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One of Instagram ‘s most useful features is called Stories. That ‘s not just my opinion : Over 250 million people use Instagram Stories every day, the company revealed last class. Why ? alternatively of the usual posting of carefully chosen individual photos, Stories lets you post a bunch of photos that play like a slideshow. And at the end of the day, those photos disappear. sound companion ? That ‘s because it ‘s identical, identical much like Snapchat ‘s My Story feature. Facebook, which owns Instagram, has a exchangeable Stories sport, excessively. But here ‘s everything you need to know about Instagram Stories.

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Getting started with Instagram Stories

Making your Stories is a lot like Snapchat

Stories are temp videos or photos that are strung in concert to form a slideshow gallery that, well, tells a floor .my-frogs-instagram-post.png Screenshot by Alina Bradford/CNET here ‘s how to create a floor :

  1. Tap the plus button on the top-left side of your home screen or swipe left in your Feed. You can also quickly launch Stories by swiping right from the main screen.
  2. Tap the circle button at the bottom of the screen to take photos or tap and hold to record a video. You can also choose to start a live event or a Boomerang
    or put the app in hands-free mode. More on those options in a minute. To add photos or videos from your gallery, swipe up on the screen or tap the photo icon in the lower-left side of the screen. The app will automatically add a date sticker to your gallery photos, but you can remove it. I’ll show you how below.
  3. Edit the photos or videos with text or add a drawing as you normally would. If you hit the pen icon, there are three types of pens. The third one makes your sketch look like a neon sign.
  4. Tap Done to save your Story.
  5. Tap the Add Your Story button to share to your Story. You can also tap on the Save icon to save your image or video on your phone. If you click the Arrow icon, you can shoot your image to one of your friends as well as your Story. Just tick the bubble by Your Story and the person you want to share with. The image will disappear as soon as your friend sees it.

instagram.png Screenshot by Alina Bradford/CNET Want to add more than one photograph or video recording to your floor so that it plays like a slideshow ? Just keep repeating the steps. Each photograph you add using the steps within a 24-hour period will be placed in your story. There ‘s besides an easier way to add multiple photos all at one fourth dimension. Go to the icon of the stack of photos in the upper right-hand corner. Tap it, then tap on the photos you want to add. You can choose up to 10 photos at a time, so choose wisely. To edit each photograph, go to the Edit screen and tap the photograph you want to edit. You can jazz each photograph up good like you would normally .adding-photos-to-your-story Alina Bradford/CNET The photograph and television you chose for your Story will now be a series that people can swipe through for 24 hours. A colorful circle will appear around your visibility photograph to let your followers know you have a Story for them to view and your profile photograph will besides pop up at the top of your followers ‘ Feeds. All they need to do is tap on your side to see your Story. If you have a habit of adding things to your social media accounts that you late regret, good news ! Stories can be removed. Tap on the three dots at the buttocks right of the photograph or video recording you ‘d like to delete, hit Delete and then confirm .

Add gallery photos and Snaps to your Story

While you ‘re at it, why not use your save snaps from Snapchat or shots from your telephone ‘s photograph gallery as Stories ? After you take a snap in Snapchat, fair tap the Download button. It will save to your camera roll. To add a photograph from your photograph gallery, loose Instagram, start a history and swipe down. A gallery with all of your holocene photograph will pop up, including your saved Snapchat photos. Tap on your break down and military post as usual .uploading-snaps-to-instagram-stories.jpg Screenshot by Alina Bradford/CNET

Boomerangs, hands-free and live video, oh my!

Let ‘s start with Boomerangs. These are fun, short video recording that play advancing and backward. Any Boomerang ( Hyperlapse contentedness works, besides ! ) you ‘ve made in the last 24 hours can be uploaded to your Story, precisely like adding photos from your telephone. No want to go elsewhere to make Boomerangs, though. That ‘s available in your Stories. To start a Boomerang, pilfer right from your feed. This will take you to the Stories camera. Under the criminal record push button you will find Boomerang manner. Select it and tap record to shoot a short collapse of photos .boomerang.png Screenshot by Alina Bradford/CNET No motivation to press and hold to make a video anymore, either. The Hands-Free option in the format picker lets you record a video without, well, hands. Tap and hold the Hands-Free button and a timer will pop up that counts down to when the video will begin. You get three seconds, full. You can make live videos in your Stories, besides. It works a lot like the Facebook ‘s be video feature. Just open your Stories television camera and select the Live choice. A bouncy tag will pop up on your Instagram Stories bubble to alert your followers. Instagram will besides notify some of your followers that you ‘re live. Your live Stories can live on beyond the moment, besides. Press the Share button after you stop broadcasting to keep the video in your floor for the future 24 hours. You can besides watch other people ‘s hot video after the fact by keeping an eye out for a play button icon under their photograph in the Stories bar .instagram-stories-live-video-replay Instagram You can besides add a supporter to your live Story as a co-host. Both of you can besides try on different filters during the fertilize. here ‘s how to add a supporter to a Story .instagram-live-with-friends-stories-4 Instagram If your supporter is watching your alive fib and wants to join in, they can do that, excessively. All they have to do is tap the Request button at the buttocks of the screen. The request will pop up on your blind and when you approve, the sieve will split and your supporter will be able to join. If you do n’t like the person — or you good want the spotlight for yourself — merely deny the request .request-to-join-viewer-ios-3-up-en Instagram You can besides watch person ‘s archive replay, precisely look for a Play button under that person ‘s profile picture in the Stories bar above your fertilize ( see the right-most image above ). The Rewind option lets you post videos that play backward. This is playfulness for trick videos or merely a neat way to confuse your friends .

