Instagram does it again. The platform recently made an addition to their vertical content offering: Instagram Reels. These are story-like videos that consist of clips similar to the TikTok format. Due to the similarity to TikTok and also the imitation of Snapchat’s story format, Instagram is frequently confronted with the allegation of copying tools from other platforms. These Reels, however, are viewable as posts and last approximately 15 seconds. If your account on Instagram is public, your Reels can appear in the “Explore” section on Instagram for other people to discover interesting new content. 

So how do Stories compare to Reels? Once taking a closer look, it becomes apparent that there are similarities as well as differences.

Before shedding light on the differences, it is imperative to know that both formats are created on the app. Creating a Reel on Instagram is similar to making a Story. Instagram enables you to record several clips and add effects and music. However, when using Reels on Instagram you have more options to edit your video in contrast to the normal Story mode. These tools include a slow-motion mode or an align tool for so-called “jump cuts”.

Furthermore, Reels and Stories are different in the way where they can be viewed. Reels can be uploaded in your own feed and also have a dedicated section for when you search new content on Instagram. Stories on the other hand can be viewed on your home section at the very top.

Reels can thus, if the account is public, be found by every Instagram user when searching new content, while stories are viewable when clicking on the person’s account, unless you follow the person’s account. Then the story will appear on your home page on Instagram. Consequently, Reels enable you to attract more people to your Instagram page.

Also, Reels can last forever, while Stories only last for a short time, mostly 24 hours. Consequently, fewer people might view your Story, in comparison to the identical Reel. Stories on the other hand are more interactive, since you can quickly respond and create content and you can easily follow up on content, through links for instance. Stories can be described as a tool for friends and people you follow, while Reels are aimed at widening your reech and discovering new content.


In conclusion both formats, Reels and Stories, are entirely different from each other. Each one in itself is intended to serve a different purpose so they are not aimed at competing on the same platform, although at first glance this might seem so. Nevertheless, Story creation can sometimes be stressful. Cutnut is a Story creation tool for all platforms and it’s software enables you to facilitate the creation of high-quality Stories. At the same time, however, the Cutnut team is closely observing Reels and evaluates if it will be integrated into our platform in the future.


All the best,

Laurin from Cutnut


Laurin Kopp
Business Development Intern
+49 152 038 053 65