More than 500 million users get to interact with Instagram Stories every day – 73% of Instagram influencers assume stories very influential in their jobs – More than 70% of Instagram users watch stories daily – 98% of the marketers said they have used or have planned to use stories on Instagram – 50% of businesses claimed that they had posted at least one story on Instagram during the last year – all these numbers and statistics are enough to convince us to dedicate a full blog to her majesty! “Instagram Story”
If you are on Instagram, you have already come across those colorful rings around the profile picture of Instagram users, the so-called Instagram stories; photos and videos that disappear within 24 hours, and they are fun and exciting because you have only 24 hours to watch them or you will miss forever. Yes, the Instagram stories are unique in that they are not there permanently, unlike other web-based contents that remain on the web for the rest of the life of the universe. Now let’s see where the “story” began.
The Origins of Instagram Stories
As you might already know it was SnapChat that invented stories in the first place, back in 2013. The feature became very popular that in 2016, Instagram decided to copy stories to the platform, for the sake of the competition. Although not originally Instagram’s, it was Instagram that made the stories become a trending feature of social media. On no other social media platform are stories used as widely and popularly as on Instagram. Although Snapchat is respected as the inventor, the real credit goes to Instagram for where the stories are now.
How to Watch and Use Instagram Stories?
Go to your Instagram home, and on the top of the page, you will see DP’s (profile pictures) with colorful rings moving around them. If you click/tap on one of these ringed DP’s, the story of that person will be displayed for you:
On top of the story screen, you will see some bars. They indicate the number of active stories of that person. When the story begins to display, each bar starts to fill until that story ends. If you click/tap on either side of the story, then the previous or the next story (of the same user or the next one) will show up.
Each story might include some interactive buttons, such as stickers and CTA’s. If you click/tap on them, you will take action according to what they are targeted for.
You can also comment on the stories if you like them or have anything to say about them. Just click/tap on “send message” on the bottom of the page and start to type. You can also use emoji and other shapes in this section. Your comment will be sent to the DM inbox of the Story owner. Note that some users prefer to disable the story comments.
Another thing is that you can share someone else’s story with your friends on Instagram. On the right bottom of the Instagram stories, there is an icon resembling a paper plane. Click/tap on it and choose your desired person. The story will show up in their Direct Message inbox. Users with private accounts won’t let their stories display for people who are not a follower of them. Also, some people prefer their stories unshared with others, so they disable the “Instagram stories sharing” or limit it only to their followers or close friends.
How to Create Instagram Stories?
People usually post stories on Instagram to narrate a very recent event or happening, which they assume exciting and worth to note. However, some Instagram users capture every second of their lives and post them all to Instagram to get attention. That’s why you sometimes see tens of those bars on top of their story screen.
To create and upload an Instagram story, the first thing is to prepare a good content. When you are sure about posting your content, in your profile, tap on your profile picture, and you will be directed to the stories screen. Instagram stories have three modes, which are Live mode, Camera mode, and Create mode.
1- Instagram Stories Live Mode
Live mode is used when you want to post a real-time story. Your followers will be able to watch your
- Before you go live you can:
- adjust the setting of your live story;
- cancel the live story;
- share live responses to a question asked in one of your stories;
- switch to front or back camera;
- choose filters; andfinally; tap the button to GO LIVE.
- During going live:
- you will be shown in the first place in story feed with a “live” icon on it;
- your followers are notified about it and will join and interact with you;
- you can interact with your followers and see their comments;
- view the number of viewers;
- go live with another user;
- tap the “LIVE” button on the top left of the screen to see the duration of the post, so far;
- choose face filters;
- switch between front and back camera;
- accept or ignore the requests to go live with you;
- Share your Instagram live stream with others;
- end your Instagram live video; and
- ask a question in real-time mode.
- After the session is over:
- you can choose your live Instagram stories to remain there for the next 24 hours or to disappear immediately; and
- if you save and share it, your Instagram live will show up in the story feed of the followers with a “play” icon.
2- Instagram Stories Camera Mode
Camera mode is used to create the most typical Instagram stories. Photos and videos made in this mode will remain on the stories feed for 24 hours, and your followers will be able to watch them. Camera mode is somehow like Live mode, with little differences.
- On the camera mode:
- You can customize the settings;
- Turn the flashlight on and off;
- Cancel the story;
- Switch between front and back cameras;
- Choose videos and photos from the phone gallery;
- Select camera modes;
- Pick filters; and
- Finally, tap to take a picture or hold to capture a video.
- After you capture the story:
- You can cancel and go a step back;
- Apply face filters on your story;
- Save the story to your Instagram;
- Use Instagram stickers and emoji;
- Draw things on your photo or video;
- Type something;
- Post your story to all your followers; and or
- Send the story only to your close friends.
