Instagram Stories is a new Snapchat-like feature that lets users create stories based on photos. The photo stories expire after the passing of a single day. Effort wasted right?
Apparently not. The feature has grabbed headlines for being unique and reasonably engaging.
The only problem is; not many people know how to use it.
Instagram Stories, a feature that Instagram added to its service just days ago, basically lets users post several photos throughout the length of the day.
When the day ends, so do those pictures.
You would be forgiven for thinking that Instagram Stories is just a Snapchat’s My Store Feature rip off because it is one.
In fact, the only difference between the two features from Snapchat and Instagram is that Instagram Stories feature allows users to sort and edit their photo streams with filters and lenses.
Though the difference is certainly evident, Snapchat’s My Story feature offers more variety and customization option than Instagram Stories.
So without further ado, here is how you are supposed to use Instagram’s “new” Instagram Stories feature.
If You Know How to Use Snapchat My Story Feature, Then You Already Know How to Use Instagram Stories Feature.
Think of Instagram Stories feature as a set of transitory photos or videos. These videos are glued to each other in order to create a gallery.
That gallery communicates a story. That’s it.
Here is how you can create your very own Instagram Story.
- Look at the top left hand of your Instagram app smartphone home screen and locate a plus button. Then tap on that button. You can also swipe your screen to the left when in your Feed to achieve the same result.
- Also remember that you can “quick launch” your Instagram Stories by swiping right on the main screen.
- In order to take photos, tap the circle button at the very bottom of your screen. The circle should be white in color by default.
- If you want to make a video, then you need to tap and hold the circle button.
- If you want to, then edit your photos (or your videos) with text or drawings. These are pretty basic steps that you would take regardless of whether you were making an Instagram Story.
- You can also use a pen feature, by hitting the pen icon on the top right corner of your screen.
- When you tap on that pen icon, you’ll be presented with three types of pen.
- To add a different and unique effect, you could use the third option which transforms your sketch to look like a neon sign.
- You’re basically finished with your Instagram Story at this point now. All you need to do now is to tap Done.
- The app will automatically save your Instagram Story when you have pressed the Done button.
- And finally tap on the checkmark button to share your Instagram story with the whole world. Well, at least the partial world that can access Instagram.
If you want to use your saved Snapchat stories with Instagram stories, then you can do that too. Simply go to your saved snaps, or just take a snap then and there, and tap on the Download button.
This will save the snap on your smartphone’s camera roll.
After that’s done, open the Instagram app on your phone and proceed to start a new story. Then simply swipe down.
When you do that, a new gallery will pop up on your screen which will contain all your recent photos and videos.
Now, tap on the snap you had downloaded from Snapchat’s Stories feature that is showing up in the current menu.
After that just post your snap as you would normally do.
As a reminder, remember that you will only be able to use photos or videos that you have added to your smartphone’s camera roll in the past 24 hours.
So if you’re not quick enough then you’ll lose those snaps.
Needless to say, the photos and videos that you select for your Instagram Story feature will become a string of pictures and videos which your followers will be able to swipe through for a duration of 24 hours.
Your followers will be indicated about your new shared story with a colorful circle on your profile photo.
Your profile photo will also land on the top of your followers’ Feeds area. After that it is up to your followers if they want to see your Instagram Story or not. Of course, they could do that with a simple tap on your profile photo to witness your amazing story.
If you’re one of those people who post first and think later, then Instagram has got you covered. If you post something that you regret later on, then Instagram provides you with the feature to remove your Stories from your profile altogether.
To do that you need to tap on the three dots that appear on the bottom right corner of the photo (or video) that you want to remove permanently.
Simple hit Delete and then confirm your action.
Not Only Can You Upload Photos But You Can Also Upload Boomerangs and Time-Lapse Photos.
You can upload any photo that you might have taken in the last 24 hours to your Instagram Story. Not only that, but you can also use your own Boomerangs (Boomerangs are primarily animated pictures that run in a loop, forward and reverse) to add to your story.
In order to upload your photo or Boomerang, just swipe down the screen and select your special photos or videos.
Apart from Boomerang and pictures (and videos), you can also use Time Lapse related content to your Instagram story.
