More than a billion people across the world see or share Reels and Stories every day on smartphones, using popular apps such as Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, WhatsApp and Snapchat. These are one of the top ways to share content on social media and a mainstay of most social and messaging apps. While Reels lets you play with a canvas of up to 60 seconds, showcasing a blend of creativity and flair, Stories cater to those fleeting, 15-second moments that resonate instantly. They are slowly making their way into ecommerce app categories, including food and travel aggregators.

Entrepreneurs and investors say the next logical step for internet companies is to build a video engagement layer within apps. Already, video Reels and Stories are seeing early signs of adoption among niche apps, with video expected to permeate all types of apps. The choice between these two is about strategy, audience engagement, and purpose. Whether you’re a budding creator, an established brand, or someone trying to make the most of Instagram, understanding the nuances of these formats is pivotal. From content to rapidly expanding into commerce, communication and community products, including peer-to-peer communication and sectors like telemedicine and education, they say.

A trend that has captured the attention and engagement of millions of social media users is Instagram Reels. This relatively recent addition to the Instagram platform has quickly become a popular feature and has transformed the way that users consume and share content. This blog provides insight into what it is about Instagram Reels and Stories that have led to this extensive popularity.

What Are Instagram Reels?

Instagram reels are full-screen, vertical videos which can be up to 90 seconds in duration. The feature comes equipped with an array of editing tools which allow creators to embellish their videos as well as a library of popular music to add to the creation. These short-form videos are engineered to seize the viewer’s attention within a matter of seconds. 

Once posted, these reels will stay on a user’s profile, unlike stories which are deleted after 24 hours. Their dynamic visuals, coupled with a swift and engaging storytelling approach, make them an influential and highly effective medium for creating an indelible impression on your audience.

Their inherent shareability and eye-catching aesthetics make them a potent tool for grabbing attention. Many businesses have experienced the benefits of incorporating Instagram Reels into their marketing strategy, including increased engagement, improved reach and audience growth.

Why Are Instagram Reels So Popular?

Instagram reels are a type of short-form content which means that the message of the video is communicated in a matter of seconds. This brief but engaging format aligns with the fast-paced lifestyle of today’s audience. With their viral potential, Reels allow you to tap into new markets and demographics, attracting customers you might not have reached through traditional static posts. In a world that is flooded with information, capturing the attention of your audience is crucial to ensure that your message is being received. Instagram reels are an ideal way to do this as they do not demand a significant time investment from your audience but still capture their attention for the required amount of time.

Reels allow users to utilize their creativity with a wide selection of creative tools available to them. Individuals are able to personalize their videos with text, music, stickers, effects, AR filters and more. This emphasis on creativity encourages users to experiment and produce content that is unique and stands out. Reels are an ideal space for featuring user-generated content or highlighting your customers’ experiences for social media marketing.

Instagram has an active user base of over a billion people worldwide, thus it already offers considerable visibility to brands that want to improve their audience reach. Reels take this visibility a step further. Currently, the Instagram algorithm favors Reels, pushing them to a broader audience, including users who may not already follow you. This increased exposure can lead to more followers and higher engagement on your page. Moreover, the ‘Explore’ page on Instagram also features Reels which ensures that this content reaches a diverse audience. Again, this will increase the visibility of both your content and your page.

Many users have found that they achieve higher views and engagement levels when they post Reels. This is because it is fun, digestible content that is easy to watch and retain. Consumers respond to these shorter, catchier videos more positively as they communicate marketing messages in a quick and engaging way as opposed to other forms of marketing methods such as blog posts.

Many users are yearning for more relatable and ‘real’ content where they feel more connected to the brands that they buy from. Instagram Reels are a noteworthy way for brands to share the face behind their brand. When consumers can interact with the people behind the brand, they feel more connected to it which will lead to increased trust and therefore more conversions. Furthermore, including Instagram Reels in a marketing strategy will display the brand’s character which, as a result, will make the brand more likable and memorable.

What Are Instagram Stories?

Most social media platforms have them. It began with Snapchat, followed by Instagram and then Facebook. Now, it’s Twitter’s turn. Twitter also announced they would be launching a new Stories format called “Fleet”. With Stories, you can strike a perfect balance between staying in touch with your audience and avoiding content overload.

The name Fleets is derived from the term ‘fleeting thoughts’ and unlike standard tweets, Fleets will disappear after 24 hours and are unable to receive retweets, likes and public replies. Instead, they can only be reacted to through the use of direct messages. The disappearing tweets can only be viewed by tapping on a user’s profile picture. Although seemingly similar to the usual Stories format, Fleets have a few differences, making the experience more focused on gaining an insight into the user’s thoughts.

So, with almost every social media platform hopping on the Stories bandwagon, what are the benefits of implementing a feature like this? 

Why Are Instagram Stories So Popular?

No Need to Beat the Algorithm

Instagram in particular, is notoriously known for its unbeatable algorithm. By using the Stories feature across all social media platforms,you don’t have to try and ‘beat’ any tricky algorithms by posting at certain times of the day, or with an endless stream of hashtags.

This feature is sat at the very top of the home feed on both Facebook and Instagram, meaning it gets seen before any main feed posts and pictures. Simply add another frame to the Story to be bumped to the front! Although short-lived and disappears after just 24 hours, the Stories function allows you to post as many frames as you’d like, providing zero restrictions in terms of content length.

Increased Engagement

The use of Stories helps to maintain and increase engagement with followers and consumers. The feature allows brands and influencers to communicate without interrupting their main feed or timeline. The interactive features within Stories, such as polls, questions, and quizzes, provide a unique way to engage with your audience directly.

Stories allow you to engage with followers in a completely different way. Rather than relying on likes and comments for feedback, Stories allows you to get personal with your audience. Share your location, tag other users as well as share gifs, stickers, polls and question submission boxes. Now, many brands are using the Stories feature to collaborate on sponsored posts with influencers.

500 million accounts use Instagram Stories every day – yep, you’ve read that right! 

With 86.6% of Instagrammers posting to Instagram Stories, and brands using main posts and Stories almost equally, features like this could be the way forward to help boost engagement.

Website Traffic

For those with over 10,000 followers on a business profile, you will have access to a swipe-up feature on Instagram. 

When using Stories to talk about new products, provide sneak peeks or announce any exciting information relating to your blog, YouTube channel or brand site, you can apply the swipe-up feature. This allows followers to swipe-up and be taken straight to the relevant website, blog post or campaign page. It is an effective way to increase the amount of traffic you receive whilst creating a seamless user journey and overall enhancing online presence

Get Personal and Creative

Of course, you should remain professional, but the Stories features on social media channels allow brands and influencers alike to add a personalized approach to their online accounts. People are much more likely to interact with you if they feel a more personal connection.

Being able to use images, videos and the boomerang feature allows users to be more creative when using this feature.This is a great way to highlight your brand and grow awareness in a new and exciting way that differentiates from your main feed. Instagram Stories can also be saved to your profile, which appears above your grid of aesthetically pleasing images so that they can be viewed time and time again. This is an effective and reliable way of highlighting milestones and events.


Both Reels and Stories bring unique flavors to the Instagram experience. They offer a playground for your creative expression. Instagram also features curated challenges and hashtag trends, providing further avenues to get discovered and engage with a wider community. If you have any questions about where to start or how Instagram Reels and Stories could benefit your business, connect with us. We’re here to help! Get in touch with us today to find out more.