There was a time when if you heard about Stories you immediately thought of Snapchat. Since 2016, however, things have changed, and now we can definitely say that the “king” of the stories is the giant Instagram (with Facebook attached).
The platform, launched in October 2010 , continues to evolve, and never before have Instagram stories been fundamental. Yes, I’m not just talking about the passionate users for whom swiping is now a daily habit, but also and above all about brands and businesses.
It’s clear by now that videos are slowly – but not too much – taking over photos (check out these video marketing stats for more), and today Instagram Stories are almost more important than posts.
What are Instagram Stories
You always hear about the Instagram story, but do you really know what it is?
Instagram has described them as a way to share all the moments of your day, not just the ones you want to keep on your profile. Reason why all content posted on Instagram Stories disappears after 24 hours – unless you save it in Featured Stories, but we’ll talk about that later.
Instagram stories allow users to create a slideshow of photos and videos, telling a story that is much more complete and engaging than what you can tell with a post. In a certain sense, even more “light”.
The stories you post on Instagram don’t clog your followers’ feed, and are capable of generating never-before-seen levels of interaction. Precisely for this reason, brands base almost all of their success on Instagram on this functionality.
Not only that, another advantage that Instagram stories have is that they are able to significantly boost the number of private messages. So much so that Instagram Direct has become one of the most popular messaging apps in the world (with over 375 million users! ).
Who sees the stories on Instagram?
Each time you post a story, the circle around your profile picture changes from the usual gray to pink, letting all your followers know that you have posted new content.
At this point, you may be wondering who is seeing your Instagram Stories.
Let’s start by saying that you, and only you, choose who to show your stories to. In fact, the platform has recently added the ability to select your “closest Instagram friends”.
Basically, you can create a list of friends, and when you post your stories you can choose whether to show them to all your followers or just your close friends.
You know the pink headband we talked about earlier? If you post a story reserved for your close friends, the circle will turn green – but only for users who belong to your list!
Aside from that, you also have the ability to control who actually viewed your Stories. Just click on your profile picture to view the stories you have find email address israel posted and swipe up to get the complete list of people who have viewed your Instagram story.
Once you open the list of views, you can also select a single user and choose to hide the story from him so that he can no longer view it, or contact him via Direct.
You will also be able to download the story, turn it into a post or delete it, from these icons:
Finally, don’t forget that you can see who viewed your Instagram Stories up to 48 hours after they’ve been posted. Yes, even after they have “disappeared” from your profile. That’s how:
- Log in to your profile.
- Tap the icon with the three horizontal lines at the top right.
- Go to “Archive”.
- Scroll to the Story whose views you want to know.
- Open the Story and scroll up.
How Instagram Stories Work (With Examples)
Knowing how to use Instagram stories doesn’t just mean taking pictures and posting them. If it were that simple, we would all be influencers!
There are many things to know and to take into consideration in order to create Instagram stories worthy of the name. Let’s see the main aspects.
Create a story
Let’s start from the basics: how to create an Instagram story?
Creating an Instagram story is super easy – if you know how to do it. You can access the publication of the stories from different areas of the platform.
- From Home: From the main page of Instagram, you have two options to be able to create a story. By swiping your finger from left to right, you will automatically find yourself in the Instagram Story Editor. Alternatively, you can click on the ➕-shaped icon located at the top left, and choose whether to publish a post, a story, a reel or a live video.
- From your profile : Also from your Instagram profile you have two options to post a story. You can click on your profile picture, on which you will see an icon in the shape of ➕ – if you have not yet published a story in the last 24 hours – or you can click on the ➕ at the top right and, as for the Home, choose which type of content to publish.
Once you open the Instagram Story Editor, you can choose whether to publish a photo you already have in your gallery, with a very comfortable swipe up , or take a photo or video using one of the many effects available.
Once you are satisfied with your story, all you have to do is click on “Your story” to publish it, or on “Close friends” to show it only to your most loyal followers.
Alternatively, you can also submit the created content via Direct.
2. Add text
While a picture is worth a thousand words, it is equally true that sometimes we need the good old text.
But how to add text to your Instagram stories?
- Open Instagram and access the Story Editor (now that you know perfectly well how thanks to the previous point!).
- Record a video, take a photo or upload one from your gallery.
- Click on the “Aa” symbol in the upper right corner.
- Set the font, effects, size and alignment of your text.
- Create your content and click “Done” at the top right before posting your story.
And to create a story that has only text?
- Open the Instagram Stories Editor.
- From the commands on the left of the screen, click on the “Aa” symbol.
- Click on the colored circle you see at the bottom right to change the background color.
- Set the font, effects and size of your text.
- Create your content and click “Next” at the top right before posting your story.
3. Add tags, gifs and stickers
The amount of tags, gifs and stickers you can add to your stories is almost – almost – infinite.
Also in this case, you have many alternatives, some simple and others … always simple, come on, on the other hand we are talking about Instagram stories. It’s all pretty intuitive. But let’s get specific.
Once you’ve taken a photo or recorded a video, you can swipe up to view all the tags, gifs and stickers you can add to your photos.
Alternatively, if you don’t want the main part of your story to be the photo or video, you can follow these steps:
- Open the Instagram Stories Editor.
- From the commands on the left of the screen, click on the “Aa” (Create) symbol.
- Use the navigation sliders below to choose the type of content to publish. You have several options: Shoutout (to tag someone), Gifs, Templates, Happened Today (the memories section), Survey, Questions, Donations, Countdown or Quiz.
