18 Instagram Story Hacks You Should Know About in 2024

Published on: August 4, 2022
Last Updated: August 4, 2022

18 Instagram Story Hacks You Should Know About in 2024

Published on: August 4, 2022
Last Updated: August 4, 2022

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Instagram stories have become one of the most popular features across all social media networks; therefore, you must be aware of the top Instagram story hacks.

Launched in 2016, it is now one of the leading ways that people consume media online. 

Not only that, it gives brands, businesses, creators, influencers, and more a unique opportunity to connect with their followers through short snippets of photos and video that only last for 24 hours. 

It can be a creative and effective method to build the relationship with your followers and viewers, do market research, generate interest around products and services, give a behind-the-scenes look, and much more. 

With the popularity of Instagram stories, you have to be on top of your game to set yourself apart in your niche.

The more that a user views a story, the Instagram algorithm will take note of this and always show it to that user at the front of their story feed. 

This is valuable because you can gain more viewers and engagement on a routine basis when people view your stories often. How can you catch your audience’s attention? 

Do you know all about Instagram stories, like story tags? Pinning text on your stories? Moving text with your videos? 

Are you aware that you can use hashtags on your Instagram stories and even blend them into your story using the same background color?

How about the fact that using hashtags can get you featured on the IG hashtag story feed? 

If you know all of that Instagram story hacks, congrats! You are already on the right track.

But we guarantee that our hot 18 Instagram story hacks will give you some new inspiration for creating something amazing. 

We’re going to share 18 pieces of wisdom for Instagram stories that you’ll love to try out, and if you’re not implementing Instagram stories at least once a day, get on it! You’ve got plenty to try.

Read on to find out exactly what we’ve got for you. 

Top 18 Instagram Story Hacks

These latest Instagram story hacks and features will make you a story pro as well as save you time. Use them to impress your followers.

1. Download Your Instagram Stories to Camera Roll 

 Instagram Stories to Camera Roll

Did you know that you could download your Instagram stories to your camera roll both before and after posting? You have a few different options when it comes to saving Instagram stories. 

Your stories will disappear after 24 hours, but you can still save them for later so that you can view them outside of Instagram and even repost them on social media or send them to friends. 

Here are the ways you can save Instagram stories: 

  • Before posting: click on your profile icon in the upper left hand corner from the Instagram landing page to post a story. Edit your story to your liking, and before posting hit the icon that has the down arrow with a horizontal line below it. This will save your story to your device. 
  • After posting: if you forgot to save your story before posting, you can still do it once your story is live. Click the same profile option to view your story, then click the three dots in the right option. You can then hit save story and it will save to your device. 
  • After stories have disappeared: for this last option, you should make sure that you have save stories to archive turned on. To turn on story archives, go to your story settings and ensure the toggle switch is on save stories to archive. It will be blue and it will be saved. When you want to save a past story, navigate to your main profile page and tap the three lines in the right corner; you’ll then see the archive option, which will show your post archive by default. Tap on that and switch to story archives. You can then see all of the past stories saved to your archive; click the three dots and save the video

Who knew you had so many options to save your Instagram stories?! It’s very convenient.

You can even have them auto-save to your device when you post them; you can turn that option on in Instagram story settings. 

2. Hide Your Story From Specific Accounts 

If you don’t want a particular user to see your Instagram story, you may want to hide it. There are plenty of reasons for this— perhaps you don’t want a competitor to check out your stories, among others. 

You can control this in Instagram settings. Choose story settings and then hide story from.

You’ll get sent to a screen where you can change who you’d like to hide the story from. Select all of the accounts you want to block from story viewing, then hit done in the top right corner. 

This will apply to all future stories that you post, so if you want to change this, come back to the settings section and you can adjust it at a later time. 

3. Mention other Instagram Accounts 

Instagram accounts

Mentioning other Instagram accounts in your Instagram stories is one of the most popular features that is offered in the stories function.

It’s also a big differentiator that makes Instagram stories a better option than snapchat

When you tag someone in an Instagram story, they get notified that they were mentioned and also have the option to re-share your story into their story, which can help you to get featured on different accounts and generate more interest in your profile. 

You can tag up to 10 accounts in your Instagram stories, and each user that you tag will get a notification.

You can adjust the size of your tag, making it as big or small as you please so as to fit with the aesthetic of your story. 

How to tag a user in Instagram stories: 

  • When editing your IG story before posting, tap the Aa icon
  • Type the @ symbol followed by the username 
  • View the menu that is populated with all usernames that are a match
  • Select the username from the populated list 

You can’t simply type in the username to create the tag; you must select it from the list that pops up.

You’ll know you successfully created the tag when the @username is underlined. 

You can type as much text as you want— you don’t have to start with the @username itself if you want to include a message or additional messages.

