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As of now, there’s a new social media app on the market, TikTok. With a large number of downloads since its release, it has gained tremendous popularity within a short time span.
Surprisingly, compared to Instagram, TikTok is rapidly dominating the social media market, particularly the younger users.
Well, many social media platforms are developed and launched daily, but most of them don’t have the features and quality to get popular and go viral.
However, Instagram did it very well and succeeded in attracting a bunch of users from all corners of the world. And, now TikTok is doing the same.
That’s why many people are comparing these two popular social media platforms, Instagram and TikTok. So as to decide which platform is better for them.
Today, in this article, I’ll be discussing these platforms, showing you the difference between the two, and telling you which one might suit you the best in different respects.
Key Differences Between Instagram and TikTok Users
- The number of monthly active users is more on Instagram than on TikTok
- The percentage share of females on Instagram is less than that of TikTok
- Since its launch, Instagram has been downloaded more than TikTok
- Instagram ranks 4 on the list of most used social media platforms while TikTok ranks
- People spend more time on TikTok than on Instagram
- Youngsters love both Instagram and TikTok, but Gen Z are more fond of TikTok
- While Instagram is ruling the Indian social media market, TikTok is very popular across the United States
A Quick Overview of Instagram
First released on 6th October 2010, Instagram is a social media platform owned by Facebook with more than 1 billion monthly active users.
This well-known platform is primarily popular for its photo and video sharing features. With Instagram, you can capture, edit, and publish different content at ease.
On top of that, different users can interact with one another via likes, shares, direct messages, and comments.
All thanks to the recent popularity of TikTok, Instagram is now focusing more on its video-sharing features. It has introduced three different video-sharing modes for its users, namely, IGTV, Stories, and Reels.
The IGTV feature enables the users to upload long YouTube-like video content on the platform, whereas, Stories are inspired by Snapchat, where you can post short-form videos (maximum 15 seconds) that disappear after 24 hours.
To be frank, the newly introduced Instagram feature Reels is a reply to TikTok. Just like TikTok, Reels are in-feed video content where you can add music to it.
In fact, Instagram is highly accountable for the rise of influencer marketing. Many influencers have gained huge followers on the platform in food, fashion, and lifestyle categories.
Now that TikTok is emerging as a star in the social media space, many users are shifting their focus to the new platform.
A Quick Overview of TikTok
TikTok, previously known as Musical.ly, is a video sharing and streaming platform founded back in 2014. Earlier, it was used to create and post 15 seconds of lip-sync music videos.
However, it fails to gain much recognition. So, in 2017, Bytedance acquired Musical.ly and rebranded it as TikTok by the year 2019.
Today, TikTok is popular for its short 60 seconds video content where users make comedic skits, dance to music, make a lip-syncing video, do commentary videos about society at large, and take part in viral challenges.
Generation Z is obsessed with the app, and it is now a primary platform of internet culture.
As per reports, TikTok had been downloaded more than 2.6 billion times globally as of January 2021. Moreover, in 2020, it experienced a fulgurating growth during the global pandemic where most of us were forced to stay at home because of the lockdowns.
The app was downloaded over 315 million times across Android and Apple phones in the first three months of 2020. That results in making TikTok the most downloaded app across the world.
Instagram Vs. TikTok Users: The Differences
The Number of Monthly Active Users Is More on Instagram than On TikTok
Instagram, some time ago has announced that it has around 1.074 billion active monthly users as of 2021. It marked a 22.9% increase in the user base from the past year. Instagram had crossed the 1 billion benchmark in 2018, placing it ahead of Pinterest, Twitter, Snapchat, and LinkedIn.
This brings it to the elite club of other social media platforms such as YouTube and Facebook that have crossed the 1 billion milestones.
The current figures of Instagram show that it has gained 73.5 million active users in 2021.
Although experts had previously stated that Instagram will hit the mark in 2024, the outbreak of the global pandemic has driven users to sign up for Instagram, and that’s why it played a great role in the growth of the platform.
Similarly, the latest TikTok data show that it has 689 million monthly active users globally as of January 2021. With this huge user base, TikTok has become the seventh-largest platform in the world, suppressing other social media platforms that have existed for years like Pinterest, Twitter, and Snapchat.
Just to give you an idea of how well TikTok is performing compared to other social media apps. Since its launch, Instagram has achieved the same active user base after six long years that TikTok managed to gain in under three years. Similarly, the king of social media platforms, Facebook, took over four years to achieve the same.
