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21 Instagram Stories Hacks You Need To Know
Instagram Tips & Resources

21 Instagram Stories Hacks You Need To Know

Updated on April 5, 2024
8 minute read

Thank us later. 🫶

Published April 5, 2024

Ready to take your Instagram Stories to the next level?

From little-known design tricks to engagement-boosting tips, we’re sharing all the Instagram Stories hacks you need to know in 2024. 

FYI: Later's Instagram Stories tools are trusted by 7M+ brands, creators, and marketers to boost engagement and reach. Create an account today.

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Instagram Stories Design Hacks

Trick your followers into thinking you’re a natural born designer with these Instagram Stories design hacks:

Hack #1: Later’s Canva Templates 

If you need to create something quickly, using pre-made templates can be your go-to.

And lucky for you, we have 30+ customizable Instagram Story templates — whether you’re highlighting your latest launch or hosting a Q&A. 

The best part? With Later's Canva integration, you can easily import your customized templates to our media library and schedule them in advance.

Hack #2: Uncover Hidden Colors 

ICYMI: You can access every color of the rainbow with this easy trick.

Simply select the brush tool in Instagram Stories, then tap and hold any color to reveal a color slider. 

Hidden colors Instagram Stories hack.

And voila — an unlimited number of shades to spruce up your 24-hour content.  

Hack #3: Add a Custom Backdrop 

From product highlights to weekly roundups, a custom backdrop is a perfect (and simple) way to add life to your Instagram Stories. 

And there are two ways to do it: by filling your background with a solid color or selecting a background image from your camera roll. 

To set a solid color as your background, follow the steps in Hack #1 to select a color. 

Then, tap and hold on the screen for 1-3 seconds to set your background. If you’ve shared a feed post to stories, the background will fill with your chosen color behind the post.

How to add a solid color background to Instagram Stories.

To set an image as your background, share a post to your story as normal. 

Then, select the photo sticker from the sticker tray to import the image you want to use as your backdrop. 

Move the feed post to one side of your screen and expand the added photo using two fingers (in a pinch motion). 

How to set an image as your Instagram Stories background.

At the same time, tap and hold the original feed post using your thumb to keep it as the top layer — and you’ve got your masterpiece!

Hack #4: Import Custom Fonts

If you’re looking to make your Instagram Stories feel a little more “on-brand,” adding a custom font is a great option.

It’s easy: Visit Instagram Fonts Generator on web or mobile, type in your text, and copy/paste your favorite rendition into your story. 

How to add custom fonts to Instagram Stories.

Hack #5: Create Effects with the Eraser Tool

Did you know you can use the eraser tool to create cool effects on Instagram Stories?

First, upload the photo of your choice and use the draw tool to draw an effect over the image.

How to create cool effects with the Stories eraser tool.

Then, use the eraser to create a 3D effect. The possibilities are endless!

Hack #6: Add Music to Your Instagram Stories

Another top hack? Adding a theme song to your Instagram Stories using the music sticker. 

You can scroll through a “For You” tab of suggested songs, browse by categories, or search for the perfect tune. 

Once you’ve made your pick, you can choose the exact part that fits your story, how long you want it to be (the maximum is 15 seconds), and customize the sticker’s look by tapping. 

How to add music to Instagram Stories.

NOTE: Instagram Business accounts only have a limited selection of music due to Instagram’s licensing agreements.

Hack #7: Add Brand Colors 

While Instagram’s full color palette is extensive, it can be tough to pinpoint a specific color.

Thankfully, there’s an Instagram Stories hack to add your exact brand colors. 

Tap the photos sticker to add an image with your chosen colors and use the color picker tool to sample a hue. 

Add Brand Colors to Your Story

You can then use this color for your stories background, the draw tool, or your text.

Then, slide and trash your reference image to debut your branded Instagram story. 

P.S. You can schedule your Instagram Stories in advance with Later's scheduling tools. Sign up today.

Instagram Stories Photo Hacks

A photo is worth a thousand words (and three Instagram Stories hacks): 

Hack #8: Add Multiple Photos to Your Instagram Stories

FYI: Layering isn’t exclusive to fall fashion — it’s an all-star Instagram Stories hack. 

Either copy and paste photos from your camera roll or use the photos sticker multiple times to create your masterpiece. 

How to add multiple photos to Instagram Stories.

TIP: Tap your photos sticker images multiple times to change the shape of your image. 

