Instagram adds music to Stories feature as daily users swell

29 Jun 2018

Instagram app on mobile. Image: Sattalat phukkum/Shutterstock

Instagram is integrating music into its Stories feature so users can soundtrack their daily lives.

Photo-sharing and social media app Instagram yesterday (28 June) announced it is making a musical addition to its popular Stories function. Thousands of popular songs will soon become available to add to your daily updates.

Instagram Stories is now used by 400m people every day, so the new feature will be undoubtedly popular with a user base that large. The Stories function has grown rapidly in the last few months and will likely continue on that upward trajectory. In November of last year, the user count was at 300m.

The dominance of Instagram Stories will likely irritate Snapchat, the company that is widely credited with inventing the Stories format. According to Snapchat’s Q1 report for 2018, its total active users sit at around 191m.

How do you add music?

Adding music to a story will work in the same way as adding a weather or location sticker, which you can find under the face sticker icon on the top right of the screen. A new sticker labelled ‘music’ will open up the feature for users.

Once a video or photo has been taken, music can be added and users can then choose the exact part of the song they want to include. The song will also start automatically when the story is viewed, which may see more Instagram users muting media on their devices to avoid a jolt of music in work or on the bus.

The feature is only available in a selection of countries, but a global roll-out is planned. A selection of users running version 51 of Instagram using iOS will be able to use the feature, with Android set for a later release date.

Facebook inked several music deals

Instagram’s parent company Facebook has music licensing deals with Universal Music Group, Warner and Sony, so the back catalogue of songs will likely be massive. Users will be able to browse by mood, genre or popularity.

Facebook struck its most recent deal with Warner Music in March of this year. At the time of the agreement, Ole Obermann, CEO of Warner Music, said: “Our partnership with Facebook will help expand the universe of music streaming and create supplementary revenue for artists. Fan-created video is one of the most personal, social and often viral ways that music is enjoyed, but its commercial potential is largely untapped,” he said in a statement.

Instagram app on mobile. Image: Sattalat phukkum/Shutterstock

Ellen Tannam was a journalist with Silicon Republic, covering all manner of business and tech subjects