Instagram Vs. TikTok: Can Instagram fight back in 2022?

John Clarke
August 2, 2022

It’s no secret that in today’s digital sphere video rules the roost. Across all facets of digital marketing video content commonly prevails in driving the best engagement.

Two of the best channels for driving video engagement are Instagram and TikTok, with both channels prioritising bringing their user’s video content to life in an immersive, engaging experience.

With similar propositions, who is currently winning the race?

By September 2021 TikTok was reporting over a billion active users making it the fastest growing social media channel. In contrast, Instagram also surpassed the billion-user mark in 2021 but only posted a 22.9% increase in users on the previous year, whereas TikTok’s growth was at an estimated 43% with no signs of slowing down.

Instagrams biggest concern is the wavering popularity amongst younger users, whilst TikTok excels in this segment.

With the staggering growth of TikTok, Instagram has consistently made developments and updates over the past 18 months to try and replicate TikTok and stunt the channel’s growth.

In August 2020 Instagram launched Reels, a short-form video format to help users share and discover exciting video content…similar to TikTok.
In February 2021 Instagram announced it was developing a vertical feed for the story content UX… similar to TikTok.
In March 2021 Instagram launched a remix feature for Reels, to enable users to use other users’ popular content and sounds to ‘remix’ their own content… similar to TikTok.

The list of how Instagram has tried to replicate TikTok goes on. Social Media Today even did a nice write-up of all the ways Instagram has copied TikTok.

But what does 2022 look like for Instagram? Will they continue to try and replicate TikTok?

In short, yes.

Instagram’s head, Adam Mosseri, recently released an update looking forward to 2022 with the big focus on consolidating video formats to maximise engagement.

According to the head of Instagram, Reels will continue to be the focus with the view to consolidate all video content around Reels.

Putting it simply, Instagram wants users to start using Reels as their go-to for uploading content, moving away from the classic Instagram experience.

This could lead to the potential of an overhaul of Instagram’s current news feed UX which is built around 4:5 image content. If Reels is to become the focus, a vertical full-screen video feed can’t be too far away.

With no outlayed timeline on Instagram in 2022 it’s hard to predict when such changes will occur. One thing we can be certain of though is that 2022 will be a year of change for Instagram in its battle to consolidate its position against the rise of TikTok.

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