Instagram Stories Also Has Filters To Help You Out
Instagram Story might not be able to offer its users some feature such as a puppy face or rainbow barf that are very popular on Snapchat, but it offers filters that work a bit differently.
After you have taken a photo or a video, you need to swipe across it in order to apply a filter.
At the moment, Instagram Story has seven filters but obviously, if they want to compete with the likes of Snapchat, more options will be added in future updates.
Flip Through Instagram Stories To Have A Lot Of Fun
Instagram Story has made it super easy to flip through your stories. As a result, the navigation aspect of Instagram Story is right up there with Snapchat’s My Story.
To flip through your stories or your friend’s stories, all you need to do is to swipe right in order to go to a previous story while browsing the stories section.
Similarly, swipe left to go to the next Instagram story. If you want to skip a video or photo in a story then just tap on your screen.
Instagram Offers Features To Hide Your Stories From Other People
Unlike Facebook, Instagram allows you to manage who gets to see your Instagram stories and who doesn’t without spending an hour or two on customizing your preferences.
If you want to restrict your friends from watching your family photos or Instagram stories, then all you need to do is go to your profile page and then tap the three dots that appear on the top right of the screen if you’re on Android.
If you’re using Instagram on iOS, then tap on the sun symbol that appears in the top right corner of the screen.
After that, select Story Settings from the current menu and then tap on Hide My Story From to further customize your options.
You can then choose your particular friends from the list and hit (tap) Done to finish the process.
Remember, doing this will still allow your friends to see your posts and profile details. But they won’t be able to see your Instagram stories.
There Is No Comments Feature, But You Can Message
Bad news; there is no comments section for Instagram Story feature. But the good news is that you can contact your friend directly from their Instagram story by sending a message.
To do that, look at the bottom left corner of your screen and find the option labeled Send Message.
Then tap that option and type (or swipe if you’re using the modern flow keyboard feature) out your message that you would like to send to your friend.
After you’ve done that, simple tap Send.
Don’t forget that you won’t be able to send messages to your friends who haven’t enabled the comments feature in their preferences.
How To Not Let Haters Derail You Using Instagram Stories
Instagram Story features provide a headache free way to block people from commenting your Instagram stories.
To do that go to your profile and tap the three dots symbol in the top right corner of the screen if you’re on Android (tap the sun symbol if you’re on iOS).
After that tap Story Settings option in the given list. Then select Everyone if you want everyone and anyone to be able to comment on your Instagram story.
Or you can choose People You Follow to only allow those who you follow to comment on your stories.
The option Off will enable you to prevent anyone and everyone from commenting on your Instagram stories.
Archive, Your Instagram Stories, To Keep Them From Dieing Out
Not every Instagram story has to die after 24 hours. If you have a special place in your heart for a particular Instagram story, and you don’t want it to get auto-deleted the very next day, then you can download it to your smartphone storage space.
To do that simply open up the specific story that you want to save and then tap on the three dots on the bottom right corner of the video or photo.
Then, all you need to do is to tap Save Photo.
To Save Your Stories, Share Them As Usual Photos
There is always a chance that you want some of your Instagram stories to be visible to everyone you know. If you want to do that on a more permanent basis, then you can add those stories to your profile grid.
To do that, just open your Instagram story and tap the three dots on the bottom right corner of the photo or video.
After that tap Share as Post. You can also add filters, locations, and captions to spice up your photos or videos.
When you’re satisfied with the final version, simply tap Share, and you’re done.
The video or photo will show on your profile grid. But do keep in mind the fact that anyone who has access to your profile grid will be able to look at these photos and videos.
These photos and videos will not have the customized protection that you added to your Instagram stories a couple of steps ago.
How To Check If Someone Has Seen Your Instagram Story
Once in awhile, you do want to check out if someone has actually seen your photo or video or mainly your Instagram story.
To do that, go to your story and swipe up on the screen. Then observe the bottom of the screen and you’ll be able to view a counter with names of people who have seen your Instagram story.
If you feel embarrassed by the lack of views then don’t be. No one can see that information except you.
If there is a certain someone looking at your story and you decide you want them to stop then just hit the three dots beside that person’s profile name and choose Hide Story From [username].