A Beginner’s Guide To Instagram Stories

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Instagram launched stories a new feature adapted from Snapchat and sincerely gave the credit to Snapchat. It started rolling out globally and should be on all IOS and Android devices in few weeks.

Though Instagram stories are similar to Snapchat, it is different in the way we experience it. It is better.

Here is what you need to know about Instagram Stories!

  • You can share photos and videos as a story.
  • They will disappear after 24 hours and won’t appear on your profile grid or in the feed.
  • As you keep adding photos and videos they appear as a slideshow – hence, you can build a story.
  • You can doodle on the photos and videos making the story more creative.

Know If It Is Rolled Out To You:

If you find the plus sign on the top left as you open the Instagram – Yes. Stories feature is rolled out to you. You can create one by clicking it.


Create A Story:

Tap the story icon which is located on the top left on your home screen. Camera screen opens. You can take a picture or hold the icon to record a video.

Here is the complete walk-through:

You can even upload a photo/Video: For that, open the camera screen, swipe down to view recent pictures and choose.


Watch Your Story:

Once you created a story, a colorful ring appears around your profile pic indicating that a new story is created. You can find your profile picture in the top row of your feed. Also, the ring appears on your profile page.


Similarly, your followers will find your profile pic with the colorful ring on the top row in their feed.

Anyone(though not your followers) who visit your profile will also find the colorful ring around your profile pic indicating that you posted a new story. (more on privacy settings below)

Watch Stories Created By Others:

Once the feature is rolled out to you, you can watch the stories created by others. Stories created by the people you follow are placed just below create story button.

When a colorful ring appears around a story that means you haven’t seen them. The stories you already watched will have a gray ring around them.

When you click on a story and start watching, if there are multiple photos and videos in a story – they appear as a slideshow. You can hold the screen to pause the slideshow

You can also see the stories created by people whom you don’t follow. Provided they make their stories public.

For that,

Step 1: Go to their profile.

Step 2: If there is a new story created which you haven’t watched, their profile pic will have the colorful ring. If there is a story which you watched already, the ring will turn gray.

In the gif below, I went on to Instagram’s profile which I am not following. I could see the colorful ring which means there is a new story. Once I watched the story, the ring color turned to gray.


Choose Who Can Watch Your Stories:

Privacy settings of your account – the same settings are applicable to your stories as well.

If your account is private – People only who follow you can view your story.

If your account is public – Anyone can view your stories.

However, you can also hide your stories from specific people. For that, go to your account settings and there tap on story settings. There you can see Hide Story From option showing you how many people you choose to hide your stories from. Tap on it will take you to the list of people who are following you. You can select from whom you want to hide your stories.

To unhide your story you just go to the list and uncheck the tick mark beside their name.

Here is the walk-through:

StoryGif1 (3)

Note: Hiding your stories from someone is not blocking the user. They can see your regular posts as usual.

Reply To Stories:

While you are viewing someone’s story, in the left bottom you will find an option to send a message. Tap on it and you will be able to write a message which lands in their direct message inbox along with the image/video from the story on which you have sent a message.

Here is the walk-through:

After 24 hours when the story disappears, the photo/video in the inbox also disappears from the conversation. But the text will be there and you can continue the conversation.

By default, anyone who can view your story can reply you/send a message. Instagram gives you an option to restrict who can send you a message. Go to settings and tap on Story Settings. You can choose from the three options given there.

Here is the walk-through:


You Can See Who Viewed Your Story:

Yes. You can see the names of all the people who saw your story. Of course, only you can see the story. For that, open your story and slide up.



Save Your Stories:

Stories you created will disappear after 24 hours. So, you can use this save feature to download your stories. You will find this save icon in multiple places. Tapping on that, your photo will get downloaded to your library.

Save icon before sharing your story.


If you want to save already shared story, open your story and tap on the 3 dots at the right bottom. There you will find an option to save.


Share Your Stories To Your Regular Instagram Feed:

You can share a photo or video from your story to your regular Instagram as a post. You just need to open your story and tap on the 3 dots located on the right bottom of your screen. You will find “Share as Post” option which will take you to regular Instagram process.

Delete A Photo Or Video From Your Story:


Instagram proposes that to use this feature to post as much as you want throughout the day without worrying about over posting. Indeed this new feature is better designed as well as. So, start making creative stories and enjoy viewing them.

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