How To Add Stickers or Emoji to Instagram Stories

There’s an increasingly fierce competition between social messaging apps Snapchat and Instagram lately, with Instagram constantly nipping at the heels of Snapchat in the areas of interface design, features, and usability. The competition between the two apps has never been fiercer, with both companies chasing after the same goal: to be the best temporary photo-sharing service on the market. While Snapchat may have been the first to enter the space, Instagram’s offerings are nothing to sneeze at. Parent company Facebook seems determined to add Story-like features to every single app they have out on the market, and the one place it seems to be making a real impact is, perhaps unsurprisingly, Instagram. The photo-based social network added direct photo messaging, Stories support, and much more to compete on the market with Snapchat, and it seems to be working. In fact, Techcrunch reported back in 2017 that Instagram Stories was stealing Snapchat’s own user base away from the original app, and according to Recode, Instagram hit 200 million Stories users per day back in April of 2017, surpassing Snapchat’s own 158 million daily user numbers in less than a year. The trend has continued, with Instagram Stories up to 400 million daily users in June of 2018, compared with Snapchat’s 191 million.

Even though both apps remain popular, it’s clear that Instagram is pulling a lot of customers away from Snapchat. If you’ve made the switch over to your Instagram community or if you’re just thinking about doing it, you might be a bit confused about how certain things work on Instagram. Instagram’s camera and editing interface, though similar, isn’t identical to Snapchat’s, and whether you replaced your Snapchat usage with Instagram or you’re just jumping into the “Stories” game for the first time with Instagram’s own application, adding stickers and emoji to your Instagram Stories is a must-know for creating innovative or artistic photos. Here’s how Stickers and Emoji work inside of Instagram.

Adding Stickers or Emoji to Instagram Stories

Let’s start with the basics. If you’re looking to add an image to your Instagram Story, there are several different ways to access the camera interface for your temporary posts. Once you’re inside the Instagram feed on your account, you can do any of these things to open the camera interface:

  • Tap the “Add to Story” icon at the top of your Instagram feed, located to the left of all other stories on your Stories panel.
  • Tap the Camera icon in the top-left corner of your display.
  • Swipe right on your Instagram feed to open the camera.

While it might seem redundant to have this many methods and actions for launching the camera, it also makes using the app far easier than it otherwise would be. No matter whether you like to slide or tap icons, you can access the camera easily from your phone’s display. Once you’re in the camera interface, things might start to look a bit similar to experienced Snapchat users. Your shutter button—which, of course, doubles as a record button when you hold it—is at the bottom of your display. You can pinch to zoom to increase or decrease your digital zoom, and you can slide your finger when recording to do the same. Your controls are all laid out along the bottom, with (from left to right) a gallery icon, a flash toggle, a camera switch, and the ability to add augmented reality effects similar to that of Snapchat. At the very bottom of the app, you’ll find camera settings, including normal, live, boomerang, and rewind.

Once you’ve taken the snapshot or recorded the video you want to post to your story, you’ll be given the opportunity to edit your capture. Since we’re looking to add stickers and emoji to our photo, we’ll cover these one at a time.


At the top of your photo, you’ll see a few options for adding content to your display. Ranging from left to right, you’ll see a smiley icon, a marker icon, and a “Aa” icon that indicates text. That smiley icon is your stickers icon. Tapping it will open a drawer on your device with a blurred background (you can also open this drawer by swiping up on your display). These are your Instagram stickers, and they can be added to any photo or video you wish before posting the content to Instagram. You’ll find a bunch of content in here, often changing in or out depending on the day and time of year, but here are just a few examples of the types of stickers you’ll find in Instagram Stories.

