Instagram Stories: The Basics

Know more about the basics of this new Instagram feature

Instagram recently launched a new feature called Instagram Stories. Unlike other app updates, this feature is glaringly noticeable because you see a bar at the top of your IG feed showing headshots of the people you follow.

Here, we’ll cover the basic questions we all have in mind about Instagram Stories.


What is Instagram Stories?

Instagram Stories is basically founded on the common dilemma among Instagram users: overposting. Most users go to Instagram to post flawless, almost-professionally-taken photos, and mostly the highlights of their day. Hence, the emergence of the new term “instagrammable” photos.

But what about photos that aren’t necessarily instagrammable by netizen standards? Like a series of photos that you like to share, but without over-posting or flooding your followers’ feed?

Instagram Stories solves this problem. The new feature allows users to share a series of photos as stories, or moments, to your Instagram feed through a slideshow without posting them to your profile, although it disappears after 24 hours.

Stories posted in Instagram Stories are temporary videos or a slideshow of photos strung together in a creative way.


How do I post a story?

Posting an Instagram Story is easy and user-intuitive. Follow these steps to start sharing memories:

  • Tap on the plus button located at the top left-hand side of your screen. You can also swipe left in your Instagram Feed.
  • To take photos, tap the circle button at the bottom of the screen. You can also choose your most recently taken photos from your phone
  • gallery. To record a video, tap and hold the circle button.
  • You can edit your photos or videos with texts, emojis, filters, or drawings as you normally would.
  • To save your story, tap Done.
  • To share your story, tap the sharing checkmark button.


Who can see my stories?

Your followers, or anyone if you’ve set your privacy to public, can see your story as an option. It’s not automatically pushed to the main Instagram feed or shown in your Profile grid. You can check who’s viewed your story too.

You can also opt to hide your stories from certain people. To do this, go to your Profile and tap the setting symbol for iOS users, or the three dots symbol for Android, located at the top-right corner of the screen. Choose Story Settings from the menu, then tap Hide My Story From. Select the people from the list, and tap Done.


How do I know if a friend posted an Instagram Story?

You can’t miss it, but you don’t have to see it too. You can view stories voluntarily. At the top of your screen, you’ll see a bar at the top of your IG feed, with headshots of the people you follow. When a friend posts a story, their profile photo will have a purple-pink ring around it.

To view someone’s story, simply tap on their profile photo and the story will automatically be streamed on your screen. To navigate between stories of different people, tap to go back, and forward or swipe to jump to another person’s story.


Can I comment on my friend’s Instagram Story?

No. If you want to comment on on your friend’s story, you can send them a private message instead. Unlike regular posts, there are no likes or public comments allowed in Instagram Stories.


Are the photos really gone forever after 24 hours?

Not really. You have the option to download your photo or video before its 24-hour lifespan ends.


It sounds like Snapchat. Are they the same?

It does sound like Snapchat with the elements of being temporary, but it’s not. There are subtle differences between Instagram Stories and Snapchat. Here are the highlights:

  • In Snapchat, new “snaps” appear in a separate screen. In Instagram Stories, it appears on the bar at the top of your feed.
  • In Snapchat, posts are in chronologically reverse order of whoever posted the latest snaps. In Instagram Stories, posts are sorted by who you interact with most.
  • In Snapchat, the snaps are time-limited and constantly progressing. In Instagram Stories, you can hold the screen to pause a slideshow, or tap the left side to go to a previous slide.


So that covers the basics of Instagram Stories. Happy sharing!


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Blog Instagram Stories: The Basics