Are Reels and Stories the Same Size? A Deep Dive into Instagram’s Features

In the ever-evolving landscape of social media, platforms are constantly introducing new features to enhance user engagement and creativity. Instagram, one of the leading platforms for visual content, offers two popular features called Reels and Stories.

Both Reels and Stories allow users to share short videos and images, but are they really the same size? In this article, we delve into the dimensions, features, and purposes of Reels and Stories to better understand their similarities and differences. So, let’s dive in and explore the world of Instagram’s Reels and Stories!

Are Reels and Stories the Same Size?

Reels and Stories might seem similar at first glance, but when it comes to their size and presentation, they have notable differences. Let’s take a closer look:

  1. Dimensions of Reels: Reels are short videos with a maximum duration of 30 seconds. The aspect ratio for Reels is 9:16, which means the videos are taller than they are wide. This vertical format is optimized for mobile viewing, as most users consume content on their smartphones.
  2. Dimensions of Stories: Stories, on the other hand, are also vertical, but they have a slightly different aspect ratio. The ideal dimensions for Stories are 1080 pixels by 1920 pixels, with an aspect ratio of 9:16. Stories are also limited in duration, allowing users to share content for up to 15 seconds per story.
  3. Similarities in Size: Despite the slight differences in dimensions, both Reels and Stories share a vertical orientation, making them well-suited for mobile devices. Their size is optimized to fill the screen, providing an immersive viewing experience for users.

Features of Reels and Stories

While Reels and Stories share similarities in size, they do have distinct features that set them apart. Let’s explore these features individually:

Features of Reels and Stories

Reels Features

  • Editing Tools: Reels offer a wide range of creative tools, such as text, stickers, filters, and augmented reality effects. Users can unleash their creativity and add engaging elements to their videos.
  • Music Integration: Instagram has an extensive music library that users can tap into while creating Reels. This feature allows for seamless music synchronization with video content, enhancing the overall viewing experience.
  • Discoverability: Reels have a dedicated Explore page, where users can discover trending and popular content. This feature provides an opportunity for creators to reach a wider audience and gain more visibility.

Stories Features

  • Interactive Stickers: Stories offer interactive stickers like polls, questions, and quizzes, which foster engagement and interactivity with the audience. Users can gather opinions, ask questions, or conduct fun quizzes using these features.
  • Swipe-Up Links: Verified accounts and accounts with over 10,000 followers have the option to include swipe-up links in their Stories. This feature is particularly useful for businesses and influencers, as it allows them to drive traffic to external websites or specific landing pages.
  • Highlights: Stories can be saved as Highlights on a user’s profile, providing a way to curate and showcase important or memorable content for an extended period. This feature enables users to create themed collections of Stories for their followers to view.

Are Reels and Stories Equally Effective?

While both Reels and Stories have their own set of features and dimensions, their effectiveness can vary depending on the intended purpose and audience.

  1. The Effectiveness of Reels: Reels have gained significant popularity due to their engaging and creative nature. With the ability to add music, filters, and effects, Reels offer a dynamic platform for users to showcase their talent and creativity. This format is particularly appealing to content creators, businesses, and influencers who aim to captivate their audience through short, visually appealing videos. Moreover, the dedicated Explore page for Reels provides an opportunity for content to go viral and reach a wider audience. The discoverability aspect of Reels makes it an effective tool for gaining exposure and growing one’s online presence. Brands and influencers can leverage Reels to boost engagement, build brand awareness, and attract new followers.
  2. The Effectiveness of Stories: Stories, with their ephemeral nature, offer a more personal and authentic way to connect with followers. The interactive stickers, swipe-up links, and Highlights feature to provide a versatile platform for engagement and storytelling. Stories are especially effective for behind-the-scenes content, sneak peeks, product launches, and limited-time offers. The swipe-up link feature, available to accounts with a certain follower threshold, allows businesses to drive traffic to their websites, blog posts, or specific promotions. This direct call-to-action can significantly impact conversions and sales. Additionally, the interactive stickers foster engagement and feedback, enabling brands to gather insights, conduct polls, and interact with their audience in real time.

How do Instagram Reels work?

Another well-liked function that was introduced in 2020 is Instagram reels. Short, entertaining videos can be made and shared by users, and they can keep these videos on their profiles. Reels can feature music, filters, and additional effects and last up to 60 seconds. They are a great way to showcase your creativity and personality while also reaching a wider audience.

How do Instagram Reels work?

Are Reels and Stories the Same Size?

The short answer is no; reels and stories are not the same size. Instagram stories are displayed in a vertical format with a resolution of 1080 pixels by 1920 pixels. Reels, on the other hand, are displayed in a square format with a resolution of 1080 pixels by 1080 pixels. This means that the size of your content will look different depending on whether you are creating a story or a reel.

