Does Turning Stories Into Reels Actually Work?

Very like Gretchen desperately tried to get “Fetch” entering into Imply Ladies, Instagram is obsessed with attempting to make Reels occur.

Instagram has rewarded Reels customers with an algorithm boost, prioritized Reels on feeds and the discover web page, and now, the platform has began what is basically a recycling program, permitting customers to simply repurpose Instagram Stories highlights into Reels with just some faucets.

However as we’ve realized from all types of shiny new social media options over time (ahem, Twitter Fleets): Simply since you can do one thing doesn’t at all times imply you ought to.

We’re actually not satisfied that reposting previous Stories as Reels will do us any good. However right here at Hootsuite Experiments, we let the info determine.

And so, as soon as once more, I’m donning my arduous hat and am descending into the social media analytics mines to dig up some solid-gold proof about whether or not or not bending to Instagram’s will is price it.

Does repurposing your Stories highlights to Reels really work? Let’s discover out.


Reels made out of old stories don’t get as much engagement or reach as brand-new Reels

Sure, Instagram has made it incredibly easy to repurpose your old Instagram Stories as new Reels — it simply takes a number of faucets to show an previous Story into ‘new’ content material.

Nonetheless, our idea is that model new, unique Reels will most likely carry out higher and earn extra engagement.

In any case, Instagram’s purpose is finally to create an entertaining, partaking content material hub. (It’s what drives the whole lot about the Instagram algorithm.) Rewarding customers for recycling or rehashing previous content material doesn’t actually appear in step with the platform’s grand imaginative and prescient.

However, hey, we’re joyful to be confirmed improper! It makes us really feel alive! So I’m going to seek out out firsthand if repurposing your Stories as Reels is the most effective factor to do for Instagram engagement.


I made a decision to put up some “recent” Reels and a few repurposed Stories and examine their attain and engagement.

To make my new Reels, I pulled some movies and images from my digicam roll, layered on a musical clip and a few results, and hit Publish. (New to Reels? Here are step-by-step instructions for how to make your own!)

For my repurposed Stories, I adopted the directions outlined on this Hootsuite Labs video. That meant trying again by my archived Stories and including those I wished to a brand new Spotlight.

new highlight for experiments

For this venture, I created 5 completely different new Highlights. I opened every Spotlight, tapped the three dots on the underside proper nook, and tapped Convert to Reel.

Mascot Fest video convert to reel

This then opened the Reels editor, the place I used to be in a position to change the music or add any further filters or stickers. I additionally had the choice to delete scenes at this level.

I made my edits, added a fast caption to every, after which despatched my infants out into the world.

Yoro Park of Reversible Destiny in Japan share to reels

In complete, I printed 5 new Reels and 5 repurposed-from-Stories Reels. Then, I waited a number of days to see how they did.

Stacey McLachlan Instagram page including new and repurposed reels


TL;DR: My repurposed Reels did barely worse than my unique Reels by way of attain. However total, Reels that featured private, genuine content material made the most important affect.

results of repurposed and new Instagram reels showing number of plays for each reel on Instagram

Keep in mind, I posted 5 Reels from Highlights and 5 unique Reels. Right here’s how the attain and engagement for every fashion labored out:

Sort of Reel Whole Views Whole Likes
Repurposed From Spotlight 120 4
Model New Reels 141 7

My hottest Reels from this batch of experiments have been ones that have been genuine and private: Certainly one of me having the most effective day of my life at a mascot competition, one other of me performing comedy, and a reveal of my current renovation.

mascot grand prix

The Reels with the worst success price have been impersonal journey movies I had thrown collectively. I suppose it’s flattering to know folks care about me greater than they care about endangered elephants or lovely seashores?

Total, there didn’t appear to be a definite profit to publishing Reels out of your Stories Highlights. It was the content material that mattered, not the tactic I used to construct the Reel.

What do the outcomes imply?

Am I humiliated that nobody cared in any respect about my chill beach-scape Reel? In fact. However from the ache of this experiment got here some essential classes and reflections.

Authenticity is the final word algorithm hack

Whereas Instagram usually rewards customers for taking an opportunity on a brand new characteristic with an algorithmic enhance, it finally comes again to this: Nice content material is the not-so-secret secret to success.

Content material your followers discover compelling will earn engagement greater than any algorithmic enhance ever may. So focus on creating engaging, value-driven posts, Stories and Reels to get essentially the most out of Instagram.

You may’t get Insights from Highlights… however you can get Insights from Reels

Whilst you can see the variety of views and likes of a person Instagram Story, it’s presently not doable to see what number of views your Highlights get.

Which means there’s one profit of making a Reel out of Highlights: You may really measure how a lot attain or engagement that individual mixture of Stories get.

Highlights could be a useful compilation instrument

Using your Highlights to collect content material over an extended time frame may really be useful as properly.

As an illustration, I spent 22 lengthy weeks engaged on my condo renovation final yr and was including all of my reno-related posts to at least one Spotlight. As an alternative of digging round in my digicam roll to make a dramatic Reel in regards to the expertise, I may simply convert all that candy drywall-encrusted content material into one neat-and-tidy Reel with a number of faucets. (Research have proven that setting your development trauma to music can soften the ache.)

All proper, that’s sufficient out of me! It’s time to cease on the lookout for shortcuts to Instagram success and begin making wonderful Reels that mirror your model voice and delight your viewers. Dig into our tutorial for making profitable Reels, and it’s possible you’ll by no means really feel tempted to hack the system ever once more.

Simply schedule and handle Reels alongside all of your different content material from Hootsuite’s tremendous easy dashboard. Schedule Reels to go reside whilst you’re OOO, put up at the absolute best time (even for those who’re quick asleep), and monitor your attain, likes, shares, and extra.

Get Started

Save time and stress much less with simple Reels scheduling and efficiency monitoring from Hootsuite. Belief us, it’s reely simple.

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