The Complete Guide to Instagram Stories

31 July 2019
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Stories on Instagram, also known as “narratives”, “moments”, or “Stories” appeared in 2016, and since then they have gained so much popularity that Instagram constantly updates and improves this format.

Stories on Instagram originated within the popular social network Snapchat, using which users can send short videos and photos. Now more than 400 million users of Instagram view a story per day, and this figure continues to grow.

Any content on Instagram can be seen by all users: profile publications and “Stories” are a very promising media format, besides, Stories integrate well with Facebook, and users can view them on Facebook feed.

Stories can be viewed only for 24 hours, after which they disappear from the feed. Afterward, they are stored in an archive accessible only by the user. The length of one video is not more than 15 seconds.

“Stories” are actively used for advertising, promoting personal brands and business. They help brands regain the public’s attention, attract new audiences, and publish promotions and news. Stories are like your own TV channel.

How to view a story on Instagram?

“Stories” on Instagram appear at the top of the app interface; to view a Story, just click on the profile photo.

Stories are rewound with a single tap on the phone screen: to the right - to fast forward, to the left - to go back. Stories are paused by long-pressing screen, the action usually used to read long texts.

To switch a story, you need to turn over, swiping the screen from right to left or vice versa.

How to create a story on Instagram

You can create a story using Instagram or third-party applications, or upload photos and videos from a computer after editing them. We will discuss all the ways to create and download a Story.

To add previously captured videos and photos, you need to go to the Stories mode, click the leftmost button to go to the gallery, and select the necessary files. Thus, besides using the app camera, you can also use any available camera of the phone that you use.

How to create a story on Instagram?

Instagram allows you to film and edit your Stories directly through the app.

To create a story, click on the camera icon Снять сторис in the upper left corner of the application, or open the camera by sliding your finger to the right.

The Instagram camera has several modes and its own features. Let’s learn about each of them.

As soon as you switch to creating a story, the normal camera mode turns on. One short touch of the central round button creates a photo, a long touch - a video that lasts 15 seconds. If you hold the button and move it up, the camera will move closer to the object.

Under the button for creating photos and videos, there is a menu with other camera modes.

Boomerang

Boomerang comprises live photos, that is, it is a short looped video compiled from a series of photos. Pictures taken one after another are played from beginning to end and in reverse order. Now the popularity of “Boomerangs” is not as great as at the point right after its appearance, but users still like filming short videos and coming up with new ideas.

Superzoom

Superzoom allows you to shoot dramatic 3-second videos using the camera closer to the object and special music. Instagram allows you to choose several filming options, from romantic to tragic. You only need to pick the right one.

Reverse shooting

Reverse shooting creates a video with playback in the opposite direction, so you can diversify your content with an interesting idea.

Hands-free

Hands-free allows you to film without holding down a button on the screen. Filming a single video will take 15 seconds.

Text

Text is a mode that allows you to insert textual information into the story. There are several options in terms of fonts: modern, neon, typewriter, bold. Fonts are switched by touching the font name at the top of the screen. You can change the background color by touching the button in charge of the current color situated in the bottom left corner.

Tap to type

Live

Live broadcasts allow you to broadcast the story in real-time, communicate with subscribers and receive an instant response. A live broadcast cannot last more than one hour, and users see comments and likes on the screen with the broadcast.

Starting a live broadcast is very easy. Simply select the desired mode, and the “Live” button will appear. Subscribers who are currently online (they can be seen online) will receive a notification that the broadcast has started.

Live

During the live broadcast, there is an opportunity to write a comment and fix it on the screen. You can turn off the ability to comment for everyone by clicking on the menu item and selecting “Disable comments”. Live broadcast allows you to broadcast together with another user.

To finish the broadcast, you must click “Finish” and confirm the action. By clicking the “Save” button, you download the live broadcast without likes and comments. This function is to ensure that the video is not lost. The live broadcast can be seen on Instagram for another 24 hours, like a normal story.

Remember: if you do not save the last live broadcast, after 24 hours it will be deleted, and restoring it will not be possible.

Masks on Instagram

Another feature of Stories is masks. Masks are virtual filters designed to alter facial features which allow making Stories even more colorful and funny.

Masks are available in almost all filming modes. Just click on the smiley Masks on Instagram to the right of the Record button and select the appropriate one. Masks can change according to the camera location, the surrounding space or the user’s facial expression.

