The new Instagram Story feature is made for spontaneity. Users can share play-by-play photos and videos of anything from a last-minute beach weekend to a PTA meeting without compromising the visual consistency of a carefully-curated feed. But just like on Snapchat, impromptu sharing has its pitfalls: a selfie that looked good at midnight might not seem as flattering at 9 a.m. Wondering how to change the length of your Instagram story? Editing a story is so easy, you'll have #noregrets about trying it out.

Starting a story is simple, according to Mashable: just tap the plus sign located in the upper left of the home screen. After enabling camera and/or microphone access, take a photo, create a short video clip, or swipe down to access the camera roll. (One heads-up: CNET reported that when creating a story on Instagram, only content added to the camera roll within the last day can be posted.) Get creative with text, stickers, a doodle, or a filter, then hit "Done" to save and the check mark to share. Each element of a story is automatically deleted after 24 hours, but no need to fret about which followers saw it in time: underneath a story, there's a list of all viewers that only the creator can see.


And, adding to a story is a breeze. according to CNET, all a user needs to do is repeat the exact same process. Take or select a photo or video, add embellishments, hit "Done," and tap the check mark. Viewing an Instagram Story is intuitive, too: Refinery29 reported that the controls are quite similar to those on Snapchat. On the home screen, profiles with available stories are shown as circular icons at the top. Select an icon to see that user's story, then tap to switch between photos and videos in their slideshow. To skip a story, just swipe left.

Stories aren't permanent by design, but they can be edited before the 24-hour disappearance deadline. Open the story and navigate to the photo or video in question. Then, according to Mashable, just tap the three dots in the bottom right corner and select "Delete." If the memories are too good not to share, a story can still be hidden from specific people: tap the cog icon on your profile, then open Story Settings. 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.


Plenty of families take more photos than they could ever keep. Instagram Story offers a fun way to display them without creating a massive permanent collection.