Let’s just be real here for a second – the social media landscape has changed drastically over the last couple of years, heck even just in 2020 alone cue Covid-19 and the dramatic changes it brought. 

So much so that today we can slowly begin to see social media marketing replacing that of the traditional sorts. 

When you look at platforms such as YouTube, their team were quick to understand the importance of integrating payment methods for content creators – how many kids these days want to be famous YouTubers??? – and this was done in order to incentivize the creation of content. 

These days, many brands are now utilising social media platforms such as Instagram and TikTok to market their products/services/business, as well as many companies launching that allow users to purchase TikTok followers, leading to a plethora of influencers now wondering which is the better platform to join…?

There are indeed many variables when it comes to answering which platform would make an influencer more cash dollar. With a curious mind and some of these explained here, keep reading to find out…

The Number of Users 

When comparing the two platforms, it seems it’s Instagram that takes the crown when it comes to the app’s total number of users, of which there are 1.8billion, whereas TikTok in fact has fewer with just 1.5 billion users. 

But although Instagram may hold more total users, TikTok in fact has had an insane growth rate in the last year, and when looking at the figures, in 2019 alone the app said hello to 738 million new users! 

We also need to remember that TikTok is in fact younger than Instagram, and thus its figures for its time on the market are seemingly very impressive. In fact, TikTok took the charts in 2020 becoming the most downloaded non-game app across the world and in one year, there were nearly 13 million people who installed the app! 

The slow growth rate of Instagram in comparison to TikTok over the last year may be indicative of a market shift, i.e. people are now beginning to utilise TikTok more for marketing. 

For You VS Explore and Reels 

TikTok regulars will all be familiar with the app’s For You page, one of TikTok’s defining features. Basically, this is like your home page and it’s the first page that you see and that loads when you open up the app. 

This content is made of up videos and posts that will feature on your For You page based on previous content you’ve liked or shown interest in, and it’s generated automatically through the app’s algorithmic system. 

But like with most apps today, once one takes off, they all jump on the bandwagon and in August 2020 Instagram launched their Reels feature in order to steer attention away from TikTok by well, providing that of a similar one. 

Instagram users can too now also create short videos which are then saved to your profile. In another effort to win users over, the app also began using the same algorithms as TikTok. Yet it seems that although both popular platforms have now achieved the same purpose, TikTok still seems to be more efficient in generating and showing new content, and gaining more followers

Which do Brands Prefer? 

Ultimately you want to know what the big guys are up when it comes to marketing, and if you’re an influencer it can lend some insight into which direction big, well-established names are following. 

For a while now, Instagram has been the preferred app of choice, but it seems some big brands from Coco-Cola to Walmart, FIFA and Calvin Klein are now shifting towards using TikTok too. 

One popular reason for this is probably due to TikTok influencers using the platform to promote brand challenges. The app is more effortless and easily accessible to the users. Also, it has various methods to gain more TikTok followers than Instagram.

How do Payments Work? 

Prior to recent events, TikTok never offered many options on the paid-marketing front, however, recently they have delved into the advertising side of things.

As this is still quite a new area, there isn’t an exact payment method in place other than coins/emoji packs on offer. What this means is that influencers will need to be paid either by selling their own merchandise or through brand partnerships. Although pretty similar to Instagram at the moment in this regard, there are great avenues for generating income if you utilise TikTok correctly. 

Yet that’s not to say there aren’t any future plans in the pipeline when it comes to working out a payment option. There might be an introduction of new payment methods for brands that keep joining the TikTok train. 

Don’t get left behind at Station 0 – hop on board whilst the engine is still running hot and make the best out of TikTok before the next greatest app invention.