  • Location: When you tap on location, you’ll be brought to a location-lookup display, where you can search for different areas around the world, including hotspots that happen to be near you. The customization seen here is really nice. Instead of relying on an app like Snapchat to have a geofilter ready for your area, you can simply rely on yourself to enter the correct data. Once you’ve selected your own location, you can cycle between designs, logos, and more to set your sticker.
  • Weather: Unlike on Snapchat, the weather isn’t so much a filter as it is a sticker. We love this—the ability to not have the temperature permanently in the center frame of your image is an excellent add. Once you’ve selected the weather, you can cycle through a ton of designs and options for how you want the weather to look. Once you’ve made your decision, you can zoom in and out of your sticker, move it to the corner or side of your display, and really make it feel like your own. Compared to Snapchat’s own version of the weather, we much prefer Instagram’s implementation of this sticker.

  • #Hashtag: Alright, this is pretty cool. Since Instagram is one of two social networks that led to the popularity and prominence of hashtags (Twitter being the other), Instagram Stories has the ability to add a hashtag sticker to your story. Once you select the sticker from your lineup, you’ll be asked to input your own text into the sticker. This can be anything you’d like it to be, and Instagram will add suggestions as you type for popular or trending hashtags.
  • Day of the Week: This operates exactly how Snapchat’s own Day of the Week filter works, though Instagram allows you to move, zoom, and control how the sticker looks.

There’s a ton more of stickers spread over two pages, typically offering fancy or time-based designs, like watermelon slices for the summer, along with hats and glasses you can place over your own selfies. You can have as many stickers as you’d like on your story as you’d like, though the more you add, the busier your image will be. All of them can be dragged around the screen as you’d like, some of them can have different designs by tapping on the sticker itself to cycle through the variations. And if you accidentally make a mistake in your sticker choice, dragging the sticker to the bottom of your display will delete the sticker completely.


Adding an emoji to your Instagram story is a bit different than adding a sticker. Instead of swiping up from a display and accessing either all 1,000 emoji (or a select few, as Snapchat does) within one panel, you’ll want to use the text tool within Instagram Stories to add your emoji right from the keyboard on your iPhone or Android. On our Android test device, we’re using Google’s stock Gboard, which is available for download both within the Play Store on Android and on the iOS app store.

To add your emoji to your Instagram shot, it’s the same as you would with any other emoji-based app. Tap the type-based tool on your Instagram shot and you’ll see your keyboard pop-up, along with an entry field for text. Open up the emoji menu on your keyboard and begin to tap whatever emoji you want to add to your photo. Tapping the ‘A’ icon at the top of your display will highlight your emoji in white or a transparent white background. Once you’re done adding emoji to your photo, you can hit the “Done” button in the top-right of your display. The text will be centered on your display, but you can move, zoom, and rotate your emoji wherever you’d like to place them on your photo.

Posting Your Story

Once you’ve decided you like how your shot is designed with stickers and emoji, you can either post your photo directly to your story, or hit the next button in the bottom-right hand corner of your display to make a few choices on where the image goes. Here are your options:

  • Hitting “Next” will load a display that allows you to send your image directly to your followers. You can start a group, send individually to multiple people, or search through names to select. If you’ve never used direct messages, they essentially function just like Snapchat’s standard snap sending service (try saying that five times fast). Your recipients will get the message, and once the photo has been viewed, it will disappear forever. You can also add the photo to your story from this message.
  • If you just want to add the photo directly to your story, instead of hitting the “Next” button, hit “Your Story” in the bottom-left hand corner of the display. Hitting “Save” will also save the photo directly to your device.


Though a lot of people made a lot of (pretty good) jokes about Instagram when Direct Messages and Stories were added to the app in 2016, it’s obvious people have taken to the app anyway. With the already-existing audience and easy Facebook integration within Instagram, it’s easier to find your friends on the platform than ever. In addition, problems with battery drain and photo quality that have become commonplace within Snapchat (and that Snapchat has ignored for years) just aren’t there on Instagram, making it an easy switch for people looking to get away from the poor design problems that seem to plague Snapchat. Stories are a super cool feature, and copy or not, they work just as well as what we’ve seen from Snapchat. Definitely check these out, and let us know in the comments below if you’re enjoying Instagram’s rival feature after a year of using it.

