Instagram Reels vs. Story – What’s the Difference?

Social media has revolutionized the way online users interact and communicate. Platforms like Instagram have become integral to people’s online experience and continue to evolve. Two new features that have become extremely popular are Instagram Reels and Stories. But what is the difference between these two features, and which is the right one for you?

Instagram Reels vs. Story - What's the Difference?

This article will compare Instagram Reels vs. Stories to help you decide which one to use.

What Are Instagram Reels?

Instagram Reels allow users to create short, 15-second videos with music, text, and special effects. They are designed to be entertaining, catchy, and engaging.

Users can create Reels and share them with their followers or the broader Instagram community.

What Are Instagram Stories?

Instagram Stories allow users to share photos and videos for 24 hours. Stories can contain more casual, behind-the-scenes content with their followers without the pressure of creating polished and edited posts. Users can add filters, stickers, and text to their Stories to make them more engaging.

Differences Between Instagram Reels and Stories

Both Instagram Reels and Stories allow users to create short-form video content. However, there are some key differences between the two.


Both a Reel and a Story slide can last up to 15 seconds. However, Stories can contain multiple slides and mix images and video, which enables users to create longer content.

Stories are better suited for longer-form and still-image content, while Reels are ideal for short and snappy videos.


Reels are displayed in a separate tab on the Instagram profile, making it easier for users to discover new content creators and explore content. This gives Reels the potential to reach a wider audience and gain more engagement.

Conversely, Stories are displayed at the top of the Instagram feed and disappear after a day. They are better suited for sharing updates with existing followers rather than attracting an audience.


The audience for Reels and Stories also tends to differ. Reels tend to attract a younger demographic, as they are shorter and more focused. This means that Reels are great for brands and creators who want to target a younger audience.

By contrast, Stories tend to attract a wider range of age groups and demographics. This is because Stories are a more casual and easy way to share updates with followers, making them more accessible to a wider audience. However, Stories are ineffective at creating an audience since they need to be reshared by existing followers to get any additional reach.


The content on Reels and Stories is also quite different. Reels are designed to be entertaining and engaging, with users creating content meant to go viral. Stories are more casual, with behind-the-scenes footage, giving followers a glimpse into the user’s everyday life. Users can also post Stories to share news, updates, and promotional content.


Reels are meant to be discovered by a broader audience, with the potential to go viral and reach users beyond the user’s followers. Stories, on the other hand, are only visible to the user’s followers (with the exception of Stories that are shared on the Explore page). This means that Reels have a higher potential for reach and engagement, while Stories are more suited for maintaining and nurturing relationships with existing followers.

Editing and Effects

Reels and Stories also differ in their editing and effects capabilities. Reels offer a wide range of editing tools and special effects, allowing users to create visually stunning and engaging content. Stories, while also offering editing tools and effects, are more limited in terms of what users can do. This means that Reels are better suited for creating polished and professional-looking content, while Stories are ideal for more casual and behind-the-scenes content.

Instagram Reels vs. Stories – Which One Is Better for You?

The answer to this question depends on your goals and the type of content you want to create. If you want to reach a broader audience and create content that has the potential to go viral, Reels are a great option. They are ideal for creators that want to showcase their products or services in a visually engaging and entertaining way.

On the other hand, if your goal is to maintain and nurture relationships with your existing followers, Stories are better. They allow you to share behind-the-scenes content and connect with your audience on a more personal level. Stories are also a great option for creators who want to update their users on the latest events in their personal and professional lives without making a production out of it.

Ultimately, the key is to experiment with both features and see what works best for your brand or personal account. You can use both Reels and Stories to create a well-rounded social media presence that engages your audience and helps you reach your goals.

For example, let’s say you’re a food blogger and want to showcase a new recipe you’ve been developing. You could start by creating a Reel that features a fast-motion video of you preparing the dish in the kitchen. You could use the Reels editing tools to add music, text, and special effects, making the video more engaging and visually appealing.

Once you’ve created the Reel, you could then share it on your Instagram profile and encourage your followers to try the recipe for themselves. With the Reel as the primary “wow” factor, a Story can share additional behind-the-scenes content related to the recipe to make you approachable. For example, you could share photos or videos of the ingredients you used, your kitchen setup, or any funny mishaps during the cooking process.

By using both Reels and Stories, you’re able to provide your followers with a more immersive and engaging experience. You’re also able to reach a wider audience with your Reel, while also providing your existing followers with more casual and personal updates through Stories.

Get Creative

Don’t be afraid to get creative and try new things with both Reels and Stories on Instagram. With a little experimentation and imagination, you can create fun and engaging content that your followers will love.

What do you think – Instagram Reels or Stories? Have you tried both features? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. Let us know which one is your favorite and why.

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