In light of Instagram’s recent statement that it will shift its focus away from pictures and video content, companies, and content providers alike are refocusing their efforts on features like Reels and IGTV. However, when and how should you employ one feature over another? While the two video formats are similar, they have some significant distinctions, and your social media strategy objectives may help identify which video format is ideal for your company. We’ve listed the advantages and disadvantages of each so you’ll know which form to use and when.

Instagram Videos Formats

Reels 

Reels is Instagram’s answer to TikTok. Indeed, 87% of Gen Z TikTok users think Instagram Reels are “essentially identical to TikTok.” These are brief, snappy video snippets that can last between 15 and 30 seconds (some users can produce 60-second Reels), and their primary goal is to entertain. According to Instagram, its Reels algorithm prioritizes content that is “entertaining or humorous” – which might also explain why Reels receive double the engagement of static posts.

Pros

Concise content grabs the reader’s attention: More than two-thirds (68%) of people would view an entire video if it is less than 60 seconds long. It’s no secret that the average social media user has a short attention span. 

Discoverability: Because Reels have their tab in the Instagram app, it’s far more probable that someone who does not follow you would come across your content when browsing – which means it has a chance to go viral. Or even you can get more Instagram reels views to blow up your engagement levels. 

Cons

Not very good with details: The disadvantage of Reels’ short duration is that they are not suited for presenting extensive information. 

It isn’t easy to be entertaining: Instagram prefers entertaining and humorous Reels, but generating that type of content daily may be taxing. With your whole Instagram marketing plan in mind, devoting more work to fun Reels may be taxing for your marketing team. 

IGTV

While Reels are limited to 60 seconds in duration, IGTV videos may last up to 60 minutes, making them ideal for larger pieces of content and debates. Whereas Reels, intended to be amusing, IGTVs, often meant to be instructive and informational — imagine YouTube-style content. Additionally, they display four times larger than images on the Explore tab, which is advantageous given that more than half of Instagram accounts use Explore to find new content.

While IGTV does not have its tab on Instagram’s main page, it has its standalone app for discovering video content from existing and new sources. It does assist in exposing your video to new audiences. Still, it has a considerably smaller user base than the Instagram app itself – just 1% of Instagram’s 1 billion users have downloaded the IGTV app as of 2021. So if you want your content to get high visibility, you can choose to buy IGTV likes to make more people visit your profile.

Pros

More extended demos and interviews are better with IGTV videos: IGTV videos are great for long-form content such as product demonstrations, interviews, and panel discussions.

Sortable by series: On your profile, you may group IGTV videos into series, which is a helpful feature if you post many IGTV videos. 

Cons

Decreased discoverability: IGTV lacks the dedicated tab that Reels offers. While it does offer a separate app that allows users to find videos from individuals they don’t follow, it is not as popular as the Instagram app itself. 

Can’t edit in-app: While it’s likely that the majority of your IGTV content will be long enough to warrant third-party editing software, missing the ease of in-app editing can be a letdown.

Conclusion

In a nutshell, it depends. To find the answer to this issue, we recommend getting down with your marketing plan and examining your objectives. Is it more beneficial for your brand to remain fashionable and expand its audience, or is it more helpful to establish a reputation in your area and cater to your existing followers?