How to Use Instagram Stories

Instagram’s Stories is similar to that of Snapchat Stories. The Facebook-owned social media platform initially started as a place to post pictures and share them among friends. Over the years the platform has grown tremendously, influencers, friends, and businesses all partake in the many features that Instagram has to offer.

If you’re new to the platform, or you’re looking for specific information about Instagram’s Stories don’t worry. We’ve got you covered. In this article, we’ll explain how the Stories works, how to post them, and more!

Instagram Stories Explained

You’ve probably noticed the small profile icons of various Instagram friends at the top of your Instagram feed. This is where you’ll see the stories that others have posted, but view them quickly because they do expire!

When you follow someone on Instagram any stories that they’ve posted will appear at the top of your Instagram feed.

When you watch someone’s Story be warned: they can see that your account has viewed the story. By clicking on the Story and the Eye symbol at the bottom, the poster of the story can see the profile of each individual that clicked on their story. It won’t show how many times you watched it, but they will know you did at least once.

Instagram Stories are short 15-second long video clips that are fairly customizable and very similar to Snaps on Snapchat. Record your favorite content, add stickers and text, then post it right to your Instagram feed. Unfortunately, these stories are not permanent. They only last for twenty-four hours unless you convert them to a Highlight which we’ll talk about more below.

How to Create an Instagram Story

Stories let you post photos and videos on a whim, as random events happen throughout your day. Here’s how to take advantage of the Stories mode on Instagram:

Tap the ‘+’ at the top

Tap on the plus (+) symbol in the upper left-hand corner of the Instagram app.  

Instagram Story

Now you’ll be on the camera screen. You can use either the front-facing or rear-facing camera on your mobile device.

Hold the record button

To take a picture and add it to your Instagram Stories, tap the white circular button on the bottom of your screen.  

Instagram picture or Video

Or, to record an Instagram video to add to your story, hold that same white circular button down until you’ve captured a video to your liking.

Tap ‘Send To’ to select your audience

You can either choose to send to a group, one person, or post your story to your feed.

Tap ‘Send’

Customizing Your Stories

There are a lot of things you can do with your Instagram Story. Keep in mind, once you’ve posted the content there’s no option to change it so be sure it’s perfect before you post.

Add Text

To add text to your Instagram Stories picture or video:

Tap on the “Aa” in the upper right-hand corner of your mobile device’s display. (Note: This picture has a filter added to it—we’ll get to that in a minute.)                                               

Instagram Story text

Next, add your desired text and position appropriately.

Resize the text if needed by pinching inward or outward with your fingers on your mobile device’s screen.                                 

Instagram story text

If you want to use colored text to write on your photo or video, tap on the icon that looks like a marker drawing a line, just to the left of that “Aa” in the previous step.

You can use a regular-tipped marker, a wide-tipped marker, or an iridescent marker. The color palette to select your text’s color is located along the bottom of your mobile device’s display.                                                                                      

Instagram color size

In the lower left-hand corner of your screen, an indicator lets you adjust the size of your marker tip.                                                                                                                                               

Marker size

Changing Your Filters

By swiping to the right on your screen, you can modify the filter settings on your picture or video before sending it to your Instagram story.  

Add Stickers to Your Story

Stickers are often funny animated characters that enhance the quality of your message within your post or make it more entertaining. Of course, they can make a statement too! To add stickers to your story click the dog eared sticky note at the top.

Add Filters

Filters can make you look younger, give you funny dog ears, or even add fireworks to your Story. Tap the Emoji + icon at the top to scroll through your filter options while you’re recording to make your Story even more fun and entertaining. Some can even change your voice!

Save Your Story to Your Phone

If you’d like to save your photo or video, tap the symbol (that looks like an arrow pointing downward at the horizontal line) in the lower right-hand corner to download it to your device.

Instagram story download pic

Delete Your Story

Alternatively, when you’re watching your own Instagram story, you get the option to save the picture or video by tapping the three small dots in the lower right-hand corner of your mobile screen. This also gives you the option to delete the photo or video, share it as a post, or go into your Stories settings.                          

           

Your Story

We also want to mention that using Stories is a great opportunity to work on your best friend captions!

Instagram’s Story Highlights

Story Highlights are a permanent Story solution. Rather than expiring after 24-hours, Highlights will remain on your profile page until you delete them. We have a lot more information on posting and customizing Highlights here but here’s a short tutorial to get you started.

Take your best content and display it for years to come by following these instructions:

Post your Story

Go back to your Story and tap ‘Highlight’

Follow the steps to choose your cover and post it. All done! Now your Story is posted to your profile just under the ‘Edit Profile’ button.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are a few more answers to some questions about Instagram Stories.

What is a Boomerang?

Instagram offers users the option to make two versions of their Story. You can choose a ‘Normal’ format that plays like a video or a ‘Boomerang.’ The Boomerang is a looping video somewhat similar to a GIF.

To create a Boomerang, tap the Boomerang option before you begin recording. Capture your content, add your stickers and text, then post as you normally would.

Is there a way that I can keep my Stories forever?

Aside from Instagram Highlights, you can also add your Stories to your Instagram Archives. Post your Story as you normally would, click the three dots, and add the Story to your Archive folder.

You can access the content at a later date by tapping on the Settings icon from your Profile page and tapping ‘Archive.’

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