Just as Donald Trump has declared a ban on the latest social media craze – TikTok, Instagram has announced it’s timely release of Instagram Reels.

Donald Trump has long been somewhat of a social media nuisance, but now he has decided that the short video platform TikTok has no place in the US, stating China’s information scraping as the reason.

Whether you like TikTok or not, the truth is that it is a marketer’s dream, with some of the highest engagement rates and sessions times of all social media platforms.

tiktok banned

TikTok Session Times

If you average it out, Instagram only gets an average session time of around 3 minutes, whereas TikTok sees a whopping 10 minutes of session time.

It appears that TikTok’s strength appears to lie in the format of the content, and in that all-important algorithm which keeps people hooked by showing them content that appeals to them.

TikTok’s infamous content revolves around musical takes and dancing and movement, as well as being aimed and pioneered by a predominantly younger audience.

Now it seems that Instagram wants to appeal to this younger audience and create a new format in which content can be shared on the platform, with the introduction of their new Instagram Reels feature.


Instagram Reels

Reels allows users to record short 15 second videos and add music and effects to the video, very similar to the way that TikTok operates.

Instagram has also added a specific spot for reels on its explore page, which can be vertically explored, just like TikTok’s ‘For You’ page.

It seems that TikTok’s success has caught the attention of the social media giant, and now Instagram wants in on the action.


Instagram’s Success

Instagram is without a doubt one of the most successful social media platforms in history, but if we look at their history we can see that some of their best ideas were taken from other platforms.

When Instagram launched Stories back in 2016, many people said that they copied Snapchat’s story feature.

Instagram Stories very quickly surpassed Snapchat in users and engagement, so it is tough to say that Instagram is just copying ideas.

A wise man once said that the best ideas in life are emulated, and these two examples prove that Instagram has the ability to recognise strong ideas in the social media realm and incorporate them into their platform model.

This is a very different concept than just stealing an idea, Instagram had to make Stories and Reels gel with their existing model and come up with a way to make their version better.


Features on Reels

Instagram Reels is not exactly a like for like comparison with TikTok, and there are a few key differences between the two.

One big thing people liked with TikTok was the ability to upload your own songs onto the system, but with Instagram Reels, this is not the case.

There is also no ability to ‘duet’ with other people, as you can with TikTok, which means that people cannot collaborate on the same video.

Reels, just like Stories, has been designed to be a bolt-on component for the world of Instagram, meaning it is something else to do on Instagram, not a whole new app.



With TikTok’s future looking uncertain, many influencers are recognising that the ship may be in danger, and they are jumping to other platforms as fast as they can.

The problem is, the communities in these other platforms might not receive these TikTokers as well as they have on their original platform.

Remember that TikTok is aimed at a predominantly younger audience, and it centres around music and dancing as its main focus.

Time will tell if this kind of content is well suited to other platforms such as Instagram and Facebook.