Easily one of the biggest downsides to Instagram stories is that they disappear within 24 hours, taking all the hard work and creativity you put into them with you. Now, that’s no longer necessarily the case.
Now, there’s a Stories Highlights section where you can create highlights out of groups of stories you’ve shared.
This section will be found on your profile underneath your bio, where you can feature Stories images or videos that you’ve previously posted.
All you need to do is choose a cover image (which is particularly important if you have a series of images or videos in a single Story group) and name it accordingly.
Here’s the best part: highlights will stay on your profile for as long as you’d like; you have to delete them for them to disappear. You can have as many highlights as you’d like, and you can edit them at any time.
This gives Stories the kind of permanence I’ve always wished they had, allowing brands to capitalize on great content long after those first 24 hours.
Did you forget to add a story to your highlight within the 24 hours after it’s publishing? No worries.
Now, in addition to being able to create permanent highlights, all of your stories will automatically be archived after those 24 hours. This means that you can create highlights at any moment, and you’ll be able to watch your archived stories at any point to review them.
Your archived Stories will be private, so only you can see them. They’ll remain private, though you can use the stories within them to later create public highlights.
Your Stories archive will be found immediately next to the archive of your regular posts, so they’ll be easy to find when viewing your own profile.
Join Live Requests
Instagram Live Stories was one of the biggest developments we saw on the platform this year, and it wasn’t long after we got it that we also got the ability to add a second person to our broadcasts. Previously, we could only invite people to join us, and we could only invite those who were actively watching.
Now, people can actually request to join your live video. This feature can be extremely valuable depending on how you use it.
If you’re hosting a Q&A for example, you can encourage interested viewers to request to join to come on and ask their question live. In some cases, an influencer may also want to come weigh in, and this gives them the chance to let you know they’re up for it even if it wasn’t planned.
It goes without saying that there is some risk to this.
If someone is requesting to join, you may not be overly familiar with them, and there’s always a small chance someone will say or do something inappropriate. This is exceptionally uncommon, but it’s something to keep in mind.
New Direct Features
Direct messaging is a feature that Instagram has been trying to expand and draw attention to more over the past year. Instagram has taken a note out of Snapchat’s books for a lot of Direct’s styling, focusing on the fun and quirky side of the platform.
This month, they gave us new functionality updates to Direct messaging to make it even more entertaining for users.
The first of these new updates is the ability to “remix” photos.
You can quite literally reply to your friends’ image, add it as a sticker to your own picture and resize it, draw on it, and more. You can add stickers, text, and drawings to the updated image, and multiple people can weigh in, as pictured below.
You can also control replay options for your messages.
You can choose to only allow chat participants to view it once, or to “allow replays” for endless viewing. Images and videos sent with the “allow replays” option will loop automatically, though your friends can tap them and pause them to remix them at any point.