And yes, there are ways to spice up your shots

One of the best things about Snapchat is the ability to add playfulness and dash to your photos. Instagram ‘s Stories have a bevy of customization features, excessively. For starters, there are filters. After shooting a photograph or video, pilfer across it to add a filter. You can besides add filters to your live video by tapping on the face icon in the buttocks right corner and choosing your filter from the menu. You can add filters before or during your air .live-broadcast-with-filter-english Instagram Stories let you add augmented reality filters to your pictures, just like Snapchat, excessively. Go to Stories and tap on the smiley face icon in the lower right. This will bring up a choice of filters, including a variety show of crowns, koala ears that wiggle, a bunny boldness and mathematics equations that float around your forefront. All you need to do is tap on the filters to try them on. When you find one you like, snap a photograph .instagram-facefilters-snapchat.png Instagram face filters appear on the faces closest to the television camera and cultivate in normal television camera mode, Hands-Free, Boomerang and Rewind camera modes. once you ‘ve picked your percolate, add some stickers. You ‘ll find a stickers button following to the textbook and draw tools. Tap the smiley confront icon and you ‘ll be able to jazz up your fib with customizable stickers. Once you add a poser, you can add another, move it around and resize it. Instagram is constantly adding fresh ones, so make sure to scroll through every now and then to find newfangled gems. Some current options are :

  • Weather
  • The current time
  • Holidays
  • Days of the week
  • Location tags
  • Funny hats and sunglasses
  • Emojis

You can besides turn your ally ‘s grimace or your own into a gummed label. Take a photograph or video, then tap the smiley face icon. then, wiretap on the gummed label option with a camera icon. The camera will open so you can take a selfie. Tap the white set under your face to take the shot. Hold your finger down on the selfie to change the margin to a fade, lap or square. then you can manipulate the spine just like any other gummed label .screenshot20170413-1321322.png Screenshot by Alina Bradford/CNET Another dagger option is the hashtag gummed label. Just rap on the spine that says Hashtag and customize it with your own hashtag. early people will be able to tap on the poser and find other photos with the like hashtag. You can besides add a hashtag to regular text on your report and it will be clickable, excessively. here are some tips to make adding stickers to your posts easier :

  • Put “Accessories” in the search box to get stickers that can be layered over faces 
  • Got some favorite stickers you use over and over? You can access your faves by tapping on the smiley icon and then swiping right. Your recently used stickers will pop up. 
  • Searching the word “Effects” will get you sparkles, fire, confetti, glitter, explosions and other fun additions for your subject’s environment.
  • Peekers are stickers that pop up and disappear. Just type “Peekers” into the search bar to find them.
  • If you want a sticker to stay put in a certain spot on a video or Boomerang you can pin it. Place the sticker then tap and hold it. An option to pin will pop up. Tap on Pin to confirm. You can pin as many stickers as you want in a video.  
  • GIFs are a fun way to add spice to posts on Facebook, and Instagram is following its leadGIF icon. A library of the moving photos will open, provided by Giphy. When you find one that you like, just add it like you would any other sticker.

Instagram once you have your stickers added, go crazy with some snappy text. To add text just tap on the text icon in the upper right side of the screen and tap on your color of choice. If the colors just are n’t mighty, do n’t despair. Swipe left on the color pallette to reveal more options .

More about date stickers

As I mentioned, older photos from your drift will automatically get a date dagger. You can move the spine around by dragging it and you can change its semblance by tapping on it. If you want to remove it wholly, just tap, handle and drag it to the penetrate of the screen to the trashcan icon .

