Instagram Reels vs. Instagram Stories? We provide the overview!

Instagram Reels vs. Instagram Stories

Instagram made headlines with the launch of its new “Reels” tool in the days following its release. The creative and short video formats, with which TikTok has also been very successful for some time, are considered an undisputed social media trend. Now the popular platforms Instagram and YouTube are also integrating similar formats. To help you keep track of the different features, we’ve summarized the most important functions of Instagram Stories and Reels for you.

Instagram Reels: The update on the short video trend

While YouTube is still testing its “shorts,” Instagram already rolled out its “reels” at the end of June. The big advantage is that the use of the new tools does not require an additional app, as they are integrated into the existing one. The reels can be found in the story function alongside the normal shooting mode and the super zoom, among others.

Similar to the Stories feature, Instagram is adapting a core feature from a competitor. Since November 2019, the reels are already available in Brazil and can now also be used by French and German users.

Editing options of Instagram Reels

Reels’ features surprise with their simple yet versatile video editing and cutting capabilities. Various video sequences can be recorded, which can then be edited into 15-second short videos. Texts and other elements can be set precisely to the frame. The “Reels” provided with a description text and cover picture are then available under their own tab in the profile. They can also be shared in the profile or in the story. In addition, the reels are now suggested at the top of the “Discover” feed – and about nine times the size of normal Instagram posts.

Instagram Reels: Das Update zum Kurzvideo-Trend

Während YouTube seine “Shorts“ aktuell noch testet, hat Instagram seine “Reels“ Ende Juni schon ausgerollt. Der große Vorteil: Die Nutzung der neuen Tools bedarf keiner zusätzlichen App, da sie in die bestehende integriert werden. Die Reels sind in der Story-Funktion neben dem normalen Aufnahmemodus und unter anderem dem Super-Zoom zu finden.

Ähnlich wie bei der Story-Funktion, adaptiert Instagram damit eine Kern-Funktion eines Konkurrenten. Seit November 2019 sind die Reels bereits in Brasilien verfügbar und können nun auch von französischen und deutschen Usern genutzt werden. 

Bearbeitungsmöglichkeiten der Instagram Reels

Die Funktionen der Reels überraschen mit ihren simplen und doch vielseitigen Möglichkeiten der Videobearbeitung und des Schnitts. Es lassen sich verschiedene Videosequenzen aufnehmen, die sich dann zu 15-sekündigen Kurzvideos zusammenschneiden lassen.  Texte und andere Elemente lassen sich auf den Frame genau einstellen. Die mit einem Beschreibungstext und Titelbild versehenen “Reels” sind dann unter einem eigenen Reiter im Profil abrufbar. Ebenso lassen sie sich im Profil oder in der Story teilen. Zudem werden die Reels nun ganz oben im “Entdecken”-Feed vorgeschlagen – und das in etwa neunfacher Größe normaler Instagram Posts. 

Beispiele für ein Instagram Reel im Explore Feed
This is how Instagram users are suggested Reels in their Explore Feed.
Übersicht der Instagram Stories im News-Feed
Two rows of Instagram Stories: This is what some users' Instagram feeds could soon look like.

Are Instagram reels currently different from TikToks content?

At first glance, it is noticeable that the presented content, the music selection and presented challenges are so far very similar to those found at the competitor TikTok. The development of the editing options will be exciting: Although there are already numerous face filters, stickers or GIFs, there does not seem to be a unique selling point yet.

Through a certain preparation phase, influencers and creators were able to pre-produce relevant content for the Reels. As a result, they entered the market with an above-average reach. They offer, in addition to another entertainment channel, of course, another opportunity for self-promotion.

Der Instagram Reel-Tab bei @romanlochmann
The Instagram reel tab at @romanlochmann
Instagram Reel @romanlochmann mit @lisaandlena
@romanlochmann and @lisaandlena present a skit in their Instagram reel

Instagram Stories also had a successful role model

When Instagram Stories was first introduced, Instagram integrated the features of the popular app “Snapchat” and continued to expand them over time. Since then, the 15-second videos have also become very popular with Instagram users and influencers. They created more interaction between users and increased the reach of profiles that used Stories correctly.

Advantages of Instagram Stories in brand communication

Every day, more than 500 million users use the Story feature and are now reached there especially by companies and other advertisers. The big advantage of the format: With the right implementation, stories enable a more personal connection to followers and more immediate interactions.

