Here's Where You Can Find Instagram Stories Highlights

Instagram just unveiled another set of exciting updates that seem to be corning Snapchat's market even further. Making the popular Stories feature a bit more permanent, the new Highlights and Archive functions provide users with even more freedom to express themselves. Locating and utilizing the new functions can be confusing, so here's where Stories Highlights are located on Instagram.

As of Tuesday, Instagram Stories automatically archive media posted as Stories, adding them to a private part of users profiles once they end their 24-hour live period. From there, users can create named groupings of old Stories that can be featured on their profiles, which Instagram is calling Stories Highlights. Easy to find, Highlights are located in a new horizontal bar across the top of user profiles, according to the Verge. Note: these features are only available on Instagram version 25, so if you're not seeing them, you may need to update your app. Highlights can be collections of anything from selfies to vacation photos. It is expected that brands will likely use the new feature to garner attention for specific campaigns and products.

An unnamed Instagram spokesperson told Tech Crunch that the new features were included to make Stories more lasting:

As more and more people adopt Stories, we realized that the profile has become less and less representative of you and your life. And yet the profile is one of the top destinations on Instagram – it’s a powerful space for self-expression and feeling closer to others. But up until now there was no way to keep your favorite stories or add them to your profile – we wanted to fix that.

The two new features are fairly easy to use. To create a new Highlight, first go to your profile and locate the new "Highlights" section bellow your bio. Next, tap the circle labeled "New." This will take you to your archived Stories, where you can pick and choose which Stories to include in the Highlight. After you've chosen what you want, tap "Next" and give the collection a name that lets your followers know what they're looking at. Then you'll tap "Edit Cover," and reposition the cover photo to fit within the circle. Once that's ready, you'll tap "Done," then "Add," and your highlight is all set.

Highlights and archives serve three key functions on the app. First, they allow users to save the work that they put into stories. Rather than have a short 24-hours to enjoy a perfectly posed photo overlooking a vacation vista, users can now revisit those moments as often as they want without having to post an obnoxious number of times on their feed. Tech Crunch explained that the new staying power could help stories appeal to older demographics whose users are not interested in watching individual stories every day. Instead, they can now view them on friends' profiles at any time.

Highlights will also keep users from wasting valuable phone storage on downloaded stories that eat up space. Now, Instagram allows users to save their stories to a cloud instead of directly to their phones. From there, they can view the stories as often as they like, share them, or re-download for later use.

Perhaps the most important aspect of the Stories Highlight and Archive functions is that users can more easily express themselves. Before this update, users had to share content directly to their followers' feeds, leading to concerns of spamming and oversharing. Story Highlights makes sharing directly to your own page possible without shoving your content down your followers' throats. As many as 100 pieces of media can be added to a single Highlight, and there is no limit to the number of Highlights that you can create.

As Instagram works to make its app even more of a platform for self expression, individuals and brands alike can likely look forward to even more exciting updates down the road. Look out Snapchat, your Memories function has some serious competition.

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