How To Save Instagram Stories

Instagram’s been quickly growing its featureset at a rapid base, and last year, it introduced its biggest new feature to date: Instagram Stories. Stories functions exactly how Snapchat’s own Stories feature works. You snap a photo, cover it in filters, emojis, stickers, drawings, or AR filters, and you post it to your “story,” where it exists for 24 hours before disappearing forever. You can put as many photos or video clips on your story at a time as you’d like, creating a daily slideshow of images that tell your followers and audience about your day as they flip through their content.  With over 200 million daily users, Instagram’s growth is huge–much larger than its direct competitor Snapchat, whose own active user base hovers right around 166 million. Despite showing up late to the party, Instagram seems to be beating Snapchat at their own game.

If you’re looking to make the switch from Instagram to Snapchat, you might be wondering how exactly you can save both your own stories and the stories of other users you follow on Instagram. Snapchat’s own app allows you to easily save stories to their “Memories” section, making it easy to revisit and reshare content months after you’ve captured a moment. How does Instagram Stories compare? Let’s take a look at how to easily save Instagram stories.

Saving Your Own Stories

In order to save your story to your device, you’ll have to create a story first. Open up your Instagram app–we’re using the Android version, but the iOS version is near-identical in terms of design and ability–and either tap the “Add to Your Story button” in the line of stories on your device, or the Camera button in the top-left corner of your display. This will open the camera interface for stories and messages, which is nearly identical in design to what we’ve seen from Snapchat’s own Stories.

From this interface, you can apply any sort of live filters, effects, or modes to the camera app. There’s also a few various settings you can apply to your own  You can also record video clips by holding your finger down on the shutter button. Once you’ve captured your picture or video, you’ll be taken to a display allowing you to preview or edit your photo, with options for stickers, brushes, and text to be placed on your display. If you want to send the capture to someone else, you can tap “Next” to continue to a display. In the bottom left-hand corner of your display, you’ll see a couple other options–namely, “Save” and “Your Story.” Tapping on “Your Story” will automatically place the image or video on your story for your followers to view. Tapping “Save” will automatically save your photo or video to your device in an “Instagram” folder on Android and to your camera roll on iOS. The photo saves at full size in widescreen–for example, our test Galaxy S7 edge saved the photo at 9.1MP (a standard widescreen shot on a 12MP camera).

If you’ve already saved a photo to your story on Instagram and you want to retroactively save it to your device, you can tap on the photo inside your story to view your story. Once you’re inside your story view, tap the triple-dotted menu button in the lower-right hand corner of your display to view your story options. From here, you can save your story to your device in full resolution, without having to rely on screenshotting or any other capture service that would cause a decrease in resolution. Unlike in Snapchat, your photos and videos will remain high quality even after you’ve posted them, without artifacts or degrading aspects.

Saving Others’ Stories

Despite the idea that most stories are meant to dissolve after twenty-four hours, it’s no secret that plenty of Instagram Stories users love to keep pictures of their friends’ lives that they’ve put up publicly. If your best friend or someone close to you threw up an image or video you want to save, sit back–just like in Snapchat, you can screenshot another user’s stories directly. And even better–Instagram doesn’t notify other users about who’s been screenshotting stories, so unlike within Snapchat, public stories are free game to screenshot and save without announcing your true intention to other users. Let’s take a look.

Saving a Photo

Saving a photo on both Android and iOS is as easy as capturing a screenshot like normal. On iOS, press and hold the Power and Home button together until the screen flashes and the screenshot effect plays. Your saved image will be added to your camera roll, though it’s worth noting your image will be saved at the resolution of your screen, not at the resolution of whenever the photo was taken. On Android, the screenshot method typically depends on your specific model of phone, though traditionally, most modern phones use a combination of Power and Volume Down. If you’re using a Samsung phone with a Home button, you’ll use the Power and Home button combination, like on iOS.

As we mentioned above, Instagram does not alert your screenshotted target about you snapping and saving their story to your phone unless you’re saving a direct message, so don’t worry about saving a photo to your device–no one will be the wiser.

Saving a Video

Saving a video is, unsurprisingly, far more difficult, especially on iOS. Let’s start with Android. The easiest method for saving a video to your device is to use a screen recording app, and the good news–there’s a ton of great, free, easy-to-use screen capturing software on the Play Store. We’ve wrote about all sorts of recording software before, but our personal favorite is DU Recorder, a great, completely-free editor that can record sound through your microphone and speaker, includes a really great video editor for trimming and splicing clips together, and doesn’t have any ads or in-app purchases. We wrote a whole guide on using DU Recorder, and you can find that right here.

For iOS users, it’s a bit more difficult. MacOS users can use QuickTime in conjunction to record and capture their screen, but the framerate can be a bit choppy and look poor depending on which Mac you use to capture the footage. Apowersoft has also made recording software that uses Airplay to create a capture of your device on Windows or Mac, but both of these solutions require having separate computers to capture your footage on. Here’s the good news: iOS 11, shipping this fall, will include native screen recording abilities, finally catching up to their green rivals in terms of tech features. Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait until September to truly use that feature, but it’s on its way, and that on its own is great news for iPhone owners looking to capture the magic of a friend’s story on Instagram. Keep an eye out for updates to both your phone and this story, and we’ll let you know when things have changed on iOS as a platform. As for recording in QuickTime or Apowersoft, you can read more about both of those apps here.

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Instagram’s Stories feature might be a direct copy from what we’ve seen from Snapchat, but they also, in a lot of ways, do it better. You can easily save your photo in full resolution, something you can’t do through Snapchat (because Snapchat takes their photos at your screen resolution instead of as a proper photo) and the ability to save your photos and videos directly to your device even after you’ve posted them is fantastic. Same goes for the ability to capture others’ stories without alerting the user that you’ve screenshotted or captured their stories. Instagram might be aping Snapchat’s main addition to social networks, but you can’t knock them too hard when they do it so well.

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