Can You Mute Instagram Stories? The Option Is Strangely Absent

So we've all had a day now since Instagram launched its new feature, Instagram Stories, on Tuesday, the internet has been blowing up with a whole lot of, "How dare you!" Why? Because Instagram Stories is looking kinda-sorta exactly like Snapchat Stories. Which made the internet angry... and you don't want to see the internet when it's angry. But we've all moved on a little, I think, and accepted that Instagram Stories is part of our new reality. So on to the next thing: figuring out if it's what we want. For instance, can you mute Instagram Stories? Because that's a feature users definitely want for their own nefarious reasons.

According to the Instagram blog, navigating Instagram Stories will not only be amazingly fun but as easy as blinking and smiling, basically.

Today, we’re introducing Instagram Stories, a new feature that lets you share all the moments of your day, not just the ones you want to keep on your profile. As you share multiple photos and videos, they appear together in a slideshow format: your story.
With Instagram Stories, you don’t have to worry about overposting. Instead, you can share as much as you want throughout the day — with as much creativity as you want. You can bring your story to life in new ways with text and drawing tools. The photos and videos will disappear after 24 hours and won’t appear on your profile grid or in feed.

So yes, we all like the idea of sharing little videos and slideshows featuring our favorite people, but what about when we don't want to have to deal with someone else's Instagram Stories?

It looks like at this point, you cannot, in fact, mute Instagram Stories. Which means people should probably brace themselves for a torrential downpour of nature walk videos, slideshows of cats, and travel stories you probably didn't care to see or hear. But the good news is, they only last for 24 hours. I think we can all handle just about anything for 24 hours, right?

While not everyone is on board with the new Instagram Stories, some argue that this new age of storytelling is actually better than Snapchat Stories. Owen Williams of The Next Web pointed out that Snapchat suffered from complaints that regular adults found their system too difficult to navigate;

Instagram took that confusing interface and did what it’s always done best: Made it useful to the masses, with a number of improvements that make it far more enjoyable to use.
There are hints throughout the interface of both how to use it, and the simplicity that the company’s chosen to use.
Instagram Stories have all the fancy drawing features you’d find on Snapchat, but less buttons and options to get in the way of actually sharing your photos – like the very first version of Snapchat back in the day.

So now if they could just add a mute button, we would all be sound as a pound.