Adding emojis is also fine. Once you finish your text, you’ll be able to change the color and resize, making it pretty. 

4. Tag a Location to Get More Views

Tag a location

In addition to tagging a user, you’ll be able to generate more interest in your account and get seen by more users on IG stories when you tag a location in your stories. How? 

When you tag a location, your content will appear in the hashtag feed for that particular location.

Anyone who is viewing that location hashtag will be able to see your story, gaining you more views pretty rapidly. 

In addition, your photo can then be featured in the location story, which is a collection of the top stories that have been tagged with that location. 

Adding a location is very easy; you can do so by clicking on the sticker icon and finding the sticker that says location.

Search for your location and select it from the menu. You can then change the background to transparent by tapping on the location tag and resize it to your liking. 

5. Create a Solid background 

solid background
solid background
solid background

You have a variety of options when you are going to post an Instagram story. When you click on your profile icon to add a story, you’ll be able to choose what to post.

The main two options are to take a photo or video directly in the app, or add a photo from your camera roll. 

In addition, on the left side of the screen, you’ll see the icons with all of your different choices: 

  • Aa- create 
  • Boomerang
  • Layout
  • Multi-capture
  • Level
  • Photo Booth
  • Superzoom 
  • Hands free


We’ll get into some of these later, but look at how awesome it is that you have so many possibilities on IG stories! Instagram is consistently making their features even better. 

Anyway, to add a solid background, you can do two things. The first, and easiest way, is to click the Aa- create option and you will see the screen turn to a solid color.

You can then choose which color you want and add any text/gifs/stickers to your story. 

The second option is to post a photo and then use the pen option. You can use the marker or neon brush and choose the color you’d like.

Then, tap and hold the screen for a few seconds; the screen will be filled with the color that you chose. 

When you go with the second option, you can then use the eraser tool to write messages and reveal the image that is behind it, making a creative and interesting way to show your images in stories.

Be creative! 

6. Create a GIF

gif

If you’ve been on the internet recently, you’ll know that GIFs are one of the most popular trends across all social media platforms and even on websites like Buzzfeed and others.

GIFs are small moving pictures that can help liven up any online content. 

In fact, you’ll even get over 50% more engagement on Twitter if you use one! The case is similar for Instagram. 

You can create your own GIFs through Giphy and then they’ll be available for use on Instagram. Check out our guide on creating your own GIF for Instagram

Additionally, Instagram has a pretty cool boomerang feature that allows you to add small moving pictures to your content directly from within the story app.

You can create a boomerang that takes up the whole screen or combine them with other content and media. 

To do so, select the boomerang option from the left side of the story editor menu.

You can then take the boomerang directly in the app; to choose the format or add filters, use the circular icons at the bottom of the screen. There are so many interesting features; check them out today! 

7. Choose a Custom Color

Instagram is truly a visual platform. For this reason, it’s vital that all of your content creates a cohesive aesthetic and brand image.

If you’ve ever posted an Instagram story and looked to add a pop of color in text or otherwise, you may have felt limited by the options available to you. 

If you want to keep your content on-brand and are looking to choose your own colors for your Instagram stories, you can do so relatively easily.

This applies when you are looking to add text or draw on your Instagram content. 

Regardless of which you are doing, you can choose a custom color by pressing and holding on one of the default colors; a huge color scale will come up and you can slide and choose the color that you are looking for. 

You can also use the dropper icon to choose a color that appears in your image, helping you to match your colors and keep everything consistent.

Don’t be limited by the colors that appear as default on Instagram stories! 

8. Filter the Stories You See From Specific Accounts 

Filter the Stories

When you follow many accounts on Instagram, you may not get to see the stories that you want to right away.

You’ll have so many options from stories to view that it can get overwhelming. 

The Instagram algorithm is usually pretty accurate in being able to gage which stories you want to see, but if you want to do some customizing of your own, there’s definitely a way to filter the stories that you’re most interested in and see them more frequently.

You don’t have to unfollow users to do that.

If you come across an account that you’re really not interested in and you want their account to stop appearing in your stories, all you have to do is press and hold their story icon. 

You’ll then get the option to mute their story, which will prevent it from showing up in your story feed. 

9. Zoom In and Out When Recording 

You can use the Instagram stories camera to take video directly in the app, and you can zoom in and out on different things when recording.

Start recording by pressing and holding the round capture button in the center. Simply slide your finger up or down to zoom in and out. 

This can be a great way to feature something in particular when you’re taking a video in Instagram stories and makes your content more versatile. 

10. Use Hashtags on Your Instagram Stories 

Hashtags on Your Instagram Stories

Using hashtags on Instagram is a vital element to your content feed strategy, but what about on Instagram stories?

You can also use hashtags on Instagram stories and you absolutely should. 