Having said so, this TikTok user base does not include Chinese users. That’s because it operates under a different name there.
The Chinese version of TikTok, named Douyin, has around 600 million daily active users. Together the two have over 1 billion active users across the whole world.
Verdict: Comparing these two data, it is clear that although the growth rate of TikTok is higher than Instagram, in respect of numbers, Instagram still ranks above TikTok.
From conducting market research to building personas, demographic data is an essential base for finding out which platforms, networks, and campaigns that suit you the best.
It may appear weird, but it’s true. Knowing your audiences’ gender can help you to understand how to approach and market your audience.
According to the data of April 2016, 42% of Instagram users are men, while 58% are women. Moreover, as per some research, 32% of women use Instagram while only 23% of men are on the platform as of January 2017.
Additionally, talking about the latest stats, around 50.8% of the entire Instagram users are female; however, 49.2% are male.
Unlike other social media apps like Twitter that have a wide range of gender gaps among its users, Instagram seems quite well-balanced and accepted by both genders equally.
Like Instagram, TikTok is also more prominent among the female population. As of 2020, 60% of the total female population worldwide are on TikTok, while only 40% of men use this platform.
However, female TikTok users surpass male users by a 2:1 ratio across the United States.
Furthermore, according to recent stats, with 53.79% of the share, the majority of the content creators on the platform are women. At the same time, men hold 46.21% of the total content creators on TikTok.
Verdict: From the data mentioned, it is quite obvious that both platforms have more female audiences. However, the percentage of female users on TikTok is more than that of Instagram.
Since Its Launch, Instagram Has Been Downloaded More than TikTok
To compare any social media platforms, it is highly necessary to know the total number of times it is downloaded. That’s because it provides an insight into the popularity and engagement found on a specific social media platform.
For instance, Twitter is facing a downward trend in success, which is reflected by the number of downloads. At the same time, Facebook is enjoying an upward trend, which is again reflected through its download numbers.
Although downloads don’t guarantee active users, they definitely assist effective social media marketing strategies.
As of now, Instagram has been downloaded around 3.8 billion times, making it a massive social media platform with a huge reach.
Moreover, as of 2020, it had a total of 503 million downloads in a single year. The countries with the most downloads are India, followed by the United States, Brazil, Indonesia, and Russia.
Talking about TikTok, as per some surveys, the app has been downloaded 3 billion times, making it rank top on the list of the most downloaded apps in the first and second quarter of 2021.
Moreover, it is the first social media app outside of Facebook to achieve the 3 billion downloads milestone.
From the first quarter of the year 2020 to the second quarter of 2021, TikTok has gained 1.36 billion downloads. Moreover, India is one of the most significant contributors to TikTok downloads.
To date, TikTok has been downloaded around 611 million times across India. However, the Indian government has recently put a ban on the platform, resulting in a huge loss in the market.
The second-largest with the most number of downloads is China, followed by the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.
Verdict: The data as mentioned above clearly indicate that Instagram has more downloads than TikTok. However, TikTok is growing at a faster pace than Instagram.
Additionally, the country with the most number of downloads is India in the case of both apps. Meanwhile, TikTok is now banned in India.
Instagram Ranks 4 on The List of Most Used Social Media Platforms While TikTok Ranks 7
As of 2021, Instagram currently ranked 4th out of all the social media platforms across the world. The platform has over a billion monthly active users.
Its parent company Facebook owns four out of the top six most used social media platforms, namely, WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook, and Messenger.
Although Instagram is primarily a mobile platform, it still manages to occupy a place in the list of top 10 most-visited websites. It ranks 6, which is quite remarkable.
Over and above, Instagram is also the 9th most searched google query across the world. Generic terms like translate and weather are among the top; however, YouTube and Facebook have also taken some top place.
It shows that internet users are curious about various social media platforms.
With 1 billion active users, TikTok ranks 7th on the most used social media platforms around the globe as of September 2021.
However, global user statistics are never transparent, and the user base of TikTok has been on the geopolitical butcher board during the last few years.
First of all, at the height of the popularity of TikTok, the Indian government had banned the platform across the country in June 2020.
At that time, TikTok was on target to reach a user base of 120 million, a number that put the platform ahead of popular platforms like Snapchat, Instagram, and other social media apps across the country.
