Choose Your [Video] Player

Choose your -video- player.

We know that these days in social, video is king. Now the question is not, “Video or photo?” It’s, “TikTok or Reels?” If you’re doubling down on your video content production, which is no small feat, you want to make sure you’re sending it to the right venue. So is that Instagram, TikTok, or both? Here’s the breakdown of the two major players in video content on social media:


  • Younger demographic:
    The Gen Z-ers who made it famous still largely run the show here, with roughly 43% of users between 18 and 24 years old. 
  • Entertainment based:
    Funny content goes viral. 
  • Big on trends:
    That song clip you hear everywhere that’s never been on the radio? Hop on TikTok’s sound library to tap into the rise of the next pop star, or use meme-ified audio clips for instantly shareable content propelled by the all-powerful Wave of Trend.
  • All about personality:
    Recognizable TikTok influencers cash in on what makes them unique: their funny way of seeing things, quirky hobbies, and distinct personalities. Whether they’re experts in their fields or not, they’re compelling to watch.
  • In the moment:
    Less polished, more immediate. Slickly shot and professionally edited videos are few and far between. The videos that rocket to the top of the feed are most likely made on someone’s phone in their bedroom in 15 minutes; no Final Cut Pro necessary.
  • Connects well with people on the platform:
    The average TikTok user spends 52 minutes per day on the app. They are an engaged audience of 800 million users.

Instagram Reels:

  • Less young demographic:
    Just a tick up on the generational list from the TikTok crowd, Instagram’s user base is about 33% between the ages of 25 and 34 (with the next largest age group in that 18-24 range).
  • Story based:
    Reels tend to be less random vignettes and more story-driven snippets (which leads us into our next point…)
  • Less on trend, more on brand voice:
    Brands do better on Reels than TikTok, whereas celebrities and influencers do better on TikTok than Reels, suggesting that the Instagram audience is more receptive to crafted content that adheres to a brand voice rather than just following the platform’s trends.
  • Trends have a longer life span:
    The trends that peak on Reels tend to stick around longer than the fast and furious bursts of popularity that TikTok trends follow. That means you have a little bit longer to join the trend and you can ride the wave without sacrificing quality in the name of speed.
  • Connects well with people on the platform:
    Similar to the TikTok point, the 1.4 billion user base that is here engages well with the content made for Instagram Reels. Instagram itself is also highly favoring Reel content in the algorithm, and growth on the platform now largely depends on Reel output. 

Now that we know what makes these platform players “the same but different,” these are the questions to ask yourself in determining where to push your brand’s content:

  • Who is your customer? Which age range do they fall in? Remember: 18-24 = TikTok, 25-34 = Reels.
  • Do you have a key personality at the helm of your brand messaging? Personality-driven content works great on TikTok. 
  • Do you have a stronger brand voice (rather than a spokes-personality)? Maybe your time would be better spent on telling your story with Reels.

So what’s it going to be for you: TikTok, Reels, or both? No matter which platform you decide to invest in, crafting a strategy, creating content, and executing will be the next phase in taking your story online, and Campfire Social can help you every step of the way. Let’s get started.