are a few key things that Instagram is missing in its first rendition of Reels.

One big thing people loved with TikTok was the ability to upload your own songs onto the system, which was great for musicians and creative types.

But with Instagram Reels, you are unable to upload high quality song files to use in your videos, you have to record them with the microphone.

There is also no ability to ‘duet’ with your friends, which you can do with TikTok, which means that people cannot collaborate on the same video on Reels.

Reels, just like Stories, has been designed to be an add on for Instagram, meaning it is something else to do on the app, not a whole new app entirely.



With TikTok’s future looking uncertain in the US, many users are recognising that the ship may be in danger, and they are jumping to other platforms as fast as they can.

The problem is, the communities in these other platforms are not exactly receiving these TikTokers as well as they have on their home platform.

TikTok is aimed at a predominantly younger audience, and revolves around music and dancing as its main focus.

Only time will tell if this kind of content is well suited to other platforms such as Instagram and Facebook.