There's a lot to keep up with on the 'gram, and no, we don't just mean your friend's brunch photos. Back in 2016, Instagram announced that it had developed a way to differentiate the photos you want on the grid and the real life moments you want to share with your friends, and behold, Stories was born. Riffing off other app's post-as-you-go, live feed type of features, Stories has seen a lot of updates in the recent months, between filters, stickers, and as of Monday, questions. For those users who haven't been keeping up, you may be wondering: Why can't I answer an Instagram question? But fret not, here's how to use the app's newest feature.
You may have noticed over the past few days your friends posting a photo with a sticker on it that says something like: "Ask me a question," or "Ask me anything," with a text entry field beneath it. You've then probably seen your friends posting a sequence of stories with each question they receive on it, and then the answers. This is how Story Questions works: your followers can ask you anything, and you can post the question along with your response on another, separate story. You can even record a video of your answer and post that, too. But beware: the questions are not anonymous. Despite the fact that they appear to be when posted in the response Story, the user can see what you were the one who asked the question in the first place.
Instagram's official website recommends that if you're not seeing the Question sticker on your app, you should check to make sure you have the latest version of the app downloaded via the App Store or Google Play. You should be able to just respond to your friends' questions by tapping the quite rectangular text entry button.
The company has also released a series of "stickers" along with the "questions" one, which can aide in making your Story experience as multidimensional as possible. According to the company's official site, here are some of the other features you can use:
- Music sticker: You can search for a song, and then choose which part of the song you want to play in your story. (This sticker is not available worldwide yet.)
- Poll sticker or emoji slider sticker: Instead of asking followers for questions, you can ask them one, and poll them for answers. You can also do the slider which allows people to "rank" their response to your question. This is also not anonymous, as in, people can see how you respond.
- Location sticker: This allows you to geotag your post by selecting a nearby location and adding it to your Story. When people search for that location, your story will come up.
- Current time or weather sticker: Similar to the location sticker, this feature uses information from your phone or device to post the time or weather, to give followers more of an idea of what you're currently experiencing.
- Selfie sticker: You can actually add a mini selfie of yourself reacting to the story with this sticker. The icon is just a small camera, and it will superimpose a selfie of you onto whatever your story is.
So, there you have it: a comprehensive way to make your stories as fun and engaging as possible. If for whatever reason you still aren't able to respond to someone's question, make sure you're tapping the response box directly (if it's small, it can be difficult to get it) or contact the Instagram help desk directly. Happy snappin', 'gram nerds.