How to repost a story on Instagram?

In Stories, you can share your posts from the Instagram profile to attract more attention. To do this, click on the airplane icon repost a story on Instagram under the post and select “Edit Story”.

You can create a repost of the Story itself from another person’s profile if your account is tagged in it. When this happens, you receive a notification in your private messages menu about the mention in the story; there is also an active link “Add this to the Story”. After you click the link, a window will open that will allow editing the story.

How to edit an Instagram Story?

After you filmed the story, it’s time to edit it. Editing is available for both photos and videos.

How to add filters to Instagram?

To view and apply filters, you need to swipe left and select the one you like.

How to add hashtags to an Instagram story?

A hashtag is a special label that unites user content into one group. On Instagram, hashtags are used not only as a means of navigation and search but also for promotion. It could be said that hashtags are the keywords of your post, story, and profile on Instagram.

There are several ways to add hashtags to the story.

The first way: click on the sticker icon at the top of the screen add hashtags and select “# Hashtag”. In this case, you need to enter the hashtag without the hash symbol # and Instagram will offer several popular or frequently used hashtags.

The second way: enter the hashtag using the “Text” tool. In this case, you need to also use the symbol #, and Instagram will also offer to select popular or frequently used hashtags.

Some users resort to tricks to insert more hashtags into the story. Two methods are used at once: they add more hashtags to the text, hide hashtags in a poorly viewed area of ​​the screen (at the very bottom or top of the story), color the text of a hashtag the same as the background color so that they are not visible to users, and so that viewers are not vexed with them.

Such hashtags are also included in the Instagram search.

The service Onlypult.com offers you the option of inserting up to 9 hashtags when publishing a story. While they are not visible in the story itself, they are included in the search process.

How to add geotags to Instagram

Geotagging on Instagram is also used to promote and search for publications.

Geomarks or geotags are data about a specific location, stamped onto a story as metadata.

Embedding a geotag into Instagram Stories is very easy. Just click on the sticker icon and select Добавление локации. Choose from the list or start typing the location.

How do I tag a person on an Instagram Story?

To mark another Instagram profile on your story, you need to select the “Text” tool and enter the user’s nickname, starting with the @ symbol. Thus, you can enter up to 10 profiles in one Story. If you click on the sticker and select “Mention” in the pop-up menu, you can add one profile without using the @ symbol.

In both cases, Instagram will offer to choose a profile that matches the characters entered. All that’s left to do is to choose the right one.

The user will be notified that they were mentioned. They will not be able to remove the tag, but this way it will be possible to share this story on an account.

After placing such a tag, subscribers will be able to go to the specified profile by clicking on it in the Story.

How do I insert a link in a Story on Instagram?

This feature is only available to business accounts with more than 10,000 users signed up. A few days and account reaches the required threshold, a link button appears at the top of the screen in the Story’s add-on interface.

Using this tool, discounts and promotions are announced, Instagram users are sent to the site or a separate page of the site, links to blog articles, online and offline events are added, and so on.

Clicking on the button, enter the desired link and complete the Story. Looking through your Stories, users will only have to swipe up to follow the link.

If the link button does not appear when you’ve accumulated 10,000 subscribers, try to reboot the phone or update the application. You can also contact the support service of Instagram.

How to draw in an Instagram Story?

There is a drawing tool on Instagram Stories. To use it, you need to click on the pencil icon Draw in an Instagram Story at the top of the screen.

There are several modes or brushes. They differ in impression style and line thickness.

With the help of the drawing tool, you can make the photo a single color. Simply select the desired color at the bottom of the screen and hold the photo anywhere.

To use a translucent monochromatic tone, choose a brush with a thick stylus or “marker”.

There is another secret to this tool. You can choose more than the standard colors specified in the palette.

If you press and hold the colors of the palette, a panel will appear with a choice of an arbitrary color. Without lifting your finger from the screen, move to the desired color to select.

How to add a selfie to an Instagram Story?

You can add a selfie to the finished photo or video. Click on the sticker of the camera Add a selfie to an Instagram Story. If you click on the finished selfie, the design will change: you’ll see blurred edges or a white frame.

What else to add to the story?

What to add to the story

Questions

A questionnaire is attached to the story in which you can enter your question. Subscribers will be able to ask you any questions.

