Instagram Story Hacks: 20 Tips and Options You Ought to Know

You've probably already thought about our must-try Instagram hacks. (It's a fun beach reading, I totally get it!) Now it's time to master the fine art of the Instagram story.

It's just simple math: if a picture is worth a thousand words, an Instagram story post must be worth a million, right?

And these Instagram story hacks will make you the best storyteller in town.

Upload your Free pack of 20 customizable Instagram Stories templates. Save time and look professional while promoting your brand in style.

General Instagram Story Hacks

1. Create a patterned background for sharing a feed post

Do I need to add a custom background when sharing a feed post on your story? Gosh, no. But like wearing lipstick to a Zoom meeting, sometimes it's just nice to add a little routine to some pizazz.

How it goes:

  1. Find the feed post you want to share and take a screenshot. Cut it so that it's just the contribution
  2. Next, click on the paper airplane icon in that original feed post and select "Add Post To Your Story".
  3. Stretch the feed post to fill the entire screen. I know this seems wild, but it makes the final post a typable link to the original post
  4. Next, open your camera roll and add the background pattern of your choice
  5. Then paste the cropped screenshot of your post above and arrange or resize it as you wish
  6. Upload the whole thing

2. Add a link to a story

Unfortunately, links are only available to users with over 10,000 followers. (A shame for those of us who have a more, um, exclusive follower list.)

Once you hit that sweet spot, it's time to include it a link On any story, your lucky numerous followers can swipe up to visit that URL.

How it goes:

  1. Make sure you have 10,000 or more followers to access this feature
  2. Create a new story post
  3. Click the Link icon at the top of the page
  4. You can add an IGTV video link or a web link url
  5. Click on "Done". The message "Action request added" is displayed as confirmation
  6. If you need to edit or delete the link, just click the link icon again
  7. Finish editing or creating your story and upload it

3. Fill the background with one color

The standard gradient backgrounds are nice and all, but sometimes there's something to be said that can only be framed by a wall of dazzling chartreuse.

How it goes:

  1. Tap the character icon
  2. Choose a color from the palette (tip: swipe right to see additional color options, or press and hold a specific color to open a rainbow gradient with choices.)
  3. When you've chosen a color, press anywhere on the image or text part of the screen and hold for two or three seconds to fill it

4. Share with a select group of VIPs

Now that your boss and Uncle Steve and your Shift Council president are following you on Insta, the pressure to be a pro / niece / neighbor can really dampen your best, dumbest Instagram thoughts.

Instagram's Close Friends feature allows you to provide more intimate, exclusive content to a select group of people (sorry, Uncle Steve!). For companies, this may be a way to offer special treatment to members or VIPs (which Uncle Steve probably doesn't belong to either).

How it goes:

  1. Go to your Instagram profile and click the three lines in the top corner
  2. Choose Close Friends
  3. Find your BFFs and click "Add" (currently there is no limit to the number of people this can include).
  4. To remove people, click on your list and hit the remove button (don't worry, they won't be notified if they're cut).
  5. Now when you publish a story, you will see the option to share with close friends at the bottom of the screen next to your story

Source: Instagram

5. Plan your Instagram stories in advance

We know that stories should be a spontaneous medium. But are you really at your desk or on your cell phone all day? No! You live life so you have something to write Instagram stories about.

Fortunately, you can prepare your Instagram stories in advance using the Hootsuite dashboard.

How it goes: Read our step-by-step guide to planning your stories with the Hootsuite schedule.

Source: Hootsuite

Instagram story photo hacks

6. Create progress posts that build on an image

Build the drama over multiple story posts by adding new elements to the same keyframe. Oooh, the tension!

How it goes:

  1. Create a story post as usual with videos, photos, text, stickers or drawings
  2. Before uploading, click the save icon (a downward pointing arrow above a line) at the top to download your composition to your camera roll (if you've added gifs or music, it will be saved as a video).
  3. Upload your story by clicking the Send To button in the lower right corner
  4. Next, start a new story
  5. Select "Create," go to your camera roll and select the first story you saved
  6. Now you can seamlessly build on that first story with additional elements
  7. Save this new creation to your camera roll and upload it
  8. Repeat if necessary

7. Create an “insightful” story series

Uncover a mysterious picture with the help of the eraser. This next hack includes skills from Tricks 3 and 7 above. Hope you did your homework because this is absolutely a test.

How it goes:

  1. Add an image in create mode
  2. Now fill the screen with color (see trick 3!)
  3. Choose the Eraser Tool
  4. Erase a bit of the paint layer to reveal a small strip of your image underneath
  5. Click the Save button to download this to your camera roll. However, don't upload them yet
  6. Cover more images by further clearing the color layer and clicking the save button at different stages to capture the reveal step by step
  7. When you have collected all of these images, start a new story post and upload the first image
  8. Publish the next saved images, one at a time, so followers can see that the image is gradually being exposed

8. Compose a story with multiple pictures

The more pictures the better! Use the insert tool to throw as many photos as you want into a story. Who would dare to stop you ?!

How it goes:

  1. Open your camera roll and select a photo
  2. Tap the share icon and click Copy Photo
  3. In the Instagram app, click in a text box and select Paste
  4. Repeat to stack the images

Instagram story text hacks

9. Hide hashtags and @mentions

Preserve your aesthetic vision by moving unlit hashtags or tags out of sight. It's the digital equivalent of hiding your power cables behind your mid-century modern desk before Architectural Digest grinds to a halt.

How it goes:

Method 1

  1. Enter your hashtags and mentions
  2. Press the sticker button and select your camera roll
  3. Add a picture from your camera roll that will be placed over your hashtags to cover them up
  4. Resize your picture to fill the screen: the hashtags are technically readable for Instagram, but human eyes cannot see them!

