Instagram Stories, IGTV, and Reels – Is this something I need to know?

Are you finding it hard to understand the difference between Instagram Stories, IGTV, and Reels? It can be a tough gig keeping up with the newest social media trends, but that’s why we’re here to help. Let’s dive right in and get to the bottom of these features.

Instagram Stories:

Instagram Stories first launched in August 2016. This feature allows users to share photos and videos to their “Story”, which is visible to all followers of the users’ Instagram account – unless the user specifies otherwise. Here’s the catch; these stories only last for 24 hours before disappearing. The individual photos and videos users add to their Instagram Story have a maximum time span of 15 seconds. However, a way around this time limit is to create multiple 15-second segments to your Instagram Story so they play one after another. 

Instagram Stories can create a lot of engagement and awareness for businesses. Since its launch, a total of 250 million Instagram users have jumped on the bandwagon of creating and engaging with Instagram Stories. So whether you’re trying to grow brand awareness or engagement, Instagram Stories are the way to go.


Instagram TV, known as IGTV, was first introduced to Instagram in June 2018. This feature allows users to create and upload high quality, long-form videos. Without IGTV, users were only able to upload videos for a total of 60 seconds. Now users can upload videos between 15 seconds to 10 minutes long! 

IGTV was formed so users could create more compelling content to engage their audience. You can find IGTV videos from the Instagram Explore Page, by clicking on the IGTV button on the top left corner of the screen. Instagram will then curate a page of videos for you. However, if you’re after a specific video or creator, all you have to do is type their name into the search bar and their videos will appear.


Instagram Reels is a brand new feature on Instagram which launched in August 2020. This feature allows users to create 15-second video clips set to music, which can be shared with their Stories, Explore Feed, and the new Reels tab on user’s profiles. You can find these reels on Instagram’s Explore Page, where you will be able to see Reels from accounts you follow as well as Reels from popular and trending accounts on Instagram. 

Instagram Reels is a new way to build your community and further grow your reach on Instagram, in a fun and engaging way. As we said, this is a relatively new feature to Instagram, so jump on board quickly. We advise you to get creative with this feature and go above and beyond to engage with your audience. 

When to use Stories, IGTV and Reels:

So now we understand the difference between Stories, IGTV and Reels, let’s unpack how and when each of these features should be used.


Stories are used to create engaging content but also remember to not overwhelm your audience with lots of text and slides at once. With Stories, you can relax the brand aesthetic to provide better relationships and connections with your audience, through team introductions, behind-the-scenes action, product or service highlights, Polls, FAQs, and educational content.  


IGTV is aimed at longer, informative videos such as How-tos, tutorials, Q&A’s and behind-the-scene tours. Before using this feature, it is important to understand and consider your audience and your business goals before heavily investing.


Reels are used to show brand personality and authenticity. Before using this feature, make sure you know your target audience, as this will indicate what you should post. Examples of reels include introducing your team members, day in the life, and client testimonials. Really this list is endless when it comes to Reels. We highly recommend jumping on this feature sooner than later!

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