Hack #9: Turn Live Photos Into Boomerangs

PSA: You can turn live photos into fun Boomerangs.

Open Instagram Stories, swipe up, and pick a live photo from your camera roll (you’ll see the Boomerang icon on eligible photos).

Instagram boomerang trim

Once selected, tap the Boomerang symbol at the top of your screen — and that’s it! 

Hack #10: Create “Progression” Posts

Hot tip: Build suspense over a series of posts by adding new elements to the same base image.

All you have to do is create a story as usual and press save before uploading. 

How to create a progression post on Stories.

Then, create a new story, building upon the previous one, and repeat the process until you’re complete. 

With Later’s Instagram Stories scheduler, you can storyboard your stories in advance — create an account today.

Instagram Stories Video Hacks 

Step into the role of video editor with these Instagram Stories video hacks: 

Hack #11: Use “Hidden” Instagram Stories Filters

Did you know you can access a bunch of hidden Instagram Stories photo and video effects? 

Open up your camera, swipe all the way to the end, and select “Browse Effects” to discover an endless scroll of filters. 

How to use hidden filters on Stories.

Our favorite? Green Screen by Instagram to walk through your latest product or recap the week’s celebrity gossip. 

Hack #12: Use Automatic Closed Captions

Instagram’s closed captions sticker makes it easier than ever to add closed captions to your stories. 

How to add closed captions to Stories.

Record or upload your video to stories and select the sticker to make your content more accessible and visually exciting — win-win.  

Hack #13: Use a Third-party Editing App

Using a third-party editing app is a foolproof way to capture attention on stories (with little effort). 

Bonus points if you cross-post on Reels.  

Instagram Stories Sticker Hacks 

Instagram Stories sticker hacks that’ll make your engagement stick: 

Hack #14: Hide Hashtags & Mentions

Hashtags and mentions don’t have to sacrifice your Instagram Stories aesthetic. 

Simply layer a photo on top or slide them all the way to the side to preserve a clean design. 

Hack #15: Share Multiple Answers on a Single Story

The Instagram Stories question sticker is loved by brands and creators alike. 

The drawback? You can only share one question sticker answer per story.

But with this hack, you can share multiple.  

First, create a story with a response to your question sticker. Then, take a screenshot or save the image and exit out of the story.

Open that screenshot, create a second story using a different question sticker response, and repeat until you have multiple question stickers on a single story.

An Instagram story with multiple responses to one question sticker

Your followers (and their thumbs) will thank you!

Hack #16: Add Custom Stickers

Whether you want to remove the background from a product photo or highlight a trending meme, the custom stickers option is an Instagram Stories hack like no other. 

How to create custom stickers on Stories.

Select it from the sticker tray and choose a photo from your camera roll to automatically sticker-ize it. Easy-peasy. 

Hack #17: Add AI Stickers to Your Instagram Stories

No luck finding the perfect sticker to tie your story together? Instagram’s new AI sticker feature is your answer. 

Select the feature from the sticker tray, type in whatever your heart desires, and see what it spits out.  

Hack #18: Use Instagram's Notify Sticker

Pro tip: You can now add a ‘Notify’ sticker to your stories, so your most dedicated community members won’t miss your content!

Pop it in a story from the sticker tray to have users easily turn on notifications. 

Other Instagram Stories Tips & Tricks

Last but not least, here are our favorite uncategorizable Instagram Stories hacks: 

Hack #19: Use Instagram’s Dual Feature

This BeReal-esque feature is perfect for sharing your reaction to anything under the sun. 

How to use Instagram's dual feature on Stories.

All you have to do is select the Dual feature from the Instagram camera to get started!

Hack #20: Add a GIF Background to Your Instagram Stories

Instagram’s collaboration with GIPHY in Create Mode is truly a hidden gem. 

You can choose from thousands of fun GIFs and they’ll either layer up or display in full length, depending on their aspect ratio. 

How to use the GIPHY feature on Stories

Use them to stay active on Stories if you’re running low on original content!

Hack #21: Schedule Your Instagram Stories in Advance

The Instagram Stories hack of all hacks? Scheduling your stories with Later

Why? You can visualize how your posts will flow together, win back time, and dig into analytics for the ultimate strategy. A true no-brainer. 

And that’s that! With these 21 Instagram Stories hacks at hand, you’re bound to boost your engagement and keep your followers tap-tap-tapping for more. 

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