TikTok vs. Instagram Influencers: What’s the Difference?

Jul 27, 2022

Blue Door is proud to represent some of Canada’s top brands and companies including Sporting Life, Longo’s, Canada Dry Mott’s, and many others. In 2021, we successfully executed influencer campaigns across the country with more than 100 influencers. Today, we review the two major platforms (Instagram and TikTok) to analyze where to spend your dollars and why! 

In 2020, TikTok emerged as one of the most popular social media platforms. What started as a dance video app has become a vast digital environment with viral challenges, trending hashtags, brand takeovers, and more. While Instagram is undoubtedly the most popular platform for influencers, TikTok creators have since seized the online world by storm. The platform continues to be the most downloaded app worldwide in 2022, surpassing 3.5billion total downloads. 

Instagram continues to be the "place to be" for brands and influencers. TikTok is a strong competitor, and working with genuine creators will help your brand reach younger, more engaged Gen Z-ers on this platform. The copycat releases of Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts show that TikTok and its creators are at the forefront of the social media content consumption game. But before we jump into influencers, let's chat platforms first!

How Exactly Is TikTok different from Instagram?

As of January 2022, TikTok has been downloaded over 175 million times worldwide. The app was launched six years ago and experienced meteoric growth when the pandemic took over, and many were forced to stay indoors and tune in to their mobile phones for entertainment due to lockdowns. 

Instagram, on the other, has been around twice as long; in that period, the platform reinvented social posting, online community, engagement, and influencer marketing many times over, making it the efficient social ecosystem it is today. 

Regarding age and demographics, Instagram appeals to a much broader audience. It is the preferred channel of most Millennials and older Gen Z-ers. TikTok, however, remains the leading social platform for teens and young adults.

The main differences between these two platforms are:


A visual platform for images, carousels, ephemeral content (Stories), short-form videos (Reels), long-form videos (IGTV), streaming (Live), and listicles (Guides).


An established vertical, short-form video social channel online.

But there are many subtle differences between TikTok and Instagram when it comes to influencer marketing.

Influencer Marketing

Instagram is the clear frontrunner in influencer marketing due to the longer runway the platform has had in understanding both sides of the user journey for both the influencer and follower. That said, TikTok is a fast-growing creator network with a higher engagement rate on social media. Unlike most social platforms, TikTok offers more than standard likes, comments, and shares. Influencers promote content through a host of sharing options, including (but not limited to): Stitches, Duets, and Challenges. These engagement features make it easier for brands to get user-generated content (UGC) on their sponsored posts. TikTok’s UGC potential makes it an excellent option for increasing brand awareness.

TikTok vs. Instagram Influencers: The three key differences

1. TikTok influencers are consistently raw and in real-time content creation mode. 

For brands that prefer a more “native appeal” to video content and ads, TikTok creators are the better fit. Creators use many of the app’s video editing features and filters to enhance the raw style, but plenty of high-performing TikTokers shoot all or most of their videos without any touch-ups. 

For brands that want more premium-looking vertically-formatted videos, Instagram influencers are a better choice. Influencers on this platform lean more towards leveraging professional software and polished content trends to create posts that resonate and perform better with Instagram’s overall tone. 

2. TikTok influencers are more interested in user trends & challenges.

Because top engagement posts on TikTok perform best when created against the latest videos, creators tend to be more in tune with Stitches, Duets, and Challenges that are trending. 

Instagram influencer posts engagements fluctuate slightly less based on the latest user trends. And while this offers brand-creator collaborations more opportunities to be “timeless,” it can also feel less exciting to younger consumers.

3. TikTok influencers compete with fewer creators on a fairly new, evolving app.

At present, it is much easier for creators to gain high follower counts on TikTok than on Instagram. There are millions of macro influencers on Instagram, with 30 times that many nano and micro-influencers. This massive selection allows brands to be picky in the influencers they partner with and narrow their audiences based on specific interests and values. 

By contrast, TikTok has a markedly low number of macro influencers. But due to its fast growth, these numbers change dramatically yearly.

In Conclusion: 

Both social media apps offer influencers who give audiences entirely contrasting content experiences. In terms of TikTok vs Instagram, it isn’t necessarily a case of which trumps the other, but which best suits your brand. Think about your target audience and consider the content you’d like to represent your brand and its products or services, and you’ll find your answer. By integrating influencers into your 360° marketing approach, your branded influencer campaigns will enjoy incredible reach and engagement. 

Recruiting top-performing TikTok influencers has never been easier. 


Blue Door is a public relations, digital marketing, and design agency based in Toronto. We pride ourselves on being a modern agency with a sophisticated approach to marketing. As an award-winning agency, we have earned the trust of major organizations across the country in virtually every sector from hotels to healthcare. Check out our Services Page to learn more. Is your business in need of a brand but not sure where to start? View our capabilities deck here and connect with us at hello@bluedoor.agency or 1 855-854-5594