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With the introduction of Instagram Stories, the Facebook-owned app now offers a way for companies to connect with consumers using the same type of ephemeral, authentic content that made Snapchat the most exciting app for both social media audiences and brands alike. To help marketers understand how to use Instagram’s important new feature, we’ve developed a simple guide to creating, sharing, and editing your first Instagram Stories content.
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Similar in many ways to Snapchat, Instagram Stories lets brands leverage the immediacy of impermanent content to drive audience engagement and give users a unique, “in-the-moment” social media experience. Because Instagram Stories disappear within 24 hours (again, like Snapchat Stories), brands/marketers need not worry that every photo or video is perfect—in fact, it is the raw, authentic nature of Instagram Stories’ vanishing content that makes it so appealing to social media users.
Some of the ways brands and marketers are using Instagram Stories to connect with Instagram users include:
To find the Instagram Stories feature, simply look to the top of your Instagram newsfeed to see all the Stories of the people you follow on the app. You can also go directly to a user’s profile and see their Instagram Story by clicking on the profile picture. Unlike Snapchat, you don’t need to follow a user to see their Instagram Stories (except if his/her profile is private), and Instagram Stories are ordered based on Instagram’s algorithm instead of chronologically.
Image courtesy of Instagram
Related Post: Why Instagram Stories Are Better Than Snapchat
To watch an Instagram Story, click one of the circles at the top of your Instagram feed or tap a user’s profile picture. (Tip: if the circle around a user is pink, they have published a new Instagram Story.) To pause an Instagram Story, tap and hold the screen; to skip to the next Instagram Story from the same user, tap the screen once; to move on to the next user’s Instagram Story, swipe left on your mobile device.
To interact with a user while watching their Instagram Story, press “send message” at the bottom right-hand side of the screen; the interaction will appear in the user’s inbox as a direct message.
From the home screen, swipe left or press the “+” button at the top left-hand side of the screen—this will take you to a camera screen where you can take a picture or a video (up to 10 seconds) by holding the capture button (which appears as a white circle). You may also choose to post content from the camera roll by swiping up on the camera screen, though photos/videos must have been uploaded in the last 24 hours.
Instagram users may add one of six filters to their photos or videos by swiping through their content before publishing.
You may also draw on each photo or video using three different brushes and nine different colors (pro tip: holding on a color will make a full palette with thousands of colors appear), add emojis and overlay text, and change the size and location of both emojis and text by dragging and pinching.
After editing your Instagram Stories content, press “DONE” and select the “check mark” button to post. You can also save your photo or video by clicking on the “↓” symbol located at the bottom right-hand side of the screen.
Instagram Stories are visible to anyone who can see your profile (even users who don’t follow you) for up to 24 hours. You can hide Stories from specific people by going to Settings → Story Setting → Hide Story From then adding and/or removing users individually. To see who and how many people viewed your Story, click on the “eye” icon.
Image courtesy of Instagram
You can delete content from your Instagram Story at any time by pressing the “…” symbol at the bottom right-hand side of the screen and choosing “Delete.”