Today Instagram announced the launch of “Stories,” a feature that will allow users to create temporary collections of photos. The Snapchat-esque option will help with oversharing, as well as give Instagrammers an alternative way to document their lives. If you’re wondering how to tell if you have Instagram Stories, read on — the feature is really fairly simple.
Instagram Stories allows users to put together slideshows of photos and videos that will disappear after 24 hours (similarly to Snapchat Stories). The Wall Street Journal suggests that, with Stories, Instagram is trying to encourage users to post more frequently, and, indeed, the feature does seem to address major issues that can discourage users from posting as much as they might like. For example, the Stories feature will help users get around the issue of oversharing (aka what happens when someone posts Instagram photos way too much and swamps your feed) by letting them publish a whole bunch of images in a single post. The fact that Stories only last for a day also takes some of the pressure off of users to post “perfect” images.
But how do you get Instagram stories, and how do you tell if you already have it? Simple: Users will get Stories through an Instagram update that you can access through the App Store. In a blog post, Instagram said that the feature will be “rolling out globally over the next few weeks,” so you may have a wait a while before you get it. However, some users have reported that they’ve already gotten the update that includes Instagram Stories; according to one user, the update was simply labeled as including “Bug fixes and performance improvements.”
Once you have Instagram Stories, you’ll know it because the layout of your feed will be slightly different. There will be a bar at the top of the screen with profile photos of the people you follow, and if a person has a new Story up, there will be a colorful line around his or her image. You can simply tap the photo to see the Story.
To make your own Story, you start by tapping the icon in the upper left corner that looks like a cross in a circle. The camera view will come on, and you can take photos or videos; you can also upload images and videos you’ve already got on your phone. Once you have your images, you then have a chance to enhance them with text and drawings, before downloading them and tapping a check-mark icon to post. (You can see full instructions here.)
If you’ve already gotten the Stories update, you can go ahead and go wild making your own photo collections. If you’re still waiting, hold tight, keep checking for updates, and glare at people who do have Stories with furious envy.