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Instagram’s working on a new way to integrate Stories and Reels, with a new experiment that sees some Reels playing for their full duration within the Stories flow.

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 getting the first 15 seconds, then having to tap through to view the whole thing.

That could be another way to lean into the popularity of the Reels format, while Instagram chief Adam Mosseri has also noted that more people are now sharing content in Stories and DMs, as opposed to re-sharing posts to the main feed, so it could also be a means to tap into that evolving usage behavior, and keep users engaged for longer.

Reels has become a key focus for Meta, as it looks to re-ignite usage growth, and keep people in the app for longer.

A recent internal report from Meta showed that Facebook usage increased in the fourth quarter of last year, largely driven by Reels consumption, which has risen 20% year-over-year. At the same time, original content creation in Meta’s apps is declining, with fewer people posting to both Facebook and Instagram than they have in the past.

That means that the time people are spending in both apps is increasingly shifting towards discovery and consumption, which is a credit to Meta’s evolving AI recommendations tools, which are now roping more people via its various displays of Reels content in both apps.

People may criticize Meta’s replication efforts, which have seen it roll out direct copies of functions from Snapchat and TikTok, among others. But they work, and these engagement figures are another testament to its copycat approach.

With this in mind, a further integration of Stories and Reels makes some sense, and it could be that Stories become an even bigger consideration for creators, if this experiment leads to an increase in Reels consumption.

It’s still early days, but it’s interesting to see how Meta’s looking to merge its different functionalities, which could have implications for your posting approach.