Social Media Marketing

Why Your Favorite Instagram Stars are Moving to Tik Tok

Every day, more and more social media influencers are flocking to Tik Tok. Instagram stars and models are no exceptions. As the popularity of the short video app grows, influencers are moving over there to create content. But why?

After all, Instagram is still a relatively popular social media app. Even YouTubers are moving to Tik Tok, where their videos will be much shorter and have (sometimes) less content. So what is the appeal of Tik Tok? Why are Instagram influencers jumping off the Photoshop ship to hop on the Tik Tok train?

The Appeal of Tik Tok

Tik Tok is one of, if not the, most downloaded apps of 2019. With over 500 million global users and counting, it is experiencing a rapid growth beyond what its creators ever dreamed. Seemingly inspired by the Vine platform which shut down, Tik Tok’s short video platform is extremely intuitive and fluid.

Instagram, on the other hand, is quite plain in comparison. Though Instagram currently has more users, its engagement and growth have rapidly declined where Tik Tok’s is shooting up. The “for you page”, which is Tik Tok’s version of the Instagram explore page, has a better algorithm. Rather than many small photos and videos where you need to click to find it, the FYP is a full screen, vertical experience for the users. It’s more engaging and it’s a lot easier to get sucked in.

Tik Tok is also far more collaborative and, in many ways, more creative than Instagram. There’s an energy to the newer app that can’t really be explained. Users can easily collab with other users, and they have more interaction with their followers. There’s more creative content available on Tik Tok. Instagram, while aesthetically pleasing, fall flat in many ways. It’s more static, even with the ability to post videos.

Building an Audience

Tik Tok’s algorithms and set up also make it much easier to gain followers. Where it can take time to build a base on Instagram if you aren’t already famous, the way the newer platform is set up makes sense. With hashtags, the FYP, and duets, among other things, it’s far easier to build up a fan base if you know what you’re doing.

Tik Tok is more “real” than Instagram, which is appealing to a lot of teens. Most influencers’ audiences are made up of young teens to 20-somethings. A lot of content is still curated, of course, but there is a difference between Photoshop and clever jump cuts. Even the filters on Tik Tok are more appealing and interactive than its competitors. All of these things are part of the reason Tik Tok has seen such massive growth.

Instagrammers are aware of this too. Users who have made the successful jump from IG to Tik Tok can attest. Once you realize how crazy the growth is on the newer platform, it only makes sense to move over. Tik Tokers are already becoming influencers in their own right, and ads have begun making an appearance too. This time, though, you can expect a bigger audience to see your ad, and gain more followers in the process.

The “Safety” of the New App

Influencers have more creative freedom on Tik Tok. This includes creating more interesting, quirky content with less fear of backlash. Internet bullying exists on all platforms, but the naturally “weird” nature of the new app lends itself to more fun content. People can interact with popular creators with less trepidation.

It’s also a way for fans to interact with the influencers, and they are more likely to be seen. Many social media stars actually enjoy interacting with their fans. With the duet feature, fans feel like they’re making something with their favorite internet stars. It’s yet another way for influencers to engage an audience, with fun content and less fear of ridicule.

There is something fun about the younger app that matches the attitude of its demographic. Influencers know this. The app is a fun, weird way to make new things and interact with a wider audience. Social media spaces like Instagram and even YouTube don’t lend themselves to the same kind of freedom as the newer platform. They have become almost too branded and straight-laced. The short video app is a “safe space” in its own right, for both creators and fans.

The Marketing Factor

It’s difficult to find a social media site without a Tik Tok ad. They’re on Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, Snapchat, and even Instagram. The ads, though, are usually fun and use a popular video from the app. It’s a more relaxed, realistic view of the app itself. In a way, it feels like a better strategy than the carefully curated ads of other social media sites.

That’s not to say that Tik Tok doesn’t know what it’s doing with its “relaxed” ads. That is precisely what makes them so effective. Influencers are catching on to this. The ads are yet another way to grow an audience, and a bigger audience means more money. Even Instagram models can find their niche on the app. Often the ads contain content from popular Tik Tokers. For Instagram stars, making the jump to the new app means they’ll bring their fans with them and make them famous on a new platform. By extension, it’s likely that they will end up in an ad. It’s a clever strategy by both the app itself and social media stars.


The future of social media is constantly in flux. Many users who started on Vine are now YouTube and Instagram famous. The same is now true of Instagram stars jumping to Tik Tok. The rapid growth, diverse base, and clever content of the app encourages creators to join in the fun. If your favorite Instagram model isn’t on Tik Tok yet, keep an eye out – they probably will be soon!

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