TikTok vs Instagram: Which Works Better for Businesses?

Are you a business owner searching for the best platform to amplify your brand? Well, you’ve probably heard of two major players in the game – TikTok and Instagram. Both platforms have proven to be powerful marketing tools, but which one truly stands out for businesses? 

Here, we’ll discuss their unique features, audience demographics, and engagement metrics. Whether you’re a small business owner looking to increase brand awareness or a digital marketer trying to find the best platform for your clients. So, let’s find out which one works better for businesses – TikTok or Instagram. Let’s get started;

The Rise of TikTok and Instagram in the Business World

Engaging, dynamic, and ever-evolving – that’s the world of TikTok and Instagram in the business landscape. 

Here’s how they’re turning the tables:

  • Massive Reach: With millions of daily active users, TikTok and Instagram offer unprecedented reach. It’s not just a crowd, it’s an ocean of potential customers.
  • Influence Matters: Influencer marketing is booming. People trust the advice of their favorite influencers, transforming consumer behavior and business strategies.
  • Engagement is Key: TikTok and Instagram excel at building engagement, making them perfect platforms for businesses to interact directly with their audience.
  • Brand Building: The visual nature of these platforms makes them ideal for building a brand identity. Businesses can showcase their products, share behind-the-scenes content, and even get creative with various TikTok trends and Instagram filters.

Thus, the rise of TikTok and Instagram in the business world isn’t a trend, it’s a paradigm shift. Businesses that adapt and ride this wave will have a competitive edge in the digital era.

Key Factors to Consider When Choosing Between TikTok & Instagram

When choosing between TikTok and Instagram for your brand’s social media marketing, it’s essential to consider the following key factors:

  1. Target Audience: Both platforms have their unique demographics. Instagram tends to skew towards older millennials and Gen X, while TikTok is a playground for Gen Z. Understanding who your brand speaks to is fundamental in deciding where to invest your time and resources.
  2. Content Type: Instagram offers a variety of content types: photos, videos, stories, IGTV, and the newly introduced Reels. It’s ideal for sharing a blend of professional and user-generated content. TikTok strength, however, lies in its short, fun, and engaging video content, making it ideal for businesses that can utilize trending challenges or moments.
  3. Business Goals and Objectives: Finally, align your platform of choice with your business goals. If your objective is to build long-term relationships and a loyal following, Instagram’s established user base can provide stability. However, if your aim is to quickly gain visibility and engage with a younger crowd, TikTok’s viral nature might be more beneficial.

TikTok vs Instagram: Features




Short-form video Yes Yes
Long-form video No Yes
Photos No Yes
Live streaming Yes Yes
Stories Yes Yes
Shopping features Yes Yes


TikTok vs. Instagram: A Detailed Comparison

Let’s compare two titans of social media against each other – TikTok and Instagram:

  • Algorithms

Let’s take a look at how TikTok and Instagram algorithms work.

TikTok’s Algorithm:

  • TikTok has a unique algorithm that offers customized content for each user. 
  • It learns quickly from your behavior and delivers videos tailored to your liking. 
  • Simply put, the more you use TikTok, the more it understands you.

Instagram’s Algorithm:

  • On the other hand, Instagram’s algorithm is more straightforward. 
  • It prioritizes content from accounts that users interact with most.
  • The more likes and comments your posts get, the more visibility they will have on your followers’ feeds.
  • Audience Demographics

Understanding the demographics of a platform’s audience is crucial for businesses and marketers.


  • TikTok is a hit among the younger crowd. 
  • It’s the place to be if your target audience is aged between 16 and 24.


  • Instagram, while still popular among the youths, has a wider age range. 
  • It’s a platform for everyone, so if you’re aiming to reach an audience above 24, Instagram might be your best bet.
  • Content Format

TikTok and Instagram offer vastly different content formats, which can greatly impact the type of content you produce for each platform.


  • TikTok is primarily known for short-form video content.
  • Videos up to 60 seconds in length.
  • Allows for creative effects, filters, music, and transitions.


  • Instagram offers a mix. From photos to Stories to IGTV, it caters to a variety of content forms.
  • Longer-form videos up to 60 minutes on IGTV (Instagram TV).
  • Allows for filters, stickers, and other creative features.
  • Brand Visibility and Discovery

Having your brand be visible and easily discoverable is essential for social media marketing success.


  • Has a “For You” page that shows personalized content to users, giving brands a chance to reach new audiences.
  • Trending hashtag challenges can also increase brand visibility and reach.
  • A relatively new platform for businesses, but its popularity among younger demographics makes it worth exploring.


