Over time, the internet has become such an integral part of our daily lives. Whether we want to find a place, connect to a person, purchase something, or simply know what’s happening in the world out there, the internet is that universal medium through which we can find all the answers. And, in this vast universe of the internet, social media has become a backbone of sorts – carrying out multiple functions at once.
Sitting at the top of this social media pyramid is the app that’s all about expression and content – Instagram!
Instagram has become a household name all over the world. People of all races, genders, and even ages are taking to this app to post photos and videos. But, it’s not just regular people who see the benefits of Instagram. Many companies and brands have seen the lucrative side of it, realizing how it is the perfect platform for digital campaigns that can reach millions in a matter of seconds.
The Story of Instagram
We all know how Instagram came into the picture and very quickly became a favorite amongst ardent users of social media. It has now become a network of over a billion people worldwide. Also, if trends and predictions are anything to go by, this number is only going to increase with time.
Instagram has had several improvements over the years, especially in terms of how much users can do with it. One of the most significant additions was the possibility to create a business account, which came with a ton of additional features a private account didn’t offer. Now, brands had even more reason to flock to Instagram and create their brand presence there.
However, there’s one such feature that truly rocked the Instagram world – Instagram Stories.
What is the point of Instagram Stories?
Stories on Instagram are photos and videos that any profile will post, and these are viewable to others only for 24 hours before they ‘disappear.’ Disappearing content isn’t a new concept on apps, but Stories had a different outreach and many, many more features for people to explore.
Even today, Instagram is periodically adding features and perks to Stories, keeping both businesses and customers interested.
So, if you’re a beginner who doesn’t quite get how Instagram Stories work, read on!
How to Use Instagram Stories?
Content that you want to share with the world, but don’t necessarily want to post on your feed, is the right type of content to be uploaded to your Stories. Instead of flooding your own profile with pictures and videos, you can post as many of them as you like (guilt-free) and be assured that they will be deleted on their own in 24 hours.
Here are the simple steps to post a story from your profile:
1. Click on the camera icon which you’ll find on the top left corner of the app. This opens up your camera.
2. Now, you can either click an image or hold down the button and take a video
3. If you’d rather post something that’s already in your phone gallery, then simply swipe up, and your gallery content will appear
4. You can use 2 fingers to pinch and zoom in/out/adjust the image or video
5. You can also add fun elements to your story like stickers, Gifs, polls, countdown timers, and so much more!
6. Once your post is ready, you can click on “Your Story” or “Close friends” and post it
7. If your is a business account, you can also Promote your Story and turn it into an ad, which also gives you the same Insights as a regular promoted post
Additional Features for Stories
The camera for Instagram comes with a few different shooting modes –
Type – create a story purely with text and other elements
Live – Go live and interact in real-time with your followers
Normal – the regular camera mode
Boomerang – create a looping, short video
Superzoom – Zoom into a certain element and add fun effects/sounds to it
Focus – Focus on a face/element and blur out the background
Rewind – record a video and post it in reverse
Hands-free – Eliminate the need to hold down the clicking button and record continuously
Stickers and Other Features:
To enhance the way your story looks and giving you the option to get creative with it, these are the features that you can use –
Location – add the location of where the photo/video was taken
Hashtag – Add a hashtag so your story can appear when the tag is searched
Timestamp – give the exact time of when the story was taken
Poll – engage your followers in a poll of your choice, and give them (no more than) 2 options. You can see the result of this poll in percentage and also share it with your viewers
Gif – choose from a variety of Gifs that you can filter using keywords (Ex. Love, friends, laughing, etc.)
Quiz – Let your followers guess the right answer to the question and also see the results and share them instantly
Questions – allow your followers to know you better by letting them ask you questions that you can answer either publicly (on your Story) or privately
Countdown – a fun timer that lets you set a countdown to an event and share it with others
Reaction slider – give people the option to show you how much they like your story by sliding, like a rating scale
There are also tons of other stickers in-built in stories that you can add, and also the regular set of emojis that you use for chatting.
Creating Story Highlights
Sometimes we create Stories that we’d love to showcase on our profiles even after 24 hours, but is it a possibility? Absolutely!
Highlights are a collection of stories that can also be named and categorized, which then appear on your profile right below your bio.
To add Stories to highlights –
1. After posting a story, wait a few seconds. Then, click on your profile picture, choose the story of your liking, and click on the little heart icon. This will add it to your Highlights
2. You can name the Highlight and also give it a display picture
3. If you want to add stories you’ve uploaded in the past, you can! Simply open your story archive and add as many as you want to the Highlight
4. When you open your profile page, you’ll see a “+” icon with ‘New’ written under it. This is the simplest and quickest way for you to add a new highlight
Instagram Stories are Here to Stay
In the coming years, Instagram Stories are expected to gather more and more views, surpassing the current 500 million view count. With that in mind, one can definitely expect even more exciting features to be added to it, making Stories a favorite everywhere.
Stories create a unique opportunity for Instagram users to expand their creativity and showcase them on their Stories. Studies show that profiles with interesting Stories are also likely to get more views on their posts and build a loyal following.
So go ahead, explore all these amazing features, and create some stellar Instagram Stories!
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