How to use Instagram Stories

4 Aug 2016

With Instagram throwing down the gauntlet to Snapchat with its new ‘Stories’ feature, we look at what it takes to create your own.

The similarities are remarkable, though the reach quite different. While Snapchat’s success has been explosive and surprising, Instagram’s gradual climb to the top of the social media ladder has earned it some weight.

So when the Facebook-owned operation brought out Instagram Stories earlier this week, plenty of people took notice.

Future Human

Instagram’s daily-user numbers (300m) are double that of Snapchat, though they are each eyeing up their rivals’ slice of the pie.

Snapchat recently brought out a photo archive, edging in on Instagram’s turf, so Stories is a worthy riposte. Here’s how to use it:

  • Click on the plus icon in the top left of your Instagram screen. If it doesn’t appear there you probably need to update your app.

Instagram Stories

  • The first time you go through the process you’ll see some promotional material Instagram uses to show you how Stories works, and it’s quite good.
  • Now you’re in, simply tap the circle icon at the bottom of the screen to take a photo – or hold the circle to create a video.
  • Edit your photos as you normally would, with a few pen options to help draw moustaches on faces, glasses on dogs etc.

Instagram Stories

  • At the bottom of each photo there’s an arrow pointing upwards, tap that and it adds to your story.

Instagram Stories

  • Now, you can control who can see it, who can’t and who can comment by clicking through to story settings.

Instagram Stories

  • Filters can be added, of course, though not too many. If you choose to post your Story to your regular profile feed, however, you may lose some of the restrictions you have previously set, as now anyone who can see your feed can view it.

Instagram Stories

  • While the stories are supposedly ephemeral, you can save what you like quite easily. Open your Story and tap on the three dots on the bottom right of the screen, and click: Save Photo.

The process is very simple and it will be interesting to see how popular Stories gets, not so much for Instagram, but for Snapchat watching from afar.

Main Instagram image via Shutterstock

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic