Instagram Reels vs Instagram Stories: What are the Differences

Instagram’s journey was predictable. The company started as a photo sharing service and quickly adopted the latest trends in the main app. First, it brought video upload support, then Instagram direct message arrived. Subsequently, Instagram took a page from the Snapchat book and implemented Instagram Stories . Now, the Facebook-owned company is getting on the TikTok train with Instagram Reels, a 15-second video feature with music, live filters and all the fun . Sometimes, it becomes confusing for users to choose between Instagram Stories and Reels.

In this article, we’re going to look at the differences between the two features, so it’s easier for you to choose.

Instagram Reels vs Instagram Stories

Both Instagram Stories and Reels are integrated into the same interface. You can swipe right from the main interface and open the viewfinder menu with the Story, Live and Reels option.

At first glance, Story and Reels may seem identical, but they both serve different purposes for users. In this post, we’ll talk about the main differences between Instagram Reels and Story. Let’s get started.


Both Instagram Reels and Story are in the same interface. You can swipe right or tap the story option in the top left corner to open the camera interface on Instagram. By default, Instagram opens the Story interface and invites users to opt for Instagram Story. Swipe left to open Instagram Live and swipe right to go to Instagram Reels.


Instagram describes stories as something that allows you to ‘share all the moments of your day, not just the ones you want to keep on your profile. The feature allows you to share multiple photos and videos and they are displayed together in a slideshow format, which means a reel, like Snapchat. And of course, these photos and videos will disappear after 24 hours.

Instagram Reels is a content format that allows you to create and share 15-second videos with others in a new dedicated feed on the Explore page. Just like TikTok, Instagram Reels gives you a number of creative tools to create fun and engaging short videos on Instagram. Record and edit 15-second multi-clip video Reels with audio, text, special effects and stickers, then share them with your followers.

In many ways, Instagram Story videos overlap Instagram Reels. The company has added several functions to eliminate the differences between the two.


Since the Instagram Stories feature has been around for a while, you’ll find better and feature-rich options for creating the perfect story. Instagram Reels is still too young a feature. While the company has added the most relevant features to the Reels, it’s nowhere near Stories when it comes to creating content.

Instagram Stories: main tools:

Text: you can add text to your Instagram story with lots of gradient backgrounds.

Boomerang: With Boomerang, you can create eye-catching mini videos that repeat back and forth, then share them with your friends.

Layout: As the name suggests, the Instagram layout allows you to fit up to 6 photos into a single story. You can choose from a variety of frame sizes and shapes.

Superzoom: Superzoom allows you to zoom in on the content using various effects such as Heart, Fire, Dramatic, Beat, etc. It is popular with the younger generation.

Hands-free: the new hands-free function allows you to record a video with a single touch.

Plus, you can always add loads of effects, stickers, draw scribbles, and even add fancy text, place and time to the Story.

To learn more, read: All the best free apps to make a splash on Instagram

Instagram Reels- main tools:

Reels are more engaging, live and fun with music and playback speed . Unlike Story, Reels consist of using the perfect music with matching videos and creating a relevant Reels with effects and stickers. Here are the main tools of Instagram Reels:

Music: music is a fundamental part of creating a film that attracts attention. Instagram offers tons of ready-to-use music clips to choose from.

Adjust the recording speed: many users will love it. You can slow down the video by 5 times or speed up the reel by 3 times. It is different from Story Boomerang.

Effects: Effects are the heart of the Instagram experience. Depending on your mood, you can add Funny Face, Party Lights, Green Screen and choose from dozens of other effects for a perfect Instagram Reels.

Video Time: Instagram Reels allows us to create up to 15 seconds of video. But you don’t need to stretch the video to 15 seconds every time. You can also create a 5 or 10 second video.

Add timer : This is something missing from the Instagram story. You can set a three-second timer to capture the right moments at the right time.

Align captured video: if the captured video is shaky or blurry, you can use the Align option to straighten things out.

Looking at the list of features, you can see that the Instagram Story tools are more geared towards improving the final image. The features of Instagram Reels aim to create a pleasant and attractive video.

There is a big difference when it comes to sharing an Instagram story and a reel. With Story you can share it among your followers via direct message or post it on your profile. However, the Instagram story will not be added to your feed and will disappear after 24 hours.

You can share Instagram Reels anywhere. Instagram allows you to share Reels as a Story, use direct message to send it to followers, and even post it to your feed. You will also find a dedicated Reels tab in the Explore menu.

In short, Instagram Reels has a better chance of reaching a wider audience than Story.


It all depends on the type of content you are creating for followers. Stories are a more personal way to share memories with friends and family. Reels enhance the experience with music, playback and other options. Marketers, editors and influencers will love it. And you? Which feature are you using the most to share those cherished moments on Instagram?

Source: Guidingtech

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