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Instagram vs. TikTok

Instagram vs TikTok

Many social media platforms come up every day, but all of them don’t have the chance to get popular and go viral. Instagram did it so well and got many users from all around the world so fast that grew faster than Twitter, which was used before Instagram.

After Instagram, TikTok is a new social media which surprised people by its growth and the high number of downloads.

By becoming TikTok a popular application, many people are comparing these two platforms to know Instagram and TikTok better to choose which one to use and spend more time on. You have definitely seen many teenagers and young people who spend a lot of time using their cell phones, TikTok might be one of the platforms that they spend time on.


TikTok is a newly represented application similar to Dubsmash, but totally different from other platforms. TikTok, which is known as Douyin in China, is a platform for sharing and making videos over another song.

In June 2018, TikTok announced that it has reached to 500 million monthly active users across 150 countries, it is the first app after WeChat that became viral in a short time.

TikTok fits all ages; you’ll find any videos there such as comedy, dance, animals, sport, food, vlog, etc. But according to the statistics, most of the TikTok users are mostly young adults, teens, and teenagers that record themselves while they are dancing with a popular song. So, we can conclude that most of TikTok users belong to Generation Z. Statistics show that 8.2 million of TikTok users are girls and women which is more than male users that are 6.1 million.

TikTok videos can be recorded up to 15 seconds with several effects, filters, and stickers that help you to improve the videos. TikTok is similar to Instagram in having the caption option, but it is limited to 100 characters.

It seems that Influencers are interested in using TikTok too that they invite their followers on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, etc. to follow them on TikTok as well. For Example, Sssniperwolf who is a famous video gamer on Instagram has encouraged her followers to view her videos on TikTok and follow her on the app.

Did you hear about the surprising news about TikTok?

In September 2018, Sensor Tower ( which is an organic user acquisition service that helps app developers grow their audience using App Store Optimization and app marketplace intelligence.) stated that TikTok surpassed other social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat in monthly installs for the first time. TikTok continued to grow that reached to 42.4 percent download among all other popular social media platforms on October 30th.

Now guess which app allocated the
most downloaded app in 2018
! You are totally right if the answer is TikTok! TikTok was downloaded 660 million times in 2018 and became the most downloaded and popular on both App Store and Google Play which has definitely shocked Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.

Zuckerberg might have been so afraid of TikTok’s growth and planned for some strategies to keep Instagram popular.

Now let’s answer some questions about TikTok that might have crossed your mind before:

Are hashtags important on TikTok?

Believe it or not, hashtags play an important role in TikTok, even more than Instagram! Hashtags are known as a handy and practical principles on TikTok and help you in getting more exposure and likes. Sharing videos on TikTok without using hashtags is a big mistake! Using famous hashtags help your videos to be seen and cause to have increase in the number of your TikTok followers gradually.

Here we have gathered a list of popular hashtags on Instagram and TikTok:


Hashtags for comedy TikTok videos:


Also, you should note that some hashtags will be popular in a period and then it will be forgotten after some times, such as hashtags for challenges; you might remember the last viral Instagram challenge which was the bottle cap challenge on Instagram, some hashtags like #bottle_cap,
#bottle_cap_challenge, #challenge_2019, #bottle_challenge, #FaraKicksChallenge
were so popular, which aren’t now.

How can I find the new hashtags for Instagram and TikTok?

  • Learn from
    TikTok influencers
  • Know your
  • Use hashtag
  • If you are a
    business, check your competitors

Tips for using hashtags on Instagram and TikTok:

While hashtags are important on social media, you should be careful of not overusing hashtags! So:

  • Don’t hashtag
    every single word; you may be known as spam
  • Don’t use
    repeated hashtags the posts in a row

Don’t overuse the hashtags

Are there advertisements on TikTok as well as Instagram? (Revenue models)

Instagram and TikTok have a completely different revenue models; Instagram’s income is based on its ads which are shown to users on their Instagram feed and stories based on users age, location, interests, etc.

If you are a TikTok user, you may have noticed that there are no advertisements on TikTok, which I guess might be the main reason that it became so popular worldwide. With seeing ads everywhere these days such as cell phone when we are surfing the internet, on social media, on streets’ billboards, on stores, etc. people might finally be tired of seeing waves of advertisements around them and just look for a place to just have fun without seeing any ads.

TikTok’s revenue is based on users in-app purchase, such as digital gifts and emojis. In October of 2018, Tik Tok made $3.5 million in just one month of in-app purchases.

If you are interested in knowing TikTok Statistics, here we have gathered some:

  • TikTok was
    downloaded more than 660M times in 2018.
  • TikTok is more
    popular on Android than iOS.
  • More than 500
    million people globally use TikTok monthly
  • 26.5
    million of the 500
    million monthly active users are from the U.S.
  • TikTok’s user
    base is largely based in India at 43% of all users.
  • 66%
    of users are younger
    than 30-years-old.
  • Users typically
    spend around 52 minutes per day on the app.
  • 80% of TikTok’s
    sessions are on Android devices.
  • In-app purchases
    increased by 275% year-over-year.
  • 29%
    of monthly users open
    TikTok every day.
  • The
    #RaindropChallenge has over 685.7 million views on TikTok.
  • Jimmy Fallon’s
    #TumbleweedChallenge created 8,000 videos with over 9 million views in seven
  • There are more
    than 5 million #InMyFeelings challenge videos on TikTok compared to 1.7 million
    on Instagram.


You might have noticed that Instagram is a photo and video sharing platform, but TikTok is used for creating and sharing short videos. On Instagram, you can upload videos of more than 1 minute on IGTV, but you can’t upload long length videos on TikTok. Also, you can upload Stories on Instagram which lasts for 24 hours.

Instagram was first famous just for its filters and feed; then it got more popular by having updates such as direct messaging, Stories, IGTV, etc.  

Comparing TikTok and Instagram users age range, we mentioned that most TikTok users belong to generation Z and most Instagram users belong to generation Y. Also, most of both TikTok and Instagram users are females.

How much time do people spend on Instagram and TikTok?

People spend time on TikTok for recording videos and watching other’s videos, that spend an average of 52 minutes per day on the app, which is just 1 minute less than Instagram.

All in all

I guess TikTok will be more popular than Instagram if it continues to grow as it is growing now. We should just wait and see what would happen for Instagram and TikTok in the coming year.

What do you think of Instagram and TikTok?
Do you prefer to be more active on Instagram or TikTok?
If you have to choose between being an Instagram user or TikTok user, which one would you choose? Why?

We are all ears to hear your ideas about Instagram and TikTok.

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Reza Siavashi
Reza Siavashi is a seasoned marketing professional with over seven years of experience, specializing in social media marketing, digital advertising, content strategy, and marketing analytics. He holds an MBA in Commercial Management and is known for his creative and forward-thinking approach. Reza is passionate about ethical marketing and social responsibility, and is currently exploring opportunities that align with these values.

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