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Instagram Stories: What They Are and How to Make One Like a Pro

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27.11.2018

These days, social media is all about documentation.

Where you go, what you eat and drink, who you see, and what’s most memorable: These are the typical fodder of Instagram Stories — seconds-long glimpses of people’s lives, shared on Instagram for only 24 hours.

Below, we’ve created a guide for you to learn what Instagram Stories are, how to share them with your followers, and how to make sure those Stories are exactly what your audience wants to see. In this post, we’ll cover the following. Feel free to click on a bullet point below to jump to that section of the article.

Instagram Stories allow Instagram users to share photos and videos to their “Story” — which is visible to followers of the user’s Instagram account — and to specific users the Story’s sender follows. Like in Snapchat, Instagram Stories are ephemeral, meaning they disappear after 24 hours.

Your Instagram Story is published separately from the photos and videos found in the tiled gallery of one’s Instagram profile. And although you might know the basics of sharing them, there are hidden tools within the app that can make the photos and videos you add to your Story more creative and engaging.

Instagram Stories can drive a ton of engagement and value — whether you’re sharing a Story from a brand account or your own personal profile.

Since launching back in August 2016, a total of 250 million Instagram users have started sharing disappearing content on Instagram Stories — contributing to the huge jump in time spent in-app every day from 24 minutes to 32.

What’s more, a lot of brands have already seen success publishing content to this platform. Instagram Stories have fueled the growth of brands like Teen Vogue, Insider, and Bustle. Whether publishers are trying to grow brand awareness, grow traffic to videos or newsletter outside of Instagram, or share sponsored content, publishers are flocking to Instagram to publish fun disappearing content that infuses brand voice and personality without taking up too much of the average techie’s dwindling attention span.

What’s more, Instagram Stories are credited with fueling the massive growth of Instagram Direct — private one-to-one messaging between users within the app. Instagram Direct has grown into one of the most popular messaging apps in the world with a staggering 375 million users.

Even more impressive, TechCrunch reports that one in five Instagram Stories shared by a brand receives a Direct reply — giving brands a direct line to connect with their audience and learn more about them.

Instagram Stories last 24 hours on your profile before disappearing, but a video inside your Story can be up to 15 seconds long before cutting to the next piece of content. You can also use a third-party app to segment a longer video into 15-second increments to add to your Story.

Just as Instagram Stories only last 24 hours before disappearing, the photos and video themselves have a time limit when users view and play them.

As a blanket rule, the individual videos you add to your Instagram Story each have a maximum roll time of 15 seconds. If you add a video to your Instagram Story, for example, it’ll play for up to 15 seconds, regardless of how long the original video was, and then end.

Despite Instagram Stories’ 15-second runtime limit, there are ways to play longer videos in your Story. Specifically, you can split a video that’s longer than 15 seconds into 15-second segments and add each segment to your Instagram Story so they play one after another. Here are some mobile apps that can help you make it happen:

Instagram Stories appear at the top of your screen when you’re on the Instagram mobile app. Because they’re often the first pieces of content users see when they open Instagram, these Stories can get a ton of engagement and help you advertise your regular Instagram photo gallery to more users.

To start viewing Instagram Stories, open your Instagram mobile app and tap the home icon on the bottom-lefthand corner of your screen. Instagram Stories are not available for viewing on the desktop site.

Once you’ve navigated to Instagram’s home screen, you’ll see a series of circular icons along the top, each of which represents the active Stories posted by the users you follow. These icons are highlighted inside a red square in the screenshot below. As you can see, your own Story is available for viewing (and adding to) on the far left of the Stories you follow.

Each circular icon you see at the top of your home screen shows you a small preview of the Story that user has posted. Tap on it to expand the user’s Story — it’ll either be a photo or a video, and the latter will play automatically once you tap on the Story.

A single Instagram Story can contain numerous individual photos and videos strung together in order of when the user posted them. The first piece of content you’ll see will be the most recent one. Tap your mobile device’s screen to cut to the next photo or video that user has posted to their Story.

Swiping left and right while viewing an Instagram Story will allow you to shuffle between Stories from different users. When you first open an Instagram Story, you’ll see the following menu:

Use the above screenshot as a reference for viewing........

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