What Does This Mean for You as a User?

You might need to modify your content to match the format due to the size difference between reels and tales. Make sure your content is prepared for the vertical format if you’re writing a story. Accordingly, you might have to crop your photos or videos to fit the screen. The information should be adjusted for the square format if you’re making a reel. As a result, you might need to change your video’s composition to fit the frame.

Which Instagram feature is more popular and has higher engagement?

Instagram reels are a simple solution to this. Instagram reels are seen to be a superior method for increasing engagement and becoming popular on Instagram.  In order to determine public interest in Instagram reels and stories, we analyzed the most recent Google trends. Instagram stories have shown a considerable decline in terms of people’s search interest over time, whereas Instagram reels have emerged as the new search topic of choice.

How Can You Use Reels and Stories to Grow Your Following?

Both reels and stories are great tools for growing your following on Instagram. Stories are a great way to showcase your day-to-day life and connect with your followers on a more personal level. You can use stories to share behind-the-scenes footage, sneak peeks of upcoming projects, or even just funny moments from your day.

Reels, on the other hand, are a great way to showcase your creativity and personality while also reaching a wider audience. With the right content, reels can go viral and help you gain new followers. 

More Ways to Use Reels and Stories

There are plenty of additional ways to use reels and stories to increase your Instagram following. Here are a few concepts:

More Ways to Use Reels and Stories

1. Work with other users.

Reaching out to new audiences and gaining followers can be accomplished by collaborating with other users. Users can work together to create a shared tale or reel, or they can highlight one another on their individual accounts.

2. Show off your products or services.

If you’re a business owner, you can use reels and stories to showcase your products or services. You can create short videos showing how your products are made, or featuring satisfied customers using your products.

3. Use hashtags

Hashtags are a great way to reach new audiences on Instagram. You can use relevant hashtags in your reels and stories to increase visibility and attract new followers. Just make sure to use hashtags that are relevant to your content and target audience.

4. Organize Q&A Sessions

A wonderful method to interact with your followers and respond to any inquiries they may have is to have Q&A sessions on your stories. You can write a story that raises issues, then responds to those questions in another story.

5. Trade hints and instructions

An excellent strategy to position oneself as an authority in your profession is to share advice and instructions in your stories and reels. You can produce a series of lesson films to teach your followers a new skill or make brief videos to share your knowledge on a certain subject.

What sets stories apart from reels?

There may be some overlap between the material for reels and stories, but there are also some significant distinctions.

Reels are sent to a large audience, and perusing reels is a terrific method to find new artists. Stories, on the other hand, are solely made available to a creator’s friends or followers.

Format: Stories can feature brief movies, like reels, as well as still images and boomerangs. Additionally, stories will vanish after 24 hours (unless you save them), while reels remain on your feed forever.

Intent: Reels are best for discoverability, while stories are excellent for engaging your current audience. Casual updates and brief, straightforward posts are frequent. Some platforms also include tools that make it simple to encourage involvement by establishing polls, quizzes, event reminders, and other features.


Can I use the same content for both reels and stories?

While you can use the same content for both reels and stories, you may need to adjust the size and composition to fit the appropriate format.

How can I make my reels and stories more engaging?

How can I make my reels and stories more engaging?

You can make your reels and stories more engaging by using stickers, music, filters, and special effects. You can also use hashtags and ask for audience participation to increase engagement.

After uploading, can I alter my reels and stories?

After posting, you can make changes to your reels and stories by touching the three horizontal dots in the upper right corner and choosing “edit.”

What length should my stories and reels be?

Reels can last up to 60 seconds, and Instagram stories can last up to 15 seconds. But when it comes to interesting material, shorter is frequently better.

How far in advance can I schedule my reels and stories?

How far in advance can I schedule my reels and stories?

Yes, you may plan out your reels and tales using third-party applications like Hootsuite or Later.

How many reels have gone viral?

A viral reel is one that receives higher-than-normal engagement or more than 5 million views within 3 to 7 days of upload.

How often should I post reels and stories?

The frequency of your reels and stories depends on your individual goals and audience. However, it’s important to maintain a consistent posting schedule to keep your followers engaged.


In conclusion, Instagram’s most popular features, reels and stories, are not the same size. Reels are presented in a square format, whereas stories are presented in a vertical style. As a result, you might need to change your material to fit the format. However, both reels and stories are excellent methods for expanding your Instagram following. You can engage your audience and get new followers by using interesting material, pertinent hashtags, and fun features. Start making now since the possibilities are unlimited!

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