We all know TikTok as a social media platform for user-generated videos that began as a lip-syncing site called Musical.ly. In less than a decade, TikTok has experienced meteoric growth, launched fashion trends, and kickstarted music careers—all while keeping viewers entertained with video content.

At the same time, TikTok has become a major player in the digital advertising space. Providing access to millions of users worldwide, it’s an attractive choice for brands looking to connect with a young, engaged audience and tap into popular cultural trends. Formats like In-Feed Videos, TopView ads, Brand Takeovers, and Branded Hashtag Challenges and Effects give marketers leeway to invest on behalf of their brands.

Before you sign on the dotted line, though, there are some additional points worth considering. Because TikTok focuses entirely on video, generating sales via TikTok ads poses a challenge. Users are more interested in authentic creator content than ads that interrupt their video flow. Keep in mind that TikTok isn’t an immediate response platform, either. That means its users are primarily in exploration mode, and may not be in the right mindset to make a purchase.

What’s more, TikTok is laser-focused on consumers, which leaves little opportunity for B2B brands. Regardless of the industry, many decision makers are older than TikTok’s 18-24 sweet spot (Statista), which means tracking them down via TikTok advertising may require a greater investment (while TikTok business ads costs are relatively low, you could end up paying a high cost-per action, or CPA). Age is a factor for B2C businesses too, since young consumers may not have a credit card or the money to pay for your products.

And let’s not forget about concerns over data privacy. TikTok is already partially or fully banned in more than a dozen countries worldwide, and the United States may be next.

All of this is why we’re here to answer an important question: What is an alternative to TikTok? Well, there are several other forms of paid advertising from TikTok competitors that can provide brands with unique features and help them target their core demographic—and with the right strategy, they may even deliver a more satisfying outcome.

Let’s take a look at some of the best TikTok alternatives, and what they can offer your brand.

What to consider when choosing the right alternative to TikTok Ads

As with any marketing strategy, selecting the right TikTok alternative depends on a number of factors—chiefly your target audience. Whether your business falls into the category of B2B or B2C, you’ll need to carefully consider where your customers spend their time, your advertising objectives, and the nature of your content before making your choice.

Start by analyzing your target audience’s age, buying behavior, and media preferences. Research is a key pillar in your marketing strategy, as important as monitoring and optimizing campaign performance down the line. The more you understand about your customers, the more tangible insights you’ll have at your disposal, and the better equipped you’ll be to make effective choices about where to place your ads.

Additionally, rather than blindly signing up for TikTok ads manager and investing in TikTok ads automation and TikTok commercials, consider the value of a cross-platform strategy. Integrating multiple formats into your ad campaign in a cohesive fashion can maximize your reach, and diversifying your advertising efforts across platforms by working with sites beyond just TikTok ensures increased visibility and social media engagement in the ever-evolving social media marketing landscape.

Whether you choose to explore Instagram Reels, Snapchat Spotlight, or YouTube Shorts—or other options like Facebook Reels, Triller, and Byte—adapting your content strategy to the unique features of each platform will best prepare you to harness the dynamic world of social media advertising.

The 4 best TikTok ad alternatives a marketer should consider

In an effort to stay competitive, many social media platforms offer an array of services very similar to TikTok ads that may, in fact, be a better fit for your target audience. Whether you’re focusing on reaching B2B leaders, B2C customers, consumers that demonstrate buying intent, or a combination of these criteria, there’s an option out there for you.

It can be both challenging and time-consuming to narrow down your choices among other platforms like TikTok, but keep in mind that audience is key when it comes to boosting ROI. Consider every major competitor to TikTok before making your decision, keeping your customers and marketing goals in mind.

Here are the 4 Best TikTok Ad Alternatives and their key features.

1. Instagram Reel Ads

Flash back to the summer of 2020. That’s when Instagram launched Reels, a short-form video format, in more than 50 countries worldwide. Instagram Reels were originally introduced to compete with TikTok’s user-generated videos, but since then the format has been expanded upon and refined to become a valuable advertising tool for digital marketers.

Key Features

  • Reels are very similar to TikTok videos, in that they’re short-form content created by consumers or brands.
  • Reels can be integrated with the popular Meta platform (owner of Facebook). Because you can advertise on Reels as part of your Meta ads campaign, you’re not putting all of your eggs in one basket the way you do with TikTok. In other words, you can split your advertising budget between different placements on Meta platforms—Facebook included.


  • Reels allow you to leverage your existing Instagram audience, so both your loyal followers and potential new customers will see your ad.
  • Instagram’s audience is older, with close to 29% of its users aged 25-34 and close to 20% between the ages of 35 and 44 years (Statista). That’s helpful when it comes to reaching decision makers and consumers with more disposable income.
  • Reels enable marketers to capitalize on Meta’s robust advertising options, including detailed targeting.


  • While a more mature audience may enable you to reach decision makers and users with credit cards, Instagram’s algorithm changes on a routine basis, posing a challenge for marketers eager to maximize their ad investment. Whereas chronology and the recency of posts used to play a big part in what users would see in their feeds, many other factors—like user preference, user engagement, and follower counts—are now a factor. That means smaller content creators may notice their content is getting buried, leading to fewer impressions, more competition, and higher customer acquisition costs.

