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Instagram Story Hacks: 32 Tricks and Features You Should Know

You’ve probably already pored over our Must-Try Instagram Hacks. (It’s a fun beach read, I totally get it!) Now, it’s time to master the fine art of the Instagram Story.

It’s just basic math: If a picture is worth a thousand words, an Instagram Story post must be worth a million, right?

And these Instagram Story hacks will make you the best Story-teller in town.

Top Instagram Story hacks for 2021

500 million people use Instagram Stories every day. And in 2021 there are more features for businesses to take advantage of than ever before.

Some might say there are almost too many features.

Which is why we’ve narrowed down our favorite hacks and little-known features to 31. These are the most time-saving tricks that will make you look like a pro on Stories and ensure you use the platform to its full advantage.

General Instagram Story hacks

1. Create a patterned backdrop for sharing a feed post

Is adding a custom backdrop necessary when you share a feed post on your Story? Goodness, no. But like wearing lipstick to a Zoom meeting, sometimes it’s just nice to add some pizazz to something routine.

2. Add a link to a Story

Unfortunately, links are only available to users with over 10,000 followers. (A shame for those of us with a more, ahem, exclusive follower list.)

But once you’ve hit that sweet spot, you can include one link in each Story and your lucky, plentiful followers will be able to swipe up to visit that URL.

3. Add a link to a Story WITHOUT 10,000 followers using IGTV

If you’re not verified or don’t have 10,000 followers, don’t fret. You can still add a link to your Story with this workaround:

How to add a link to your Story if you DON’T have 10,000 followers:

  • Create a quick IGTV video that draws people’s attention to the title of your video, i.e., tell people to tap on the title of the video to get the link.
  • In your IGTV caption, add the link.
  • Post the video on your IGTV channel.
  • Now, open Instagram Stories.
  • Click on the link icon on top of your screen.
  • Select + IGTV Video
  • Select the IGTV video with the link that you just created.

4. Fill the background with a solid color

The default gradient backgrounds are nice and all, but sometimes, you’ve got something to say that can only be framed by a wall of blinding chartreuse.


5. Uncover even more colors! More!

You’re greedy, but we’re not judging. You actually have access to every color of the rainbow and then some with Instagram Stories. Find your specific brand hues, or get funky with a questionable shade of puce.

How to do it:

  1. Open Instagram Stories and select the brush tool.
  2. Tap and hold any of the default color circles. This will open a color slider.
  3. Explore the slider to find the custom color of your dreams!

6. Use a green screen in your Instagram Story

Green screen technology has been a gamechanger for social media. You can be anywhere and everywhere. Including the moon. Especially the moon.

How to do it:

  1. Scroll right through the filters at the bottom of the screen to get to the magnifying glass; tap to search.
  2. Search “green screen” and select Instagram’s green screen filter.
  3. Tap Add media to choose your background video or photo from your phone’s image gallery.
  4. Take a picture or make a video in front of this fake backdrop.

7. Share with a select group of VIPs

Now that your boss and your Uncle Steve and your strata council president are all following you on Insta, the pressure to be a professional employee/niece/neighbor can really put a damper on your best, stupidest Instagram thoughts.

Instagram’s Close Friends feature is a chance to share more intimate, exclusive content to a select group (sorry, Uncle Steve!). For businesses, maybe it’s a way to offer some special treatment to members or VIPs (which, again, probably does not include Uncle Steve).

8. Schedule your Instagram Stories in advance

We know Stories are supposed to be a spontaneous medium. But are you really at your desk or on your phone all day? No! You’re living life so that you have something to make Instagram Stories about.

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