The growth of TikTok and is Instagram old news?

18th April 2021

Over the years, food has become synonymous with social media and now has its own genre of influencers. A quick exercise, hop on your Instagram discovery page and count the number of food posts that you see at first glance.  One, two, a couple more?Then, you like us, love to indulge in some food content. Recently though, food content creators have found a new opportunity in Tiktok, but has this growth of TikTok affected their Instagram posting habits?

A variety of options.

Instagram has always been the go-to platform for both content creators and brands. However, recently, brands noticed that videos created by content creators were not receiving as much attention. Video views had seen some drops, but what was the reason behind this?

The posts

To fully understand these drops in video views, we tracked the posting activity of the top 50 Saudi food content creators, these were the biggest creators in terms of following.

Number of posts created by top 50 Saudi creators on Instagram

Number of posts created by top 50 Saudi creators on Instagram

Firstly, we compared the posts created by the top 50 creators and the results showed that there had not been any drops in quantity of created posts. While there were seasonal peaks, mainly that of Ramadan, no other trend can be noticed.

Number of interactions gained by top 50 Saudi creators on Instagram

Number of interactions gained by top 50 Saudi creators on Instagram

The audience interacted in a very similar way. The increasing number of posts during these seasonal peaks (i.e. Ramadan), also meant that interactions were at their highest.

Number of engagements gained by top 50 Saudi creators on Instagram

Number of engagements gained by top 50 Saudi creators on Instagram

Here’s where it gets interesting, we looked at engagements (interactions + video views) and noticed something was off. While Ramadan 2019 brought in the highest engagements of the year and 2020’s Ramadan acted in the same way, it seems like engagements are decreasing over time.

The variety

While we previously identified that interactions did not have any abnormal behaviour, it confirms that videos are not being viewed as often. But, how does that make sense?

Variety of posts published by the top 50 Saudi food creators on Instagram

Variety of posts published by the top 50 Saudi food creators on Instagram

We have always known content creators for their love of posting videos; however, as we progress in time, new options are being made available. Lately, Instagram introduced Reels and Carousels grew in popularity; that, and the numerous instagram stories being posted on a regular basis.

IGTV has also picked up after a very slow start when initially introduced. This shows that, while content creators are posting “less videos”, their posting activity has not decreased, they are just capitalising on the other options made available by Instagram.

Tik.Tok. It’s time for the takeover.

Next up, TikTok.

It is safe to say that the most downloaded app of 2020 has been gaining a lot of interest. 

The same can be said about foodies, and as food content creators realise this, they have been shifting their interest towards the platform.

As of now, out of Instagram’s top 50 Saudi food content creators, 32% have started to post actively on Tiktok.

TikTok posting activity by the top Saudi food content creators

Their posting activity has been on a constant rise. While the highest peak reached remains Ramadan 2020, 2021 has seen huge increases when compared to months of the previous year.

We expect that Ramadan 2021 will surpass the peak of Ramadan 2020.

Can we do both?

Furthermore, we compared the activity and performances of the creators (32%) who are present on both platforms, and the results were quite interesting.

Well, we know that instagram has a higher posting activity, but the number of posts on it are remaining consistent; however, TikTok is a grower and will continue this growth. 29th of November 2020, even saw more posts being published on TikTok by our sample of creators than on Instagram.

Number of posts created by top 50 Saudi creators on Instagram vs TikTok

Number of posts created by top 50 Saudi creators on Instagram vs TikTok

Instagram sees more posts being published, but interactions may come in as a shock. Although less posts are being published on TikTok, it receives more interactions!

Interactions created by top 50 Saudi creators on Instagram vs TikTok

Interactions created by top 50 Saudi creators on Instagram vs TikTok

TikTok’s AI makes its video reach a wider audience, whether location-based or based on interest, unlike Instagram, TikTokers have the ability of reaching new audiences, all the time.

The Potential.

Creators are masters of listening to and connecting with their audiences, and are not afraid to try new things with a ‘test and learn’ approach.

It’s time for brands to start investing in new platform formats and continually learning how audiences are consuming.

There is a huge interest in TikTok and this interest will continue to grow. Content creators are slowly starting to increase their posting activity on the platform.

We are not saying that Instagram is losing its mojo, but TikTok is climbing up and starting to cause some serious competition.

Instagram feed videos are slowly becoming a thing of the past, with Reels now in full effect, for the time-being at least, and with the increase in variety of posting options, creators and brands can continue to be creative.