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Social Media Basics :

Share More of Your Day With Instagram Stories

These fun mini-movies give friends a closer look into your world

Instagram's standard posting feature (which enables you to upload a photo or video to your profile) is great for sharing "perfect life" photos that you want to keep visible forever. But what if you want to show some of the more ordinary moments of your day? Then it's time for Instagram Stories.

Why It's Fun
If you've used Snapchat Stories, you already know why this function is fun: It enables you to build an informal storyline of an activity or of your day. For example, you could create a story of yourself at the zoo with photos of the zebras, bears, and snakes. When you add the photos to your story, you end up with a fun slide show. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a story is worth…well, you get the idea.

Instagram Stories is also similar to Snapchat Stories in that your stories disappear after 24 hours. You can also include fun doodles, effects, and music in your photos before adding them to your story. You can even include videos, with silly filters if you want.

How to Use
Each time you capture a photo or video in Instagram, you'll have the option of adding it to your story. People who follow you will know you have a story available because a colored circle will appear around your profile image at the top of their feed. They can then tap the image to see the story. (You can, however, hide it from specific Instagram friends.) Your story will be viewable for just 24 hours, unless you save it as a "highlight."

When you view others' stories, you can reply with a photo, video, or message of your own. The person you're responding to will see replies in their direct message box.

Tips and Tricks
Here are a few hints for making the most of your Instagram Stories:


Use Superzoom to Supercharge Your Instagram Stories

Instagram has another feature you may not know about, called Superzoom. It creates a funny, overly dramatic zoom-in on any object you choose within your camera frame.

To use Superzoom, follow these steps:

  1. On your Instagram home screen, tap the camera icon in the upper-left corner.
  2. At the bottom of the screen, scroll across until the word SUPERZOOM is highlighted.
  3. Tap any object within the framed area, press the circle at the bottom of your screen, and Instagram will create the superzoomed video.
  4. As with regular videos, you can send it to selected friends, post it to your feed, or add it to your story.


Facebook Has Its Own Version of Stories

Given the tendency of social media apps to copy each other's features, it's no surprise that Facebook has rolled out a story function. Like the Snapchat and Instagram versions, Facebook Stories allows users to create a photo and video collection that disappears in 24 hours.

With Facebook Stories, you can use the in-app camera to create a collection of photos and videos, and then add fun with filters, lenses, and tags. Similar to Instagram Stories, friends will see you have a story to view when your profile image appears at the top of their news feed. As with Instagram Stories, these mini-presentations don't show up on your profile, but you can send them to specific people if you like.

If Facebook is your favorite way to let friends know what you're up to, its Stories feature gives you one more fun way to do it.