News broke on Tuesday that Instagram is rolling out a new feature known as Instagram Stories, allowing users to combine photos and video together in a slideshow-like post that will disappear after 24 hours. And although it's not available to all users yet — apparently the global rollout will happen over the next few weeks — I still want to know: Can you "like" an Instagram story? How can we interact with these new posts? Will we be seeing "LB" everywhere, just like we do on regular Instagram posts? Well, according to a blog post from Instagram themselves, Instagram Stories will work slightly differently from an ordinary Insta post, in that private messaging is the only way to reply to a story. So, in a word: No. You can't "like" an Instagram story, because that functionality isn't built into the feature.
As many of us know, Instagram is an image-based social network where users can post photos and video to their profile grids. These photos and videos can be liked and commented on by other users; however, the original poster can also delete an image or video whenever they want. (The ability to filter and moderate comments on your Instagram page is apparently in the cards soon, too.) With an an Instagram story, however, you can't "like" or comment on it; additionally, the story will disappear automatically after 24 hours. Stories also don't appear on each user's profile grid (where images and videos posted to Instagram usually display) — instead, you'll have to tap the user's profile picture when a colored circle appears around it to watch any available stories.
And even though the global rollout of Instagram Stories, is happening gradually over the next few weeks — right now, it's limited mostly to celebrities and influencers — thankfully, there's already an Instagram Help Center page detailing how we can interact with the new feature. Since you can't like or comment on stories, the only way to do so is through private messaging, guys. So this is how to do it:
- When you see someone's story, open it. Your stories will be available to view in a horizontal timeline at the top of your homepage.
- Tap "Send Message" in the bottom left.
- Type your message and then press "Send."
The Help Center notes that "your message will include the photo or video you replied to. Keep in mind that stories disappear after 24 hours. After that, photos and videos from a person's story will no longer be visible in conversations" — so, just keep that in mind when replying to stories. You can also prevent people from replying to your stories, though; just go to your profile, tap "Story Settings," and select the appropriate option to control who's able to reply to your stories.
Instagram Stories will be available to use in the coming weeks; here's how to tell whether or not you have it yet. If you don't, though, at least you can get practicing with how to use it by visiting, say, Serena Williams' Instagram page — view her profile in the app to see Instagram Stories in action.