Triller, TikTok, Reels: Are they all the same?
Triller, TikTok, Reels: Are they all the same?

In the last year, we have seen an explosion in short-form video apps and features.

The success of TikTok has led to new short-form video apps being launched, and established apps have now adopted some of TikTok’s most popular features.

In early August, as users began to look for alternatives to TikTok following the news of the possible US ban, Triller, a short-form music video app, became the most downloaded free app in 85 countries.

Instagram then went onto launch its latest feature, reels, which are 15-second videos with popular music. Remind you of anything…

You would be forgiven for thinking that all these new apps and features are the same, but there are some crucial differences between the key players — ‘same same but different!’

Instagram Reels

The big difference which sets Instagram reels apart from other short-form video apps is that it is an integrated feature in a larger app. Unlike, TikTok or Triller, users tend not to go onto Instagram to solely watch reels.

This creates a very different user experience than on TikTok. Reels are viewed alongside longer videos on IGTV or the still frame picturesque photos traditionally associated with Instagram.

The variety of content on Instagram means that reels can be used by creators alongside other mediums to directly reach the same audience.

The videos made on reels can only be 15 seconds long, which means they are shorter than some TikToks and Trillers creating some tighter constraints about what type of content creators can produce.

Instagram has made it easy for users to combine clips in Reels by creating the align feature, which lines up objects in different clips to create smooth transitions. However, compared to TikTok and Triller, reels have quite simplistic editing tools.


What makes Triller stand out from its competitors is its close relationship with the music industry.

It has partnerships with Universal Music Group, Spotify, Sony Music Nashville, Columbia Records, Warner Bros Records, and Def Jam Recordings. In addition to this, some of its key investors are also music stars such as Snoop Dogg, Eminem and Lil Wayne.

This relationship allows users to have access to a wider range of music to use on their videos. You are also able to listen to the whole song, not just clips and upload your own music to videos from Spotify.

Triller, like TikTok, has a lot of challenges on the platform; however Triller’s challenges often center around music. Lots of artists, particularly hip-hop and R&B singers, make challenges for users to create a music video for their newly released song.

Triller allows users to make 15 or 30 second long videos which can either be music videos or social videos which do not have music in them.

Triller is the easiest platform to edit videos on with the app focusing its AI capabilities on video-editing instead of a personalised search like TikTok.


One of TikTok’s best features is its personalised feed with infinite scroll, and this is something that both Triller and Reels have now both implemented.

However, TikTok’s AI seems to be more refined at personalising users’ feed and suggesting videos that they would like to view than the other apps.

Another loved feature on TikTok is the duet function which allows their videos to be a more communal experience. Neither Triller nor reels currently have the duet feature; however, it is thought that this may change as Instagram reels contiunes to update.

The biggest difference that exists between TikTok and its competitors is its content. Due to the platform’s huge success, it has a large base of active users who produce a varied range of original content.

Often users are more familiar with TikTok than the other short-form video platforms, so they use that to produce their content and then share the same content on other platforms. This has led to Triller and Reels having a large overlap with content from TikTok.

All the platforms have their own strengths and what you choose to use depends on what type of content you are trying to create or watch. The best way to get to know the different platforms is to experiment with them yourself.

With more budget, we expect marketers to tap into new audiences across the emerging social media platforms, such as TikTok and Triller, increasing the value and importance of influencer marketing to brands.

Our recent whitepaper showed that marketers over the next year are exploring additional social media channels with influencers, 55% on Instagram, 35% on TikTok, and 10% on Triller.

The combination of rising consumer trust and marketers interest in social media means that the outlook for influencer marketing looks rosy.