It didn’t take long for Instagram Stories to take off.
Instagram’s hottest new feature has become exponentially popular since its inception in August 2016, much to the detriment of competitors like Snapchat. In August, the company said that Stories have driven users younger than 25 to use the app upwards of 32 minutes a day on average. In September, the app as a whole announced it had 800 million monthly active users, 500 million of those who return each day. In comparison, Snapchat boasted 173 million daily active users as of August.
Not only that, but ever since Instagram launched the feature, it’s been continuously building on top of it, adding incredibly popular features like Boomerang and Superzoom.
That being so, you might have missed a few. So, here are a few Instagram Stories tips and tricks that that’ll help you master the platform.
How to create Rainbow Text in Stories
Did you know that you can accent each of your Stories with colorful rainbow text?
It’s a little complicated, but type your normal message using the text tool. Then, highlight the part of text you want to turn colorful. Now using two fingers drag one across the text, and another across the range of colors at the bottom of the screen. You should see the colors of your letters start to change as you move.
Dragging slowly will make sure you get each letter.
Don’t follow? Here’s a handy tip video below.
How to write a story
It’s actually pretty easy to turn your entire Instagram Story into a bit of a visual essay. Just think of each Story as a slide in a click-through slideshow. Formulate the story you want to tell, break it into parts and then shoot away.
For example, take a look at this tragic tale of non-Instagrammable caffeine.
Instagram stories are the slideshow people actually want to watch.Image: brian de los santos/mashableIt doesn’t have to be this simple (or heartbreaking). You can make each photo a block of color (or just black like the one on the end above) and write out a story that way.
But be careful, don’t overload each photo with too much text to read in such a short amount of time. The people who do that are objectively evil.
How to create a solid color background
Building off the previous note, it’s really easy to fill the backgrounds of your Stories with a solid color. Just take a random photo of anything, click into the pen tool and select a color.
Then long press on the photo and watch it turn into a full slab of color. You can even customize the color of your background by long pressing on a color to bring up the color map.
A solid color in your Instagram Story for EMPHASIS.Image: brian de los santos/mashableHow to hit ’em with that dropshadow
There are a few ways to get creative with your text-only Stories too. If you’re going for some emphasis, add a manually created drop shadow. Just write the text you want, then copy and paste it again in a different text box, making sure it’s the same size as the original. Now darken the copied text to a shadowy gray and put it behind the original. Just look at how much better it looks.
A dropshadow in your Instagram Story basically makes you a graphic designer.Image: Brian de los santos/mashableGet creative with your Boomerangs
Chances are you’ve used this feature before. But don’t be afraid to get a little creative with it. Use the forward and reverse video in Boomerangs to your advantage and build suspense. Just make sure to stop your motion right as the video stops recording and then watch it do its thing.
The video below has some great ideas to get you going.
How to mute Instagram stories and/or hide your stories
Got a friend who posts too many stories? (We know you do.) Well you can mute them. Just hold onto their circle icon in the Stories menu and click mute.
You can also hide your stories from certain people. First, click on your profile, hit the gear icon in the top right-hand corner, then select the Story Settings tab under Account. At the top of that screen, type in the username of the person you’re trying to hide your story from.
Hide people from your Instagram Story. Sorry, MJ.Image: brian de los santos/mashableSave a copy
Always, always save a copy of your photo before you mess around with it. It’s a failsafe way of making sure you don’t lose the original after you load it with text and emoji, and it’s a good way of making sure you can always start over if you don’t like emoji-filled monstrosity you’ve created.
Shoot now, upload later
This is an easy one, but not everyone remembers that you can upload to Instagram Stories from your camera roll. So if you’re in a pinch, and don’t have time to shoot your Stories in the Instagram app, just shoot ’em with your normal camera and then upload them when you have time. That, or wait until the end of the day to batch create your stories, that way you can treat them with some sweet, sweet care.
This isn’t an Instagram Stories tip so much as an overall tip for Instagram. Did you know you can unsend messages? YUP. UN 👏 SEND 👏 MESS 👏 A 👏 GES. All you have to go is go into your DMs and find the one you regret sending, hold it, and then click unsend.
And viola! It’s like it never happened.
Unsending messages on Instagram is truly a gift from the app gods.Image: brian de los santos/mashableIf you’re in the need of more Instagram tricks, peep the video below.