The Complete Ins and Outs of Instagram Stories

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Since the introduction of Instagram Stories back in 2016, users have adopted the feature for both personal and business accounts and their popularity has grown rapidly. Some even argue that the impact Stories have on your audience has surpassed the posts in your grid.

Instagram Stories are very similar to their predecessor, Snapchat Stories; images and videos posted in an Instagram Story will only be visible for 24 hours and will then disappear, unless saved in your 'Highlights'.

When you add an Instagram Story, it will appear in a bar at the top of your follower's feeds and won't show in your Instagram grid. They are a great way for businesses to give their audience a "behind the scenes" look into their brand, without feeling like it has to be too perfect and polished, like your feed.

You may be using Instagram Stories already, but are you utilising ALL the features like a true expert?

How to Create an Instagram Story

If you're a beginner, here's a run down of how to use this feature... To create a Story, go to your feed and either click your icon, the camera icon in the top left, or swipe right anywhere on the screen. Once the camera is open, click the large white circle button to take a photo or hold it down to take a video. Alternatively, to upload a previously taken photo or video, click the small square image in the bottom-left or swipe up on the screen. After you've chosen your image/video, you can apply different filters, text and other various effects.

Pimp Out Your Instagram Story

Filters Add a pre-defined image filter by swiping left and right on the screen.

Effects Add a pre-defined effect by clicking the rounded face icon at the top of the screen and scroll through the filters to view.

By clicking the square face icon, you can add the below. Once these are added, you can drag them around the screen and pinch your fingers on the screen to change their size and angle. To delete them, drag them into the "bin" icon that appears at the bottom of the screen.

Location Add a location tag by clicking 'location' and using the search bar to find the location. Change the colour by clicking the location tag.

Tag Accounts Tag another user by clicking 'mention' and using the search bar to type in their handle. Change the colour by clicking the mention.

Hashtags Add a hashtag by clicking 'hashtag' and typing the desired hashtag. Hashtags can also be added in text blocks. Change the colour by clicking the hashtag.

GIFS Add a GIF (animated sticker) by clicking 'GIF' and using the search bar to find a relevant GIF.

Music Add a song by clicking 'MUSIC' and using the search bar to find a song.

Time Add the time the photo was taken by clicking the time (eg. 2:36pm). Click on it to change from digital to analog.

Poll Add a poll for your audience to vote on by clicking 'POLL' and typing a question and two possible answers.

Questions Add a question for your audience to answer by clicking 'QUESTION' and typing a question you want input on.

Add a countdown to something of importance by clicking 'COUNTDOWN' and typing a title and setting a date and time. Change the colour by clicking the colourful icon at the top of the screen. People will be able to turn on reminders and share your countdown to their Story.

Rating Add a rating slider by clicking the slider with a 'love heart eyes emoji'. Add a questions (optional) and click on the emojis below to change what people are rating (eg. the angry face emoji to rate how angry the photo makes you). Change the colour by clicking the rainbow circle at the top-centre of the screen.

Quiz Add a question with multiple responses to choose from and select the correct answer by clicking the letter of that response (will highlight green).

Temperature Add the current temperature by clicking the degrees (eg. 18°C). Tap it to change icon design.

Image Add another image on top by clicking the camera in a circle icon. Put the image in a circle by tapping the image.

Icons/Emojis Scroll down and click on an icon/emoji or use the search bar at the top to find one.

Who Has Seen Your Story

You can easily check who has viewed your Instagram Story by clicking the "Seen by" icons in bottom-left corner of the screen and scroll through the "viewers". From here you can find the current analytics (and success) for the Story by clicking the graph bars in the top-left of the screen. This will tell you how many people have visited your profile and clicked on your website, email, phone or address, because they viewed your Story.

Now go and have some fun with your Instagram Stories and don't be afraid to be creative!

Want to know how to create rainbow text or share a post to your Story? Let us know!

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