When you use hashtags on Instagram stories, your content will get seen by more people in the story hashtag feed and can even be featured as a part of that feed, being seen by more people even still and also boosting your reputation. 

When choosing hashtags for IG stories, you shouldn’t choose the most popular hashtags, just like on your content feed.

These are two reasons why you should avoid extremely popular hashtags: 

  1. Too many posts using a hashtag will minimize the chance of users actually seeing your content. It will push your content down the feed too rapidly, making it likely that it gets ignored or overlooked. 
  2. General or generic hashtags don’t bring you targeted viewers that are in your target audience and care about your content; very popular or general hashtags are used across all different niches, which aren’t likely to bring you the results you’re looking for. 

You want to get noticed by the right users; if you use the hashtag #beautifulday in your IG story, it will be put into a feed of other stories with who knows what kind of content. Use a specific hashtag that includes something about your niche or target audience. 

Here are some tips on how to choose the right hashtags for Instagram stories. 

Instagram Hashtag Tip 1: Use a Hashtag Generator 

Don’t waste time trying to figure out which hashtags will work best; use a hashtag generator such as Flick to give you the answer upfront.  

Flick is Instagram’s premier hashtag generator tool.

Flick uses the official Instagram API to understand how hashtags are performing and get you the information that you need to devise a unique strategy to get seen. 

You can see hashtag analytics and performance metrics, and you can even filter your searches so that your hashtags are completely relevant to your niche and content.

Flick also shows you the volume of posts using the hashtag, which is vital.  

Flick lets you generate hashtags for both Instagram feed content as well as hashtags for Instagram stories— pretty much anything you need.

You can even create hashtag sets that allow you to organize and reference/post them later with ease. 

Instagram Hashtag Tip 2: Study Popular Accounts in Your Niche 

If you want to also see what is going on in your niche, you can take a look around at other accounts and notice which hashtags they’re using.

You can search the hashtag and check out the IG story feed to see what’s in there. 

When you know what kind of content is posted to a particular hashtag feed, you can then decide if you’re likely to get seen by the audience you’re aiming for or not.

Some simple research like this can help you understand the tendencies of Instagram users. 

You can even take a look at the profiles that posted these stories and see what they’re all about— maybe you can get some inspiration from their accounts or maybe you’ll decide this tag isn’t for you and move on. 

It takes a while to look through Instagram stories, but the more exposure you get to a variety of stories the more ideas you’ll get about not only creating IG stories as content but how people use hashtags in their stories in unique ways. 

Instagram Hashtag Tip 3: Create Your Own Branded Hashtag 

Or, perhaps you don’t need a particular hashtag at all— create your own and get other people using it. That’s what Coke did, and it worked for them! 

Coke created the hashtag campaign #shareacoke and became viral worldwide; users went crazy using this hashtag and they were able to get much more exposure that way and create hashtag feeds both in content and in stories. 

You can draw attention to your brand this way and you can also create content that is well-rounded, using your hashtag both on your stories as well as your feed content.

That creates a cohesive brand image and gains more exposure for your hashtag. 

Encourage other users to tag their posts with your hashtag and then you’ll be able to share it and even create a base of user-generated content that other people will see when they search for your branded hashtag. 

Using branded hashtags isn’t just for IG posts— you can use it in your IG stories as well to solidify your brand’s reputation and keep that consistent brand image circulating around Instagram.

Awesome! 

How to Add a Hashtag to IG Stories 

One Important thing to note about hashtags on IG stories is that it’s not just as simple as adding a # plus your phrase.

You have to go into the sticker icon at the top of your IG story editor and select the hashtag sticker. 

Once you select the hashtag sticker, you can enter the hashtag phrase as you normally would.

If you don’t do this, your hashtag won’t register as included in the post and your post won’t get included in the IG story hashtag feed. 

This is one of the most common mistakes made on Instagram stories, so don’t forget to use the hashtag sticker if you want your hashtag to go the distance! 

11. View Story Analytics 

View Story Analytics

Curious about who is viewing your story and the actions they’re taking afterwards? 

Open the IG story and swipe up. You can then see all of the users that have viewed the story in addition to their usernames. 

You can also use IG insights to see analytics about the story, including how many actions were taken, what they clicked on, how they navigated, and more. 

How many people left a comment? Did anyone share it? Who left the story before it was over? You have access to a lot of valuable information. 

It’s vital that you understand performance metrics on your stories so that you can gage the success of your content.

Make sure that your account is set to business or creator so you can get detailed analytics about stories as well as your other content types.

12. Use Templates

Did you know that there are awesome apps that can help you to personalize your stories, make them more aesthetically pleasing, or even create fun engagement opportunities for followers? 

You should check out the apps Canva or Easil to be able to use templates for Instagram stories.

