Review: Instagram Reels vs. TikTok

Review: Instagram Reels vs. TikTok

With all the attention to the newly debuted Instagram Reels from Facebook and the hilarious, bizarre world of TikTok, here’s a first impression on the two platforms and how they compare from a designer’s perspective.

With all the attention to the newly debuted Instagram Reels from Facebook and the hilarious, bizarre world of TikTok, here’s a first impression on the two platforms and how they compare from a designer’s perspective.

Disclaimer: I’m no longer a teenager, which probably places me out of the target audience for this type of app. The concept of mindless scroll feeds filled with short looping videos make me feel ancient (as I can still remember Vine’s untimely death) and behind on the times. Nevertheless, I wanted to document my first impressions trying their respective experiences.

Let’s see how they compare:

Highlights on Reels

As video editing is a challenge even on computer where there’s a lot more space, both TikTok and Instagram probably could find ways to make it easier to edit videos easily swipes/taps on mobile.

Here’s some things that work well:

  • Simple video creation options (effects gallery with a large amount of examples, straightforward music library, lyrics scrubbing feature)
  • Convenient to use if you’re an existing Instagram user

^These were all things that made it easier for me as a new user to create a post in a short amount of time on Reels.

The name of the product also made more sense in relation to how it works — I don’t understand what the term “TikTok” is meant to convey but a “Reel” sounds similar to a movie reel or a compilation of clips.

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design review tik-tok ux instagram

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