Instagram Stories: The ultimate guide

Instagram Stories: The ultimate guide

The ultimate guide to the Instagram Stories: In this article you’ll find an overview of all the features and the instructions to use them.

Hi, my name is Ulrich Esch and I am a digital communications consultant. I’ve been using the Instagram Stories myself since day one, and with this article I’d like to give you some help in the form of how-to’s, tips and tricks.

Of course you can find me not only here, but also on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

What are the Instagram Stories?

The Instagram Stories are a feature of Instagram that allows individuals and businesses to post images and videos that are only visible for a limited time of 24 hours.

Since August 2016, the stories have been an additional feature in Instagram’s already familiar feature set. To a large extent, the original functions of Snapchat were taken over and integrated 1:1 into the network Instagram. Some people also say that Instagram has brazenly stolen the features, expanded them, and integrated them into its own network.

So much for pure theory. In practice, however, Instagram Stories has become much more complex. You can clearly see that Facebook is increasingly focusing on the stories within Instagram and is constantly adding new functions.

In this article I would like to take you on a journey through the Instagram Stories and explain the different functions as well as possibilities and of course tips & tricks for the practical use of the stories.

Why are there any Instagram Stories at all?

The Instagram Stories have their finger on the pulse of time. The term storytelling is ubiquitous. Instagram’s Stories are the perfect tool to tell exactly these stories – quickly, honestly and authentically.

We should take a closer look at these points:


As mentioned in the introduction, stories have a sell-by date. All published pictures and videos disappear automatically after 24 hours. This ensures that they are extremely short-lived, but at the same time attract a lot of attention from viewers.

Honest and authentic

Unlike “normal” content posted via Instagram, the stories let you get very close to the sender. Almost as if you were there and following the person in interesting situations or just eating.

Influencers, stars and companies give a glimpse behind the scenes and provide the viewer with impressions that are rarely or never available in the form and via other social networks.

In this way, a strong bond is created between sender and receiver and the viewer has the opportunity to immerse himself in the world of the sender.

The disadvantages of Instagram Stories

Of course, not everything that glitters is gold in the Instagram Stories either. But if I already compare the stories with the core functions of Instagram, the other side of the coin should also be considered:

In contrast to normal contributions on Instagram, the range of the stories (so far) is still relatively small. In addition, the split contributions disappear after 24 hours and can therefore not keep up with ordinary contributions on Instagram in terms of sustainability.

In addition, the use of Instagram is very time-consuming, especially for companies, since regular stories require a lot of content, which in turn means effort and costs. However, regular stories are the key to success, because without continuous content, it is difficult to bind viewers.

Tell your story.

Every person and every company has its own story! It’s important that you find yours as a company or as a private person simply tell a story about your life.

This is how you can view Instagram Stories.

Let’s start at the very beginning. Before we create a story ourselves, we look at other people’s stories and contributions to get inspired and develop a sense of where our own images and videos might go.

A special feature of Instagram Stories is that they are visually separated from the actual Instagram Newsstream. After starting the Instagram App, you will find the area for the stories at the top.

The Instagram Stories are placed in the Newsfeed above the “normal” photos.

To view a story, just click on one of the round profile pictures. Then all Instagram Stories of the persons you have subscribed to will run automatically.

You can reach the story of a certain user by tapping on his profile picture. This works in the normal Instagram Stream as well as in the user’s profile.

However, this is only possible if the user has published current contributions. This can be seen by the red-orange-pink circle around the profile picture.

The operation of the Instagram Stories in the overview

I don’t know if you’ve tried Snapchat before. The menu navigation is – let’s say – special. And that in both a positive and negative sense. But it’s also innovative in many areas. Because the complete operation takes place on the pictures and videos themselves.

Stop stories and watch them longer

One function missing from the above list is stopping Instagram Stories. For me, it is one of the most powerful features, since both photos and videos within the stories are only visible for a short time.

The following trick allows you to easily stop a story and watch it for a longer period of time.

When viewing a story, simply tap the screen and leave your finger there. The story will then pause and you’ll have plenty of time to take a closer look at a photo or detail in the video. Read more here about buy automatic instagram story views for further information.

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