TikTok and Instagram Story Specifications

Do you find you’ve been having a hard time keeping up with the ever-changing and evolving ‘best practices’ of social media? If you’re a brand looking for a leg up to engage with your customers, or an influencer wanting to reach a broader audience, or even just someone who enjoys posting to social media about their daily goings-on, it can be difficult to know which platform is best for you.

But it’s more than just deciding which platform will work better for your brand. It’s also about figuring out which one has the specs that you need for whatever it is you want to post, and which one will give you the most out of your stories. Fear not, we’re here to help. Let us break down the difference between TikTok and Instagram, so you can decide where you want to go with your brand.

TikTok Video Specifications

Before we get any further into whether TikTok or Instagram is a better social media platform for your brand, let’s take a quick look at the video specifications for each.

Dimensions: The dimensions for your videos on TikTok should typically be 1080×1920.

Orientation: Since TikTok is typically formatted for smartphone viewing, your videos should be shot in vertical orientation for best viewing. You can, of course, also shoot in horizontal, but it won’t make for optimal viewing.

File Type: The file type supported by TikTok depends on if you’re posting a regular video or an ad. Ads can be supported in .gif, .avi, .mov, and .mp4 files, while regular videos are only supported in .mov and .mp4.

Aspect Ratio: As mentioned above, TikTok videos are meant for smartphone viewing, so your aspect ratio should reflect that. A standard smartphone screen supports a 9:16 aspect ratio. 1:1 can also be used, but the video won’t cover the full screen.

Video Length: Though originally, TikTok only supported videos that were 15 seconds in length. However, that was changed and now the maximum length is 60 seconds.

Instagram Video Specifications

Though not entirely different, there are some slight variances between TikTok and Instagram story videos.

Dimensions: Like TikTok, the best dimensions for Insta stories are 1080×1920.

Orientation: Insta stories can be taken in either vertical or horizontal orientation, though, as usual, vertical works better as stories are typically viewed on smartphones.

File Type: There are only two accepted file types for Insta stories, .mp4, which is recommended, and .mov.

Aspect Ratio: Once again, because Insta stories are typically viewed on smartphones, the best aspect ratio is 9:16.

Video Length: Instagram stories have to be 15 seconds or less in length. If you upload more than 15 seconds of video, it will be chopped into more than one video.

Is TikTok or Instagram Right For You?

And here we come down to the nitty-gritty. Which social media platform is better for you and your brand? Well, that depends on a few factors. Between 2019 and 2021, Tiktok jumped from the second most downloaded app worldwide to the first, while Instagram went from the fifth to the third in the same span, but the demographics are quite different. So in the end, it really depends on who your target audience is.

As of 2021, Instagram has an average DAU (daily active users) of 500 million, while TikTok has around 45.1 million daily active users. Tiktok has around 65.9 million active users in the United States, and Instagram boasts a number of 157.1 million active users in the US. According to statista.com, over two-thirds of Instagram users are under the age of 34, and nearly 70% of TikTok’s demographic are under the age of 40. However, while Instagram boasts a slightly larger margin of users under the age of 40, TikTok is the clear winner with people over the age of 40. A little more than 31% of TikTok users are Gen Xers and Boomers. Instagram users in the same age demographic only account for about 15% of the platform’s total users. 


In the end, deciding to go with TikTok or Instagram for your brand really depends on who your target market is. Your marketing strategy needs to be adapted for each platform. We know that this can be an extremely daunting task to undertake, so why not let us do it for you? At Megan Killion Consulting, we’ll take your social media by storm. We’ll plan out your marketing strategy for each platform and handle all of the ideation, content creation, and moderation that you need so you won’t even need to worry about it at all.