Social media giant Instagram is mainly known as a photo and video sharing platform. Facebook and Twitter both rely mainly on pictures, text-based messages, and videos; Instagram’s main purpose is to connect different users through sharing images and videos. There are mainly six different types of features available on Instagram, through which you can post pictures and videos. These six types are- the Instagram post which is called feed, story, reel, IGTV, direct message, and live streams. These types can be distinguished from each on the basis of their features as they have a different purpose to engage with users. In this post, I will compare only 3 types of features i.e. Instagram post vs story vs reel.
Instagram post vs story vs reel – what are they?
Instagram Post – Instagram post is the traditional feature of Instagram. Through ‘Instagram posts’ people share their images and videos to their followers and by using hashtags people try to reach a bigger audience.
People can use ‘Instagram posts’ for both personal and business perspectives. You can take benefit from the Instagram posts by publishing high-quality photos or videos to gain followers as well as for making money.
Instagram Story – Instagram stories appear at the top of the feed when a user that you follow has posted a story or when you post a story it seems at the same spot as your profile picture. The Instagram story is available around your follower profile picture and it looks like a colorful ring, you just need to tap on it to see their story.
Instagram Reel – Instagram has a dedicated section on ‘Reels’ where you can watch them and also post them by adding (your wish) music, effects, or lip singing. This is a micro short-form video of IGTV or other social media platforms like TikTok, Facebook stories, and YouTube shorts. This is a new addition done by Instagram for boosting reach and engagement.
I will try to compare Instagram post vs story vs reel on the basis of the following features of Instagram –
- Aspect Ratio
- File format
- Caption & Hashtags
First let’s have a little discussion about the different types of Instagram posts, stories, and reels. There are different types of Instagram Posts, Instagram Stories, and Instagram reels available.
Instagram posts types-
Instagram posts that are displayed in the main feed are evergreen posts, they stay there as long as you have the account. It can be both photos and videos. You can post unlimited pictures and videos, but you can only publish 10 images at a time. In Instagram Post, you can write captions and tag people or places by using hashtags (#). And if you are not good at editing your photo, then there are inbuilt filters available that you can use.
In the video post, you can select your desired cover photo for the video and also you can add your video to a series if you have multiple videos in the same category.
Users can comment on your post or react via emojis.
Instagram story types –
The Instagram stories can be a boomerang, graphics, photos, or videos. You can add unlimited stories but there is a time limitation, In Instagram stories, images will be displayed only for 5 seconds, and in the case of a video story, it will be 15 seconds. and this will last only for 24 hours unless you add them to your highlights. The story you post doesn’t appear in your feed, instead; it appears at the top of the feed. A viewer can send messages, emojis, or GIFs to your Insta story.
Instagram Reel types –
There are mainly four types of videos you may see on Instagram Reels such as – educational, informational, entertainment, and inspirational. You can use this reel feature for both personal and business purposes as they have the ability to reach a large portion of the audience.
How long is Instagram reels? Well, you can make a reel up to 60 seconds of duration as they are micro short-form video types. Apart from 60 seconds of Instagram reels time limit, you can also make 15-second or 30-second lengths of the reel if you wish. You can choose a video layout, add music to your reel from Instagram itself, or can add your own music, and also can set the speed of the reel.
Both Instagram posts and reels can be displayed forever (as long as you have the account) but stories post stays only for 24 hours (unless you add them to your highlights). Instagram posts (public accounts) and reels can be seen by anyone but stories are usually watched by the people who already follow you.
Aspect Ratio –
First, let’s talk about what is aspect ratio in video or photo? The online definition of aspect ratio is the ratio of the width to the height of an image. There are various kinds of aspect ratios available to make a content such as 1:1 (Square), 4:3, 16:10, 16:9, 1.85:1, 2:1, 9:16, etc.
When you are about to post photos and videos to Instagram, you have to keep in mind the aspect ratio, because if you don’t then your content may lead to crop out.
Instagram post aspect ratio –
In the case of static content, for a horizontal Instagram post, you need to make sure that the aspect ratio is 16:9 to show up in the best way, for a vertical post the aspect ratio is 4:5, and for a square feed post, it is 1:1. For a moving content Instagram post, the best aspect ratio is between 16:9 to 4:5.
Instagram stories aspect ratio –
The perfect dimension for an Instagram story image or video is 1080px wide and 1920 px in height, i.e. the perfect aspect ratio for the Instagram story is 9:16. You can share any content on your story by keeping in mind the minimum dimension which is 1.92:1.
Instagram reels aspect ratio –
Instagram reels are verticals, hence the recommended aspect ratio for Instagram reel is 9:16; 1080px x 1920px (width: 1080 pixels and height: 1920 pixels). On the other hand, the aspect ratio of your Instagram reels cover photo will be 1:1 and 4:5 for the Instagram home feed.
File Format –
Both Instagram posts and Instagram stories support image file formats like PNG, JPG, BMP, and video files support MP4, .MOV, or GIF, whereas Instagram reels support .mov and MP4 file formats.
Captions and Hashtags –
Captions and hashtags help content creators to improve content discovery, and increase audience reach. You can write Instagram post captions of up to 2200 characters. You can include a maximum of 30 hashtags on your Instagram post and Instagram reel. But only 10 hashtags you can add to your Insta stories.
What type of content do people share via Instagram posts, reels or stories? I mean the best practice of Instagram posts, stories, and reels.
Content of Instagram post –
As I mentioned earlier, you can use Instagram posts for both personal and business purposes. These contents are evergreen post, When someone (except your follower) look at your Instagram feed they will know what kind of post you usually published. If the person likes your content then he will follow you for more great content.
Usually, people published different types of content in Instagram posts, apart from personal images they share quotes, tips, memes, facts, and lifestyle posts in the form of images or videos. If your intention is Instagram for business then content should be like what are the features of your product, how does it benefit your customer, post about your best-selling product, discount or coupons, and of course this should be shared with high-quality images and videos.
Content of Instagram stories –
People often share stories describing their present situations in a very short time, something insta story ideas like what is he doing right now, behind the scenes of some projects that he is working on now, the tip of the day. So, the audience or your follower have got a quick snapshot.
You can also make stories about your business-related things, your follower will love to watch these kinds of stories because they want to see who is the owner of this business, the team behind it, and a glimpse of the production house where the business is situated, an upcoming announcement of new products or launching a new product, etc.
Content of Instagram reels –
There are lots of content ideas for Instagram reels to make within 60 seconds such as – educational videos, no face challenges, fashion reels, makeup reels, cinematic reels, product based reels, beginners mistakes within your niche, life hacks, tips and tricks, funny content, before & after video, SEO tips, video editing tutorials, cooking tutorials, etc.
If we compare Instagram post vs story vs reel in terms of audience engagement then I have to say that reels are the best way to reach a large amount of audience than the other two mediums i.e. Instagram posts or Instagram stories.
Pick any trending music in your reel to get viral, by keeping in mind that the video and trending music you choose should go along with it. The huge benefit is that not only your follower will see your reel but there is a chance of reaching a huge amount of audience organically.
If you’re thinking of using Instagram for business then the Instagram reel can be a game-changer feature for your brand. By this conversation, I don’t mean that the other two features are not good for audience engagement. They are also good in their respective way and have unique features for audience engagement, but if you ask me which feature you want to dedicate your time to build quality content for, then my answer will be Instagram reel.
If you have any suggestions for this topic i.e. Instagram post vs story vs reel that I have discussed above then please feel free to comment down below.