Instagram has many features, some of them confusing. Some readers may have used Instagram a decade ago when it was primarily a place to post photos with vintage filters and decided to give the app another shot. If you’re in that boat, you may be surprised by how much the platform has changed. What are Reels? What are Stories? Should you use one over the other or use both? We’re here to help you know the difference.
Instagram introduced Reels in 2020. Reels are short-form video content that’s up to 90 seconds long. Also, in 2020, YouTube introduced Shorts, which are short-form vertical video content. If you know anything about social media, you have probably figured out that both platforms are trying to compete with TikTok, an app that has taken Gen Z by storm with its short, exciting videos.
As such, Reels are greatly favored in the algorithm. If you can create short, snappy content that caters to your target audience, you can bring in likes and followers.
Reels were also a big way for influencers to make extra money, provided they got the views. Meta wanted to entice people to use Reels, and giving big cash payouts for successful reels is one way for them to do this. However, Instagram recently announced that they’re doing away with this. That said, an Instagram user should still use Reels, which are valuable in attracting a new audience.
Stories came to be in 2016, once again as a feature that was competing with another. This time, Snapchat. However, Stories differ from sending someone a suggestive photo that disappears instantly. Stories consist of content that disappears within 24 hours unless added to Story Highlights, which remain permanently.
Like snaps, Stories give the audience a personal connection. Your audience will feel like they’ve been given a deeper insight into your life, especially when Stories often contain personal details that expire within a day. We aren’t saying you have to air your dirty laundry using Stories (though many people do,) but we are saying that Stories can be a valuable tool for retaining your audience. Remember, any business or social media account should not only strive to attract more people but keep the ones loyal to them.
Which One Should I Post?
You may ask, “Which should I publish: Reels or Stories?” The answer is simple: both! Let’s explain.
Reels Are Great for Discoverability
Reels are public videos that are often recommended to non-followers via the algorithm. If someone sees your Reel and likes it, they will likely follow your account. You can gain new followers if you only post photos and standard videos. However, Reels are treated much better in Instagram’s algorithm. Because of this, you want to post engaging Reels often. They are disposable, so don’t rely on only one Reel to do all the work for you.
Reels that get many views and likes are likely to attract your audience. Creating engaging Reels with no fluff is one way to gain your audience. Another is to boost your Reels’ likes on BuyTopLikes.
Stories Are Great for Connectivity
Meanwhile, Stories are not found in any public tab. Instead, they are found on a person’s profile. Unless someone was looking at your profile and a Story sold them, you’re not likely to get new followers from a Story.
Instead, Stories are amazing for retaining followers. Many followers want unique content that makes them feel connected to you. Stories being available for only a temporary amount of time means your audience will keep returning for more and will likely engage with your other content.
Instagram is an app that rewards people who take advantage of everything it offers. Only relying on one tool will mean your platform doesn’t go far. Instagram Reels are terrific for growing your audience, and Stories can help that existing audience keep interacting with you. If you take advantage of both of them, you’ll find success. We hope this article was helpful to you. Good luck!