We also have an article about how IG story templates can boost your engagement. 

In essence, there are two different types of IG story templates:

  • Pre-created Instagram story formats that help your content to look more professional; can be customized
  • A set of questions or categories that are left with blank spaces so that users can repost to their own story using GIFs or their fun answers (think personality quizzes for Instagram) 

Using the first type of Instagram template can help you to keep a professional, branded look on all of your content and can boost your content from amateur to pro. Canva is the premier graphic design app and it’s free to use— if you haven’t taken a look, you’re seriously missing out. 

If you want to give your users fun and unique ways to engage on Instagram that are also branded to direct traffic to your Instagram, create templates for Instagram stories that users can repost. 

When they share, their friends will see, and they will be tempted to check out your profile to get the original or to see what other templates you have available.

You can gain more organic Instagram followers and engagement this way. 

Pin your templates to IG story highlights once they’ve finished so that users can reference them anytime they like! 

13. Situate a Sticker or Text on a Particular Point of a Video 

When you want to upload a sticker to a video in a particular moment, you can tap and hold the sticker until the pin option pops up and it will set to that particular moment. 

If you decide you don’t like it there, you can tap and hold it to redo the pinning process. 

Stickers help you connect with your audience and also highlight different moments in your video.

They can also increase your brand image and connection to your particular aesthetic. 

In addition, there are many stories that can allow you to get engagement from your followers and viewers, so take advantage of that whenever you can! 

14. Show Your Video Backwards

video backward

You may want to think outside the box and give users a different take on something— videos are always made forwards, but what about backwards?

You can create some seriously awesome videos playing in reverse. 

You can use rewind mode via the Instagram stories camera and select it from the icons on the left side.

There are so many ways to create unique Instagram content via stories, so don’t miss out on that opportunity! 

15. Use Selfie Stickers

selfie stickers

Selfie stickers can be placed on your photos and videos to give a pop of personality and they can be edited to create a sticker that you can use whenever you want. 

Tap the sticker icon at the top of the screen and then select the camera option from the sticker menu. 

You can then take a selfie or choose from your camera roll and tap it again to edit it to your liking. Then, move it wherever you want on the screen. 

At the bottom of the photo screen, you can also choose two new settings that allow you to add media and record a photo or video in a variety of different shapes.

It is a new feature that has made adding selfie stickers and videos even more fun! 

Instagram also releases different sticker packs frequently, so keep an eye out for those as well. 

Images with people and selfies always gets more engagement and also shows a humanistic side to your brand, allowing you to make connections with your followers as well as build a relationship.

They love to see who is behind the brand. 

16. Add a Drop-Shadow Effect to Text 

drop-shadow

You can add many different text effects to your text through the Aa icon on your Instagram story. 

Add the text by tapping the icon and writing your message; you can then edit the color, style, motion entrance, and background of the text. 

If you want to add a drop shadow effect, create the same message twice using different colors and create layered text on your own.

They have to be angled nicely to look right, so make sure you pay attention to details here. 

17. Pause, Skip, and Go Back when Watching a Story 

You may not want to see all of the Instagram stories that appear in your feed; maybe you only want to see one part.

Or maybe you want to stop and look at one more closely; perhaps you even want to go back and see one again. 

You have the chance to do all three of those things via Instagram story. Here are some options for viewing IG stories: 

  • Tap on the left side of the screen to go back and watch the previous story from the same user 
  • Slide your finger from left to right to view the stories from the previous user 
  • Tap on the right side of the screen to skip to the next story from the same user
  • Slide your finger from right to left to skip to the stories from the next user 
  • Tap and hold the screen to pause the story and get a closer look. 

Note: you can’t zoom in on Instagram stories. If you want to zoom in, you’d have to take a screenshot of the story and then zoom in on your phone, which may alert the user that you took a screenshot. 

18. Record in Hands-Free Mode

Last but not least, you can use hands-free mode to shoot some cool Instagram video. You don’t have to hold down the button to record anymore. 

You’ll be able to now shoot 15 seconds of video completely hands free. What a relief! 

Open the stories camera and then scroll through the icons on the left side until you see hands free, which is currently the last option (although things change frequently on IG). 

Tap hands free, then hit record. You don’t have to hold down the button and the content will automatically record.

It will look just as if you were recording the IG story while holding down; you can even go past 15 seconds and it will create the next story for you automatically. 

How cool is that!? 

Wrap-Up: Instagram Story Hacks 

What are your favorite Instagram story hacks to boost your Instagram story content? Let us know in the comments! 

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Written by Eddie Hurst

I’m a full-time social media research specialist. Actually you could say I’m a bit obsessed. I seek out the latest information and hacks for our How-to Guides. As well as that, I put companies under the microscope for reviews.