Instagram Stories and Highlights
Your followers have 24 hours to view your story (image or video) before it disappeared. Since Dec 17, Instagram's newest update brings one major change to the oh-so-popular feature: Stories that don't expire. Time to be implemented in non-American countries, my updated version arrived in early Jan.
The new feature is called Stories Highlights
Now, there's a Stories Highlights section where you can create highlights out of groups of stories you've shared.
This section will be found on your profile underneath your bio, where you can feature Stories images or videos that you've previously posted.
All you need to do is choose a cover image (which is particularly important if you have a series of images or videos in a single Story group) and name it accordingly.
The feature can be accessed by clicking on the Stories Highlights section, which can be found in a new section of your profile below your bio. From there, you can choose which Stories you want to include in your Highlight from a list of past posts, select a cover for the Highlight, and give it a name. The Highlight will show up on your profile as a circle for other users to tap on and view. You can add as many Highlights as you want, and they'll stay there basically till the end of time (or till you tap and hold on one to remove it).
Stories Highlights work by making use of another new feature: Stories Archive.
Archive so you never lose your Stories
The Archive will be activated automatically for everyone soon, and you'll get a notification when it opens to you with the option to turn it off. Stories clips are saved in the same quality you uploaded them at. You can find the Archive on your Profile and switch between the Stories Archive and Posts Archive. Archived posts appear in reverse chronological order with date stamps for clarity. You can't download your entire Archive at once but instead will have to download individual clips. Archived posts can be re-shared to Highlights, Direct Messages, the feed, or downloaded and then pushed to your current Story.
Users were often already downloading their Stories before they expired, but often might forget, causing them to lose their content. Now they don't have to think about it.
There are three important value-adds to these features
Save Your Work - Archive and Highlights could make investing time in creating Stories feel less wasteful. It might have seemed silly going through the work of shooting Stories and jazzing them up with captions and stickers if they'd disappear the next day. This could make Stories appeal to older demographics whose friends might not be so addicted to Instagram that they open to watch Stories every single day. Highlights will surely be well utilised by brands who pour resources into shooting Stories and now can create a product or a campaign-specific collection.
Preserve Your Storage - Now you won't have to worry about expending your phone's storage space by downloading your old Stories. Instead, Instagram will save them in the cloud, where you can privately view, publicly share, or re-download them later. For younger users on older phones with limited space, that could be a life-saver.
Expressing Your Identity - Instagram has never before let you share without that content being visible on the home screen to your followers. That meant it could feel like you were spamming friends if you wanted to share niche content, deterring content creation. Stories Highlights will let you exhibit the different angles of yourself. You could create a Highlight of just your cat, your food, your favourite art, or your professional life.
Highlight your artworks for sale
You can add up to 100 photos or videos to a Story Highlight, and there's no limit to how many Highlights you can create. Similarly, if you add more than 100 clips to your current Story, the first one will be removed and added to your Archive. And if you don't want any trace of your old Stories available privately to you, you can opt out and turn off Stories Archive or simply remove it.
Together, these features could further encourage Instagram Stories' 300 million users to post more about a wider variety of content, knowing it doesn't have to disappear.
Last but not least, remember that Stories are in portrait and narrower than the usual image.
The optimal resolutions:
- Images: 1080 x 1920
- Videos: 720 x 1280
Videos (15 secs), also in portrait, are an excellent tool to engage your followers and with today preview icon, it will increase your engagement.
Use Stories to attract people on your profile. Do you want to increase your Stories engagement? Try a poll, Gifs and other animation on your Stories. There are 250 million daily Stories users per day!
Happy Instagramming! 😀
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