- When you tap “send to”:
- Post your story to all your followers;
- Send the story only to your close friends; and
- Send it to specific users.
Just like Instagram live, on Instagram’s camera mode, your followers can comment, share, and react to your stories.
3- Instagram Stories Create Mode
Unlike the live and camera modes, the create more does not aim to take photos or videos. However, you can upload videos and images from your phone gallery. In this mode, you can:
- Configure setting;
- Cancel the story;
- Change the background color;
- Use stickers,
- Upload videos and photos from the gallery;
- Tap to type;
- Ask a question;
- Start a poll;
- Let Instagram choose a random thread for your Story;
- Set up a guessing game; and
- Start a countdown.
After you tap to type, the next page is just like the second page of the camera mode, with all its futures and options available.
Stickers of Instagram stories
As you know, Instagram stories have an exciting feature called stickers. The stickers make your followers interact more efficiently with your stories, make it possible for you to add actions to stories, and add a fun side to them. Here, all stickers of Instagram stories will be introduced:
- Location Sticker: lets you add a location to your story.
- Mention Sticker: you can mention other users in your story using this sticker.
- Hashtag Sticker: lets you use hashtags in Instagram stories.
- Clock Sticker: when you use this sticker, it displays the time you are creating the story. The time displayed cannot be changed. Tap on it to change it to a digital clock to a classic one and tap again to convert back.
- Poll Sticker: allows you to start a poll.
- Music Sticker: will let you add music to your stories.
- GIF Sticker: this sticker directs you to GIPHY to pick a GIF from there to post on your story.
- Question Sticker: You can ask your followers a question using this sticker. Once your followers tap on it, they can answer your question.
- Countdown Sticker: set the date and time of an event in the future and start counting down.
- Sliding Emoji Voting Sticker: It is another poll where you can ask a question or mention a statement and your followers will slide the emoji (which is determined by you) to left and right to express their vote for or against your question (or statement).
- Quiz Sticker: You can run a small quiz with quiz sticker.
- Join Chat Sticker: creates a chat space. You should name this chat space, and once your followers tap on it, they will be directed to the chat. You can decide to accept them or not.
- Temperature Sticker: Add the temperature of your surrounding in Fahrenheit or Centigrade to your sticker.
- Camera sticker: you can take a photo by this sticker in a small space. The frame of the space is changeable.
4- Other None-Interactive Stickers
There are some stickers on Instagram stories that are not interactive, such as emoji’s, mood stickers, day stickers, etc. You can change the color and size of each.
The timeline of Instagram stories up-dates
Instagram has made a lot of changes to the stories, and since 2016, there been had a lot of updates and features added to them. Here is a list of all-time updates of Instagram stories.
- May: quiz and donation stickers added for stories.
- April: sponsored stories available now.
- March: users can add a title to their live Instagram stories.
- February: Black history month creative stickers added, Netflix become available on Instagram stories.
- January: question sticker can be used on Instagram live; countdown and clock stickers rolled out.
- December: now you can send stories to close friends only.
- November: IGTV preview added to stories; Stories’ ads expanded to Facebook; business pages allow you to promote stories.
- October: longer story durations allowed.
- September: Shopping feature added to Instagram stories; new superzoom effects added to stories.
- July: Music sticker introduced; question sticker becomes available.
- June: now people can re-share someone else’s story using the “mention sharing sticker” in their story.
- May: Sliding emoji voting sticker added.
- April: New focus feature for portrait camera added.
- February: taking screenshots from Instagram stories now sends a notification to the owner; adding images and videos of any size becomes possible; type mode introduced; GIF sticker added to stories.
- December: Instagram stories highlights are available; stories can be archived; users can request to join Instagram lives.
- November: users can now add older content to stories; superzoom feature available; stories become available on desktop Instagram; live split-screen rolled out.
- October: Poll sticker added to Instagram stories.
- July: Instagram Live can be added to the stories feed; users can reply to live stories; location sticker available now.
- May: Hashtag stickers are rolled out, you can use filters for selfies in Instagram stories; rewind tool is available; you can save Instagram live now.
- April: Ads are added to Instagram stories.
- December: you can now add stickers to Instagram stories.
- November: Boomerang feature, live stories, the possibility to add links, and the possibility to mention someone are available now.
- September: you can save your stories.
- August: Instagram launches the story feature.
With over 500 million users every day, Instagram stories have become the most impactful part of the platform. With the significant changes made to Instagram during the recent year, it is well obvious that stories on Instagram will engage more and more businesses and users in the not-so-far future.