Instagram is experimenting with a new approach to combine Stories and Reels, with Reels playing throughout their entire duration within the Stories flow.

Additionally, Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri has noted that more users are now sharing content in Stories and DMs rather than reposting it to the homepage, so it might also be a way to take advantage of that changing usage pattern and keep users interested for longer.

As you can see in this example, shared by Hammod Oh, some users are now seeing full-length Reels playing within the Stories stream, as opposed to only getting the first 15 seconds and having to tap through to view the rest. This might be yet another way to capitalize on the Reels format’s popularity.

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Reels have emerged as a significant area of focus for Meta as it attempts to revive usage growth and keep users on the platform for longer.

According to a recent internal assessment from Meta, reel consumption, which has increased 20% year over year, was a major contributor to the increase in Facebook usage in the fourth quarter of last year.

At the same time, fewer people are publishing on Facebook and Instagram than in the past, which is causing the original content creation in Meta’s apps to decline.

With this in mind, a deeper integration of Stories and Reels makes some sense, and it’s possible that Stories will start to influence creators’ decisions even more if this experiment increases the popularity of Reels.

Although it’s very early, it’s intriguing to see how Meta is attempting to combine its various features. This could have repercussions for the way you post.