Instagram Stories Vs Post Vs Reels [Differences Explained]

While Facebook has the highest number of active global users, Instagram is not far behind. Over a million people use Instagram as a frequently-used social media platform to share photos and videos. And to make Instagram using more fun and accessible, more and more new updates and features keep getting added.

Ever since Instagram was launched, users could only share photos and videos on the feed. Then in 2016, the Instagram stories was introduced, and the Instagram Reels in 2020. Both features work differently than the feed, yet all of them are used massively.

However, many users can get confused among the Instagram feed or post, Stories, and Reels. That is why today I will talk about these features, how they work, and more.

Instagram Stories Vs Post Vs Reels

Instagram Stories Vs Post Vs Reels

The Instagram post is what you post on your feed, which is very much like the Facebook posts. What you post on your feed stays there as long as you want unless you decide to remove or delete them. On the other hand, Instagram Stories are photos and videos you can share only for 24 hours.

Instagram Reels are pretty much like the videos you post on your Instagram feed but shorter. They are 15-second videos, much like TikTok, and can be a combination of multiple video cuts.

Here is a comparison chart to help you understand the differences and similarities easily.

FormatPhotos and VideosPhotos, Videos, and Instagram Feed PostsVideos
LifespanUnlimited24 HoursUnlimited
Video Length60 Seconds/Longer with short previewMaximum 15 SecondsMaximum 60 Seconds
CaptionUp to 2,200 charactersShort captionsLonger Captions
Hashtags and TagsAvailableAvailableAvailable
ReachEasy to findHard to findEasy to find

Instagram Post or Feed

Instagram post is what you share directly on your feed without any particular categorization. It could be a short or long video and even single or multiple photos. Here is more on Instagram posts.

Instagram Post
Image Source

How To Create A Post

Creating a post on Instagram is simple. First, click on the “+” button at the bottom of your screen (assuming it is a phone). It will take you to your device’s storage or gallery, and you can select single or multiple photos and videos from there.

After selecting the images and videos, click the arrow button on the top right corner of the screen, and you will find some editing tools and filters there. You can add various hashtags based on the post type and audience and post them on your feed.

Editing Tools

You can edit the content using various tools to help you adjust the photo or video’s brightness, contrast, tone, shadow, etc. You can choose from various filters to enhance the content.

Type Of Content

Instagram feed posts are permanent and will not disappear. Anything you post on your feed will stay there unless you delete the post, whereas Instagram Stories disappear after 24 hours.

Content Size And Length

Instagram photo ratio can be square or 1:1 by default. But a vertical photo should come with a 4:5 ratio, while the horizontal photos can be of any ratio.

Instagram videos can be 10 to 60 seconds long. If the video is longer than 60 seconds, a preview will be posted on your feed, and viewers can watch the full videos after clicking the preview.

Related: Descriptions for photos on Instagram


Instagram post do not play audios by default or automatically. The audience or viewer has to turn on the sound or unmute it to listen. You will find the audio mute and unmute option on the bottom-left side of the screen. If you do not want to add the audio to your video, you can turn it off before uploading it.

Caption And Hashtag

You can add captions and hashtags to your posts. Using hashtags helps reach more audiences on Instagram. On Instagram posts, you can add text captions with up to 2,200 characters. The hashtags are also counted as caption characters. You can also tag people and places in your post.


Instagram posts connect people to more things as they are more open and easy to find. Users can search with keywords, hashtags, or names and find related posts. That is why posts get better reach compared to stories and reels.

See: Instagram tricks that might not know

Instagram Stories

Instagram stories are for having fun and sharing something in a shortcut way to share with your connections or a bigger audience. Let’s see how it is different from the Instagram post.

instagram stories
Image Source

How To Create A Story

You will find the Story feature on the top-left side of your Instagram feed. You can also find it in your profile area. There will be “+” on the top bar, and you can get the option by clicking on it, or you can click on your profile photo to get it.

From there, you will find your storage and photos you can share on Instagram Story. Once the Story is shared, it will show in a red circle surrounding your profile photo.

Type Of Content

While we all love stories to last longer, an Instagram Story comes with a shorter time limit. Each Story will be visible to the audience for 24 hours. After that, the story will disappear, but you can archive them and keep them as highlights on your profile.

Editing Tools

Stories have various tools and options as well. After choosing a photo or video, you can add text, stickers, filters, or doodles. Instagram Stories do not have many editing options or draft features like feed posts.

Content Size And Length

The videos in the Story are usually 15 seconds long. However, if they are longer, Instagram will automatically break them into smaller clips of 15 seconds. You can share any photo here as there is no size limit or framing feature here.


Instagram Stories do contain support audio on video content. But unlike the posts, you do not have to unmute it to listen to the audio. But you can also mute the video before sharing it if you do not want to share the audio.

Caption and Hashtag

Though you cannot add extended text captions like Instagram post, you can still add small captions in the Instagram Story. There is no limit for texts here, but you would want the texts to be large enough to be visible to your audience.


People cannot see Stories of other people without following the person on Instagram or checking the other person’s profile if they are not following. That is why stories do not reach as many audiences as posts.

Instagram Reels

Instagram Reels is the newest addition to this popular social media platform. It is similar to another popular platform TikTok and has gained many Instagram vloggers’ and influencers’ attention ever since. Reels are like feed posts but come with a different icon.

Instagram Reels
Image Source

How To Create A Reels

You can find the Reels option on the top left of your feed, where you will find a camera icon. If not there, you can find the Reels icon on the Explore or search option, or there will be a Reel option on your profile area.

Click on the icon and select and cut one or more videos to put together. You can search for music to add to the video to make it more fun.

Type Of Content

Reels are short videos of various types, meaning you cannot post photos here. While Story videos are 15-second long, Reels videos used to be up to 30 seconds long. However, recent updates allow users to post 60 seconds videos on Reel.

Editing Tools

Like the Instagram Stories, the Reels also comes with various options to edit and increase the appearance of the video content. You can change the video’s speed and add stickers and captions with various typography effects.

Content Size And Length

The video ratio for Instagram Reels should be 9:16. The videos appear vertically on the phone’s full screen for 60 seconds and play automatically.


Just like Instagram Stories and Feed, Reels videos can and cannot have audio based on the user’s choice. The audio also plays automatically here, meaning you do not have to unmute it. On top of that, once you play a video, you can keep scrolling down to find more Reels videos.

Caption and Hashtag

Reels videos can also contain short text captions with various typography effects. You can add different hashtags as well to get a better reach.


Reels posts are popular because they are handy for better reach. Since they are also shared on the feed, people can discover the contents in the search or Explore area. You can also share Reels videos on your Instagram Stories, but they will be cut into 15-seconds videos if the content is lengthy.

End Note

Social media platforms serve different purposes to different people. Since Instagram is a popular platform, all its features are handy for those who can make good use of them.

Instagram Stories are not permanent like Instagram Feed and Reels. But they can be an excellent mode of entertaining yourself and expressing your favorite moments. And you can let us know which Instagram feature you like and use the most.