Forget photos and make art

Do n’t want to contribution a photograph and just need a canvass for drawings or text ? Take a photograph of any, then go to the drawing tool. Choose your color, then place your finger on the photograph. Hold it there. The color will slowly fill up the screen until the hale photograph is covered. now you have a blank canvass. once you have your canvas tent, you can fill it with polka dots and stripes. Tap on the Drawing Tool, rap on the pointed marker at the circus tent of the sieve, choose your semblance and tapdance on the three-dots button on the buttocks left side of the screen. Toggle the course that appears toward the top of the shield. This will make your marker huge. To make polka dots, just tap your finger on the photograph wherever you want them to appear. Hold your finger on the screen to make an even bigger point.

To make stripes, go through the lapp steps, but choose the angled marker alternatively of the point marker. then precisely tap the sieve. Perfect little stripes will appear on your photograph .instagram-stories-drawing.jpg Screenshot by Alina Bradford/CNET You can besides use the eraser joyride, on the far right, to remove color. Take a photograph, fill it with tinge and then erase merely a little to reveal bits of the photograph underneath, for exemplar. Some Instagrammers are using the polka dots trick to make intend bubbles on their photos. You can do this by creating a large polka scatter above the person in the photograph and then creating several smaller dots that trail down below the think bubble. You can fill in the opinion bubble using emojis or text .thought bubbles Screenshot by Alina Bradford/CNET

Literally write your Stories

If you do n’t want to use an picture, you can literally write your Stories. Open the camera and exploit on Type under the record button. Tap the screen, tap the oval icon at the crown of the screen to choose your baptismal font and type whatever you want to contribution. then, tap the circle icon to cycle through different background colors. You can besides tap the television camera icon to add a background photograph … if you very want to .type-on-instagram Screenshot by Alina Bradford/CNET

Tag somebody!

When adding text to a Story, all you have to do is include the @ symbol followed by the username to tag person. If you follow that person, the icon will pop up. Just exploit on it and that person will be tagged in your Story. The tag is a hot connection to the person ‘s profile and you can tag up to 10 people. When you tag people, they ‘re alerted in Instagram Direct, so it ‘s a great way to let friends know about your Stories. If you mention people that do n’t follow you, though, a presentment will appear in their message requests .

Share Stories with Direct, too

You can share other people ‘s Stories, a well. Just tap the Direct icon ( it looks like a flying newspaper airplane ) on the buttocks right of the Stories ‘ screen. then, tap on the friend you want to share with, write a message and tap Send. You can besides send the Story to a group of people. Just tap on New Group in the upper right of the share filmdom. Name the group, tap the check-mark icon and tap Send. When you get a Story station to you, it will come to your Direct inbox. Be agile, though. When the floor disappears after 24 hours, you wo n’t be able to look at it. If you do n’t want people to share your Stories, precisely turn off the sharing ability. Go to Settings menu > Story Settings  and toggle Allow Sharing off .stories-shared-direct Instagram

Flipping through Stories is pretty easy

Navigating through Stories is extremely dim-witted. While browsing the Stories of your friends, swipe right to go to the previous one, left to go to the following one and solicit to skip a photograph or television. If you want to linger on one photograph, you can pause a story by tapping and holding your finger on the photograph. To start the history again, just lift your finger. This besides works for video. If you hold your finger excessively long on a video it will stay paused, even when you lift your finger. To start the video recording again slide your finger back and forth in inadequate strokes across the filmdom .

You can see Stories on Instagram.com, too

once upon a prison term, you could only see Stories using the mobile app. now you can browse them online american samoa well. They appear at the lead of the feed. Navigating through the Stories is a little different on-line than through the app. Click on a Story to watch it. then, if you want to skip a fib or check out one you ‘ve already passed, just click on the right and left arrows on the screen. You can add and save Stories using Instagram.com just like in the app .

How your Story feed is ordered

Day in and day out, you may see the lapp people at the presence of your Stories feed. How the feed is ordered depends on a few factors. One thing, as mentioned above, is muting. If you mute a person, their Stories get moved to the last of the run. They will stay there until they are unmuted. This brings others to the vanguard. Another factor is Instagram itself. Instagram has a system that tries to predict what you would like to see, then presents it first gear. Out of the people you follow — and that Instagram thinks you want to see — the Stories are ordered by time. Whoever has posted most recently will be first base in the prey. If Instagram is incorrectly about its predictions, you may find that you ‘re missing out on certain Stories. From what I have found, there ‘s no way to customize your Stories feed. not yet, anyhow .

