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The complete guide to Instagram stories this year

Published on 24.09.2023 by Tracey Chizoba Fletcher

An Instagram story, often abbreviated as IG story, is a feature on the social media platform Instagram that allows users to share photos and videos that disappear from their profile, feed, and messages after 24 hours. This feature enables users to share everyday moments and grow closer to the people and interests they care about

Instagram Stories can be fun and engaging to keep your followers updated without cluttering their feeds. You can also add them to your profile as highlights if you wish for them to be viewable beyond the standard 24-hour period.

As for the size of an IG story, it's recommended that the images or videos you upload should have an aspect ratio of 9:16, with a size of 1080px by 1920px. This is because Instagram Stories are designed to take up the full screen of your device, and these dimensions will ensure that your story looks its best


How to Use Instagram Stories

Understanding Instagram Stories effectively can significantly enhance your social media presence. Explore the best strategies for capturing and engaging your audience with Instagram Stories.

Instagram story stickers

Instagram story stickers are a creative way to add more context to your Instagram stories. It would help if you created a story on your Instagram page to find Instagram story stickers. Once you have your photo or video set for your story, click the 'face looking button' to access the stickers. 

To add stickers to your Instagram story, tap on the desired sticker, which will appear on your story. You can move and resize it as needed. If you wish to pin stickers on your Instagram story, you can hold down on the sticker and choose the pin option. This allows the sticker to remain in a fixed location even as your video plays. Remember to explore different stickers to make your stories more engaging and interactive;

Gifs on Instagram story

Instagram story GIFs have become a popular way to add flair and character to your content. They are short, looping animations that can express emotion, convey a message, or entertain your followers.

Here's a simple guide if you're wondering how to post a GIF on Instagram from your camera roll. First, you need to save the GIF on your device. Open your Instagram Story and swipe up to access your camera roll. Select the saved GIF, and it will appear in your story. You can resize, rotate, and move the GIF around before you post it.

Adding GIFs to your Instagram story is also straightforward. When creating a new story, tap on the sticker button at the top of the screen. From there, select the GIF option, and you will be able to search for and choose from a wide range of GIFs. The chosen GIF will then be added to your story, and like previously mentioned, you can adjust its size and placement before posting.

Finally, posting GIFs on your Instagram story is as easy as tapping 'Your Story' at the top left corner of your home screen, selecting the GIF from your sticker options, and hitting share. Remember, GIFs can make your stories more engaging and interactive, so don't shy away from using them creatively;


Use audio on Instagram stories (saved and original Instagram audio).

Using audio on Instagram Stories can greatly enhance your content, making it more engaging and appealing to your audience. Here's a step-by-step guide to help you get started.

Open Instagram and Tap the Camera Icon: First, open the Instagram app on your smartphone. You'll find the camera icon at your home screen's top left corner. Tap on it to start creating a new story.

Record or Upload Your Video: You can either record a new video directly through the app by holding the record button or upload a pre-recorded one from your gallery by swiping it on the screen.

Add Music: After you've recorded or chosen your video, tap on the sticker button (a square icon with a smiley face). From the list of options, select "Music". You'll be directed to a library of songs. Please search for your desired track and select it. You can choose which part of the song you want to play in your story by dragging the bar at the bottom of the screen.

Finalize Your Story: After selecting your music, you can further customize your story by adding text, stickers, or drawings. Once satisfied with your story, tap "Your Story" at the bottom left to share it.


Filters on Instagram story

Adding unique filters to your Instagram stories can help make your content stand out. Here's how you can find and add new filters:

  • Open the Instagram app and tap on the camera icon in the top left of the screen, or swipe right from anywhere in the feed to open the Stories camera.
  • Once you're in Story mode, you can swipe left at the bottom of the screen to browse through the different filters and effects that are currently available.
  • To search for a specific filter, tap the face icon in the bottom right corner to open the effects gallery. You'll find thousands of unique filters created by Instagram and other users here. You can scroll through the list or use the search bar at the top to look for a specific type of filter.
  • When you find a filter you like, tap on it to apply it to your story. You can also tap the information icon (i) to learn more about the filter and the creator. If you love the filter and want to use it again later, save it to your effects gallery by tapping the save icon.
  • After applying a filter, you can take a photo or record a video as usual. Then, tap "Your Story" to post it or choose specific friends to send it to.