(Source: @golde on Instagram)

2. Snapchat Spotlight

Like Instagram Reels, Snapchat represents a viable and appealing alternative to TikTok ads. Snapchat offers a “For You” page much like TikTok’s, and therefore a way of amplifying brand exposure and reach. Also similar to TikTok, Snapchat features entertaining short-form videos and uses a complex algorithm to curate and recommend content to users based on their preferences, engagement history, and behavior online.

It’s important to note that Snapchat’s model is built on ephemeral content (i.e. short-term content that disappears after 24 hours), authenticity, augmented reality features, private messaging, and its unique user base. If you’re looking for a personal and creative way to connect with your audience, keep Snapchat’s video platform—called Snapchat Spotlight—in mind.

Key Features

  • The nice thing about Snapchat is that it allows advertisers to submit their videos to Spotlight for a shot at broader exposure with the ultimate goal of going viral. If you’re hoping to reach a huge crowd of customers, this may be a good option.
  • Like TikTok, Snapchat’s user base skews young, with one in five between the ages of 18 and 24 (Statista).


  • Aside from reaching a predominantly younger audience, Snapchat has the potential to deliver organic growth. If TikTok is ultimately banned in the United States and more countries worldwide, there’s a good chance many users will join Snapchat and spend their time on that platform instead.


  • Keep in mind that Snapchat is more popular in some countries and regions than others. This may require a distinct approach to content development depending on the market you hope to reach.

(Source: Snapchat)

3. YouTube Shorts

It should come as no surprise that YouTube has a massive global user base. What does that mean for you and your brand? It means that YouTube Shorts could feasibly translate into swift exposure to a vast audience of potential customers.

Key Features

  • On YouTube, advertisers can purchase skippable video or image ads that appear between Shorts in the Shorts Feed. By creating short, catchy videos under 60 seconds in length, brands can integrate with the widely-used YouTube platform to reach a broad audience of potential customers.


  • Unlike TikTok, YouTube pays content creators, which may help to drive more quality content for brands to associate with. Marketers can tap into YouTube’s extensive user base, which consists of older audiences. What’s more, businesses that partner with YouTube benefit from parent company Google’s robust advertising ecosystem, which is regularly enhanced and optimized for effectiveness.


  • Your campaign performance may vary depending on what type of audience you’re targeting. YouTube is known for having a large and diverse user base, which makes its short videos a good TikTok alternative. Note that the strategic use of keywords in your campaign is an important part of ensuring the discoverability of your ads.

(Source: YouTube)

4. Taboola Ads

What’s important to remember about digital marketing is that the opportunities don’t end with social media. There are other TikTok alternatives out there for brands, and other ways to connect with consumers at the right time online.

One of these is Taboola and native advertising. Reports show that the global native advertising market is expected to top $400 billion by 2025, which is a 372% jump from 2020 (Deloitte and UBA). This fast-growing segment of the digital marketing space offers a more holistic approach to advertising, rather than restricting your reach to social media users. While platforms like YouTube Shorts, Snapchat, and Instagram offer similar approaches and targeting solutions, investing in native ads can connect you with target customers beyond the social media space.

Compared to TikTok advertising, native ads are a non-intrusive approach to conveying your brand’s message online. Consumers are generally more open to learning about brands through these formats than via traditional ads like banners, making them a very effective advertising option.

As the leading native advertising platform, Taboola Ads offers a wide network of trusted websites worldwide. Taboola Native Ads combine advertising with great content without interrupting the user experience. This form of programmatic advertising simulates the site environment in which it’s found, so that ads look less like classic banners and more like editorial content. As consumers become more resistant to traditional online advertising like banner ads, non-disruptive ad formats made a lot of sense.

Taboola’s Native Ads can appear on trusted websites worldwide in front of more than 600M daily active users. Placement options include:

  • Homepage
  • Section Front
  • Mid Article
  • Taboola Feed
  • Mobile-Integrated News
  • Taboola Stories

Taboola’s ads are easy to create, requiring only an image, headline, and website link. They can be targeted based on users’ interests, and customized to mirror the look of a Taboola partner site.

Another benefit of working with native advertising platforms is that these types of ads are resilient to third-party cookie deprecation. Any platform that relies on third-party cookies for tracking targeting will be impacted by Google’s decision to phase out its support of cookies by the end of 2024, which in turn can impact ad performance. As Taboola does not rely on third-party cookies, this impending change doesn’t pose a concern to its advertising brands.

(Source: Taboola Case Studies)

TikTok Ads Alternatives: Conclusion

With so many advertising platforms available, choosing only to advertise on TikTok and limiting your paid marketing efforts in this way also limits your reach and potential for growth. Instead of relying on a single ad channel, diversify your media mix by leveraging multiple solutions—including Taboola—to ensure more effective advertising.

The TikTok alternatives mentioned above can become reliable sources of both traffic and sales for your business, particularly if combined with native advertising that has the potential to engage millions of relevant users across premium publishers. Consider this your best strategy for creating a memorable and successful ad campaign that works for B2C and B2B brands, can reach customers who have the means to make a purchase, and ensures that you’ll have little overlap between advertising channels and formats.

In short, when you pick the right platforms, test, optimize, and take advantage of smart, multi-touchpoint attribution models, the results can be very impressive.

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