Social Media Marketing: Instagram Live vs. TikTok Live

Social Media Marketing: Instagram Live vs. TikTok Live

Published on 23rd of May 2023

Live streaming, as an approach to social media marketing, has become a favorite for most entrepreneurs and influencers. The best part of live streaming is that it supplies the audience with accurate details of things.

Prospective customers, clients, or partners tend to trust products and services showcased during a live stream because of the raw and honest features one can only get in such an interactive session.

These features are what make TikTok Live and Instagram Live so appealing to both businesses and audiences.

Unlike the typical polished, edited videos uploaded to your channel, live streaming allows customers to connect with you on a more personal basis.

Let’s get to the pros and cons of this offering by these two social media giants:

Instagram Live vs. TikTok Live

Instagrammers are not left out of the fun, as the social network offers a live streaming service, which lets you broadcast videos to your followers while the action is happening live.

This is the younger sibling of Facebook Live but that doesn’t mean IG Live is any less popular than Facebook Live. And just like any other live streaming platform, Instagram Live allows viewers to engage in active interactions during a live stream.

Instagram Live was launched together with Facebook Live in 2016, and it currently has hundreds of millions of videos being shared daily.

As Instagram continues to grow daily, more people are getting more familiar with Instagram Live, making it the perfect social media marketing tool.

Although TikTok feeds are known for short (15 to 60 seconds) videos, the trending app also has a cool live streaming feature. And with this, members have the option to start live streams where they can show their audience what's happening on the go.

Live streams are usually hosted for many reasons. For instance, people can start a live video on TikTok to interact with their followers or further establish their brand in a more convincing manner.

Thankfully, while live streaming via TikTok Live, you can make use of different video effects. The feature is also perfect as creators can communicate with their audience through a live chat.

Similarities Between Instagram Live and TikTok Live

trees in front of houses

Since they’re both great live-streaming platforms, Instagram Live and TikTok Live have lots of similarities.

Below are some of the common features of Instagram and TikTok Live:

  • Instagram Live and TikTok Live both have a chat feature that makes live streaming highly interactive. With this feature, creators can advertise their products and services while receiving live feedback and opinions from their customers. Both platforms also offer Q&A sections during a live stream.
  • Video effects and filters can be used during a live stream on both platforms. To attract the attention of existing and potential customers, filters and other effects are often needed by social media marketers. Thankfully, these features are provided by both offerings.
  • Both platforms allow multiple creators to go live together. The collaboration element allows businesses and marketers to maximize either platform when advertising their products and services.

Differences Between Instagram Live and TikTok Live

red tulips on yellow tulips field

Although TikTok Live and Instagram Live have similar concepts and objectives, they both have some unique features that set them apart. Below are some of those distinct features:

1. Restriction: While Instagram Live is open to anyone who has an account, TikTok Live is only available to users who’re 16 years or older.

2. Saved videos: Users can save videos when live streaming on Instagram, which isn’t available on TikTok. You should, however, note that saved Instagram streams usually disappear after 24 hours.

3. Fundraising: With Instagram Live, creators and non-profit organizations can hold a fundraiser during a live stream. However, such a feature is currently not available to TikTok users. During a TikTok Live stream, using keywords like donations can get you punished.

4. Profit from live streams: TikTok users who are 18 years or older have the opportunity to earn monetary rewards through their streams. Viewers can send in virtual gifts that can be exchanged for cash. This component, however, is not available on Instagram Live.

Instagram Live vs. TikTok Live: Which is Best for Marketing?

According to research, most Instagram and TikTok users follow at least one brand. A good percentage of these followers have purchased a product from such brands.

This shows that the right followers are not only ready to follow your brand, but will also patronize your products when advertised properly.

Capturing the right audience is a vital aspect of social media marketing, which is why marketers must be careful when choosing a live streaming platform.

Below are some ‌factors to consider when choosing between TikTok Live and Instagram Live:

1. Number of followers

If you’re already a member of both TikTok and Instagram, you must consider the number of followers you have on each platform.

For instance, if you have more followers on Instagram, ‌‌consider Instagram Live—and vice versa.

The higher the following, the higher the chances of meeting prospective customers.

Pro-tip: Gaining more TikTok followers gets easier if you know what experts are doing.

2. The aim of the live stream

When choosing between Instagram Live and TikTok Live, you should assess the purpose of your streams.

If it is music or entertainment-related, or aimed at promoting a service, then you should go with TikTok Live.

However, if the live stream is aimed at promoting a product, Instagram Live may be a better option.

3. How long the live stream will last

When choosing between TikTok Live and Instagram Live, consider how long the live stream will be.

The maximum time for uninterrupted streaming on Instagram is four hours, while it is usually longer for TikTok.

4. The age range of the targeted audience

When targeting a younger audience (between high school and college), you should consider choosing TikTok. Instagram is a better option if your targeted audiences are older.

5. Mode of the live stream

Choosing between TikTok and Instagram Live also depends on the formality of the feed.

When you intend to interact with your viewers informally, you should consider using TikTok Live.

However, if you want a more formal interaction, Instagram Live is a better option.

Best Time to Go Live on TikTok and Instagram


When you plan to go live here, you must target a time when most of your followers are active.

Generally, the best time to go live on Instagram is from 12 pm to 1 pm on weekdays. During this time, it’s expected that most of your followers are on a launch break and ready to surf the internet.

Also, you can choose to go live after work hours (between 7 pm and 9 pm) - your followers are expected to be at home.


Before going live on TikTok, make sure you have a creator or business account. Once set, TikTok will give you a chart that analyzes and shows when your followers are most active.

Normally, the best time to go live on TikTok is from 9 am to 11 am on weekdays. You can also go live ‌after 7 pm when more users come online to relax in the evenings.

Final thoughts

TikTok and Instagram are both taking the world by storm, and marketers are not oblivious to this development.

The increasing traffic associated with live streams gives marketers the chance to advertise their products and services to customers in the most convincing way, ‌generating millions in sales.

While both platforms are great for live streaming, they have unique features. So before choosing the one to use, ensure you check out each offering, to know which of the platforms best suits your business type, goals, and requirements.

Go here for our earlier piece on TikTok Live. You'll find some of the best practices there.

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