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Understanding Electronic Word of Mouth Part 2- Online Skincare Communities; The Differences Between TikTok and Instagram!

This is part 2 of my Understanding Electronic Word of Mouth blog series. This series is about understanding how audiences respond to Electronic Word of Mouth content within Instagram and TikTok skincare communities, and how these responses differ. Through these blog posts I aim to explore some of the key finding and topics of interest I have encountered.

In this blog post I explain some of the similarities and differences I have discovered about the Instagram and TikTok skincare communities…

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What are people saying about Instagram and TikTok?

This article explains in detail the different features and demographics of Instagram and TikTok.

TikTok is a social media platform that has rapidly risen in popularity since 2019. Due to the nature of the app, Sarah Perez explains, “users will often post and share unapologetically wholesome content, and receive less mocking than elsewhere on the web — largely because everyone else on TikTok posts similar “cringey” content, too.” (Perez, 2020).

TikTok is, “…a place where you can be your own weird self and still get complimented and go viral for that, whereas on other platforms you’re trying to be as perfect as possible…”

Ting, 2020.
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The NYU Dispatch explain that, “Instagram is more tailored towards sharing snapshots of your life..” (Dispatch, 2020).

In regards to online skincare communities, Natasha Gillezeau explains that, “Skincare is one of those things where you really want honest and authentic advice and reviews on something. And TikTok itself is known as a really genuine, authentic platform. It’s not overly produced,” (Gillezeau, 2020).

A lot of Instagrammers put a lot of effort into the presentation of their content, they have perfect lighting, props, backgrounds, full glam makeup, all of which can reduce the perceived authenticty of the post (Gillezeau, 2020).

“On TikTok, you’ve only got a minute, so you have to get out key ideas and key benefits of products very, very quickly in a realistic and genuine manner.”

Gillzeau, 2020.

In this article about how TikTok is influencing beauty standards, user Mouse Rodriguez describes his experience of the TikTok beauty community as finding, “a safe haven of expression” (Lanigan, 2019.

This article by C Net discusses some interesting ideas about how TikTok is creating a shift in the content we see on social media to be more authentic.


I found that the main similarities between EWoM content on Instagram and TikTok and audience responses included:

  • Content creators used the #ad or #sponsored hashtags to indicate paid promotions.
  • Users asked content creators further skincare related questions.
  • Users asked content creators science based skincare questions.


I found that the main differences between EWoM content on Instagram and TikTok and audience responses included:

  • Humour was used more often within the TikTok skincare community then Instagram.
  • Generally the TikTok skincare content felt more authentic then the Instagram content.
  • There were more male skincare content creators with over a million followers on TikTok then on Instagram.


Dispatch, 2020, ‘Instagram vs TikTok: The Battle Between Social Media Platforms’, The NYU Dispatch, Weblog post, 20 February 2020, viewed 12 November 2020, <>

Gillzeau, N, 2020, ‘TikTok ‘skinfluencers’ are changing the skincare marketing game’, Financial Review, weblog post, 26 October 2020, viewed 01 November 2020, <;

Lanigan, R, 2019, ‘How TikTok is Changing Beauty Standards For Gen Z’, I-D Vice, weblog post, 23 July 2-19, viewed 01 November 2020, <;

Perez, S 2020, ‘It’s Time To Start Paying Attention to TikTok’, TechCrunch, weblog post, 30 January 2019, viewed 07 August 2020, <;

Ting, D 2020, ‘‘Every kid wants to be an influencer’: Why TikTok is taking off with Gen Z’, Digiday, 07 February 2020, viewed 01 August 2020, <;


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