Instagram Reels vs. Stories: Which Is Better For Growth In 2023?

Rahul Maheshwari
5 min readDec 21, 2022
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Choosing between Instagram stories and reels for better engagement is nerve-wracking. Some of us are obsessed with Instagram reels because of the TikTok fever. However, Instagram stories give you more reach if your business is online.

Instagram is a powerful platform for reaching your target audience. It can be difficult to understand whether Instagram reels or stories will help reach a larger audience.

We made it clear that we would not be able to win this battle and announced the winner. In this blog, we will analyze which is best to attract more followers and engagement. Keep reading!

Related: Using Instagram for affiliate marketing

The Difference Between Instagram Stories and Instagram Reels

Depending on your purpose, both stories and Instagram reels have significant significance. Look at the differences between stories and reels on Instagram to find out which suits you best.

Length

Photo credit: Animoto

An Instagram reel can be up to 90 seconds for special accounts. Normal Instagram users can create reels up to 15–30 seconds long or 60 seconds, depending on their mood. Instagram stories allow for videos up to 15 seconds in length. A story can only have 7 seconds maximum length if you upload a photo. Instagram reels are the best option if you wish to upload longer content. They allow you to showcase your content without breaking it into parts (like Instagram Stories).

Format

An Instagram reel would appear as a shorter video than an Instagram story. An Instagram story can be viewed as a photo, video, or feed from your Instagram account. You can upload your reel to your Instagram story and share it there, so your followers know you have shared a new reel.

Caption & Hashtag

Photo credit: Search Engine Journal

Instagram reels offer more options for captions and hashtags. They can have full captions with up to 30 hashtags. This is enough for Instagram users. This is different for Instagram stories. You can only use ten hashtags without any captions. Stories do not allow for separate captions. You can instead add a caption via the text feature. For someone who loves hashtags and captions, reels are the best choice.

Engagement

Photo credit: Mention

Instagram content is uploaded to gain engagement from active users. Stories and reels can get you the engagement you desire for your Instagram business. A story can also give you engagement via DMs.

If you upload a story about your clothing business, anyone interested in buying your clothes can DM you and ask for the price. This will give each customer a more personal touch and make it feel like a traditional business.

You can get engagement through comments on your Instagram reels. This is a great way to engage with users, especially for influencers who need more time or desire to interact with their followers in DMs.

Your stories will not be featured or visible to others scrolling through your reels. You can instead view your story by visiting your profile. Your reel can also go viral and appear in other people’s feeds. Reels are the best way to get engagement!

Time

Photo credit: NYPost

After you have posted a story to your Instagram account, it will automatically disappear within 24 hours. If your message reaches only some of your followers within 24 hours, you will have to upload it again. Instagram reels are the winners of the race again! They will stay on your account until you delete them.

Audio Focus

Photo credit: Technoflix

In Instagram stories, you can play music in the background. In Instagram reels, however, you can either put music tracks from the music library or record your voice and make it the audio focus of your reels. You can create more personal audio experiences with reels. Stories, on the other hand, have a limit to how much audio they can focus on.

Editing

Photo credit: Curator

There are many ways to edit your Instagram reels. You can trim them and align them with other clips. You can slow down your reels to give them a slow-mo effect or speed up your reel for fun. You can also add a timer to your reels.

Instagram stories only allow you to edit filters, layouts, or camera effects. There are no options to add filters, merge photos through the layout option, or add stickers.

Related: How to Share a Link on Instagram Story

Instagram Stories vs. Reels: Which One is More Popular and has Better Engagement?

The simple answer is Instagram reels. Instagram reels are a great way to get engagement and be on the top of the Instagram trending list.

A new study by Hootsuite found that Instagram reels are more effective at increasing followers than posts and videos on your Instagram feed. Hootsuite found that reels resulted in a dramatic increase in followers within just 1–3 days.

Posting videos or other content led to increased engagement and follower counts, but less significantly than posting reels. Hootsuite claims that Instagram reels can be re-shared on stories to increase their views.

Let’s move on to Later’s study of Instagram reel engagement patterns. Later’s study reveals the impact of Instagram reels upon engagement. This is after the sudden drop in engagement on feed posts of 44% following the introduction of the reels feature.

To find out what people are interested in Instagram stories and reels, we searched the most recent google trends. Instagram reels have been the most searched-for topic over time. However, Instagram stories are seeing a drop in search interest.

Final Word

We have reached the end of the battle between Instagram stories and Instagram reels. We can summarize that Instagram reels are better if you want to increase engagement and followership.

However, Instagram stories don’t have to be boring. Businesses that want to provide personal attention to customers can use Instagram stories. In addition, businesses can use Instagram stories to create a deeper connection with their followers by offering behind-the-scenes looks at their operations, showcasing customer testimonials, or posting Q&A sessions with company representatives.

We hope you found the article helpful in understanding the differences between stories and reels on Instagram. In the comments section, we would love to hear your thoughts on the differences between stories and Instagram reels.

This article was originally posted on The SocioBlend Blog

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Rahul Maheshwari

Digital Marketer at SocioBlend | Football Maniac | Value Investor | Petrol Head | Plantsman