Instagram posts and Instagram Stories both appear on the same platform, but they’re extremely different from one another.
If you’ve landed here, it’s because you’re trying to decide between Instagram posts and Instagram Stories—or you’re trying to figure out what content is best for each format.
We’re here to help!
Table of Contents
- Differences and Similarities between Instagram Posts and Instagram Stories
- When to use Instagram posts
- When to use Instagram stories
- Start tracking your Instagram analytics
- Frequently Asked Questions
Differences and Similarities between Instagram Posts and Instagram Stories
The main difference between Instagram Stories and Posts is that Stories are temporary and last for 24 hours, while Instagram Posts are permanent and appear on a user’s profile. Instagram Stories also offer a range of interactive features such as polls, questions, and quizzes, while Instagram Posts don’t have such interactive options.
Instagram posts are the bulk of Instagram content. These are the traditional square photo and video posts that appear in your follower’s feeds.
Instagram posts can include captions up to 2,200 characters long, although the ideal Instagram post length is between 138 to 150 characters. Instagram posts typically feature several hashtags.
Instagram posts are evergreen. They appear on your profile forever (unless you delete them), so they tend to get more views over a longer period of time. It also means that you should look into best practices when creating your post – here’s a pretty great Instagram post guide.
They need to reflect your brand image and values and reflect the level of quality content that your followers expect. As a result, for major brands or accounts, Instagram posts are highly curated.
Instagram Stories are more fleeting and fun. Instagram Stories are only 15 seconds long and disappear 24 hours after they are posted.
However, you can feature your best Instagram Stories at the top of your profile and they will sit there permanently.
Instagram Stories appear at the top of the Instagram app rather than as part of someone’s feed. Instagram Stories are in the vertical video or photo format rather than square.
They often include stickers or face filters—which you can’t use in an Instagram post.
Because Instagram stories are more temporary, they’re typically more casual. They’re used as a real-time engagement strategy rather than a perfect, polished Instagram post.
When to use Instagram posts
Instagram posts are best for content that is:
- Evergreen – Content that you want people to be able to see forever
- Curated – Aim for high-value content on your Instagram feed
- Designed for reach – Posts are more likely to reach new audiences than Stories
- Soundless – Most users scroll their feed with the sound off
A business’s Instagram posts may be:
- Professional product shots
- Well-produced videos
When to use Instagram stories
Instagram Stories are ideally:
- Timely – Stories only last 24 hours, so they can be more “in the moment”
- Casual – Selfie videos or behind-the-scenes content are more common
- Designed for engagement – Your Stories will be watched by your current followers
- Sound on – Most users watch Instagram Stories with their sound on
Example Instagram Stories for business would be:
- Breaking announcements
- Short-term discounts or sales
- Polls for your customers
- Behind-the-scenes videos or interviews
Start tracking your Instagram analytics
Want to track the success of your Instagram campaigns? Start your free Keyhole trial to get started.
Keyhole is a real-time conversation tracker that provides keyword + hashtag analytics and social media analytics across platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Get started for free here.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it better to post or story on Instagram?
It is best to post a combination of reels, posts, stories, and long-form video content for optimal performance. You can use Keyhole to test which content type works in your favour in terms of reach and engagement.
Are Instagram Stories the same as posts?
No, Instagram stories are not the same as posts. They only last for 24 hours. However, you can keep selected stories forever in your feed by using the Highlight functionality.
Why do people do Instagram Stories instead of posts?
Instagram Stories appear at the top of the Instagram app rather than as part of someone’s feed. Instagram Stories are in the vertical video or photo format rather than square. They often include stickers or face filters—which you can’t use in an Instagram post. Because Instagram stories are more temporary, they’re typically more casual. They’re used as a real-time engagement strategy rather than a perfect, polished Instagram post.