What are Instagram Stories?
Another week, another social media thing to get your head around.
Last week Instagram introduced its new Stories feature. If you’ve ever used Snapchat, Instagram Stories will be pretty familiar as the concept is basically the same. But for anyone who hasn’t (or who doesn’t have teenagers to talk them through things at ‘old person’ pace), stories is a new feature that lets you post as many little snaps of your life on Instagram as you like, but in suitably Cinderella style, all your stories disappear after 24 hours.
So far, people seem to be using Instagram Stories as a more fun and frivolous way to share bits of their life, and it feels less curated and serious than the standard Instagram feed. Maybe that will change over time, but Stories definitely has a more lightweight, spontaneous vibe at the moment, probably because all posts are just temporary, giving you permission to play around more.
How to create an Instagram Story
Click on the + icon in a circle at the very top of your Instagram homescreen. This takes you to a new screen where you can snap and post a picture or video directly, or swipe down to share any photo, video taken within the last 24 hours from your camera roll. You can then play around with it by adding text, filters and scribbling on it before posting to your stories (more about how to do that below).
You can see other people’s stories at the top of your Instagram home screen (like in the picture above). Swipe across to see who’s posted a new story – any you haven’t seen will have a pretty Instagram-coloured circle around them. Click on the screen while you’re watching a story to see the next one, or swipe to see the next person’s story.
What can you do with Instagram Stories?
Once you’ve taken your video or picture, you can do lots of fun things with it before sharing it as a story. You can write on it, change the size of the text and move it around (just hold, squeeze and tilt), change the colour of your pens to almost anything in the spectrum, change the size and type of your nib, and even write in fancy neon pens. You can also add filters to your films and photos by swiping left and right, although there aren’t many to choose from yet.
What you can’t do is add silly zebra faces on to your selfies or comment directly on people’s stories (you need to send them a direct message instead), but this might all change with future updates.
This video by one of our favourite Instagrammers photographer Xanthe Berkeley explains the new Instagram Stories features perfectly. You can follow Xanthe’s fabulously colourful and creative stories on her Instagram account here.
Instagram Stories is being rolled out to all users iOS and Android users over the next few weeks, so if you haven’t seen it yet try updating the Instagram app on your phone.
Have you used Instagram Stories? Let us know what you think!
More Instagram tips:
Introducing Instagram Stories on the Instagram blog
How Brands can use Instagram Stories on the Buffer Blog
The best craft and handmade Instagram hashtags on the Folksy blog
How to use hashtags on Instagram on the Folksy blog
Tell us about yourself on the #wearefolksyhashtag
Instagram tips for designers and makers by And Smile Studio on the Folksy blog