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TikTok vs. Snapchat: a Comprehensive Comparison Guide

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May 21, 2024• Proven solutions

Businesses, large and small, are continuously hunting for social media platforms, where they can promote their products and services, and more than that, build up an enormous community around them. While Facebook and Instagram have long been in the scene, new ones like TikTok and Snapchat are starting to pop up. If you are operating your business in the 21st century and still have not developed your presence in them, then, believe it or not, you are truly missing out on a whole lot of opportunities. But the million-dollar question is – what’s the difference between the two marketing channels from the perspective of an influencer and a marketer? The article here draws out the dissimilarities between the two for the brands to identify the most fitting potential marketing channel to promote themselves.

Basic Comparison Between TikTok and Snapchat

Before digging into the dissimilarities between the two apps, don’t you think it’s better to draw insight into them individually? The section here introduces both TikTok and Snapchat individually, highlighting interesting facts that might help you draw out the basic differences between the two social media networks.

TikTok Fundamentals

A very popular video-sharing app, launched by the Chinese multinational internet technology company ByteDance in 2017. By the end of 2018, it took the world by storm, especially in the USA. At the end of 2019, it generated 1.5 billion downloads from all around the world.

Regarding its purpose, it was tailored to entertain users with short, looping, mostly humorous videos. If you are looking for a platform to showcase your talent with choreographed dance numbers, reaction videos, lip-syncing, and a potent participant of hashtag challenge, TikTok is the ideal platform to open up.

Popular mostly among the Gen-Z audience, 49% of whom hail from the age cohort 13-16, it once again proves its competitiveness in the list of social media networks. As per advertising is concerned, it’s mostly in the form of branded filters, takeovers, top view ads, hashtag challenges, in-feed native video ads, and influencer brand partnerships.

Snapchat Fundamentals

A mobile messaging app ideal for sharing both visual, and textual content, including videos, photos and texts. Unlike TikTok, it’s relatively old and was launched back in the year 2011.

Contrary to TikTok, Snapchat does not just allow users to keep pace with the current trend but also connect with buddies over Stories and other ephemeral content. It’s empowering both users and brands with abilities to showcase creativity through 3D environment interactions, object scanning, and try-on effects.

Regarding its target audience, they are mostly the millennials, 218 million of whom fall into the list of active users. From a marketing perspective, it permits brands to promote themselves through shoppable ads, branded filters, personalized targeting, AR lenses, and Snap Ad.


Basic Difference



App Type

Video-sharing app

Mobile messaging app


For the sake of Entertainment

Connecting with friends and updating oneself to the latest trends





CPM (Cost Per Thousand Impressions) basis

Snap Ad, Shoppable ads, Personalized Targeting & Native Checkout


TikTok vs. Snapchat: What Influencers Need to Know

Wondering what’s an Influencer? Well, it’s someone you hire to promote your organization’s products when you fail to reach out to a wider audience. The person entrusted with the responsibilities of marketing your brand will ensure the flooding in of more followers for greater exposure. It’s a concept similar to social media influencers that you would find in both TikTok and Snapchat.

From the stance of an Influencer, here are 5 differences between the two apps.

  • Core Features

Influencers tend to look for features for creating a gripping visual content. TikTok ushers a quite a few of them, including video capture, filter effects, sound library, impressive editing tools, creation prompts and a ‘For You’ page, where the discovery feed based on algorithm is available.

On the contrary, Snapchat features similar such tools but with the only difference being in the count. You will find here more options besides video capture and editing tools, these being text and video chat, AR Lenses, Story creation, Discover tab, image capture, and Snap Maps.

  • Type of Users

While in TikTok, you will mostly find the celebrities, renowned brands and content creators to flood the social media platform; in Snapchat, the crowd mostly comprises of publishers.

  • Demographic

Mostly Gen-Z occupies the crowd in TikTok, majority of whom belong to the age group 18-24. However, Snapchat is mostly dominated by millennials.

  • Active Users

The relatively new app of TikTok happens to attract fewer active users, accounting 41 million globally, whereas Snapchat enjoys the presence of 218 million population daily.

  • Downloads

Probably because TikTok is new to people that 738 million of them have downloaded the app from all around the world in the year 2019 itself. However, Snapchat recorded 75 million globally in the same year.

An influencer observes all the above statistics before choosing to go for the preferred social media network.

TikTok vs. Snapchat: What Marketers Should Know

Sometimes, marketers seem to put all their energy into an app without realizing the level of effectiveness it would generate. The same holds for TikTok and Snapchat. So, it’s always wise to walk through the pros and cons of both, seek out the contrasting points from the perspective of certain key indicators and then decide. If you are here wondering where to start your advertising campaign from, go through the points below to make an informed decision.

  • Content Marketing

Go for the TikTok app, if you are targeting the Gen-Z population and currently undergoing budget constraints. With inclusions of hashtags and keywords, you can optimize the video content, attract your target audience, and build a community around you. However, it’s not a very promising app for directing traffic to your website as the social media network allows only a few brands to share the link of their created videos in the website content.

On the contrary, Snapchat is the most favorable app among brands seeking a platform to launch short, bite-sized videos to promote a newly-launched product and gain admiration from both Gen-Z and millennials. And the best thing? You can always draw online traffic to your website through them and generate greater conversions.

  • Marketing Opportunities

Lucrative opportunities await the small businesses investing their time and energy in TikTok because the platform being relatively new, sets limited norms on what makes content engaging and what fails to achieve it. Moreover, it’s a great spot to test the waters before going widespread with your products over other social media networks.

Snapchat, on the contrary, is most suitable for mid-sized and large-scale companies because it lacks the perspective of free content creation. However, plenty of advertising alternatives are floating up for brands to leverage, which is why most of the companies are now investing more in it than other advertising channels. Moreover, it enables all business users to share links of created content on websites that TikTok fails to cover.

Put simply, Snapchat promises more marketing opportunities to businesses that have ample funds whereas TikTok favors those who are pressed for money. But, speaking of brand-friendliness, the latter welcomes more experiments than prior.

  • User Base & Behavior

Prior to launching a promotional campaign, don’t you think it’s prudent to grab an idea about the user base in each app? Of course, otherwise, you will be landing with the wrong audience and gradually fail to generate enough conversions.

Believe it or not, but reports claim that Snapchat is home to 210 million active users daily, whereas TikTok to 800 million every month. Though both the apps attract millennials and Gen-Z users, launching your ad campaign in the prior will mean more exposure of your products to a vast audience, 61% of whom are female. However, if you are focusing more on men, TikTok will a great platform to start with because 56% of the global male audience is its active users.

What to Choose?

Thankfully, we now have an answer to the most sought-after debate of TikTok vs. Snapchat! If you are seeking a platform that’s more stable and widely used up by the general population, Snapchat should be your go-to app. In the past, it has offered better ROI (Return on Investment) to brands choosing to reach out to their target audience through it. And, with ad offerings on the rise here, it’s certainly more approachable to brands. But, let’s not disregard TikTok because it’s in the nascent stage. Let’s not forget that it’s a great platform to run experiments and observe the reactions of Gen-Z before reaching out to millennials. The ball is in your court now. Go for whatever seems to be the most fitting for your business and look beyond the traditional social media networks for a change to stay afloat in the market.

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Shanoon Cox
Shanoon Cox is a writer and a lover of all things video.
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Shanoon Cox

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