The Battle Of The Apps: Instagram vs. TikTok

Unless you are so old-school, you do not even use a smartphone, chances are high that you are managing both Instagram and TikTok.

But what is the real difference between the two mobile apps that focus on visual content 100%?

Today, we will give you an insight view between the app behemoths that everyone is talking about.

In fact, lately, there is more chat about TikTok than Insta.

Does that mean that Instagram is dying?

Well, not really, it’s just that TikTok is taking the app industry by storm. It’s so popular, it even exceeded monthly downloads back in September 2018, compared to other giants, like YouTube, Facebook and, of course, Instagram.

By now, TikTok already surpassed the one billion installs mark, and the popularity keeps on growing.

Will it beat Facebook?

tiktok monthly installs
Via Sensor Tower

It is the new trend, however, you need to know that the launch of TikTok dates all the way back to 2016. It’s not even four years old, yet already dominating the social app space!

The difference between Instagram and TikTok


It was initially a photo-sharing app that was launched back in 2010 (2012 on Android). From then on, it slowly started introducing other sorts of content, like videos, stories and IGTV. Instagram is all about images and videos, as well as direct messages. In just two years, Facebook went all in and purchased Instagram for $1 billion.

Nowadays, IG has over one billion active users, sharing their masterpieces for the whole world to see. However, the trends are changing, as more and more folks are moving over to TikTok, or at least not using Insta as actively as they used to.

Numbers do not lie!


As you know by now, TikTok is relatively new to the market. But it is already a serious competitor, becoming one of the biggest social media apps currently available on the market.

It’s all about the 15-second videos over poplar songs that its users film, making “fun” of themselves. You can also use filters, stickers and other effects that only spice things up and make the end product that more engaging.

Not long ago, the app already exceeded one billion downloads, which is mind-bending for such a short period of time. I guess TikTok needs to thank the kids, as their demographic is younger compared to Instagram.

douyin demographics
Via Linkfluence

For the most part, it’s folks in the early twenties and younger who are passionately “wasting” their time on the platform. Unless you are Gary Vaynerchuk, you would rather consider Instagram over TikTok.

However, it all comes down to why you are using social media. Is it for advertising and promoting your (personal) brand online or just because you are the average Joe? If the former, just like Instagram can work, so can TikTok.

The business model

At the time of writing this, TikTok does not really use advertisements while Instagram is ad-based. As it is pretty self-explanatory when it comes to the advertisement model on Insta, the approach is different for TikTok.

instagram global mobile internet advertising revenue
Via Statista

The latter is a free social media app that comes without advertisements. It bases primarily on in-app purchases, like emojis, gifs and other whatnots. Needless to say, they are doing really well. TikTok is scaling its monthly revenue in millions. However, does that mean that it will always be advertisement-free – well, only time will tell.

tiktok monthly revenue
Via Sensor Tower

Where do people spend more time browsing content?

Surprisingly, users spend on average pretty much the same time on both Instagram and TikTok. Still, the latter wins the game by one minute. For TikTok, that would be 52 minutes daily.

In conclusion

While not long ago, we thought that Instagram and Facebook are the biggest fishes in the pond that no one can come close, it is not quite like so anymore.

TikTok is one hell of a competitor that is growing tremendously big, becoming more popular than Instagram.

2020 is still very young to say any predictions; however, I am sure TikTok will only scale their user base to the Moon and then Mars. Yes, it will go so large it will make your eyes go as big as saucers.

So, have you used TikTok yet? Do you prefer it over Instagram?

Do you use social media primarily for marketing your products, services and personal brand?

Which social media platform produces the best results for you?

Let’s start a discussion in the comments section below.

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