Articulate Storyline 3 or 360: What is the difference?

Articulate launched Storyline 360 – part of Articulate 360’s suite of applications – back in November 2016. This was the first time Articulate changed to an annual subscription model from a perpetual license. I recall at the time there was plenty of frustrated Storyline 2 users. Five months later, Articulate launched Storyline 3, which gave users the option to buy a perpetual license again. Feelings of optimism quickly turned into an overwhelming feeling of confusion. What was the difference between Storyline 3 and Storyline 360?

Turn the clock forward to November 2019, the confusion remains somewhat. Storyline 360 is part of a plethora of applications under the Articulate 360 name. Other applications that you get include Rise 360 (authoring tool for mobile-friendly modules), Peek 360 (recording screencasts) and Review 360 (an online platform to streamline the content review process) to name a few. Looking at Storyline 360 on its own, it has very similar features to 3. Despite this, there are still additional features you get with Storyline 360 but those alone aren’t enough to ignore Storyline 3 completely.

So what should you do if you are looking to purchase or upgrade? Should you grab Storyline 3 to minimise the damage to your budget? My recommendation is to go with Articulate 360 which gives you Storyline 360. An annual licence does mean an increase in spend, but the upsides are significant. The aforementioned applications that come with it are enough to justify the higher annual cost. Did you know Articulate 360 gives you access to over 5 million course assets, which includes royalty-free video clips, photos and illustrations, and a number of pre-designed Storyline templates? It’s enough to make most eLearning developers jump with joy!

Coming back to comparing Storyline 3 and 360 on their own, over the years I have also noticed the frequent availability of monthly bug fixes for the latter. At the time of writing, Storyline 3 has only had a total seven updates, whereas Storyline 360 has had… I lost count after 56! This clearly highlights the effort and resources Articulate puts into Storyline 360 (it makes Storyline 3 look neglected and without ‘friends’, or other applications). The bug fixes are important to meet the pace of change as web browsers are always tightening their security and web protocols which can often lead to module compatibility issues.

So, if you are looking for an all-in-one solution for developing engaging digital learning, Articulate 360 with Storyline 360 is the way to go.