Stories on Instagram: complete step-by-step guide

Launched in August 2016, Instagram Stories have revolutionized the way we communicate on social networks, quickly becoming one of the most popular options for users. Copied from most platforms, including YouTube, but designed by Snapchat, Instagram stories are a fast, fun and immediate way to share thoughts, emotions and personal experiences in a temporary way. Let's see how to make Instagram stories step-by-step.

Instagram stories: how they work

The idea developed by Snapchat, but brought to the fore by Instagram, is simple but ingenious, allow users to post photos, videos and GIFs temporarily, making them accessible for a limited period of time. Instagram stories are visible for 24 hours, after which they are automatically deleted, unless different settings are made by proceeding to their early deletion, or archived.

In comparison to other forms of communication on social, stories represent a much lighter and more welcome format, because they allow you to isolate a moment, a thought or a feeling, to be shared immediately with your friends and followers, forgetting everything the next day. Compared to photos, which remain for months and years on the profile, losing any link with the surrounding environment, Instagram stories make people feel close, allow you to experience the emotion communicated with the post immediately, before it loses any value.

In the stories you can insert elements already saved, such as photos and videos in the memory of the phone, or recent material produced in the last 24 hours. Moreover, in no way it is possible to extend the permanence of the story, which will be lost forever when the time limit expires. Other users can not interact at all, for example by leaving likes or comments, the only way to express themselves is to send a private message via Messenger, Facebook or other social networks.

Instagram stories: how to make them

Instagram stories are made mainly from a photo, since it is a platform for sharing photos and images. For this reason, the most important tool for stories is the camera of the smartphone or iPhone, but you can also insert videos and other animations. To start the creation of the stories you can tap on the camera icon, in the upper left corner, or open the profile in the section reserved for stories.

A simple and immediate way is to take a photo and insert it directly into the story, editing it as desired before publishing it, otherwise you can upload it from the phone memory, provided that it was made in the last 24 hours. To make a video, you just need to hold down the white round lens symbol at the bottom and release it when you're done recording.

In the screen there are various features, including flash activation for photos, the ability to use the front camera instead of the main one, for example to take a selfie, face filters and the option to upload items previously saved on the phone. Other features depend on the model of smartphone or iPhone in use, in fact, some services are only available on newer devices, while others are also available on older ones.

For example, you can insert music, write small texts and customize the background color of the Instagram story, make a live video, insert special effects such as zoom and boomerang, apply rewind mode to run the video in reverse, or activate the option to record without holding down the button, which is always very convenient and appreciated. After choosing the photo or video you can move on to editing the story.

How to add text and tags in Instagram stories

One customization possible with Instagram stories, among the most used by users, concerns the possibility of inserting text and tagging your contacts. To write in the stories just tap the icon in the upper right corner, with the symbol of the two letters, one uppercase and the other lowercase (Aa), which opens a tool that allows you to enter text of various colors. There are several color options, in fact, just swipe in the upper right icon to open more palettes.

Color editing can be done later, just highlight the characters and choose a new color from the palette, or change the alignment of the text, or even move the text anywhere in the image, creating fun and original compositions. Using the zoom you can zoom in or out on the text, while tapping on the smiley symbol you can add emoticons and animated expressions, taking them from Instagram's well-stocked gallery.

How to see the views of Instagram stories

After posting a story you can see who views it, through a feature available for desktop and mobile versions. Just tap on the profile image, open the screen related to the posted story and view all the data in real time, discovering who has watched the Instagram story, scrolling through the complete list.

The social also shows the total number of views, while tapping on the X symbol, next to the name of the users, you can block a single contact who will no longer be able to see the stories.

How to put GIFs, stickers and stickers in Instagram stories

For about a year now, it has been possible to put GIFs in Instagram stories, a rather recent feature that allows you to make these small personal moments witty and funny. To upload a GIF you have to enter the section of the stories, choose whether to insert a photo or video and tap the icon Aa, in the upper right.

Here you can choose various tools, such as stickers, stickers, pencil to draw by hand and precisely the animated GIFs, taking them directly from the archive of Giphy.