Comment on Stories with words or photos

At the bottom of your acquaintance ‘s Story you ‘ll see a space to write a message. You can besides send ocular reactions by taping on the camera icon, and then taking a photograph, Boomerang, video or Rewind. You can decorate your image or television answer with stickers, filters and drawings. Make it jazzy ! Plus, your answer will mechanically include a gummed label of the Story prototype you ‘re replying to. The gummed label can be moved and decorated, excessively. When you ‘re done, hit Send. Your answer will end up in your ally ‘s inbox. Replying only works for people who have comments enabled, though .photo-reactions-on-instagram Instagram

Banish annoying people

If you cringe every time you see a certain person ‘s Story in the batting order, you can mute it. Simply tap and hold on that person ‘s Story icon when it appears in your story lineup. A window will pop up that will give you the choice to mute this person ‘s stories. muffle does n’t hide the Story wholly. It merely moves it to the concluding of the lineup and it wo n’t automatically open while you ‘re playing Stories. You ‘ll need to manually unmute people to get their stories back in the normal mix. Just tapdance and hold on that person ‘s Story icon and tap the unmute option .

Hide your Stories from frenemies

You can besides choose who gets to see your Stories and who does n’t. Want to prevent your ma from seeing that epic Friday night out, for case ? Go to your profile and tap the sun symbol ( on io ) or the three dots ( Android ) in the top correctly of the screen. Choose Story Settings from the menu and then tap on Hide My Story From. Select your mother ( or whoever else you want ) from the tilt and solicit Done. Mom will however be able to see your posts and profile, but wo n’t see your Story. You can prevent certain people from sending you messages from your Story, besides. Go to your profile and tap the sun symbol ( on io ) or the three dots ( Android ) in the exceed right of the screen. In Story Settings, select an option from the list. You can choose Everyone, which will let everyone gossip, People You Follow to let equitable those you follow comment and Off to prevent anyone from commenting .

Or just prevent trolls from commenting

If you want the haters to see your Stories and other posts, but you do n’t want them to comment, you can do that, besides. Tap on your icon at the bottom right of the Home screen. then tap on the Menu > Comments option > Allow Comments From. From there choose the group of people you would like to hear from. You can besides block folks by going to Comments > Block Comments From. then, search for the person ‘s name using the search bar and tap the Block button by the profile .instagram-comment-controls-mfr Instagram

Save your Stories forever

If you ‘ve become bind to your Story and do n’t want it to disappear forever, you can download it to your call. Open your Story and tap on the three dots on the bottom right of the photograph or video recording. then tap Save Photo. You can well save your Stories to your camera roll, mechanically, besides. Go to your visibility sieve, tap the menu, then tap Story Settings under the Account head. Under the Camera head, slide the Always Save Photos and Videos option on. You can besides tap on the gear icon while you are on the Story filmdom and slide the Always Save Photos and Videos choice. Every fourth dimension you create a Story, the television and images will be mechanically saved to your camera bun on your earphone. On io, you can even save your entire history to your camera roll as a single video .

Or post them as regular photos

If you decide you want everyone to see your photos or videos more permanently, you can add them to your profile grid. Simply open your Story, tap the three dots at the bottom right of the photograph or video recording and tap Share as Post. You can then add filters, captions and locations to jazz it up a little. Once you ‘re done, tap Share. The photograph or video will appear in your profile grid. Just beware, whoever can see your profile grid will be able to see the photograph or television. It will no long have particular protections that you can add to Stories. You can besides archive your stories or add them to a highlight reel. here ‘s how .

See who’s checking out your Story

curious to see who ‘s looking at your narrative ? Open your story and swipe up on the filmdom. At the bottom of the sieve will be a view counter and the names of the people who viewed it. Shy about your numbers ? Do n’t be. alone you can see this data. If there ‘s person viewing your report and you decide you do n’t want that person to see it, good tap the three dots beside the person ‘s list and choose Hide Story From [username]. whos-looking-at-instagram-stories.png enlarge image Screenshot by Sharon Profis/CNET

See More links

Verified accounts have “ See More ” links at the bottoms of their Stories. To open the yoke, swipe up and view it with Instagram ‘s built-in browser. As of right now, the feature of speech is precisely being tested with affirm accounts. There ‘s no news yet if this feature will become available for everyone else .

Help someone in need

If you see person posting a live video where they are talking about suicide or self damage, Instagram has an anonymous report feature. Tap the menu button beside the Write a Message option at the buttocks of the filmdom and then tap Report > It’s inappropriate > Self injury.  A message will pop up in front of the person filming the video with help options such as talking with a helpline unpaid. Of class, if you feel like the person is in contiguous danger, call 911 or your local police department justly aside .instagram-live-video-reporting Instagram

Find out what’s new, as soon as it happens

Instagram itself uses Stories, besides. equally soon as it adds a new feature, the party uploads information about it as a Story. You ‘ll see the post barely like you would your ally ‘s Stories, except the post will say “ New ” at the top. These Stories disappear to the back of the feed after you watch them, so if you need to watch it doubly, swipe left on your Story tip.

That’s it — for now

Instagram is constantly adding newfangled features to Stories, so check back here for the latest additions .

Editors’ note, April 24, 2018: This narrative was first published on Aug. 2, 2016, and is updated when new features are released .