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A Look Back at Instagram’s Various Attempts to Copy TikTok in 2021


Christmas is only days away, and even now, the elves at Instagram HQ are still working to replicate TikTok’s core features in the hopes of bringing seasonal cheer to their Meta masters, via improved usage stats and new engagement figures which show that Instagram is still cool, and still the leading platform in their eyes.

Which it isn’t. All the reported usage numbers show that Instagram usage is in decline among younger audiences, while TikTok continues to go from strength-to-strength. Which freaks the Meta chiefs out – but just as a fun, seasonal reminder, here’s a look back at some of the many ways that Instagram has sought to stunt TikTok’s growth over the last 12 months through replication and copycatting of its features, which has worked to some degree, but hasn’t really slowed TikTok’s growth.

I present to you – the 12 ways of Insta-Tok.

On the first day of Insta my true love sent to me, a replica of TikTok to a tee.

Instagram Reels

On the second day of Insta my true love sent to me, a vertical feed, for my replica of TikTok to a tee.

On the third day of Insta my true love sent to me, restricted reach for re-posted TikToks, a vertical feed, for my replica of TikTok to a tee.

On the fourth day of Insta my true love sent to me, a new remix option, restricted reach for re-posted TikToks, a vertical feed, for my replica of TikTok to a tee.

On the fifth day of Insta my true love sent to me, Superbeat.

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Instagram Super Beat

A new remix option, restricted reach for re-posted TikToks, a vertical feed, for my replica of TikTok to a tee.

On the sixth day of Insta my true love sent to me, an ‘Add Yours’ sticker, Superbeat, a new remix option, restricted reach for re-posted TikToks, a vertical feed, for my replica of TikTok to a tee.

On the seventh day of TikTok my true love sent to me, text to speech effects, an ‘Add Yours’ sticker, Superbeat, a new remix option, restricted reach for re-posted TikToks, a vertical feed, for my replica of TikTok to a tee.

Instagram test to speech effects

On the eight day of Insta my true love sent to me, longer clips in Stories, text to speech effects, an ‘Add Yours’ sticker, Superbeat, a new remix option, restricted reach for re-posted TikToks, a vertical feed, for my replica of TikTok to a tee.

On the ninth day of Insta my true love sent to me, auto-sync for music, longer clips in Stories, text to speech effects, an ‘Add Yours’ sticker, Superbeat, a new remix option, restricted reach for re-posted TikToks, a vertical feed, for my replica of TikTok to a tee.

On the tenth day of Insta my true love sent to me, Reels replies in comments, auto-sync for music, longer clips in Stories, text to speech effects, an ‘Add Yours’ sticker, Superbeat, a new remix option, restricted reach for re-posted TikToks, a vertical feed, for my replica of TikTok to a tee.

On the eleventh day of Insta my true love sent to me, an audio tab for Reels clips, Reels replies in comments, auto-sync for music, longer clips in Stories, text to speech effects, an ‘Add Yours’ sticker, Superbeat, a new remix option, restricted reach for re-posted TikToks, a vertical feed, for my replica of TikTok to a tee.

Reels audio tab

On the twelfth day of Insta my true love sent to me, live-stream shopping, an audio tab for Reels clips, Reels replies in comments, auto-sync for music, longer clips in Stories, text to speech effects, an ‘Add Yours’ sticker, Superbeat, a new remix option, restricted reach for re-posted TikToks, a vertical feed, for my replica of TikTok to a tee.

As you can see, Instagram is really, really keen to show that anything TikTok can do, it can do better. Whether it actually can – and whether audiences actually care – remains to be seen, but you can safely bet that Insta will keep trying, with TikTok projected to reach 1.5 billion users in the next year, potentially overtaking IG for as the second biggest social app in the world.





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