Recently, Pakistan has abolished its second ban on the platform. Moreover, TikTok has also been subject to various bans in Bangladesh, Armenia, and Indonesia.
At the same time, TikTok has somehow managed to avoid its ban in the United States.
Verdict: Both Instagram and TikTok are on the list of the top 10 most used social media apps of 2021. While Instagram ranks 4th, TikTok has also given it a huge competition by taking 7th place.
Moreover, keeping the fact in mind that TikTok is banned in the second-most populous country, India, TikTok should be appreciated.
People Spend More Time on TikTok than On Instagram
The time spent on any social media platforms matters because the more users spend time on the platform, the more ads they’ll see, and the more chances they’ll have to discover your brand.
However, in addition to this, the time of the day when your targeted audience is most active on the specific platform also matters. And that’s how you’ll get to know what time is best for you to post.
Instagram revealed that it had introduced the Story feature to increase the number of time users spend on the platform. In the year 2018, the difference between the time people spend on Instagram and Facebook is quite low.
While Instagram users’ spent an average of 53 minutes per day on the platform, the average time spent by Facebook users’ is 58 minutes.
However, the average time spent on Instagram has seen a decline in recent times. As of 2020, the average time Instagram users spend on the platform is about 29 minutes.
On the contrary, the number changes for TikTok. As per data available, an average user spends 52 minutes of their time on the platform as of 2020.
People are using the fast-growing social media platform TikTok daily either for watching pre-existing videos that were uploaded on the platform or creating and sharing their own videos.
Both ways, they’re almost spending an hour of their day on the platform.
Verdict: Speaking about the average time spent on the two platforms, TikTok wins the race. Apparently, people are spending more time on TikTok than on Instagram.
Youngsters Love Both Instagram and TikTok, but Gen Z Are More Fond of TikTok
Knowing social media demographics is very essential as it helps you to find out which platform makes more sense for your business to utilize.
By doing so, you’ll be confident that you’re not wasting your time in creating content for a platform where your targeted audience is not even present.
If your targeted audience consists of youngsters, you know that both Instagram and TikTok are the right places for you to be.
As per the 2019 data, around 71% of the total monthly active Instagram users are under the age of 35 years. Moreover, as of January 2019, Instagram was most popular among the age range 25 to 34 years, followed by the 18 to 24 years age group.
As of 2021, the most prominent age group of Instagram users is still the 25 to 34 years group, holding 32.8% of Instagram’s audience.
It’s closely accompanied by users between the ages of 18 and 24 years, accounting for 29.6% of the total users.
While older generations still find TikTok to be a bit of a brain-twister, youngsters really enjoy engaging in the platform.
That might be because the app’s creators are determined to make users under the age 18 years their core audience right from the start.
In a way, you can say that TikTok understood their core audience (young users) much better than their other competitors.
According to the stats of 2020, 62% of the total TikTok audience are aged between 10 and 29 years. However, just 7.1% of them fall into the age group of 50 or more.
Verdict: The above discussion clearly shows that although it seems Gen Z loves Instagram, it isn’t their favorite app. Instagram ranks third in the list, while TikTok comes second, right after Snapchat.
While Instagram Is Ruling the Indian Social Media Market, TikTok Is Very Popular Across the United States
According to the statistics of 2021, India, with 201.1 million users, stands out to be the global leader in the list of the highest number of active Instagram users.
However, I’ve to mention that around 80% of Instagram users live outside of India.
Furthermore, the United States occupied second place with over 157 million Instagram users, followed by Brazil with 115 million users, and Indonesia with 94 million audiences.
Some surveys conducted in 2021 also reveal that 46% of the people in urban areas use Instagram, while 35% of suburban respondents are on the platform.
On the other hand, amongst the rural population, only 21% of them use the “photo and video capturing, editing, and sharing” apps.
Talking about the penetration rate, Kazakhstan ranks highest with a reach of 78.5%. Despite not being in the top 10 countries by the number of Instagram users, its reach in Kazakhstan is quite stunning. It is followed by Iceland with 76.9%, and Sweden with 74.5%.
Now coming to TikTok, as of 2020, TikTok has over 65.9 million users in the United States, making it the top country with TikTok users. Indonesia has also appeared as a primary market with 22 million TikTok users, followed by Russia (16.4 million) and Japan (12.6 million).
Moreover, it must be noted that the Indian government had banned TikTok in June 2020; otherwise, India would’ve been the country with the most number of TikTok users.
