How to Use 4 New Features for Instagram Stories

The Instagram Stories momentum just ain’t stopping! Instagram has announced four new features for Instagram Stories: face filters (à la Snapchat), videos that play in reverse with “Rewind” mode, an eraser brush in the drawing tools, and hashtag stickers. Here’s everything you need to know about the new Instagram Stories features, and how to use them:

new features instagram stories

1. Create Face Filters on Instagram Stories

If you ever had any doubt that Instagram likes copying Snapchat, today’s update should erase any uncertainty. In the the latest update of the app (version 10.21), Instagram rolled out “face filters,” which are almost an exact replica of Snapchat’s Lenses.

To share a face filter on Instagram Stories, simply swipe right from your homescreen to open the Instagram Stories camera. Next, tap the new face icon in the bottom right corner. Eight different face filters are available starting today, including a few different crowns, some animal faces, and another with geeky glasses that sends math equations spinning around your head.

When you’re done recording, you can send it to a friend through Instagram Direct or add it to your story. The filters can be used in any of Instagram’s shooting modes: photo, video — and even Boomerang!

2. Add More Context to Your Instagram Stories with Hashtag Stickers

Much like location stickers, users can now share hashtag stickers on their Instagram Stories. Viewers will be able to tap these stickers to visit the hashtag page and explore other media that’s been shared with the same hashtag. And while Instagram doesn’t yet catalog Stories that use hashtags in hashtag pages, in the future, you may be able to search Stories by hashtag.

To share a hashtag sticker in Instagram Stories, simply tap the sticker icon at the top right of your screen, select and customize the hashtag, then add it to your story. As with mentions, you can also add hashtags using regular text.

This feature is especially great for businesses on Instagram, as it’s yet another way to promote your brand hashtag. For example, @cipriani recently published a story with the hashtag #mycipriani. People who viewed the story could click on the branded hashtag to engage with the rest of their branded content. Overall, it’s a great way to increase awareness around your branded hashtags.

3. Play Videos in Reverse with “Rewind” Mode on Instagram Stories

A second big update to Instagram Stories is the new “Rewind” mode that lets you plays videos in reverse, just like one of Snapchat’s oldest filters.

To make a video that plays in reverse, open the Instagram Stories camera and swipe through the options at the bottom of the screen (Live, Normal, Boomerang, Hands-Free) until you get to the Reverse recording option.

Tap the record button at the bottom of the screen and defy the laws of physics, whether that’s dropping a microphone and watching it fly up into your hand, or capturing a fountain in motion and sharing a rewind of the water floating back up.

Note: This feature works differently than the filter on Snapchat. In Instagram Stories, you have to actively choose to record in rewind mode before taking a video. On Snapchat, you can record video and then play the video in reverse after the fact, which gives you more flexibility.

4. Get Creative with the New Instagram Stories Eraser Tool

The drawing tools on Instagram Stories are pretty great, but have you ever wished you could erase a small mistake rather than starting over with the “undo” button? Well, with today’s update, that’s no longer a problem. Introducing the new eraser tool on Instagram Stories.

The eraser tool works exactly like how you would expect it to: once selected, you can erase any drawings that you added to your story. But you can also use it to create a sort of “scratch card.”

To do this, simply open the Instagram Stories camera and snap a photo or video. Next, select a drawing tool and tap and hold for 1-3 seconds to fill the entire screen with color. Then, using the eraser brush, you can creatively reveal parts of your photo or video underneath.

These new features can add a ton of creativity to your Instagram Stories—and for businesses in particular, being able to share hashtags on Instagram Stories is an incredible opportunity. Whether you’re promoting a campaign, product sale, or event, the ability to connect your followers with a branded hashtag through Instagram Stories could prove to be a big game changer.

Want to learn how to make better Instagram Stories? Don’t miss our 13 hidden Instagram Stories hacks post.

What do you think of the new Instagram Stories features? Let us know in the comments!

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Written By

Benjamin Chacon

Benjamin is a Content Writer at Later and recent transplant from Toronto. You can follow his day-to-day exploits on Instagram @benjaminchacs.