Oh Snap! How to Use Instagram Stories

Instagram stories

If you’re an Instagrammer, you couldn’t miss the intrusion of circles in your formerly minimal newsfeed yesterday. And if you’re a Snapchat user, those circles probably felt oddly familiar. Instagram took aim at the hit social app by releasing Instagram Stories, a new feature that lets you string a stream of photos and videos together to share what you’re up to right now (just like Snapchat) and expire after 24 hours (just like Snapchat).

Follow me here to see the one I created yesterday (until it’s gone).

Instagram copied the entire concept of stories from Snapchat, and much of the way you create and view them is identical. Yet somehow creating a story on Instagram feels a lot simpler here: Between the average age of Snapchatters (tweens, teens and twenties) and the notoriously hard-to-use interface, Snapchat makes me feel like a tech-averse granny.  And I must say that I met yesterday’s news with a bit of relief: Perhaps I’ll stick to Instagram now and won’t have yet another social network to create content for.

Other things Instagram has going for it in the war against Snapchat? I can watch stories of people I’ve never met but followed on Instagram forever— many of whom have a very edited, polished feed, but Stories lets you peek behind the curtain. With Snapchat, you have no way to find other people you know unless you somehow know their username.

Here’s a little primer on how to use this new feature.

How to create an Instagram Story

  1. Tap the story icon in the top left of your screen.
  2. Swipe right to access the camera. Push and hold the circle to create video or just tap to capture a photo.
  3. Swipe down to access photos and videos from the last 24 hours on your camera roll. You can use these in your story too.
  4. See what’s in your story at any time by clicking the “Your Story” bubble on the left of the feed.
  5. Make any part of your story permanent by tapping the three dots in the lower right of your screen and selecting “Share as post…” Otherwise it will disappear in 24 hours.

Instagram Stories

How to watch someone else’s Instagram story

  1. Tap on someone’s bubble to start watching their story.
  2. The line at the top will be continuous if it has one photo or video, or will be broken up if there are several.
  3. Tap anywhere on the screen to skip to the next photo or video in the story.
  4. Swipe down to close the story.
  Instagram Stories

If you’d like me to follow you and watch your story, let me know in the comments! And make sure you’re following me on Instagram too, and if you like this post, sign up to receive my newsletters below!

Photo borrowed from Tasha Lakoz and Aurely Cerise

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