To insert a questionnaire, when editing the story, select the Questions widget. You can choose the color and size of the published form.

Write your statement in the questionnaire. For example, “I will answer your questions. Ask! ”.

Responses can be viewed by clicking on the lower-left corner of the story. You can share responses with subscribers. To do this, open the desired response and click “Share answer”. You can choose the color of the questionnaire, add a comment and publish it as part of a Story.

Polls

The “Polls” widget allows you to conduct a small survey among subscribers, where only two possible answers are available. In standard form, these are “Yes” and “No”, but you can enter your question and short answers. After the survey is posted, you will see the answers as a percentage.

In the statistics of the story, you can see which of the users clicked which answer, and the total number of those who viewed the story.

Опросы в сторис

Voting

Voting in Stories is carried out using a scale. Selecting the appropriate widget Голосование в сторис, assign a color for the scale and an emoji for an answer. Ask a question, and to answer it, subscribers will move the slider, expressing the degree of their reaction to the question.

Statistics will show exactly how users voted, as well as the average answer.

A quiz

This widget is also called a “Test” because you set the correct answer, and users. Having chosen the option, you will immediately see if it is correct or not.

To insert a widget, click on the sticker icons and select “Quiz” in the story. In the form that appears, you can enter your question and several answers.

There can only be four answers in total. Enter the answers in order and press “Next” on the phone keypad to create new options.

The color can be changed using the settings at the top of the screen.

Don’t forget to specify the correct answer. To do this, click on the letter of one of the options, it will be highlighted in green.

To view the responses of users, go to the statistics of the story or flick up. Several correct and incorrect answers will be available, as well as the total number of viewed Stories.

How do I add music to an Instagram Story?

The function of adding music became available on Stories in 2018, but not in all countries. Therefore, if it’s not possible to add music directly via Instagram, you need to use third-party applications. We will tell about all the ways to get this done.

How do I add music using the Instagram app?

If you can add music using the Instagram application: tap the sticker icon and select “Music” from the menu.

The application runs a search by mood, genre, and popularity. After selecting a song, you can rewind to the desired moment, and the track will play from a given point as long as the story continues.

You can add a track before selecting a video. Open the camera, scroll through the menu under the record button to the right and select “Music”. Find a song and a moment, and record a video while the song is playing.

How do I add music to Instagram?

If there is no music option in the Instagram app, you can add it to the story through third-party video editors.

Download the video editor in the App Store or Google Play. Here are some of them:

Storybeat allows you to add not only music but also small effects on the photo and video. It can record voice or slow down the video.

InShot can remove unwanted frames, suppress noise, add text and stickers. Music is added only from the device’s library.

PicMusic is a photo and video editor. You can add music, voice, and text.

How to publish a Story on Instagram

When the Story is ready and edited, it can be published. To do this, simply click the “Your Story” button in the lower-left corner, and the story will be published on your profile and available to everyone.

You can limit the list of viewers by clicking the “Best Friends” button when publishing. Then the story will be seen only by those you add to your friend list.

Stories can be sent to your favorite contacts by clicking on the “Publish” button and selecting the desired profiles.

Within 24 hours, while the published Story is available, it can be deleted, edited and configured.

How? Click on the three dots in the lower right corner and select the desired menu item.

To customize the story, select “Story Settings”. As you’re moving the sliders and ticking the checkboxes, you adjust the story’s interface. Here you can hide Stories from certain accounts, enable or disable comments, and create a list of best friends.

You can publish several Stories simultaneously. To do this, select the camera and click on the gallery icon. The latest photos and videos of the device will be shown. Click the pages icon at the top right and select all the necessary photos and videos in the order in which they should be published. Each story can be edited before publication.

To publish the story from a computer, you need to use third-party services. For example, there is Onlypult.com, scheduled posting service, using which you can select the date and time of publication. Go to the website of the service, click on “Stories”, edit the publication card and set the time. Done!

How to delete a Story on Instagram?

An already published story can be deleted. To do this, you need to open the Story and click “More” in the lower right corner at the time of displaying the unnecessary file. When the additional menu is available, click “Delete” and confirm the deletion.

To delete the entire Story, you must delete every file in it.

