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What are Instagram Stories?

What are Instagram Stories?

If you have been using Instagram in the past year, you will have noticed that they have added a feature to their platform known as Instagram Stories or Instastories. This is Instagram's version of Snapchat that they are using to pull in the younger generation that loves Snapchat. The great thing about Instastories is that they have added so many new great features, but it's easy to get lost in what the nine different features do. Before we take a look at what each feature of Instastories does, let's explore the benefit of Instastories to your business.

Instastories allow you to show your followers a behind-the-scenes look into what goes on in your store. It's also a fantastic way to tease new products that you have coming. It allows you to give a more personal touch to your brand, and you can have a better connection with your customers. So let's dive in to what each feature does!


Type

For the longest time, if you wanted a plain background to type words on before making a big reveal on Instastory, you had to upload one yourself. Now, Instagram gives you option to do this without uploading your own content. You can choose a different background and font. Once you have your words typed, you can add some fun stickers, emojis, gifs, or write on it with the pens they provide.


Live

Just like Facebook Live, Instagram Live works the same. The great thing about going live on your Instagram app is that you can share an in-the-moment look at your life or a behind-the-scenes look at your shop with your followers. Going live allows followers to post comments on your video while you are recording. One NEW option that Instagram has implemented recently is the ability to go live with another user. The best way to use the live option in your shop is for new products your just got in, new promotions you have coming up, or a new event that is about to happen. This video will stay on your story for 24 hours before it disappears.


Normal

This is the most classic way to add to your Instastory, and some new features have been added to give each part of your story some more pizzazz! In the beginning, the "normal" way to add to your story was basically a replica of Snapcaht in that you had a few face filters and could take a picture or video. Now it has become an entity of its own. Once you have made your photo or video, Instagram allows you to add many fun items to it. We'll talk about all of those later!

Here is an example of how your story will look like using the Normal feature with gifs, hashtags, and one of the pens provided by Instagram.


Boomerang

If you've been wondering how people have been making those videos that go back and forth, this is how! Boomerangs are exactly what they sound like. They are short videos that the user can make to go forward and then it will return, like a boomerang. You can kind of think of it as a GIF! This feature can make anything you're doing fun and interactive.


Superzoom

If you've ever seen something that needed an added touch of drama, this is the feature that you need to use! Instagram gives you four great options to use that let you zoom in on an object or person and add some humor or drama to your story. The four options available are: Bounce, Dramatic, Beats, and TV Show.


Focus

Wish there was a way you could blur out a background that didn't suit your photo or video? Then you will love this feature! Focus allows users to take a video or photo with the background blurred out. Just as the name suggests, it will focus on people's faces, but not objects. So if you want to take a really neat picture or video, this is a great option for you!


Rewind

Just as the name suggests, you can shoot videos and it will automatically program it to be shot in reverse. So say you are pouring a cup of coffee, instead of the coffee being poured into the cup, it would be going back into the container. This can make for some very intriguing content on your stories and make them very animated.


Handsfree

This is an exciting feature to Instastories. When shooting a video on Instastory, normally you would have to hold down on the button to record, but as you've probably guessed, you can shoot a video hands-free. It's a great tool if you have to use both hands for a project you are currently working on and you can't hold down the record button.


Stop-Motion

Have you ever seen an animated video that was smooth but a bit jumpy at the same time? That's what stop-motion is. It allows you to take progression photos that give viewers a before and after look. These photos will eventually form a video that you can add to your story! If you want, you can also add GIFs, drawings, or all the other add-ons to your video!



Add-Ons

Instagram gives you plenty of add-ons to put on all of the features except for Live. You have the option to add emojis, stickers, your location, date, time, weather temperature, selfies, GIFs, mentions or polls for your followers. Whenever you use a location tag, everyone in that location will have the opportunity to see what you posted, even if they don't follow you. So, if you are trying to reach people in a certain area, this is a great option to use! If you tag someone in your story, they will get a notification telling them that you added them. Anytime you use a hashtag, anyone interested in that hashtag will be able to see it, and just like the location tag, they don't have to follow you to see it. It's another great way to reach people who don't follow you!

Plus, you can even draw on your story with the four styled pens. These pens are shaped like a Sharpie, a highlighter, a glow pen, and chalk. Worried you might make a mistake? No worries! You are given an eraser too, plus an undo button.

You are also given the option to choose how thick or thin you want the writing or design to be and their color! If you don't like the standard colors that are given to you, you don't have to use them. Instagram gives you a color picker that allows you to choose what color you truly want!

Here's what one part of your story could look like if you used every add-on. This is not recommended, but to give you an idea of all the add-ons that are available.



Just Remember...

One thing to remember when making an Instastory is that you want it to be authentic and personable. But, the most important thing to remember is that you need to have FUN! And, if you don't know where to start, watch a few Instastories from some of your favorite Instagram accounts. Usually this can spark your creativity and help you create some great Instastories! If you have a question or want to tell us your favorite thing about Instagram Stories leave us a comment. We love hearing from you!

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