  • Has a “Explore” page that shows content similar to what the user has previously engaged with.
  • Use of hashtags and location tags can increase brand visibility and discoverability.
  • Instagram Ads allow businesses to target specific demographics, interests, and behaviors.
  • Authenticity and Engagement

Authenticity is vital for building a strong online presence.


  • The short-form, unedited videos allow for a more organic and authentic feel.
  • Comment sections are usually full of positive and supportive comments, promoting a sense of community.
  • Users can easily collaborate with each other through duets and stitches, increasing engagement.


  • Users can post edited and curated content, which may not always reflect reality.
  • The comment section is often filled with spam, negativity, and hate.
  • Less room for collaboration compared to TikTok.
  • Advertising and Business Features

Both TikTok and Instagram offer business profiles and advertising options for brands. Let’s take a look;


  • Has a “Creator Marketplace” that connects brands with TikTok creators for influencer marketing collaborations.
  • Offers various ad formats such as in-feed ads, branded hashtag challenges, and top-view ads.
  • A relatively new platform for businesses, but its growing popularity and unique features make it attractive for marketers.


  • Has a “Creator Studio” that allows brands to track and analyze their Instagram performance.
  • Offers various ad formats such as feed ads, story ads, IGTV ads, and reels ads.
  • A well-established platform for businesses with a wide range of targeting options and analytics tools.
  • Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing has become an essential part of social media marketing strategies.


  • The platform has a thriving community of creators, making it easier for businesses to find suitable influencers.
  • Hashtag challenges have become a popular form of influencer marketing on this platform.
  • Influencers can easily collaborate with each other through duets and stitches.


  • The platform has a more established and mature community of influencers.
  • Instagram Stories, sponsored posts, and giveaways are popular ways for brands to collaborate with influencers.
  • Has a higher engagement rate compared to TikTok, making it attractive for businesses.
  • Which Platform is Better for Businesses?

Both platforms offer unique features and cater to different types of content.

  • If your business is all about trendsetting and reaching a young, energetic audience, TikTok can be a goldmine. This platform is all about short, catchy videos that often go viral.
  • On the other hand, Instagram is a winning choice if your business relies heavily on visuals. Perfect for product showcases, behind-the-scenes peeks, and user-generated content, Instagram has a broad demographic appeal. Plus, features like Instagram Shopping enhance the platform’s effectiveness for businesses, particularly for eCommerce brands.

Overall Comparison: TikTok vs Instagram

Feature TikTok Instagram
User base Over 1.1 billion monthly active users Over 2.35 billion monthly active users
Age demographics Younger users (16-24) Older users (25-34)
Content type Short-form videos Photos and videos
Engagement rate Higher Lower
Algorithm Favors new content creators Favors established accounts
Monetization options Ad revenue, creator fund, brand partnerships Ad revenue, brand partnerships, shopping



Q: Is TikTok more profitable than Instagram?

A: It’s interesting, but yes, recent studies indicate that content creators earning less than $10,000 a year lean heavily on TikTok. About 28.6% of them use TikTok as their primary source of income, in contrast to only 7.3% for Instagram.

Q: Should I advertise on TikTok or Instagram?

A: For advertisers, Instagram Reels is the way to go. Recent research shows that it beats TikTok in terms of lower costs per click and impression (CPC & CPM).

Q: What is the most profitable social media?

A: Facebook and Instagram, hold the titles for the most profitable social media platforms.

Q: Why is TikTok great for marketing?

A: TikTok is a game-changer. It has an uncanny ability to make content go viral like never before, which can be a big win for marketing efforts.

Q: Why is Instagram good for business?

A: It’s a powerful tool that can help elevate brand awareness, drive sales, and allow businesses to build and track audience engagement effectively.

Q: Is it easier to grow on TikTok or Instagram?

A: This ultimately depends on your niche and content strategy. However, with its algorithm that favors new and engaging content, TikTok is your go-to platform. The growth potential there is amazing.

Final Thoughts

After our in-depth comparison of TikTok and Instagram, it’s clear that both platforms offer unique benefits for businesses. While TikTok is great for reaching a younger audience with its short-form videos, Instagram has a larger user base and more diverse features to showcase products or services. Ultimately, the choice between these two platforms depends on your target demographic and marketing goals. Adapting to both can be the key to your business growth. 

Good luck and thanks for reading!

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