With Instagram’s Story feature, users can share play-by-play photos and videos of anything from a last-minute walk in the park to your toddler saying the darndest thing without compromising the visual consistency of a carefully-curated feed. But just like on Snapchat, impromptu sharing has its pitfalls: come 9 a.m., you might regret that selfie you posted at midnight after drinking three glasses of wine. If you’ want to change the length of your Instagram story, you can find comfort knowing that editing a story is so easy, you'll have #noregrets about trying it out.
Starting a story is simple. Just tap the camera icon located in the upper left corner of the home screen. After enabling camera and/or microphone access (if it’s not set up yet), you can take a photo, create a short video clip or boomerang, go live, or even upload content from your video roll by selecting the image that appears in the bottom left corner (it should be the most recent pic from your camera roll). Get creative with text, stickers, a doodle, questions, or a filter, and share it.
All these options appear at the bottom of the screen: Add it to your story, blast it to your curated group of close friends, or you can send it to select people by tapping the “send to” button. If you’re choosing to send your photo or video to a select person or multiple people, it will appear in their “inbox” as a direct message. You can see who has viewed your story during the time it was live by watching your own story and tapping the “seen by” option at the bottom left corner of the screen. Only the creator has access to this list.
Stories aren't permanent by design. They will automatically disappear from your Story feed after 24 hours, but users can delete their Story before the 24 hour expiration deadline. Navigate to your own photo or video in question either by tapping on your user photo from the homepage (it will always be the first one in the lineup) or from your user profile. Tap the three dots/more option in the bottom right corner and select "Delete."
Some memories are too good not to share, but you might not want to share it with all your followers. If you don’t want to remove it entirely before the 24-hour window, but just want to make changes to who can actually see it, tap “story settings” and you’ll see a plethora of options to choose from. The "Hide My Story From" feature allows users to choose who they want to see their posts, so there's no need to worry about a boss or teacher peeking at pics from a parents-only back-to-school party, and the “Close Friends” option allows you to redirect your story to a group of followers you’ve hand-picked.
And on the flip side, if you want to make your story permanent, select the “Highlight” option at the bottom of the story in question and you can either start a new highlight group (they appear above your feed from your user profile page) or add it to an existing highlight category. So yea, you can keep all your baby-cuddling-with-dog Insta Stories together in one place and leave them all up for all your friends (or you) to revisit five times a day.
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