Industry Insights: 4 Weeks Into Instagram Reels

Instagram Reels has been live for a bit more than four weeks and some are saying it has already turned the industry around. This conclusion is likely bolstered by Facebook’s announcement that many popular TikTok creators will be offered money to join its new competing service. So let’s get an overview of the common mood with the German creator scene. We asked three creators to share their thoughts on Instagram Reel. Here’s a quick reminder of the differences between Instagram and TikTok in general.

It’s a Mix: Recycling Existing and Creating New Content 

When scrolling through Instagram Reels, there’s one thing that immediately comes to my mind: The content looks quite similar to the usual Instagram content – very polished, very stylish, very shiny. This also corresponds to the impressions of the creators we asked: “When it comes to content, I remain true to my usual content. For instance, I create videos around fashion, beauty or travel topics,” said Nina Schwichtenberg, founder and face of fashiioncarpet. “I use existing content that I have on my phone.” Her Reels has so far received between 39 and 86k views. 

Fashion creator and Zalando “Get the Look” face, Daniel Toni Jais, admits that he also reposts videos that he’s created for TikTok. He joined TikTok in December 2019 and has more followers on TikTok (607k) than he does have on Instagram (434k).

“I partly repost videos that I’ve already created for TikTok.”

Daniel Toni Jais

For Laura Noltemeyer, founder of designdschungel, it’s a combination of both: “I create  some new videos as well as mix-and-match previously content into one Reel. In general, I usually create videos that I would also like to consume.” Her most popular Reels has over 2 million views.

Source: Story screenshot @laura_noltemeyer 21.07.2020

All three creators confirmed that they have been approached by brands asking to integrate Reels into campaigns. It will be interesting to see how they integrate the content authentically and meaningfully using a 15-second format. 

Whereas TikTok content might easily be reposted on Instagram Reels, it doesn’t necessarily work the other way: “Creators have to adapt to a new channel! Instagram content does not  work on TikTok” said mega influencer Leonie Hanne during a TikTok Fashion Creator Masterclass earlier this month.

Team Reels vs Team TikTok?

The opinions around who’s winning the long game differ: “I believe the options that Instagram Reels offers are not as sophisticated compared to those that TikTok offers”, says Daniel. But he also acknowledges that TikTok has a huge standing within the gen z community and will probably continue its position as “the number one video platform”. 

For Nina, the convenience of Instagram Reels is key: “I enjoy the luxury that Reels is already part of an app that I anyway use intensively every day. I can save myself the “administrative effort” of dealing with another app.”  Based on her feed, however, she also feels that the “hype” is about to flatten.  TikTok, on the other hand, has a lot of followers and offers existing opportunities to generate reach for a large number of accounts. 

“I enjoy the luxury that Reels is already part of an app that I anyway use intensively every day.”

Nina Schwichtenberg

For Laura, Reels provides a nice opportunity to offer her existing audience more variety as well as offering an avenue for reaching new people. “It offers a new building block for presenting oneself from another side.”

Carmen Kroll, better known under her Instagram handle carmushka, was one of the first German creators to join Instagram Reels. She recently summed up her experience in a Linkedin article: “This time, the battle between Tiktok and Instagram will not be decided by the creators, but above all by the brands. Where the more lucrative campaigns are implemented in the end, the top creators will stay in the long term. And here I see Instagram clearly at the front.”

Video Is the Future 

For all three creators, it’s clear that the future is video. “I think videos allow you to show yourself from another, more accessible side,” says Nina. “My stories are always from my everyday life, show me, show how I really am and are therefore the perfect addition to our other content.” Nina also feels like videos have a different entertainment level than stills. This is reflected in the number of IGTV videos that Nina shares, especially when showcasing her very own fashion label ayen. 

Laura shares the same opinion, and points out that videos make her community feel more strongly connected to her and her daily life. Another upside of videos: more details, more functionalities, more perspectives of a product can be shown.

Daniel has started putting more emphasis on videos over the last few months, taking advantage of the video skills he developed during his photography studies. For him it’s clear: “Video is the future.”

The Result?  

Four weeks is not enough to assess whether Instagram Reels is really going to beat TikTok. But the opinions above give us a rough direction of where some creators are heading. And this has always been a good indication for brands, which direction they should take. 

In the end, it will probably be the audience (not the brands, as stated by Carmen Kroll), who decides the battle between Tiktok and Instagram. The credo for brands: Be where your audience is.

For the time being, we have our popcorn ready and will continue monitoring this social media “battle of the decade”. 

What about you? Are you team TikTok or Team Instagram? Let’s explore the options together! We are here to support you in your decision about which mix best fits your brand. Reach out to us via

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