The internet is buzzing with news of Instagram taking the essence of Snapchat Stories and launching Instagram Stories. Here it is in their own words and if you don’t have it yet expect roll out to hit you fast.
Overnight you’ve been delivered the most powerful feature of Snapchat to a platform where you doubtless have a bigger following. Getting used to sharing less than perfect moments in pictures and videos that disappear after 24 hours is going to be your summer learning curve.
Here’s how to get started. From your home screen you can view other people’s stories (currently lined up in chronological order, now that’s refreshing Insta…).
To share your story click the + icon in the top left to open the camera or simply swipe the screen across. Here you’ll open the live camera which can face either way but can’t be swapped during recording. To take a photo, click the shutter once and release. To create a video, press and hold the icon for clips up to ten seconds long.
Once you have created your photo or video you can review it and embellish it before posting to your story. You can add any of the usual Instagram filters by swiping from right to left when your post is in review as well as adding text, emojis or drawing on the image.
Unlike normal Instagram posts your story won’t save unless you click the little arrow to download.
Unlike Snapchat you can add images, videos and Boomerangs from your camera roll without a jailbreak. One catch – you must have created them in the last 24 hours (no doubt you can bypass this by saving from Dropbox – let us know if you find a workaround). To access your camera roll simply swipe down from the Stories screen.
When viewing Stories, unless you have all day, you’re going to want to speed things up. You can tap the screen to advance to the next segment of a story, swipe right to left to move on to the next person and down to exit stories. If you miss something swipe left to right to go back to the last story.
If you want to respond to someone’s story you can tap Send Message to send a DM as there is no public commenting or likes on Stories. As the inbox works currently you will be able to choose who can message you and turn off the feature. (Sidebar – have you noticed the roll out of comment moderation and no comments? Popping up on larger celebrity accounts so far.)
Want to know who has viewed your story? Watch it back and each segment has a number to show total views. Click the number to see exactly who has viewed your story and reach your story settings.
From this stats page you have another opportunity to download the post, upload it to your main Instagram feed or delete it.
Click the cog from your stats screen and you’ll find the Story settings menu. From here you can hide your story from specific users (parents of teens be aware!) and decide who you’ll allow messages from. I have mine set to everyone and the inbox is filtering non-followers as usual so I get the choice to accept or decline the message.
With the speed of roll out there is no doubt that Instagram is determined to make Stories a key feature. Now you know how to use it the question is: what will you be sharing in your stories?