Video Marketing

Cheat Sheet: Instagram Feed vs. Instagram Stories

Jason Hsiao

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We recently launched a new iOS app for creating Instagram Stories, Animoto: Social Video Editor. As a result, we’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about IG Stories—how they differ from the feed and what businesses should be using them for.

IG-feed-vs-IG-stories

I shared our findings in a couple talks I gave last week—one at Social Media Week NYC and one at Digital Summit NYC. And we’ve put together an infographic-style cheat sheet to help you understand the differences at a glance. Check it out and continue reading below for a deeper dive.

instagram-feed-vs-instagram-stories

Instagram Feed

"Instagram Feed" refers to your main Instagram profile page and the photos and videos you post there. These photos and videos show up in the feeds of your followers, and those that are following any of the hashtags you use in your post.

Speaking of following hashtags, they’re a great way to get your feed posts discovered by new audiences. By using hashtags related to your business, industry, or the topic of your post, you can get your content in front of more people. Learn more in our post on Instagram Growth Hacking in 3 Easy Steps.

The posts you share to your Instagram feed live on your profile forever. For this reason, many Instagrammers choose to carefully curate their feed so that it feels cohesive when viewed as a whole. Be sure that what you post to your Instagram feed represents your business well, as it’ll continue to get viewed by new potential customers that visit your profile.

These days, more and more, people go to Instagram first when hearing about a new company or brand—before Google or even a company’s website. So in that respect, your Instagram profile serves as the face of your company or brand. You should feel good about the content in your feed shaping their first impression of you.

Instagram Stories

"Instagram Stories" are vertical photos or videos, up to 15 seconds, that disappear after 24 hours after posting. Instead of being displayed in the feed, they’re displayed at the top of an active user’s app when they’re logged in, and are tapped through to view. You can learn more in our guide to getting started with IG Stories.

Unlike the feed, Instagram Stories offer a wide range of tools that encourage engagement. This includes stickers that let you ask questions, set up polls, and more. Plus, the Instagram Stories interface makes it super easy for viewers to message you directly.

Because of the fact that Stories disappear after 24 hours, they’re often used much more casually than the Instagram feed. Stories are shared in the moment and there’s a lot more experimentation happening, as Instagrammers explore all the possibilities. There’s nothing going on your permanent record here, so feel free to try new things.

If you’re curious about getting started with Instagram Stories, check out our iOS app, or find out how you can use Animoto’s square video format to make videos for IG Stories. And drop us a note in the comments below to let us know how you’re using Instagram feed and Instagram Stories!