How To Master Instagram Stories

Like a social media pro...


by Danielle Fowler |

When the social media giant launched Instagram Stories, we had yet another reason to never put our phones down. And for good reason. With the ability to share images that didn’t quite make the cut of our carefully curated feeds (be it due to our strict colour scheme or our incessant brunching habits) we haven’t looked back since.

So to help you get the most from the social media platform’s latest addition, we give you the lowdown on how to use Instagram Stories like a pro.

How do I post an Instagram Story?

To post an Instagram Story, simply click the small camera icon on the top left hand corner of your screen. Then, tap the ‘normal’ button to take a snap.

Select the camera icon to begin your Instagram Story

You can add text to your image by clicking the small ‘Aa’ symbol. To change the colour of your font, choose one of the coloured circles. To use the pen tool, simply tap the small pen and scribble until your heart is content. If you wish to delete anything, hit the ‘undo’ button in the top left hand corner.

Tap the circle button to begin your Story

To add the finished image to your Story, press ‘your story’ and the photo will appear in your photo sequence. You can also tap ‘save’ to add the image to your phone's photo library.

How do I add background colour to my Story?

If you have something to say but aren't quite Insta-ready, there's an easy way to get your message across. Simply tap the pen and then slowly drag your finger down the screen. Eventually, a small box will pop up. Drag your fingers outwards to fill the screen with your chosen colour.

Colour block your screen using the pen tool

You can then write over the Story in pen or by using the text tool.

Send messages without uploading an image

How do I share a video on Instagram Stories?

Instagram Stories is undoubtedly similar to Snapchat. So in order to share a video, simply press and hold the large circle until you’re finished. The clip will play back so you can choose whether to add it to your Story or click the ‘x’ and begin again.

How do I zoom in whilst recording an Instagram Story?

In order to zoom in whilst filming, simply hold down the circle icon and drag your finger towards the top of the screen. To zoom out, drag your finger down again.

How do I pause an Instagram Story?

To pause a video, simply hold your finger down on the screen and release to continue playing.

How do I hide my Story?

Whether you wish to keep your daily activites hidden from your mum or your ex, you can tailor your Story settings to suit you. Simply tap 'story settings' and choose who you want to hide your Story from.

Control who can view your Story through the settings panel

How can I see who has viewed my Story?

It’s the marmite update, you either love it or you hate it. Instagram Stories finally enables users to see who is taking a look at their social media profile. By clicking the small eye icon beneath your snap, you can now see which users have viewed your Story. You might be surprised to find a couple of users who don’t even follow you…

Will people be notified if I screenshot their Story?

Social media erupted when rumours circulated that users will be notified if you screenshot their Instagram page. And when you're six weeks deep in your ex's Turkey holiday pictures then of course you're right to be worried. But there's no need to fear, as people will only be notified if you screenshot their direct message. We'll of course be the first to inform you if anything changes.

Can I share photos from my camera roll on my Instagram Story?

If you fancy sharing a photograph taken in the last 24 hours then you’re in luck. Simply scroll down from the top of Instagram Stories and select an image from your camera roll.

How do I post old photos from my gallery on an Instagram Story?

So you took the perfect ariel shot of your avocado on toast but didn’t find the time to post the picture on your Story. Don’t panic. Flaunt your brunch by screenshotting your image so that it appears as 'most recent' on your camera roll. Scroll down from the top of your Stories to find the image sitting in your 24-hour slot. Upload until your heart is content.

How do I tag friends in Instagram Stories?

Thanks to the most recent software update, you can now draw even more attention to your Story. Whether you wish to tag a friend in your latest shopping haul or wish to credit the artist behind a recent exhibition you Instagrammed - you can now increase your social presence.

Mention brands and followers in your Instagram Stories

Simply type the ‘@’ symbol and enter the person you would like to mention’s username. If correctly entered, a line should appear beneath the text. Once posted, the user mentioned will receive a direct message notifying them of your Story.

Change the colour of your font using the 'aA' symbol

How do I live stream a video?

Celebrities far and wide have been using live video to connect with their followers and now you can too. Simply swipe into the Stories camera and click ‘Live’ mode.

The footage is ephemeral so as soon as you stop recording, the video will vanish. While you’re live, you can allow your followers to interact with you and can even pin a comment for everyone to see. Or, if your prefer, you can turn off comments altogether.

How do I reply to my friends' Instagram Stories?

The social media app's latest feature enables users to reply to Stories using a photo or video. To reply, simply tap the camera button while watching a Story and plan your response. Replies to your story will appear as usual in your direct inbox.

How do I know if someone has read my response to a Story?

Once your direct response has been read, the message will be highlighted in blue and will disappear once you view them. Of course, be careful to screenshot any direct messages as a notification will be sent to the other user.

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