4. Add hashtags
You know, hashtags are very important to get noticed by new users (here are the best hashtags for your business ). But how to add hashtags to your Instagram stories?
Just like with tags, once you’ve chosen a photo or video to post on your Instagram stories, just swipe up and select the “Hashtag” tag to add the hashtag related to your photo or business.
What if you want to add more than one? No problem, just add them as plain text. But don’t forget to add the # ️⃣!
A little trick: nobody likes to be bombarded with hashtags which, let’s face it, most of the time can be heavy and unsightly. If you want to add hashtags to your photos but want to avoid ruining your content, just minimize them and cover them with a gif or a sticker!
5. Add filters
What would Instagram be without filters? From the simplest to the most extravagant, there really is something for everyone.
At the bottom of the screen you will immediately see the available filters, but there are many more than you think. Just swipe right and click on the magnifying glass icon to browse all the effects available in the Effects Gallery.
You can also use the search function to filter effects by name or creator.
6. Add music
Music on Instagram Stories behaves just like a tag.
By swiping up from the Editor you can select the “Music” tag, and choose your favorite song to add to your story.
Once selected, you can also choose whether to show on your Instagram story the cover of the song, part of the text and / or the effect with which you want the text to be reproduced. You can also change the color, resize and move the text to perfectly fit your content.
Keep in mind that, as with videos , the pieces of music you add will have a maximum duration of 15 seconds .
7. Add links
If you’re new to Instagram, this section probably isn’t your concern – for now. But it’s definitely a goal to keep in mind.
How to add links to Instagram stories? Well, all you need is a company Instagram profile and… a minimum of 10 thousand followers. Certainly not child’s play, but don’t be put off.
Indeed, this is one more reason to improve your profile and gain more followers ! Check out Instagram stats to stay up to date on the latest data and always find new ways to engage with your community.
If your profile meets the necessary requirements, here’s how to add links to your stories.
Once you have created a content to publish, just click on the appropriate button that will allow you to add links, insert the link you want to share with your followers and publish your story on Instagram. That’s all!
If you don’t have 10,000 followers yet but still want to give your followers the chance to visit your site, you can add the link you want to share with them in your Instagram Bio.
8. Stories in evidence
You know, some stories are more important than others, and you may want to give your followers a chance to view them more than once – even after the infamous 24 hours have passed. How to do? Just add that content to your Featured Stories.
Once you have published your story on Instagram, just click on the “Highlight” icon at the bottom right and create a collection of stories that will be featured on your profile, between your bio and your posts.
How to make Instagram stories
So far we have talked about how to make Instagram stories in practice: click here, tap there … but are there other aspects to consider?
The answer is yes, and one of these aspects is the measures.
The measures of the Instagram stories
The fact that they only last 24 hours doesn’t mean that Instagram Stories don’t require precise dimensions.
The recommended resolution for Instagram stories is in fact 1080×1920 pixels, with a ratio of 9:16.
Note that once you post your content, the top will be slightly covered by your profile picture and nickname, and the bottom by the bar to send you a message. So you might want to consider putting the most important elements in the middle.
Try to keep the subject about 211px from the top and about 265px from the bottom.
As for the featured stories, if you want to create a special thumbnail, the optimal dimensions are 161 x 161 pixels.
How to put stories on Instagram from your computer
One of the main advantages of Instagram is the ease of use of the platform in its mobile version. On the other hand, it was designed specifically for smartphone use.
However, you may find yourself in the position of wanting to publish content from your computer as well.
Unfortunately, Instagram only allows a number of actions from the desktop site:
- Viewing Stories
- Search for users
- Viewing the Feed
Your only alternative at this point is to use a special extension for your browser, which allows you to “disguise” the navigation and make the site seem that you are actually browsing from mobile.
Once you have chosen the extension that’s right for you, you can follow this procedure (valid for Google Chrome):
- Click with the right mouse button on the page and select the Inspect item.
- Click on the icon with the two screens, before “Elements”.
In this way you can view Instagram as if you were browsing from your smartphone, and you can upload a story by following the procedures we talked about in this article.
Extra: ideas for your Instagram stories
You will have understood by now that, given all the features, Instagram Stories are a tool with incredible potential for your marketing strategies .
Not only do they allow you to communicate much more directly with your followers, you can also use them to test new ideas, tell new aspects of your business and get to know your audience better.
But with over a billion monthly active users, you need to find innovative ways to get the public noticed. So here are some ideas you can use to freshen up your Instagram marketing strategy.
- Create branded content: in this article we talked about gifs, stickers and filters. But have you ever thought about creating branded gifs for your users?
- Use questions and polls to engage with your audience – and most importantly, look for new ways to engage your followers. Questions don’t necessarily have to be used to ask your followers for opinion, you can also pique their curiosity and teach them something. Will_Ita profile story. Using surveys and questions allows you to improve the interaction and engagement of followers.
- Create templates: Creating templates that your followers can “screenshot” and share in turn is a great way to make your profile known to more people.
- Use geolocation: Don’t underestimate the geolocation tag. Adding the place tag to your Stories will allow users in your area to easily find you in their feed.
- Leverage Closest Friends Lists: If you use Instagram for your business, you can take advantage of the Closest Friends feature to post content that targets only a certain slice of your followers – most loyal customers, new followers, etc.