Additionally, TikTok is also not available in China. However, Douyin, which is the Chinese version of TikTok, has over 600 million daily users.
Verdict: As per the stats given above, we can say that Instagram is more popular among Indian users than in any other country. While most of the TikTok users are located in the United States. However, if we consider Douyin (Chinese version of TikTok) in our discussion, then it’s pretty clear that it beats the US by a huge margin.
Some More Interesting Facts About the Two Platforms
More than 100 Million Posts Are Uploaded Each Day on Instagram
Instagram users upload over 100 million posts (photos and videos) daily on the platform. Well, it seems impressive, right? But when you compare it with Facebook, where users upload 95,840,000 photos daily, the Instagram figures fail to impress us.
Approximately Half of The Adults of The United States Use Instagram During the Global Pandemic
During the COVID-19 lockdowns, people all around the world became more active on various social media platforms, and Instagram definitely isn’t an exception.
Talking specifically about the US adults, Instagram became the second most popular social media platform to get in touch with their family, friends, and the rest of the world.
As per the latest stats, around 49.5% of US adults used Instagram as of 2020.
Facebook bought Instagram for 1 billion US dollars.
Back in 2012, Facebook bought Instagram for 1 billion US dollars. Back then, the platform had only 13 employees and no income. However, fast forward to 2018, and boom Instagram’s net worth escalated to 100 billion US dollars.
It is undoubtedly Facebook’s best purchase. As of now, it is one of the best revenue generators of Facebook, comprising 30% of Facebook’s total advertising revenue.
Instagram Earned Over 13 Billion Us Dollars in 2020 from Ads
Advertisement is one of the primary sources of revenue for Instagram. It generates billions of US dollars each year through ads.
With an increase in the popularity of the platform among businesses, companies are willing to spend more money on Instagram ads.
As per statistics, Instagram’s advertisement revenue multiplied from 6.18 billion dollars in 2018 to 13.86 billion dollars in 2019 in America.
Speaking of Instagram statistics, there were around half a billion Instagram story users in 2019. The figures tripled within two years. And 500 million users check Instagram daily.
Thus, it’s pretty obvious that all daily active users share at least one story on Instagram each day.
Tik Tok Had 200 Million Active Users Across India in 2020 Before Getting Banned
In 2020, the Ministry of Technology Information Technology of India banned 59 apps, and TikTok was one of them.
When TikTok got removed from the country’s App Store and Google Play, it had more than 200 million active users.
Moreover, before getting banned, the platform held 90% of total video app sharing time.
The Fast-Growing App Tik Tok Has Managed to Generate Around 142 Million Dollars in December 2020
December 2020 was by far one of the best months for TikTok. It had succeeded in generating a revenue of 142 million US dollars from ad sales and in-app purchases.
Moreover, in April 2020, it earned $78 million; in July 2020, $102.5 million; and in October 2020, $115 million. Obviously, in no way it is going to slow down soon, as its income has been rising each passing month.
Its the Most Downloaded App in 2020
TikTok was the most downloaded social media app in 2020. It came ahead of popular apps like WhatsApp and Facebook, which took second and third place worldwide.
The stats in the US didn’t disappoint either; it grabbed the first position. Zoom was the second most downloaded app, followed by Instagram in the United States.
Tik Tok Is Currently Available in 200 Countries
Although TikTok is banned in many countries, it is available in 200 countries. All thanks to the tremendous growth of the platform, it is now accessible almost everywhere in the world. Additionally, it’s available in over 75 languages.
Out of Ten Tik Tok Users, Nine of Them Use the App More than Once a Day
As per various studies, 90% of the total TikTok users access the app multiple times a day. The study reveals that 68% of the users watch other people’s videos on the platform, while 55% of them upload their own videos as of 2019.
The stats demonstrate that most of the users prefer watching videos over uploading their own. That might be because people use TikTok as a source of entertainment.
To be honest, I really can’t say which one is the best social media platform between Instagram and TikTok. It solely depends on what you’re looking for in an app.
Some may find Instagram the best, while TikTok works best for others. Moreover, based on the above stats, it’s pretty clear that while Instagram has had more users, the growth rate of TikTok is unbearable.
Additionally, in this article, I’ve mentioned five basic differences between the two most popular social media platforms of 2021. Thus, you can decide whether to choose Instagram or TikTok, or both.