Instagram Stories: A How To

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In the world of social media platforms are ever changing and updating. Luckily for you, we’re going to help you navigate Instagram’s stories features with these tips and tricks.

FOCUS

This is one of Instagram’s newest features. If you have an iPhone 7 or later this may look familiar. The focus feature works much like the iPhone 7’s depth mode. To access it click the focus option at the bottom of the stories page, tap to focus on an area, and click to snap your shot. You now have a photo with a blurred background!

BOOMERANG AND REWIND

Boomerangs and rewinds are two sides of the same coin, each feature creates a short video that loops in your stories. The main difference is that boomerangs create a gif that loops and rewind does the same thing but plays the recording backwards. To use either feature, you just open your Instagram stories and select the feature at the bottom of the screen by swiping. Once selected you just hit record and the stop button when you're done and you’ve got your next story!

TEXT OPTIONS

This is also a fairly new Instagram story feature; this update gives you five new type options. To access it, open the app, swipe right to open Instagram stories, tap anywhere to open the text options, get typing, and tap the button at the top to change the font type. You now have: classic, modern, neon, typewriter, and strong!

MIX AND MATCH

Now that we’ve learned how to access the new typefaces, we’re going to learn to mix and match. Mixing and matching fonts makes for a visually interesting story and is so easy to do! The modern font is a popular option and pairs well with the neon font. We use the modern font for body text and the neon to draw attention to words and phrases. Be sure to experiment and find what suits your brand and aesthetic!

COLORS

Instagram has given you the option to fully customize the color of your text. This is a great way to keep stories looking cohesive and on brand. To access this, open stories, snap a picture or swipe up to select one, tap your screen and type out your text - from there you can select a color using the dots at the bottom of the screen. Swipe through them for more options, click and hold to select a color on the color wheel, or use the eyedropper tool to select a color from your photo.

BRUSH OPTIONS/FILL MODE

Instagram stories has a variety of brush options that can take your stories to the next level. These can be used to announce new posts, select background colors, or just add custom text to your story. To access the brush tools just tap the marker icon in the top right corner. After tapping, you’ll see five brush modes: the pen (a solid line), marker (slightly transparent marker), neon, the eraser tool, and the chalk option. You can adjust the thickness of the marker on the left side of the screen up dragging the dot up or down.

GIFS

Gifs are a recent addition to Instagram stories, they’re gifs in sticker form that you can place anywhere in your story to add a little flair! To find gifs open your stories, snap your picture or select it from your recent images, click the sticker button on the top right of the screen and select the GIF option. Once selected you can search by subject or scroll through featured gifs on the screen. From there just select your gif and place it anywhere you like on your screen.   

GEOTAG

Geotagging is a great feature for businesses with brick and mortar locations, they let viewers know where you location is and are a great way to bring people into your business. To geotag a story simply click the sticker button with a smiley face in the top right corner and select the location sticker - from there Instagram will use your location to find nearby places or you can search a specific one and select it.

MENTIONS

Mentions directly tag someone in your story, they also live in the sticker tab on Instagram stories. To mention someone you click the smiling face sticker on the top right and select mention. Type in the username of the person you want to mention and you’re all done! You can place the mention anywhere on your story and tap it to reveal different color options. It’s important to note that you can only tag one person this way, so if you need to tag more than one person use the text feature and the @ symbol to tag.

HASHTAGS

Hashtags are a great feature for brands, you can use this to add stories to your branded hashtag (temporarily). It’s a great way to inform followers of your branded hashtag and drive them to it. To hashtag open Instagram stories, take your photo or swipe up to select from your camera roll, then click the sticker tab on the top right, click the hashtag button, type away, tap again and you’re done! If you tap the final hashtag it’ll give you color options. As with mentions, you can only use one hashtag this way - that Instagram will give you metrics on - but if you have more just include them using a # symbol in the text feature.  

HIGHLIGHTS

Highlights are a great new feature! They’re a place for your stories to live on your profile permanently or until you delete them. To add a highlight to your profile, click the plus sign in the highlight section on your profile. Instagram will prompt you to select stories from your archives (stories that stayed up for the full 24 hours). After hitting the next button on the top right you can name your highlight and edit your cover photo/story.

Story by: Imagine Media Consulting