Instagram Reels vs Story: Complete Guide

instagram reels vs story

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Instagram is a popular social media platform that allows users to share photos and videos. Among its various features, Instagram users frequently use the Instagram feed, IG stories, and IG reels.

Despite sharing common features like camera effects, filters, and stickers, there are some key differences between these features.

IG stories allow users to share video content that disappears after 24 hours, while IG reels are videos on Instagram that allow users to share short video content that stays on their account.

Users can also add audio to create engaging content with the audio tool or the music sticker feature. A unique feature of Instagram reels is the ability to save reels to a personal reel section in one’s Instagram account for continued viewing.


What Are Instagram Stories?

Instagram Stories is a feature that allows you to create and share a series of 15-second videos and images with your friends and followers on Instagram.

The story is available for 24 hours, after which it disappears unless you save it as a highlighted story in your profile. It’s a great way to stay connected to your friends and followers and share everyday moments with them.

What Are Instagram Reels?

Instagram Reels are an engaging way to create short videos that you can share on the app. Reels are vertical videos that can be up to 90 seconds long, and reels offer lots of options to spruce up your video.

Reels stay on your account until you remove them, so other people will be able to see them even after 24 hours. Also, you can upload multiple reels to amplify the engagement of your profile.

How to Use Instagram Reels and Stories?

Instagram Reels and Stories are two great features that allow you to share your life moments with your followers in a fun and creative way.

To use Instagram Reels, you should choose an interesting topic, record or upload a video, add filters and music, and then share it with your followers.

On the other hand, stories can be created by simply taking a photo or video and adding stickers, text, and drawings to make them more engaging. Stories can also be shared with your followers or selected people.

Additionally, Instagram reels can also be shared on your feed as a post, and stories can be viewed by your followers in the stories viewer.

By making Instagram Reels and many stories, you can showcase your creativity while keeping your followers updated about your daily life.


Use Instagram Reels in Instagram Marketing

Instagram Reels are a fun and creative way to share engaging content with your followers.

  • To get started, open up the Instagram app and swipe left or click on the camera button in the top left corner.
  • Once you access the camera, tap on REELS at the bottom of the screen to begin making your reel.
  • You will see tools for editing your reel on the left of the screen.
  • To make an impressive reel on Instagram, you can use four tools: audio, AR effects, a timer and countdown, alignment, and speed. Audio lets you add music from the library or record your own voice.
  • AR effects help you customize your reel with 3D objects and graphics. Timer and Countdown let you decide how much time each clip should be recorded for and set a countdown so you’re ready when recording starts.
  • Align is used to transition between clips smoothly, while Speed allows you to adjust the playback speed of your reel.
  • Make your own reel quickly and easily with these tools. Just click on Next or Done to get started!
  • When you’re ready to share your reel with the world, you can choose a cover photo and add a caption. Select Share to Feed or Save as Draft if you don’t want to upload right away.
  • When you click on Share, it’ll be posted to the Explore page for everyone to see. 

Use Stories

Posting on Instagram Stories is an easy way to connect with your followers. To make a story, take a picture or video of yourself or something around you and post it.

You can follow the steps given below to use Instagram stories at your convenience:

  • To share a story on Instagram, open the Instagram app and tap the camera icon, or swipe left to open the camera.
  • From here you can record a video or capture a photo and edit it with several filters, text, and stickers.
  • You also have the option to upload anything from your camera roll by swiping up after the camera opens.
  • Once complete, tap “Your Story” to upload or share your story only with close friends, or DM it to someone.
  • To view your own story, tap on your profile picture at the top of the home page.

Instagram Reels vs Story

1. Length 

Instagram Reels allow you to create videos that can last up to 90 seconds, which is much longer than an Instagram Story (only 15 seconds).

If you want to create more detailed videos, go with reels. But if it’s a quick, ‘in-the-moment’ type of content, go with stories.

2. Format 

Instagram Stories are a great way to share your day with friends. You can post videos, photos, and other posts that will stay on your profile for up to 24 hours.

If you want to save them longer, you can save the short video to your device or turn it into a highlight. Reels are permanent posts in your feed that you can also share as a story. They’re ideal for creating evergreen content to promote your brand.