Method 2

  1. If you're starting to create a post with an image, add a text box at the top and enter your hashtags and mentions
  2. With the text box active, click the rainbow wheel at the top of the screen
  3. Touch the pipette icon
  4. Tap anywhere on the photo to change and paste the text to the same color
  5. If necessary, change the size of the text field

10. Express yourself with more fonts

The standard Instagram story fonts are just the tip of the typographic iceberg.

If the in-app typewriter or Comic Sans-Knockoff lettering doesn't do it for you, you can find something a little more exciting to paste.

How it goes:

  1. Visit the Instagram Fonts Generator website on desktop or mobile
  2. Type your message and press Enter to see your font options
  3. Copy and paste the message into the Instagram Story text box

Pro tip: If you have a branded font, add your text directly to an image using Photoshop, Over, or another photo editing app and upload it to Stories from there.

11. Overlay text to add a shadow effect

Try this text for duplicate text.

How it goes:

  1. Enter your text, select them all, and copy them
  2. Start a new text field and paste this text
  3. With the text still selected, click the rainbow wheel at the top and choose a different color
  4. Easily move this text and place it under the original text so that it looks like a shadow effect

12. Change the text alignment in seconds

Use your Tinder skills here: a quick swipe of the text spices things up and moves them to the left, right or back to the center in no time at all.

How it goes: Quickly swipe left or right as you type to realign them.

Instagram sticker hacks

13. Turn your story into a shopping spree

If you have an Instagram store, you can add a product sticker to your product in any Instagram story.

If customers want to learn more about this cool hamster print vest, just click the sticker and head to your shop to start their digital shopping spree. Learn how to set up your Instagram shop here.

How it goes:

  1. Create your Instagram story and tap the sticker icon
  2. Selected product
  3. Select the item from your product catalog
  4. Customize the product sticker to match your brand

Source: Instagram

14. Change the color of a question sticker

Color coordinate or not color coordinate? This is the question … or rather a question of what to do with your question sticker.

How it goes:

  1. Tap the sticker icon and select Question
  2. Enter your question and tap the rainbow wheel at the top of the screen
  3. Keep tapping until the question sticker is the color of your choice

15. Access more gifs than ever before

If there are too many gifs, we don't want to hear them.

While Instas Search lets you search Giphy's library, the Giphy app lets you create your own albums of your favorites for easy access and share them directly from Giphy.

How it goes:

  1. Open the Giphy app and find the GIF you want
  2. Click the paper airplane share icon (or the heart icon if you want to set favorites and post later).
  3. Select the Instagram icon, then select "Share for Stories".
  4. OR select "Copy GIF" and paste it into your story

Pro tip: If you have your own homemade gifs that you want to share on Insta Stories, save them on your camera roll and just copy and paste them right into a story.

Instagram story video hacks

16. Answer questions about a live story

Answering your followers' questions on an Instagram Live Story is like having a fun interview that you do to yourself. (Need help getting started with Instagram Live? Check out our step-by-step guide here.)

How it goes:

  1. Use a question sticker to encourage your audience to ask questions in advance of your questions and answers
  2. Once started, tap the question mark at the bottom of the screen.
  3. Tap the question you want to answer. It will be displayed on your live screen during the transmission
  4. Questions are greyed out once they are selected so that you don't select them again

17. Create your own Instagram filter

You don't have to be a programmer to create your own custom filter that you can use or share with the world. Spark AR Studio offers a variety of tutorials and simple step-by-step tools to help you put your stamp on the world (and especially the faces of your followers).

How it goes: Here is the complete guide on how to create your own Instagram AR filters.

Source: Spark AR Studio

18. Save your favorite filters

You want to have your elf ear filter always at hand, we understand it. Fortunately, there is a way to make an easily accessible library of your favorite effects.

How it goes:

  1. Open your Instagram Stories camera
  2. Swipe through the filters at the bottom of the screen until you reach the end
  3. Tap the icon of a magnifying glass that says “Browse Effects”.
  4. Find a desired effect and click the download icon (down arrow).
  5. The next time you open your camera, you can choose this effect
  6. When you see an effect on someone else's story, click on the effect's name (at the top of the screen) to save it there

19. Become a master of the Instagram role

Instagram's new Reels feature is a bit like a TikTok copycat, but it's still fun. Create a 15 second video with multiple clips with music, special effects, and stickers and amaze your followers with your dance moves. You can share your stories, but they'll also show up on the Explore page so you can impress even more grammarians with your Celine Dion lip syncs.

How it goes: Check out our guide to Instagram roles here!

Source: Instagram

20. Use templates and design tools to make your stories pop

Sure, a great cook can make a delicious meal with just a knife and pan … but a kitchen full of tools makes it a lot easier to create a gourmet experience.

Likewise, branching off the basic elements of Instagram Stories and integrating external design and editing apps into your creative process opens up a whole new world of possibilities.

Is that a good metaphor or am I just hungry? Download some apps and we'll check in after lunch.

How it goes:

  1. Try some of these fun Instagram story apps to take your pictures and videos to the next level
  2. Download these 20 Free Instagram Stories Templates and make them your own.

Of course, no amount of hacks (or tips or tricks or gadgets or gizmos galore) can be compared to good, old-fashioned, quality content. But you can also find information here: Here you will find 20 creative ideas for Instagram stories to get inspired.

Manage your Instagram presence along with your other social channels and save time with Hootsuite. Schedule and publish posts and stories, edit images, and measure performance from a single dashboard. Try it for free today.

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