Instagram's Newest Update Will Change How You Watch Stories

by Michelle Gross
Carl Court/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Brace yourself Instagram fiends, there’s a sweet new upgrade that about to hit IG apps worldwide Tuesday morning. The update, which should be available sometime after 10 a.m. ET, will now enable you to send an Instagram story as a Direct Message. That’s right. All those crazy cat vids you’ve been watching on your fave Instagram celeb's stories can now be sent as a DM to your best cat loving group of friends, or just that one other cat loving friend you have as a direct message.

The new feature, will be available for iOS and Android in the Apple App Store and Google Play, will be part of the Instagram's 11.0 update.

So exactly how do you send an IG story as a direct message you ask? Don’t fret, I've got you covered.

After you see the story you want to share with your friend or friends, all you do is tap tap tap the direct icon (OK — one tap is fine) on the bottom right hand corner, select the friend or group you want to share said story with and send away! You get the picture, or the story, so to speak.

Likewise, when someone shares their story with you, you will see it in your Direct inbox. When the original story disappears from the app, it will no longer be available in your message thread. If you prefer to turn off the ability for others to share your story, you can just disable the option in your stories settings. And if you have a Private Account, only your followers can view your story in Direct.

"Since launching last year, Instagram Stories has quickly become a place to connect more closely with the people, interests and brands you care about most," according to a post about the update Instagram posted earlier today. "Now sharing those favorite everyday moments is even easier."

This update, which is the latest in a series of upgrades made by the social media company, follows pretty closely in the footsteps of social media competitor Snapchat which has been enabling users to send stories directly since 2016. Regardless of who did it first, social media analysts agree that utilizing the Instagram stories feature a great way for users to engage with and grow an organic audience base. And let's be honest, stories are fun and slightly less inhibiting than a singular post (well for this Instagram obsessed user anyway). There's a little more wiggle room with the stories you share, and the mix of multimedia elements by say incorporating a quick boomerang, a nicely lit selfie, some video footage, it's just a fun way to show off a day in the life of whatever it is you want to show off!

In other pending IG story news, one of the more anticipated upgrades to IG stories will be the addition of photos and videos you can post to any given story that was taken within the past week on your camera role as opposed to the last "24-hours" which is how stories are currently operating. While this testing phase is still preliminary, it would greatly expand the potential for story-users to post more robust features from a wider selection of photos. From what we can tell, the stories however will still disappear after the 24-hour mark. More on this if and when the upgrade comes to fruition, which lets be honest, would be pretty freaking awesome.

In the meantime, if you want to learn more about today's direct message upgrade and how to share stories directly then head over to the Instagram Help Center.