Why TikTok doesn’t mean death to Instagram!


Whether you drooled over Emily Mariko’s salmon sensation or witnessed teenage SophaDopha taking the fashion industry by storm, it’s safe to say that TikTok had us all ensconced in 2021. With reach and engagement higher than ever, it can seem incredibly attractive for brands to abandon their cornerstone Instagram home and assimilate their content to TikTok. 

So should you be realigning your SM focus as a brand owner? 

Although TikTok’s popularity is unlikely to dwindle anytime soon, we have an inkling that its arrival doesn’t mean death to Instagram. Read more to find out why…


Marketers are still Prioritising IG

A case study (Jan 2022) was conducted by content and social media manager Andrew Hutchinson, to ascertain the social media preferences of marketers by asking where they will be placing their business priorities for 2022. The results echoed the notion that although industry trends point to the gradual significance of TikTok, Instagram still reigns supreme. Specifically, when asked on Twitter what platforms would receive chief priority for 2022, 40.5% of respondents answered Instagram, whilst only 25.9% indicated Tik Tok. Similarly, when this question was posed on Linkedin, 28% of marketers responded with Instagram and just 19% responded with TikTok. This is significant given the sample size of over 2 thousand marketing representatives. 


TikTok isn’t for everyone

TikTok is currently considered integral to our social media zeitgeist and undeniably catalysed a cultural reset for innovative forms of social media, specifically video formats. However, it’s important to contemplate if this is conditional to the current context of fluctuating lockdowns, where people have increased time to consume masses of media and are more partial to frivolous entertainment. 

Similarly, it’s important to analyse the user demographic of TikTok and how well they align with consumer trends and the market economy. For instance, numerous sources indicate that Millennials dominate this space, being the largest consumer market and thus, most valuable to businesses and marketers. Millennials are defined as individuals born between 1981 and 1996, meaning their ages lie between 26-41, entering 2022. 

This is significant to note as 50% of TikTok’s global audience is under the age of 34, with 32.5% aged between 10 and 19 and 41% between 16 and 24. Similarly, in 2020, 62% of TikTok users in the US were aged between 10 and 29 (Statista, 2020). These consistent trends demonstrate that while TikTok is successful in resonating with Gen Z and Gen Alpha, the app is not resonating with the largest global consumer market. Subsequently, investing in the app as a business owner, will likely not present an ROI as high as you anticipate. 

Additionally, sources indicate that you can still reach a much broader audience on Instagram, and alike to its mature counterpart Facebook, Instagram grants access to more demographic subsets than TikTok. 


“It’s a whole new world for Instagram” 

Another factor which makes Instagram a worthy investment as your chief platform for 2022, is the creators’ relentless commitment to the development and expansion of the app’s functionalities and affordances. New features are continually being trialed and implemented, to ensure the app never falls behind the A-game.

The most memorable development of 2020 was the competitive emergence of TikTok which sparked the creation of Instagram reels and live videos. The live video feature in particular is incredibly valuable for small businesses, stimulating growth and authentic connection between owners and their customers. 

Now in 2022, Instagram is welcoming the boom of e-commerce with open-arms, by revolutionising consumers’ shopping experiences. Products and services have become more accessible than ever, allowing users to shop directly within stories. Instagram has streamlined the consumer experience and simplified the user journey, which ultimately means more conversions and clicks for you and your business. 

A feature rumored to be undergoing iterations will enable users to re-arrange their profile grid and format images into any order of their choice, irrespective of when they were posted. If launched, this feature will be invaluable to users’ autonomy and creative freedom as well as ease the pressure for marketers to compile a perfect feed. Beyond aesthetics, this feature provides another way for account owners to place emphasis on specific content and draw attention to CTA’s for new leads visiting the page. Similarly, Instagram chief Adam Mosseri rumourmed the implementation of a ‘pinned post’ feature which would enable users to select certain posts that they want to showcase at the top of their grid.



IG goes global

Finally, an attractive quality of Instagram to marketers is its staggered international usage growth due to social and political factors, meaning potential growth areas and focuses are emerging constantly. 

For instance, Tiktok is currently banned in India due to politically-charged tension with China. Thus, Instagram reels have effectively displaced the app and are the country’s primary video platform. This is immensely significant given India’s population of 1.4 billion people amasses the second-largest smartphone market in the world, second only to China. 

Meta, Instagram’s father company has endeavored to build its presence in India for years and TikTok’s recent ban only fuels this growth. Although India’s generational digital age is still in initial stages, it is one of the fastest-growing economies in the world. If Instagram continues to be prioritized in this space, it could change the landscape for business discovery and e-commerce on a global scale.


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