How to share an Instagram story, even on Facebook

One of the new features of the stories, introduced some time ago after the purchase of Instagram by Facebook, allows you to share stories within Mark Zuckerberg's social network. To do so, you just need to create a new story, tap on Next, select Your Story on Facebook and finalize with the Share option.

To automate the operation you just need to open the platform settings, tap on Privacy and Security, Options related to stories and change the selector, to share an Instagram story on Facebook with each new creation.

How to put multiple photos in Instagram story

Many Instagram stories are particularly complex, with a large number of photos and videos uploaded in sequence. To make a multiple upload of photos in stories, just open the stories section of Instagram, enter the Gallery on your phone, tap the Select More option in the upper right corner and choose the photos to use.

The order is the one in which the photos are chosen, so you have to be careful at this stage, for a maximum limit of 10 photos with the same operation.

How to put a video in the Instagram story

In addition to photos, it is possible to put videos in Instagram stories, for example, by recording a movie on the spot with your phone, instead of taking a simple photo, using the round button that allows you to start and stop the video. To make it more fun you can apply additional features, such as boomerang mode, zoom, portrait option and rewind, or insert stickers and other details to create a unique and nice video.

In the same way you can upload pre-recorded videos in Instagram stories, you need to enter the appropriate section of the stories, tap the image in the lower left corner that shows the thumbnails, opening the gallery of your mobile device to choose a video. If the basic version of the videos provides a maximum duration of 15 seconds, in reality you can insert long videos without too much difficulty, however they will be divided into many small clips of 15 seconds each.

How to add music to the story on Instagram

A customization very appreciated by users, which allows you to make the story more exciting, consists in adding music to the Instagram story, enriching the uploaded photos or videos. For example, it is possible to use the Music Label feature, which allows you to take excerpts of music tracks, made available directly from the social network of photo sharing, a service present only in some countries, including Italy, and on some smartphones and iPhones.

To insert music in the stories just tap the icon representing a sticker, located in the upper right corner, selecting the Music option and choosing the song to add, using a part of the song between 5 and 15 seconds. An alternative method is to record a video, leaving a Spotify song playing, for example, which will be inserted in this way within the Instagram story, loaded as if it were the normal audio of a simple video.

How to delete an Instagram story

Deleting a story on Instagram is very easy, just go to the main screen, find the published story, select the item Delete from the pop-up menu and confirm the operation, deleting the story before the fateful 24 hours. To remove a single photo, video or sequence you only need to repeat the procedure, but this time you must select the item to be deleted and finalize the operation to delete it from the Intagram story.

How to save an Instagram story

Since recently, Instagram allows you to save stories, uploading them to the archives section, which will remain in the phone memory. To activate this automatic mode, it is necessary to open the story, tap the three dots in the upper right corner, Save photo or video, choosing a single item or the whole story, to save it within the archive. This section can be consulted at any time, or you can enter and permanently remove a story, through the Delete option and confirming.

Steamy Instagram stories: how to improve them

It often happens that the photos of Instagram stories appear grainy, losing much of the quality offered by the camera of your smartphone or iPhone. This is a rather common problem, since it affects mainly the width of the photo, in fact it affects almost exclusively the horizontal photos. That's why it's always recommended to take vertical photos, as they don't suffer from any particular drop in quality.

To improve grainy photos for use in Instagram stories you need to do some photo editing, taking the first image and placing it in a vertical frame. To do this you can use specific apps for mobile devices, which allow you to solve this problem in real time, editing the photo before uploading it to the stories. Or you can use editing programs, available for both desktop and mobile devices, which are useful for creating options such as mosaic and thumbnails.

Anonymous Instagram stories without being seen

When you look at a story, the person who posted it can see all the users who viewed it, so there is not much privacy in this respect. However, it is possible to watch Instagram stories without being seen, especially from a PC, by using extensions for web browsers like Chrome IG Story, which allows you to log into Instagram and save the stories, to watch them anonymously at any time.

For mobile devices you need to download special applications, to be installed in your device to watch the stories secretly.

For Android an interesting app is story Saver for Instagram, while for iOS devices there is Story Reporter, whose operation is quite similar. Alternatively, you can access the website, login to your personal Instagram profile and watch any story incognito, without your name being shown to the story creator.