8 Things You Can Do with Instagram Stories

Instagram welcomed the month of August with the introduction of a new feature it calls Instagram Stories. This answers the need of most Instagram’ers – who through the years have maintained a feed that is thematic or stylized, or curates a selection of creatively filtered photos and videos – for sharing every day snapshots without over-posting or “breaking” their well thought out Instagram profiles.

Introducing Instagram Stories from Instagram on Vimeo.

While others were quick to dismiss this as a copycat move by Instagram to directly compete with Snapchat, presently the darling of social media networks, this new feature has been accepted positively and used widely by fellow IGers, as it allows you to share multiple photos and videos displayed together in a slideshow, but will disappear after 24 hours. And these rather raw, quick snaps won’t be added to your profile grid, disrupting none of your artistic endeavors in photography and videography.

Instagram has somehow made the app almost all-in and your go-to for anything worth snapping and sharing, now here are 8 things you can do with Instagram Stories.

(1) Snap and share your candidness. Like Snapchat, the idea behind Instagram Stories is to let others in on what’s keeping you busy day-to-day, but minus the fancy, face-play lenses (for now). It’s like the behind-the-scenes of your Instagram feed, with which you simply just be your candid self, surrounded by friends and the people you care about, in the many places you traverse regularly or for the first time. “Woke up like this” is perfectly fine, daring to get that morning look shared is already admirable – so drink up that morning cup of latte art, that seemingly awkward but uniquely beautiful outfit of the day, strolls on the street with your favorite pair of dirty white shoes – these are temporary photos and videos that will disappear after a day of posting, so go ahead and share like there’s no tomorrow.

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Tap that plus button on the top left of your homepage to start with your very own Instagram stories.

(2) Upload your most recent snapshots. Aside from instant snaps you took with Instagram Stories, you can actually upload photos or video clips snapped in the last 24 hours, including that of your Boomerang, Hyperlapse, and Layout (apps developed by Instagram). All you need to do is swipe down after tapping on the plus button, then choose what to post.

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(3) Swipe left or right for filters. Instagram popularized the used of filters to change how photos looked and thankfully with Stories you get the same selection of filters, though limited to 7 as of the moment, to add another layer of color or tone to snaps. After snapping a photo or video, swipe left or right and choose the best look and feel for your story.

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(4) Express yourself with doodles, text, and emojis. Aside from filters, there’s a drawing and text tool you can use to doodle or draw or add text including emojis. After snapping a photo or video, tap on the drawing or text icon on the top right of the screen. The drawing tool offers three marker tip options and three sets of colors. The text tool only has one font and comes only in white, but you can combine doodles and text as well as add emojis on top of your photos or videos.

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(5) Check out your friends’ stories. Only stories from Instagram’ers you follow are displayed in a row on top of your homepage. Tap on a profile picture to see a story, which will automatically scroll from one Instagram’er’s to the next. Tapping the screen skips to the next photo or video, or you can swipe right or left to skip between people’s stories. Swiping down on the screen or tapping x in the top right will exit an Instagram’er’s story and return to your homepage. Unseen stories are displayed as rainbow rings on profile pictures.

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(6) See who’s looking at your stories or hide them. To find out who’s checking you out, open your story and swipe up or tap on the number at the bottom of your story. You will then see a list of Instagram’ers who’s seen your story.

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Your stories follow the privacy settings of your Instagram account, so if you’re set to private, only your approved followers can get to see your stories on their homepage feed or from your profile. If your account is public, anyone can see your stories. To choose the Instagram’ers you’d like to hide your story from, go to your profile and tap on the gear icon (iOS) or three dots (Android), tap on Story Settings and then tap on Hide My Story From, select the Instagram’er/s from the list, then tap Done. You can also do this when viewing your story, tap on the three dots at the bottom right, choose Story Settings, tap on Hide Story From, then choose the username.

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(7) Interact via message replies. While Instagram forego likes and comments for this feature, you can comment or leave a note via direct messages. Direct messaging is one of the most overlooked features of Instagram, but with the launch of Instagram Stories, it brought back Instagram’ers to engaging from within the app, exchanging messages about books, toys, movies, places, or simply dropping words of encouragement. To leave a comment or message, when viewing other’s story, you’ll see Send Message at the bottom left of the screen, tap and type away. Note that this will only work for Instagram’ers who enabled Message Replies for everyone or people you follow.

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(8) Save your stories or re-share as a regular post. If a story’s worth keeping, then there’s an option to save it from disappearing, but you’ll have to do so within 24 hours after posting. Open your story, then tap on the three dots at the bottom right of the screen, then choose Save Photo. You can also re-share the story as a regular post. While viewing the story, tap on the three dots, choose Share as Post, then filter, add location, and caption like you normally do with an Instagram post, then Share, it will then be added to your Instagram feed with which others can like and comment on.

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Need more help? Here’s the complete documentation from the Instagram Help Center.

Keep the good vibes rolling! #ktgvr

 

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Carl C. Lozano or CCLozano is an Operations Management Professional, currently the GM for a Telesales and Customer Service company; founder of @IGersManila, one of the pioneering communities in Instagram, open to Filipino Instagram’ers (IGers) and phoneographers around the world, with its longest running photo challenge – the #IGersManila #9pmhabit – becoming the daily visual storytelling habit that continues to yield positive interaction online and offline.

http://cclozano.com