Can You Watch Someone's Instagram Story More Than Once? Yes, But For A Limited Time

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Instagram’s Snapchat-like feature, Instagram Stories, has been around for a few years, but you may just be getting into it. Unlike the standard Instagram feed, which is organized by an algorithm and is permanent (unless the user manually removes it), Stories is meant for temporary content. It has a limited lifespan, and many users use the feature in a more casual way. If you find yourself flipping through your friends’ Insta stories and wish you could spend more time with an image, video, or boomerang, you might find yourself wondering, Can you watch someone's Instagram Story more than once?

The answer is yes, but only for 24 hours (because people didn't expect them to be that different from Snapchat stories, right). After the 24 hour period, the story will vanish from a person’s Insta Stories lineup. Within the 24 hours though, you can watch anyone’s Insta Story (provided you have permission to), as many times as you want, unless they manually delete it. But how?

Watching Stories more than once on Instagram is super simple. In fact, there are a couple ways to go about it. One way is to go directly through the user’s profile page. If there is a Story to watch, their user photo will have a colorful ring around it. Simply tap on the photo and all Stories posted within the last 24 hours will play right after the other. If you want to re-view a specific post, tap the screen on the left side, and it’ll take you back. Likewise, if you tap the screen on right, it will skip to the next story.

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If you are viewing from the regular user feed, you’ll see a row of user photos at the top of the screen. These all indicate users who have posted an Instagram Story within the past 24 hours. Faces with a colorful ring around it have posted a Story you haven’t seen before. Those with a grey ring around it have already been viewed by you. The most current stories will be first in the queue and once you tap a face, it will cycle through all the unseen Stories (by you) of all the people you follow. Again, you can tap the left of the screen to go back, and the right to skip to the next one. If you want to go back to the previous user (as opposed to just the Story you just watched), swipe the screen to the right. If you want to skip users, swipe left.

Unlike regular Instagram posts, which are saved on profiles forever (until users delete them) an Instagram story will only be able to be watched in a limited time frame. According to Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom, this story feed solves an existing problem within Instagram, as he explained to Tech Crunch:

It basically solves a problem for all these people who want to take a ton of photos of an event or something in their lives, but want to manage what their profiles look like and not bomb feed, obviously, as that's one of the no-no's on Instagram.

There is a way, however, for users to make their Instagram Stories permanent, and that’s by adding them to their highlights reel, which can be organized into different categories like recipes, kids, dogs, projects, etc.

So go ahead — feel free to tap that icon more than once. And if you find a particularly embarrassing moment on one of your friend's Stories? Screenshot that thing immediately and enjoy it long after the 24 hour period is up. But keep karma in mind… if you can screenshot something on someone else’s feed, that means they can screenshot something from yours too.

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