The latest Instagram app update was one of the most exciting and controversial yet. The release of my new obsession Instagram Stories (apologies to Snapchat), the ability to zoom in on an image, plus the drafts feature make this a pretty damn fun release.

For those of you who are still feeling a little baffled by how to manoeuvre the Instagram Stories feature, I’ve created a series of tutorials for you to really take advantage of its super-fun features.

Ok, let’s do this!

Instagram Story Hacks

Hide Instagram Stories

For someone who has never really gotten into Snapchat, I absolutely love the Instagram Stories feature. One downside however is that your favourite Instagrammer’s stories can get lost amongst the masses, especially if you follow hundreds of accounts like I do.

Truth be told, there are some Instagrammers whose stories I’m just not interested in, and the good news is, you can hide irrelevant stories from your feed in 3 (very simple!) steps:

How to Mute Instagram Stories

Step 1: Open your Instagram app on your mobile device and click the Home icon to load your Instagram feed.

Step 2: At the top of your feed you will see all of the Instagram Stories, each profile photo with a colorful ring around it.

Step 3: To hide an account from your Stories feed, firmly hold down your finger on their picture, then select “Mute [username]’s story” from the pop-up menu.

Tips:

  • You can always undo this action (and I show you how to below)
  • For this example I use AnaNewYork’s account, which I LOVE and promptly un-muted 😉

Un-Hide Instagram Stories

Regret muting your fave Insta-babe? Never fear, unlike that tattoo you got in college, this baby’s reversible:

How to Un-Mute Instagram Stories

Step 1: Open your Instagram app on your mobile device and click the Home icon to load your Instagram feed.

Step 2: Scroll your finger right to left through the Instagram stories until you are at the very end of the feed. Here you will see all the accounts you have muted.

Step 3: As you did before, firmly hold down your finger on their picture, this time selecting “Unmute [username]’s story” from the pop-up menu.

Upload Images and Graphics to Instagram Stories

Just like Snapchat, the fun of Instagram stories comes from real, live, unfiltered moments being shared instantly with your followers.

There are however some times when you can’t (or don’t want to) post straight away. This feature was a godsend when I was travelling overseas and didn’t always have access to the internet. When we were out-and-about I could snap away on my camera roll to my hearts content, and once I was back in our apartment with wifi I could share my day with my followers.

There is a clause though: to keep the content you’re sharing fresh and current, you can only upload images taken within 24 hours (or uploaded to your camera roll within 24 hours).

To upload an image from your camera roll to Instagram Stories:

How to Upload an Image to Instagram Stories

Step 1: Open your Instagram app and from the Home feed, swipe your finger from left to right to reveal the Instagram Stories feature

Step 2: Hold down your finger in the middle of the screen and drag it down the screen. This will reveal the upload feature, with all photographs you have taken (or uploaded to) your camera roll in the last 24 hours.

Step 3: Select your image of choice, edit as you like, then click the white “tick” button to share. This image will then be visible to your followers for the next 24 hours. There’s no limit to the the number of images you share, so GO CRAZY GIRL!!

Hint: If you want to share graphics you have designed in Photoshop or Canva, you need to either email, Airdrop or Dropbox these to your mobile device and save them to your camera roll.

Tag (and link to) Other Instagram Accounts in Your Story

Are you promoting a brand, venue or fellow ‘grammar? You can now tag other Instagram accounts in your story. Here’s how:

How to Tag Fellow Instagram Accounts in Instagram Stories

Step 1: Open the Instagram Story function

Step 2: Snap or upload a photo

Step 3: Click the text edit ‘Aa’ in the top right of your screen

Step 4: To tag a fellow account type @ followed by their handle (no spaces), for example @katewilkinsoncreative

Important: as you start typing your fellow Instagrammer’s handle, suggested accounts will appear below your text. Be sure to select the account from the list, otherwise the tag will not be complete.

Now when your fans are watching your story they can click on the Instagram account tagged and navigate directly to their account.

Control Who Sees Your Story

Through your Instagram app’s setting you can:

  • Block certain users from viewing your Instagram Stories, and
  • Control who can message reply to your Stories

How to Block Users from Viewing Your Instagram Stories | Kate Wilkinson Creative

To do this:

Step 1: Open the Instagram app on your mobile device

Step 2: Click on your profile

Step 3: In the top right corner of the screen click on the cog icon to access your settings

Step 4: Click on ‘Story Settings’ and edit permissions as you need

Saving Posts as Drafts

Ok, so this one isn’t related to Instagram Stories, but this latest release from the folks at Instagram is one of my favourite from the app: the ability to save your images as a draft (hallelujah!).

If you’ve edited your image in Instagram but you’re not ready to post it straight away, you can save this image as a draft, and next time you upload an image to Instagram it’ll be ready and waiting.

How to Saving Draft Images on Instagram

Step 1: Once you have edited your photo click the back arrow < twice

Step 2: You will then be promoted to either discard or save the photo. Click “Save Draft” to save your snap for next time.

The image won’t be saved to your camera roll, however next time you go to post an image on Instagram, it’ll be there saved as a draft.

Do you use the Instagram Stories feature? Or are you a diehard member of #TeamSnapchat? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

Author: Kate Wilkinson

Kate Wilkinson is driven to show fellow creative entrepreneurs how to grow their business quickly and easily. Through her easy-to-action strategies, Kate wants you to build a creative business that rocks.

When she's not blogging you'll find Kate whipping up a feast for friends or mixing a stiff drink in her beach shack.

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8 thoughts on “Game-Changing Instagram Story Hacks

  1. Thanks for the post. I’m still not clear…What exactly is an Instagram story? Are we actually just hiding the person’s feed if we choose that option? Or is this a feature where you can somehow do something different on Instagram? Thank you!

    Posted on October 9, 2016 at 10:38 am
    1. Hi Joleene! It’s a new feature in the latest update of Instagram. If you update your app to the latest version you’ll see everyone’s “Stories” at the top of your home feed. It’s a very similar feature to Snapchat, and to view a Story, simply click on a profile photo with a colorful ring around it. Let me know how you go.

      Posted on October 12, 2016 at 12:46 pm
  2. Thanks for this Kate! I have wanted to share some stories but couldn’t do it because I had no internet. Now, thanks to you I know how to do it!!! Yay!

    Posted on October 9, 2016 at 11:13 am
    1. Amaia, I love hearing how these simple little tips help my readers. Rock on with your stories, girl!

      Posted on October 12, 2016 at 8:43 am
  3. I just used one of your tips! Thanks!

    Posted on October 9, 2016 at 1:25 pm
    1. Elissa, I’m thrilled! And if you have any “hacks” you’d like to share with this community please pop them below.

      Posted on October 12, 2016 at 8:42 am
  4. These tips are AMAZING! I especially didn’t know you could upload photos to your stories, my life has changed! Thank you for sharing!!

    Posted on October 15, 2016 at 12:12 pm
    1. Girl, you are SO WELCOME! Enjoy Instagram Stories and I look forward to seeing what you create.

      Posted on October 21, 2016 at 3:45 pm