Stories Highlights on Instagram

Stories Highlights are albums or rubrics with archived Stories that users can save on their profile. Thus, all of the saved Stories can be sorted or main Stories can be selected - whichever is more convenient.

How to add a Story to the Stories Highlights?

You create Stories Highlights. They will be shown in your profile above the photos. You can add to the Stories Highlights those Stories that have already been published. To do this, in the profile, click on the plus sign (“+”), select the desired color and click “Next”. Give the new selection a name, select the cover (initially it will be one of the Stories) and click “Finish”.

Here you can save stocks, portfolios, products, cases, masterclasses and much more. This will simplify account navigation and allow you to highlight the necessary information.

Forming the actual Story, it is important to remember:

  • the title of the section with the current story cannot be more than 16 characters;
  • To add a story to the Stories Highlights, you need to enable Story saving in the settings;
  • you can create any number of Stories, but the last 4 will be visible in the profile without scrolling;
  • one story can be added to several sections.

How do I make icons for relevant Stories?

You can create and upload your own icons. This will emphasize individuality.

There are several ways to create icons for a Story.

The easiest option is to use the already finished Story and select it as the cover.

Click on “+” in the Instagram profile, select the required story and click “Next”. After that, give a name to the new album and click “Edit Cover”.

At this step, you can choose any color for the cover, zoom in or out, or select a specific part of the photo.

Click “Finish” and your new album will appear on your profile.

Another option for creating an icon is to make it in third-party applications and services, for example, Canva or Photoshop.

It is preferable to create ordinary square images wherein the icon will be located in the center. The optimal image resolution is 1080x1080 pixels.

The finished picture can be downloaded as a Story and chosen as a cover. Or when editing the cover in the Highlights you can click on the gallery icon and select an option from the phone files.

To insert a cover into an already formed album, you must open it using your Instagram profile. In the lower right corner, click the three dots labeled “More,” followed by “Edit Highlight.”

Click “Edit Cover” and select the desired icon.

How to view Story statistics on Instagram?

Story Statistics can be viewed by activating a business account.

To view statistics, go to your Instagram profile, click on the menu icon in the upper right corner and select “Statistics”. Statistics for the account and publications will become available.

In the “Stories” section, statistics of the Stories posted during the last 24 hours are displayed. But you can find out the statistics of publications made in the last 14 days. To do this, click “All” in the “Stories” section.

In the filter above the statistical indicators, you view statistics on views, coverage, clicks, scrolls, answers, and so on.

Impressions - the total number of views of a Story.

Coverage - the number of people who viewed your story. Views for the same account are not counted here.

Scrolled back and forth - how many times did users go to your next post or back to the previous one. This way you can understand whether the viewers were interested or not, whether they were intrigued and wanted to continue, whether they understood that you wanted to say.

The next story: how many times users moved to other accounts’ Stories. The data shows how many people went from your story to the next, without showing interest in the content.

Exits - this shows how many times users clicked the cross to exit your Story.

Answers - how many people wrote a reply to your story.

Reposts - how many of your Stories were reposted.

Clicks on the link - how many people followed the link published in the Story.

Story statistics - provide detailed indicators and help determine how much your viewers are involved in viewing Stories.

Useful stuff

Where to find ready-made templates and layouts for Instagram Stories?

Stories in Instagram can be created on third-party resources. You can use more than the standard tools that Instagram offers.

Here are a few services on which you can create a story using ready-made templates, upload your photos or use ready-made backgrounds and fonts:

Easil is a platform with a selection of ready-made templates that can be altered. Templates are of a suitable size but in the paid version it is possible to change them.

Another popular platform for creating marketing materials, including Instagram Stories, is Canva. All the templates you create will be stored on the platform, and you can download them at any time.

Answers to questions on Instagram Stories

Is the list of viewed Stories displayed in order?

Instagram uses different ranking methods, and with different users the sorting is different. Moreover, it may change every few months. Therefore, some users may display lists by viewing time, others by frequency of interaction with the profile, and so on.

How is the list of unread Stories generated?

Usually, the most relevant Stories are displayed which have been created in the last 4 hours. Then they are mixed with the earlier ones. But Instagram pays more attention to real people, so the usual accounts are the first to be shown and then commercial or impersonal ones.

Will viewing the Story be considered a profile visit?

Nope. According to Instagram, visits are the clicks on a username that involves going to a profile.

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