3. Discoverability

Instagram reels have more discoverability than stories. This means you can be seen by people from all around the world, even if they don’t follow you. Reels are found in the Explore feed and can be searched by hashtags and audio.

On the other hand, stories can only be seen by followers or those visiting your profile page. If you want to keep people’s attention, make sure you have more on your page than just reels.

4. Audio 

When you’re creating stories or reels on Instagram, you can pick the music from one of the available catalogs that best fits your video.

For reels, you can choose several clips with a total of 30 seconds, and the music will play through without interruption.

For stories, you can pick the same song to continue playing on the next clip, but you need to re-select it manually every time.

5. Draft

Stories are meant to be created quickly and spontaneously, so they can’t be saved as drafts on Instagram. However, you can use another app to create the clips for your story and schedule the launch.

Reels are longer videos that can be edited and saved and can be accessed from the Reels tab of your profile.

6. Caption & Hashtag

Instagram reels are a great way to get creative and share your content with more people. It’s easier to use hashtags and captions on reels since you can have up to thirty hashtags along with a full caption.

On the other hand, Instagram stories allow you to add only ten hashtags and no separate caption—you can only add a text feature. So, if you want to add captions and lots of hashtags, reels are the best way to go.

7. Engagement

Posting on Instagram can help businesses achieve their goals. Both reels and stories are great ways to get engagement from active users.

For instance, if you post a story about your clothing business, people who are interested in buying your clothes can privately message you to ask for more information or to make a purchase.

This allows for a more personal connection with customers and provides a similar experience to running a traditional store.

Talking about Instagram reels, they are an effective way for influencers to engage with their followers without having to carve out extra time in their day.

Rather than appearing in someone’s feed, users will need to go to your profile page to view your story.

However, a benefit of sharing reels is that they have the potential to go viral, allowing you more engagement and reach than through regular posts and stories.

8. User Saving Capability 

Users have the ability to save Instagram reels, which can be viewed at any time. Reels that have been saved can be accessed by going to the user’s profile page and clicking on the “Saved” tab.

Stories can only be saved by the account that uploaded them.

9. Editing

Reels are the preferred choice for editing videos. It has more professional tools than the Story Editor, so you can make better videos.

Reels let you adjust the speed of clips, shorten or lengthen content, and blend clips together smoothly. Additionally, its audio features give you more creative options, while stories focus on convenience.

ig reels

When to Use Instagram Stories and Instagram Reels?

Instagram Stories and Instagram Reels are two different ways of sharing content on the platform. It is useful to understand when it’s best to use each one in order to get the most out of your posts.

Instagram Stories are a great way to build relationships with your audience and show them the person behind the brand. You can use these stories in the following circumstances:

  • Use Instagram Stories to interact with followers and create meaningful connections with them.
  • Keep your followers updated on any important news or milestones, and use stories to direct them to helpful resources.
  • Save and organize stories as highlights on your profile, making it easier for new followers to engage and discover more about you.
  • Showcase your personality and day-to-day life by sharing stories that give a peek into who you are beyond your business.

Instagram reels can be a powerful tool for promoting your brand or anyone else’s. You can use these reels in the following circumstances: 

  • Reels allow you to create quality content that is engaging and fun for your audience.
  • By using Instagram Reels, you can get featured in the Explore section and gain potential followers.
  • Reels provide an opportunity to be creative and visually pleasing, so your audience feels connected with your brand or message.
  • You can also add music and effects to make the experience more immersive for your followers.
  • With consistent use of Instagram Reels, you can gain greater visibility for your brand and increase engagement with your audience.


 Thus, both Instagram reels and Instagram stories will likely continue to be in use in 2023.

While stories can be shared and offer a brief snapshot of a user’s day, reels can be shared and allow creators to create longer content and add up to 30 hashtags.

Additionally, reels remain visible on a user’s profile, making them a more permanent way to share content.

Moreover, reels remain accessible and are popular as they can be viewed by anyone, even those who do not follow Instagram profiles.

Both features offer unique benefits, and it ultimately depends on the user’s goals and preferences when it comes to whether to use reels and stories on Instagram.

Whether you want to share a real-time photo or a story of your day, both of these features of Instagram continue to be a hit, making reels and stories a simple yet engaging way to connect with others on the platform.

Good Luck!

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