15 thoughts on “How To Add Stickers or Emoji to Instagram Stories”

Avatar Edwin says:
I do not have the ” sound on ” sticker on my insta story. ( ie. cant find this sticker )
Avatar Mel says:
I have the same problem too like you guys… i thought my settings has a problem.. what to do?
Avatar Tatum says:
Avatar Elsa says:
I have the same problem with the stickers. On my personal account I don’t have them but on my business account I do :( I agree it’s frustrating. For now I have to upload a photo to my business account, screenshot it (crop out my username) and then post it on my stories on my personal account.
Avatar Humna says:
You should change your language to English(United Kingdom) then only you’ll be able to access all the stickers.
Avatar Sherwin Ang says:
It’s work! Thanks a lot
Avatar Kimberly Mirto says:
i’m glad i’m not the only one having this problem. i reported this to instagram several times with no resolution. i haven’t even heard back from them. it’s very frustrating
Avatar Karina says:
I’m having this problem myself for over a month now and it is very frustrating. I want this fixed and I want the instagram stickers just like everyone else. It sucks I can’t even have it for the 4th of July today I’m mad. It’s not fair this is happening to us.
Avatar TefaM. says:
Now I know that I’m not the only one with the problem, i really hate not to have the nice stickers…
Avatar Anita says:
I just created a new IG account to see if the stickers would appear and it did on the new account. I don’t understand why some of our accounts have the sticker option disabled?? Seems ridiculous to have to create a new account iust to have access to the stickers hope they can fix the issue
Avatar Amy says:
Yeah I have it on my buisness account but not my personal. It makes no sense. I’ve deleted and updated a few times now and nothing works. I’ve also reported it too many times to count at this point and nothing!
Avatar Anita says:
Glad to know I’m not the only with this problem I was getting so frustrated because I had them before and now I don’t have them :(
Avatar TefaM. says:
The same happened with me
Avatar Crizzy says:
Same problem! Never had the days of the week stickers huhu Hope IG fixes this!
Avatar Mickey says:
Same. Never had any of the Fun Phrases stickers or the Days of the week, or even the holiday ones (mothers’ day et al). Annoying – reported it already several times too
Avatar Anita says:
Same here and it’s soooo frustrating!
Avatar Nic says:
I don’t have the days stickers like Monday or Friyay or stickers like lit and so on. How do I avail of these?
Avatar naslib_92 says:
SAME!!! please help! My story line is so lame without them XD
Avatar Amy says:
Has anyone discovered a fix for this? I’m having the same problem. Super frustrating.
Avatar Katie Cole says:
No solution over here. I just updated my app today, and still not fixed. I just try and report the issue to IG every time I think about it. I agree though, SUPER FRUSTRATING! I have been dealing with this for months.
Avatar huhu kitty says:
Yes, it’s really frustrating. I also hope, that there will be a new bug fix update soon.
Avatar Missy says:
Have the same problem…
Avatar huhu kitty says:
I have the same problems. Only got 2 tabs instead of 3 and only have Emojis, Time, Location, Temeperature and Selfie. The other stickers are gone :/
Avatar Katie Cole says:
Me too! Hopefully IG will fix the bug soon. I’m happy to hear I’m not the only one. Maybe just keep reporting the problem until they can fix it. It’s so frustrating.
Avatar Shea says:
I’m having the same problem too!! How do we get the other stickers back??
Avatar Katie Cole says:
I have no idea! I report the problem almost every day to iG! I’m so mad about this! Please keep us informed if you are able to fix this! I will do the same! KatieCole49 is my Instagram if you want to message there.
Avatar ashley says:
i am having the same issue!! if tried googling it and reporting it to ig! if you find it please let me know my ig is ashleymargarett
Avatar Tali says:
Great!!! Tnx! I don’t have any geostickers, beside location… How can i fix it?
Avatar Katie says:
I’m having the same problem! I’ve updated my phone and the app. Logged out. Restarted phone and app, etc…Were you able to fix it?? If so, can you please share how you did it? Thanks!!
Avatar Kelly says:
Having the same problem! Had them for awhile and then they just disappeared

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