What's the IG story highlight?

Instagram Story Highlights is a feature that allows users to save and display their favorite Instagram Stories on their profile page. They appear as small circles below the user's biography and can be viewed by anyone, even if they didn't catch the original 24-hour story.


To use Instagram Story Highlights, follow these steps:

  1. Open Instagram and tap on your profile icon at the bottom right of the screen.
  2. Below your bio and above your posts, you'll see a '+ Highlight' button. Tap on it.
  3. You'll see a list of your past stories. Select the ones to add to your highlight and tap 'Next'.
  4. Now, you can choose a cover image for your highlight and give it a name.
  5. Once finished, click 'Add' (iOS) or 'Done' (Android).

Remember, you can add up to 100 photos or videos to a single highlight; there's no limit to how many highlights you can create. Instagram Story Highlights are a great way to showcase your best content and keep it alive on your profile for more than 24 hours;


Instagram story analytics 

Instagram Stories Analytics is a powerful tool that provides valuable insights into your audience's behavior and engagement with your content. It allows you to track key metrics such as reach, impressions, exits, and replies, helping you understand what content resonates with your audience.

Reach refers to the number of unique users who viewed your story, while impressions indicate the total number of times your story has been viewed. Exit rate shows the percentage of viewers who left before your story ended, indicating whether your content is engaging enough.

Replies can help gauge direct engagement. More replies often mean your content is provoking reactions and sparking conversations.

These metrics are crucial for businesses and influencers aiming to optimize their Instagram strategy. By analyzing this data, they can tailor their content to improve engagement, increase followers, and boost their online presence.


Instagram story shopping

Instagram Story Shopping is a feature that has revolutionized the way brands and businesses interact with their customers on the platform. It allows eligible shops to tag products directly in their Instagram stories, providing users with a seamless and immersive shopping experience. Customers can shop the featured product now from the story, making it an efficient and engaging tool for businesses to showcase their products and drive sales.

Instagram Story Shopping also allows sharing shops directly to your Instagram stories. This feature extends the reach of the shop and provides a new avenue for brand visibility. When a shop is shared on a story, followers can tap to view the shop and potentially make a purchase, facilitating a direct path from discovery to purchase.

Moreover, Instagram Shopping is not limited to just stories. Its features are integrated across Instagram, allowing people to shop from photos, videos, and even live streams. This comprehensive shopping ecosystem makes Instagram a powerful business platform and a convenient shopping destination for users.


Interactive stories on Instagram

Interactive Instagram Stories have become a vital tool for businesses and influencers to boost engagement and views. These stories, which often incorporate features like polls, quizzes, and sliders, offer a playful, dynamic way to connect with followers and encourage active participation rather than passive viewing.

Several ideas for interactive stories have proven to be effective. For instance, creating a series of stories that form a narrative or a step-by-step guide can keep viewers hooked. Another popular idea is Q&A sessions, where users can submit questions directly through the story feature. This not only increases engagement but also provides valuable insights into the audience.

Moreover, Instagram has introduced Story Creator Templates, a new tool to facilitate the creation of interactive stories, beneficial for those short on time or content. Various formats like behind-the-scenes footage, tutorials, or user-generated content can significantly enhance viewer engagement.

However, it's important to remember that each brand or influencer will have unique followers with different preferences. Therefore, experimenting with different types of interactive stories and monitoring the response is crucial to understanding what resonates best with your audience;



How do you make the best Instagram stories?

To create engaging Instagram stories, use high-quality visuals and compelling captions. Leverage features like stickers, polls, and GIFs to encourage interaction. Use hashtags and location tags to increase visibility. Try storytelling with a series of slides and always include a clear call-to-action.


Whose stories appear first on Instagram?

The stories that appear first on your Instagram feed are typically from the people you interact with most. Instagram's algorithm prioritizes content from users that you have previously liked, commented on, or shared their posts. It also factors in your recent activity and mutual interactions.