When it comes to huge companies, there’s always talk about monopolies. The same applies to social media platforms and messaging apps. The rules of the market dictate, with the most powerful always trying to take the upper hand.
They either buy off and expand. Or they “borrow” new features and incorporate them. With Instagram and Tik Tok, there’s a lot of overlap. But how are they different? How are they the same? And is Tik Tok really the new Instagram?
How Are They the Same?
Straight off the bat, you could say that Instagram and Tik Tok are pretty much the same. Everything about both apps revolves around creating content that’s appealing to as many people as possible. It’s all about hashtags, comments, and followers.
And both Instagram and Tik Tok focus on being visually creative and expressing your ideas and personality. Chances are that if someone was active on Instagram and noticed the rise of Tik Tok, they’d give it a try. For seasoned Instagrammers, Tik Tok must be sufficiently similar for them to feel comfortable using it. But does Tik Tok possess enough similarities to overshadow Instagram?
How Are They Different?
This might not seem that relevant, but among the top five downloaded apps, Tik Tok is the only non-American one. That said, there many more significant factors to consider.
One of the most obvious is that Tik Tok is for younger people. Specifically, Gen Z has made the most of it. Older Millennials and Gen X have turned Instagram into the leading photo and video sharing app. But Gen Z has turned Tik Tok into social entertainment.
Tik Tok is available for users as young as 13. Teenagers between ages 13-17 represent a smaller portion of the demographics, though. Most of the users are in their twenties. Also, Tik Tok seems to be equally popular with both male and female audiences. When it comes to Instagram, it seems like women lean towards it a bit more.
The most important difference between Instagram and Tik Tok is the content. But that’s all connected too. The generational divide is sure to be portrayed creatively. Instagram, with all its fun features, has become strongly associated with unlikely aspirations. Its original premise didn’t suggest that sharing wouldn’t seem so genuine anymore. That’s where the phrase “Instagram life” comes from. It’s a curated version of what your life kind of resembles.
Of course, this a very cynical point of view. There’s a lot of real people and real stories to follow on Instagram. It’s a great source for communal support. It’s still where all the celebrities feature, after all. But the reason for underlining these realities of Instagram is to highlight just how Tik Tok is different.
When you first download Tik Tok, you might be overwhelmed by how quickly you’re sucked into whatever’s going on in the moment. As soon as you launch the app there’s some young person lip-syncing, dancing, and doing a sketch. It’s meant to entertain, to make you laugh, to sing along. And yes, through all those things, you can make a political statement too.
This is another way Tik Tok and Instagram are different. They use different revenue models. Instagram allows ads on their platform. Even though that can sometimes be very annoying, they’re not going anywhere. It can be specifically frustrating if you searched for backpacks one single time, because it means you’ll be looking at ads for backpacks for the rest of your life!
Tik Tok, on the other hand, is ad-free. The app feels like there’s no time or room for ads. Everything happens so fast. If they do have in-app purchases, where you can buy stickers and emojis to customize your videos even more.
Even Social Media Apps Have Identity
But will Tik Tok become so big it pushes Instagram into oblivion? In theory, yes. But at this point, it doesn’t seem very likely. A lot of people use both apps every day. Whilst others have picked one and stuck to it.
There’s so much unpredictability when it comes to what will be the next big thing. Sure, Tik Tok has captured the attention of young people, but that could change very quickly. Ultimately, they’re quite different. Each with their own unique appeal.
Let us know what you think about Tik Tok being the new Instagram in the comments section below.