If the stories are not saved in the highlights on your own profile, they disappear again after 24 hours. Particularly informative or successful stories can thus be saved and continue to be viewed and shared by users. Since insights such as view numbers or clicks can be viewed, the success of campaigns can be easily tracked. A full 39 percent of Instagram users say they are more interested in a product or brand when it uses the Stories feature. Many companies have already recognized this potential for themselves and are expanding their brand presence accordingly

Editing options for Instagram Stories

Stories can be designed with photos, videos or text content and viewed by the user in the form of a slideshow. With numerous stickers, lettering, songs or filters, the content can be edited individually. In addition to filters to visually “beautify” the face, playful AR filters have become a trend. The latest shopping feature also offers product links and even more intuitive shopping via the image-rich app.

Instagram Reels vs. Instagram Stories: Which tool should I use and how?

It becomes clear that both formats can be used differently. Instagram Stories have revolutionized Instagram in some ways, bringing back more authenticity and insight into the more unadorned daily lives of its users. Due to the enormous curation of posts in its own feed, the app’s usage became more and more stagnant, and the app also came under criticism for adjustments to its previously chronological algorithm.

Instagram Stories thus loosened the inhibitions that many users now had before posting. Instagram Reels now also seem to bring a similar effect: More content, more creativity, more interaction and the big advantage for early adopters. Those who use the reels early are preferred by the algorithm and suggested to other users.

These popular types of content are available at Reels

Of course, the key is always to produce content that is suitable for the respective format and the corresponding target group. As with TikTok, Reels is dominated by humorous skits, individual dances, creative lip syncs or fun challenges. Surprising before-and-after effects and the presentation of different outfits with crafty transitions and fade effects are also popular.

Fast-forward recordings are also a frequently used option for entertainingly stringing together different steps in recipes or workouts. Finally, of course, the typical meme humor can be found in the reels. While on the one hand the text makes a certain statement or asks a question, an appropriate or surprising reaction or answer is shown in the video.

We’re excited to see how the features and usage of Reels continue to evolve, and we’ll be happy to keep you informed about social media trends and updates on our blog. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us!

Instagram Reels vs. Instagram Stories: Welches Tool sollte ich wie nutzen?

Es wird klar, dass beide Formate unterschiedlich eingesetzt werden können. Instagram Stories haben Instagram auf gewisse Weise revolutioniert und wieder mehr Authentizität und Einblick in den ungeschönteren Alltag seiner Nutzer gebracht. Durch das enorme Kuratieren der Posts im eigenen Feed, stagnierte die Nutzung der App immer mehr und auch wegen der Anpassungen seines zuvor chronologischen Algorithmus geriet die App in die Kritik.

Instagram Stories lockerten also die Hemmschwelle auf, die viele Nutzer vor dem Posten mittlerweile hatten. Auch die Instagram Reels scheinen nun eine ähnliche Wirkung mit sich zu bringen: Mehr Content, mehr Kreativität, mehr Interaktion und den großen Vorteil für Early Adopters. Wer die Reels früh nutzt, wird vom Algorithmus bevorzugt und anderen Nutzern vorgeschlagen. 

Diese beliebten Arten von Content gibt es bei Reels

Zentral ist natürlich immer, dass man für das jeweilige Format und die entsprechende Zielgruppe passende Inhalte produziert. Wie auch bei TikTok dominieren bei Reels humorvolle Sketche, individuelle Tänze, kreative Lip-Syncs oder lustige Challenges. Beliebt sind ebenso überraschende Vorher-Nachher-Effekte und die Präsentation verschiedener Outfits mit gewitzten Übergängen und Blenden-Effekten. 

Auch Aufnahmen im Schnelldurchlauf sind eine oft genutzte Möglichkeit, um verschiedenen Schritte bei Rezepten oder Workouts kurzweilig aneinanderzureihen. Zuletzt findet sich natürlich auch bei den Reels der typische Meme-Humor wieder. Während einerseits der Text eine bestimmte Aussage oder Frage tätigt, wird eine passende oder überraschende Reaktion oder Antwort im Video gezeigt.

Wir sind gespannt, wie sich die Funktionen und die Nutzung der Reels weiter entwickeln und informieren euch in unserem Blog gerne weiter über  Social Media Trends und Updates. Bei Fragen dazu, stehen wir gerne zur Verfügung!

Author: Sylvia Muschalski

Instagram Reels vs. Instagram Stories? We provide the overview!

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