How Instagram Reels are outperforming TikTok videos | Inquirer Technology

How Instagram Reels are outperforming TikTok videos

/ 02:29 PM December 22, 2023
This represents new Instagram features that are similar to TikTok.
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Long videos are all the rage. According to one study, internet users in the US are spending just over half their social networking time on video-related activities. And in this game, Instagram’s Reels stand out from the crowd, delivering six times the reach of Instagram Stories.

When it comes to choosing between Stories and Reels, it could be better to opt for Reels, according to a study by Emplifi, a platform for influencer marketing on social networks. It analyzed the performance of social video content from thousands of brands in 2023.

According to the findings, the Reels format on Instagram delivers the best results for advertisers, outperforming all other types of video content on social networks, including TikTok videos, which are known for their highly viral nature.


One of the report’s most significant findings is the importance of video duration. According to Insider Intelligence, internet users are spending more and more of their social networking time on video-related activities. While users in the US spend 56.4% of their social media time on video content, they appear to be especially fond of longer videos. By comparing the different lengths of Reels, ranging from 15 to 90 seconds, with those of TikTok videos, Emplifi’s report showed that longer Reels (90 seconds) were far more popular with users, generating more than double the number of median views compared to TikTok videos.


“One of the most interesting findings from our research is the shift we’ve witnessed in Instagram Reels video lengths, with longer run-times winning more engagement for brands compared to short-form video. This represents a change in user behavior, with more time being spent on videos that run longer than the average 15-second or 30-second video ad format,” said Zarnaz Arlia, CMO of Emplifi. “This insight offers an exciting opportunity for brands to reconsider their creative strategy on Instagram. The data shows that audiences are responding positively to longer videos — the key is producing entertaining and valuable content that keeps them watching.”

And while the length of Reels is important on Instagram, where longer videos generate more views than shorter ones, this is less the case on TikTok, where videos of all lengths generate roughly the same number of views. “Instagram Reels that ran longer in length gained 8,372 median views compared to 3,379 views on TikTok. In fact, longer Instagram Reels outperformed all other Reels lengths, with short Reels (under 30 seconds) earning 6,145 median views and medium-length Reels (30- to 90-second) earning a median of 7,830 views,” reads the Emplifi report.

While Reels are winning over users on social networks, brands have yet to fully adopt this format, preferring to use Stories, even though they perform less well. “Between May and October 2023, the number of Instagram Stories posted by global brands was five times the number of Instagram Reels posted,” the report explains. In addition to generating more views online, the reach of Reels is six times greater than that of Instagram Stories.

Stories are still in the game

“When you look at Instagram content specifically, brands continue to use Stories more often than Reels — mostly likely because Stories take less of a lift to create — but Reels are delivering far better results. The same is true when you compare Facebook Reels to other Facebook video content. Despite the growth in Reels on Facebook, brands still publish more traditional video formats,” says Zarnaz Arlia. “The underlying theme here is that there are untapped opportunities for the brands that are willing to lean further into their Instagram video strategy and make Reels part of their social media campaigns.”

On Facebook, the trend is similar. Brand use of Facebook Live increased significantly towards the end of 2023, with 1.5 times more Facebook Live videos posted in Q4 than the previous four quarters. Longer Facebook Reels are more successful than shorter ones, and are viewed three times more than other videos on Facebook.

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