This week, Instagram, the photo sharing app owned by Facebook, updated its platform and unveiled Instagram Stories “a new feature that lets you share all the moments of your day, not just the ones you want to keep on your profile”….and it’s very similar to Snapchat!
I’ve compiled 10 Things You Need To Know About Instagram Stories to give you a better understanding of how to use it, why you should use it, and what it could mean for your business.
1. Disappearing Act
Instagram Stories allows you to share photos and videos that disappear after 24 hours (like Snapchat) – although this is the internet, so it’s likely your posts are never truly gone.
2. Edit Your Content
You can also edit your content with text, emojis, and drawings (again, like Snapchat). The added benefit to Instagram Stories though is that unlike Snapchat, you have 3 brushes to draw with in varying sizes – the standard round brush, a wide highlighting brush, and (my favourite) a white brush with a coloured neon outline.
3. 10 Second Stories
Now if you’re already a regular Snapchatter you’ll be familiar with having a 10 second time limit on your content, however as every savvy Snapchatter knows there are a multitude of ways to combat this. Moreover you’ll probably know by now that 10 seconds is more than enough time to create some pretty awesome content.
4. Beauty And The Beast
Instagram is the birthplace of beautiful content. You’ve probably spent hours creating and curating ‘perfect’ images, picking the right filter, and adjusting every setting, to make your Instagram feed look inspirational and inviting, but Instagram Stories is now about raw, in-the-moment content.
Which essentially means you can post more often as, let’s be honest, we all spend a ludicrous amount of time editing our Instagram profile images to achieve that ‘just stepped off the pages of a magazine’ look.
5. Your Audience
Like Snapchat, you can also see who has viewed your story. To do this just click to view your story and then swipe up to see who has viewed each section of your story.
Your audience will depend on your profile privacy settings. If you have your profile set to private then only the people you have allowed to follow you can view your story, however, if your profile is public then everyone and anyone (with the exception of those you have blocked) can view it.
Unlike Snapchat though, you cannot tell if someone screenshots your story – there are no notifications. So if you’re thinking of posting moments from your drunken night out that you might not want reviving at a later date, you may want to reconsider.
7. You Can’t Download Your Story
If you want to download your story for reference or to repurpose the content, then I’m sorry to tell you that this (at the moment) there’s no way to download your story once it’s posted. Fingers crossed that Instagram will make like Snapchat and add this option in at a later date though!
Fingers crossed that Instagram will make like Snapchat and add this option in at a later date though!
8. How To View
To view your own story either scroll to the top of the News Feed and click your image on the top left of the screen, or click your profile picture on your own profile.
To view someone else’s story (if you follow them) then scroll along the top of the News Feed and click on the person’s image to begin playing, or visit their profile and click on their profile image.
Tip: If you want to find new accounts to follow, click the discovery/section section on Instagram and below the search bar you’ll see a variety of recommended stories for you to view.
9. Audience Engagement
If you like what you see you can comment on someone’s story by swiping up, or tapping ‘send message’ in the bottom left corner whilst viewing a story to send a Direct Message.
10. Upload Past Moments
And finally…similarly to Snapchat’s Memories, you can upload content from your photo album to add to your story, however Instagram will only display content that has been added to your photo album within the last 24 hours.
There are ways to get around this of course. For example, if you took a photo a week ago that you want to use then open the photo on your phone, take a screenshot, and crop any whitespace from the edge of the image so it looks like new. Your phone will think of this as a new image and you can upload it to Instagram Stories.
What do you think of Instagram’s new Stories feature? Tweet me or comment below!