Instagram Stories has been growing in popularity and is widely used by influencers, celebrities, and brands alike. With all of the new additions and features, it can get a little overwhelming at times. That's why we've decided to break it down for you and talk about the best ways to utilize all of the versatile updates they have to offer. Here are 7 features you need to know and how to use them...
Mentions - The ability to mention someone on Instagram Stories means that their handle can be added to your photo, boomerang, or video. We love this feature for being able to tag our favorite brands, companies, and friends. It's especially useful because people who view your story can click on the mention to see that person's profile. We always get excited for new ways to collaborate with others! To tag or "mention" someone in your stories, start typing @ and the user's Instagram handle and a list of users will appear at the bottom. Just tap on the correct username, and an underline will appear. When a username has an underline, that means you've tagged/mentioned someone, and it becomes "tappable." When you tap on the tagged username, their info will pop up, and you can tap on it to go directly to their Instagram profile.
Boomerang - This is a fun feature because it's somewhere between a photo and a video. It's perfect for switching up content when you already have a ton of photos but don't have the time or resources to do a video. We've seen a lot of people getting creative with this feature; the possibilities are endless! When using this feature, try to keep your hand as steady as possible. You can also use an iPhone tripod!
Geofilters - This feature is fabulous for adding more details to your story. It allows you to pull the location information from the same database used to add locations in your regular Instagram posts. You can also add the time or weather using degrees in Celsius or Fahrenheit. Once added, tap on the geofilter to see different choices before you post.
Stickers - We've been waiting for Instagram Stories to add this for a while now. Everyone loves stickers! They make it fun by adding seasonal ones to go along with the various holidays, and we're expecting to see even more options coming soon. For brands or bloggers, stickers can spice up posts where you're promoting a new product or blog post. You can make the stickers bigger or smaller by placing your two fingers on your screen to expand or shrink the stickers, then rotate it, drag and place it to the desired spot.
Live Stories - As you may have noticed, live streaming is a feature that has been added to nearly every social media platform. The only difference with Instagram's version is that once the live streaming is done, it disappears from Instagram and viewers can no longer watch it. Users can interact throughout the live stream by sending hearts or commenting and asking questions. Live streaming is a fantastic way for brands and influencers to connect with their followers in a more personal way and get instant feedback.
Hands-Free Video - We're especially excited about this update, which lets users record a story with the tap of a finger. Unlike Snapchat, where you still have to hold down the button to record a video, Instagram's hands-free option gives users more freedom and allows them to use their hands. This feature is ideal for influencers who are attempting to do a demo video or demonstrate a new product!
Linking - This feature is currently only available for verified users, and allows them to add a link of their choice for the user to view without having to leave Instagram. You might have noticed a "See More" option at the bottom of some Instagram Stories, which allows a seamless way for viewers to experience more. We're hoping they unleash this option for all users soon, or at least the business accounts!