10 Cool Features to Use Instagram Stories Like a Pro

September 15, 2018

Considering you've used Instagram for at least one minute, chances are you're aware of Instagram Stories. Quite frankly, this is the most widely used social tool in this time of ours. While Instagram itself surpassed a billion users in June, this tool alone has roughly 400 million active users daily. Even though Instagram Stories is a direct rivalry to Snapchat, Stories has about double the users of Snapchat, which is ironic since the latter pioneered the Stories-like feature that creates visual imagery episodes that disappear after 24 hours.

 

Instagram Stories: 10 Cool Features

Similar to Snapchat, Instagram Stories is blessed with a plethora of obscure features—both engaging and astonishing—you might not even know the developers have perfected. Since the tool was launched in August 2016, more and more impressive features have been rolled out—call it a healthy competition.

Thanks to this, Instagram Stories has become a go-to tool for brands and businesses to strengthen user engagement by sharing photos and videos and asking questions. Another perk is to drive excellent results with optimized and targeted Stories ads. In fact, businesses have been accountable for about 34% of the most viewed Instagram Stories since December 2016.

Now, here are 10 cool features to use Instagram Stories like a pro...

 

1. Add a soundtrack to your Story

The journey of Stories coolness starts with music. We might not all be music aficionados but no one genuinely hates music. Music—well, the right music—can drive more attention to anything, including your Stories.

  1. Tap the Stickers icon after you have selected a photo or video to include in your Story.

  2. Open the music library by tapping the MUSIC sticker.

  3. Select your preferred song. You can search by genre or mood or even check out what songs are trending on IG. You can also search for a particular song.

  4. Use the Play button to listen to the song. You can move the song to a particular point so it doesn't have to start at the beginning.

  5. After adding the song to your post, tap Your Story to publish it.

If your brand is more hip than usual, you can use Spotify instead of IG's music library.

  1. Open Spotify and find your preferred song (or album).

  2. Use the Options menu (the three dots) to share the song on Stories by tapping on Share then Instagram Stories.

  3. Once the Instagram app opens, you can add a sticker or text to the song's cover art.

  4. Tap Your Story to publish it.

 

2. Track the performance of your Story

Without quoting any professional, business is as good as performance goes. Instagram Stories allows you to see exactly who has seen your photo or video.

  1. Open your Story and swipe up.

  2. You can now see the number of views and those who've seen the content of your Story.

Note: Earlier this year, IG introduced a feature which lets you see who took a screenshot or screen recording of your Story. The feature was eventually jettisoned because many—probably stalkers—hated it.

 

3. Record video hands-free

As far as social networking is concerned, visual imagery (photos and videos) is a veritable 800-pound gorilla. And, that is the whole point of Instagram. Stories now allow you to record videos without holding the capture button.

  1. Open the Instagram app and swipe right to open the Stories camera.

  2. From the options visible at the bottom, choose the rightmost option called HANDS-FREE. (Sometimes you have to swipe left to view this option.)

  3. Tap and release the Capture button to start recording the video.

Pro-Tip: Always make your Stories fitting for vertical screens because almost all users use their smartphones this way.

 

4. Stickers: Change the color or info and use multiple

Instagram Stories is being used by individuals and brands to engage with their audience and, thanks to Questions Stickers, even their following.

To change the color or info:

  1. Choose your preferred sticker.

  2. Tap it to change the color. However, some stickers cannot change colors. For example, you can only change the unit of the temperature sticker. The weather sticker is one that has a lot of color variations.

To add more than one sticker:

  1. Tap the Sticker icon to choose your preferred sticker.

  2. You can change the details as stated earlier or leave it as it is.

  3. Repeat the process as many times as you wish.

Pro-Tip: The five most common stickers are the like, weather, hashtag, digital time, and vibrant location stickers.

 

5. Use the Hide My Story From feature

Even as a brand, you might find the Hide My Story From feature quite practical especially since privacy invasion and social media stalking are major issues on the Internet.

  1. While tracking the performance of your Story, click on the three dots beside the user you want to hide your Story from.

  2. Simply tap Hide Story From [Username] and you're done.

 

Here's an alternative:

  1. Go to your profile and locate the Options. (Three dots on Android; a gear icon on iOS.)

  2. Click on Story Settings then Hide My Story From.

  3. Select those you want to hide your Story from and click on Done.

 

6. How to pin your best Stories

Some Stories are just too good to sit at the bottom; instead, use this cool feature to pin them to the top of your profile and they will stay there for as long as you want. This feature called Highlights is specially made for Instagram for Business profiles.

  1. Go to your Instagram for Business profile and click on the New button.

  2. Choose your preferred archived Story. (Your Stories are automatically archived as soon as they expire.)

  3. Pick a cover icon and name for your Highlight, and it'll appear as a circle.

  4. Your Highlight will open as a Story whenever someone clicks on the circle.

  5. Tap and hold your Highlight to delete or edit it.

 

7. Zooming in and out on videos

  1. Open the Stories camera.

  2. Tap and hold the Capture button to record your video.

  3. Zoom in or out by sliding up or down respectively with the finger with which you hold the Capture button.

 

8. Add text to posts in Stories without any limit

Let's face it, you've once wanted to share some words with your audience but exceeded the standard IG limit. To rectify this, Stories let you add text without any word limit whatsoever.

  1. Open the Stories camera.

  2. Ready your video or photo and tap the screen or the aA icon to add text.

  3. Write your text and click on the > icon.

  4. Repeat steps b and c to add as many texts as you want.

 

9. Use different colors for words or letters in your text

Slightly juvenile but one of the coolest features of Stories is to use different colors for words or letters in your text...how cool is that?

  1. Go to the Stories camera.

  2. Ready your content and tap the screen or the aA icon to add text.

  3. Write your text.

  4. Highlight any word or letter you wish to change its color by pressing and holding the word or letter.

  5. Pick your preferred color and publish the photo or video, or continue editing until you're satisfied.

 

10. Save your Story to the camera roll

This will save you time if you're planning to use your photo or video somewhere else.

  1. Open the Story tool and swipe up.

  2. You'll see a circle icon, click on it. (The icon is in the top right corner.)

  3. Or, you can use the download icon (i.e. an arrow facing downwards) in the bottom left corner to save a photo or video as you upload it.

  4. Also, you can use the three dots icon to save a photo or video you've already uploaded. Just click on the icon (located at the bottom right corner) and select Save Photo.

 

Among Instagram's arsenal of business tools and features, Stories is one that stands out and does its job perfectly. In a way, Instagram Stories has more features than you can even imagine. Some of these impressive features have been listed above so you can engage and amaze your followers simultaneously while improving brand perception and awareness. Get your Stories coolness on!

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