TikTok vs. Snapchat (2023 Comparisons for Marketers)

By Andrew Collins | Last updated: Feb 19, 2024

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TikTok vs. Snapchat

Since its debut in 2011, Snapchat has had countless ups and downs, but it gained an additional 7 million users within the past year. TikTok is another social media service popular these days, but do you know the critical marketing differences between them?

At present, social media is a great place to market your products or services. Snapchat is essentially free. You will meet your target audience, communicate and build connections with your customers.

When it comes to marketing on Snapchat or TikTok, you need to know the key differences between them.

Here is my post on the critical marketing differences between Snapchat and TikTok.

TikTok vs. Snapchat, go!

Part 1. What is TikTok?

Launched in 2017, TikTok has 41 million daily active users globally. In the U.S.A., TikTok reaches 41% of the population aged 18–24 and 27% of the population aged 13–17. The platform heavily skews towards females: 60% of its users are female, while 40% of users are male.

The product’s core features include editing tools, video capture, creation prompts, filter effects, and the ‘For You’ page. Users follow content creators, celebrities, and big brands here. Major brands that use TikTok as part of their marketing strategy include ESPN, Chipotle, E.l.f. Cosmetics, and Guess.

TikTok is one of the most popular apps in the U.S.A., generating more than 1.5 billion downloads as of the end of 2019. The algorithm is one of its distinguishing features. Users are served with looping videos based on their engagement: likes, views, and shares. For instance, if a user engages with a cat video (meaning they watch the whole video), they will likely see more similar cat videos in their newsfeed. Besides, the app has a massive library of sound bites, and music users can add multiple audio tracks in a video. TikTok is full of humorous videos include choreographed dances, lip-syncing, hashtag challenges, and other cringe-worthy content.

Part 2. What is Snapchat?

Launched in 2011, Snapchat contains 218 million daily active users worldwide. In the U.S.A., Snapchat reaches over 70% of the population aged 18–24. Like TikTok, the overwhelming majority of Snapchat users are female: 61% of users are female, while 38% are male.

The product’s core features include image and video capture, story creation, text and video chat, editing tools, camera filters, Discover, Snap Maps, and even AR lenses. Users can follow friends, celebrities, and publishers here. Major brands that use Snapchat as part of their marketing strategy include Warner Bros, Burberry, Target, and MTV, Taco Bell, Paramount Pictures,

A big difference is that Snapchat allows you to capture content and publish it as a Story for followers, which will expire in 24 hours. The limited time frame makes it an attractive point for users as they do not want to miss out on any latest text, photos, videos from those following account. The Discovery tab is also another great function of the platform. Users can view content, images, videos shared by influencers and brands. Besides, Snapchat invests heavily in AI and AR functions to provide brands and users with more features to boost engagement.

Part 3. Make a Decision – Which Platform is Best for My Brand

What’s Your Objective

Both TikTok and Snapchat give optimal opportunities for brands to connect with audiences. In detail, TikTok can be effective for driving awareness with user-generated content (UGC) in the form of brand challenges, filters, or reactions.

While there are opportunities for brands to make full use of UGC on Snapchat, the platform is better for posting fleeting moments in life and surfacing relevant content that the user may care about – like original series or Stories.

Besides, Snapchat’s native and shoppable checkout features can be a big draw for retail brands (especially D2C). The platform has a hold over TikTok with more mature advertising options, while TikTok’s use for brands is still relatively more experimental. Don’t expect to gain instant marketing success on TikTok, mainly since it’s driven by users who highly value humor and fleeting trends (which might not work for all brands).

Find Your Target Audience

Since Snapchat has been on the market for many years, and TikTok has just gained popularity recently, you will find a bit of different in audiences. Snapchat includes more millennials because this age group has grown up using Snapchat daily. If you’re targeting older audience as your target market, then Snapchat could be the best platform to find them.

Snapchat is also full of people from the Gen Z, so it is a popular app many kids flock to. On the other hand, you also can find mostly Gen Z on TikTok. If your target audience is the younger generation, you can find them on Snapchat and TikTok.

Unfortunately, if you’re looking for a market of the older generation, like 50 years and higher, you won’t find many of them on both platforms. You can find the older generation who uses social media often on Facebook. Generally speaking, the age group you should market towards on Snapchat and Twitter is anyone under 24.

Think about Content

You may have heard about a slogan, “Content is king!” Because without engaging content on the platform, your brand will get nowhere. Ensure that your creative content follows the proper specifications for each platform so that it can appear natural to users. Your creative content should also be relevant to the audience you are trying to reach.

For Snapchat, it is advisable to develop quality content with a traditional brand message. Utilize Snapchat’s Lens and AR capabilities to stay relevant to users – it gives your brand the opportunity to appear ahead of the curve. And remember that TikTok is more causal – humorous and energetic content can go a long way.

TikTok vs. Snapchat – Final Words

When it comes to deciding whether to market on Snapchat or TikTok, you should sit down and decide which social media service suits you to devote time to. Both two platforms would be a great place to reach your target audience and get more traffic to your business.