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Need To Know: Instagram Stories

Instagram’s newest feature isn’t just about replicating the next trend in social media, it’s about how the social giants are eager for continued growth and even jumping ship where needs be for new audiences.What separated Instagram from other social media platforms was the app’s trademark filters allowing users to make everyday images look beautiful with just a few taps. Over time, Instagram became synonymous with artfully posed, aspirational pics of everyday life that helped turn the app into a powerful promotional platform.

Meanwhile, Snapchat developed a place that allowed users to share frequent, candid snapshots of their daily life without worrying that they’re spamming friends, or leaving behind a public archive of photos that could come back to haunt them later.

Instagram was for the best of yourself, and Snapchat was for everything else. Now that dividing line seems to have fallen away. Instagram Stories lets the platform’s 500 million-plus monthly users, including brand accounts, curate daily moments in a format that disappears after 24 hours. With Instagram’s newest feature, the company said that users “don’t have to worry about overposting. Instead, you can share as much as you want throughout the day -- with as much creativity as you want.” For those who missed their opportunity to become Snapchat famous, or for those who are excited to try it out, here’s how to get started on Instagram Stories.

  1. First off, UPDATE YOUR APP! Without this update, you’ll be tapping through endlessly trying to figure out how to upload your first story.

  2. Once you've got the latest version, the top of your home screen will feature a roster of Instagram Stories of the users you follow.

  3. To share your own, begin by tapping on the plus button found on the top left-hand side of your home screen or by swiping right.

  4. Tap the circle button at the bottom of the screen to take a photo or tap and hold to record a video (as of now there is no facial recognition that allows you to enjoy features such as Face Swap or the infamous “dog” filter).

  5. Once you have your image or video, you can edit the photo or video with a selection of filters, text and drawing as you normally would on Snapchat. If you hit the pen icon, there are three types of pens to choose from. The third option is a neon style pen which is very cool and gives your photo or video a nice retro vibe.

  6. After your photo/video has been edited to perfection, tap the checkmark button at the bottom of the screen to share to your story.

Like Snapchat, you can see who's checking out your story and only you can see this information. An interesting feature on Instagram Stories is you can choose who gets to see your Stories and who doesn't. Go to your profile and tap on the top-right hand corner. In Story settings you can select those who you don’t want to see you in a more live setting. There's no doubt that Instagram Stories is a way for Instagram to stay competitive against the huge success of Snapchat. Instagram Stories is meant to be a way to bring back a more spontaneous form of sharing that existed in the earlier days of Instagram, and that — ideally — would steer people away from missing authentic moments. With this update, you can see someone’s beautiful photography on their main page, and then move over onto their Story to see the real, unfiltered human parts. It’s only the beginning, but it’s great to be able to see another side of people you’ve never met, but followed on Instagram for years.


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