What Is an Instagram Story?

The Instagram Stories feature allows users to share short-lived visual content that will disappear after 24 hours. As opposed to usual photo and video posts, Instagram stories are not published in the tiled gallery of a user’s profile but can be accessed by tapping their profile photo.

The presence of an Instagram story is highlighted by a colorful circle surrounding the account’s profile picture. Once accessed, the story will appear full-screen, showing all of the content that was shared in the last 24 hours in chronological order.

How to post an Instagram Story

To create an Instagram Story, you will need to follow the steps below:

  • Open Instagram and tap your profile picture in the upper left corner of your phone.
  • Take a photo or video or just select one that you’ve already stored in your gallery.
  • Personalize your story. By navigating the icons on top of your screen, you will be able to add certain elements to your content, like stickers, location tags, hashtags, mentions, countdowns, questions, polls, and more.
  • Once you’ve chosen your content, the lower-left corner of your screen will show the option Your Story. Tapping it equals publishing, as no further confirmation is required.

Who can see your Instagram Stories?

The viewers of your story are determined by your privacy settings. If your account is private, only your followers can see your Instagram Story. If your account is public, or you have a business account, your followers will be able to see your story in their feeds, but anyone will be able to see it from your profile.

What are Instagram Story Highlights?

Another important feature is the Instagram Story Highlight. You can use this in order to keep your stories around for more than 24 hours. Highlights appear as circles on your profile, just above your gallery.

One might think of story highlights as folders. You can create them based on specific hashtags or themes, add covers, and name them accordingly.

If you have never created a Story Highlight before, you will need to follow the steps below:

  • Head to your Instagram Profile, then tap on the icon on the upper-right corner of your phone (≡),
  • Tap on Archive,
  • Tap on the upper right icon (⋮) and select Create highlight,
  • Once you’re in the new highlight screen, just add your stories. You will then be prompted to select a cover and name for the specific highlight.

Once you’ve created your first highlight, things get simpler, as you can add additional Story Highlights directly from your profile, without having to go through all of the steps above.

Why are IG Stories important?

Instagram Stories are a great way to engage with followers and lots of brands have built successful campaigns around this feature. You can make your Stories interactive by including CTAs, questions, chats, or quizzes. According to TechCrunch, one in five stories published by the brand results in a direct reply.

By using Instagram Stories, you get to use your content in a way that’s both visually appealing and engaging, and this might just be the perfect combination for increasing awareness and growing your brand.

Manage your social media with SocialBee: publishing, AI assistance, Canva magic, analytics, unified inbox, and more.
SocialBee supported social channel logos
14-day free trial, no credit card required

Level up your social media game with exclusive resources delivered straight to your inbox

SocialBee calendar popup visual

Out of post ideas? Get our social media calendar

Access 500+ content ideas, post examples, and Canva templates.

Use SocialBee’s Free AI Post Generator to create content for your social media profiles.

Use SocialBee’s Free AI Post Generator to create content for your social media profiles.

🎙️ Customizable tone of voice ❤️ Several variations to choose from 📄 1,000 pre-made AI prompts