by TheChicItalian

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Last August Instagram introduced Instagram Stories as a rival to Snapchat. It has been taking Instagram by storm. That’s why I wanted to make an Instagram Stories how to guide for bloggers. I already wrote about the different Instagram planning tools you can use for a cohesive your feed and gave tips on how to make the most of Instagram.


There are many different reasons why you should use Instagram Stories versus Snapchat. Some are personal, some are because of business. You can always use the both of them but that’s a lot of work. Here are my three biggest reasons why you should use Instagram Stories instead of Snapchat:

  • Audience. If your audience is really young, than Snapchat is a better fit. On Instagram you’ll find more millennials. For me, that’s more my audience as well as fellow bloggers.
  • If you don’t have a committed following, there is a small chance your followers will follow you to a new platform. Instagram Stories keeps them on the same platform. This means less trouble to stay up-to-date and more views for your content.
  • The stories are easier to navigate on Instagram than Snapchat. I have to admit that I deleted Snapchat. I don’t know if they changed it but what always bothered me was being stuck in a snap till the end. On Instagram you can tap on the left or right side of the screen or on the ‘x’ in the right top corner.


When you open up the Instagram app, you can see all the Instagram Stories in your top bar of your feed. The first one you’ll see is your own story. You can click on it to add a new story or click on the little camera in the left top corner. Here you can also edit the settings of your stories. Click on the wheel in the top left corner to:

  • Hide people from your stories.
  • Manage who can react to your stories.
  • Add the automatically save photo’s setting.
INSTAGRAM STORIES HOW TO GUIDE || THECHICITALIAN || Why you should use Instagram Stories, how to use it, planning them and story analytics


There are different types of stories you can make on Instagram. I’ve rounded up the different ones and a couple of ideas how to use them.


This is the first option you’ll see when you open up the Stories function in the Instagram app. You can live video chat with your followers. When you start a live video, Instagram informs some of your followers that you’re starting plus it’ll show on top of their feed. Live video’s are always showed first.

In the top right corner you’ll see how many people are watching and below you can see comments of people watching. As the person who starts the live video, you can scroll through comments. This way you can easily answer them if you want to but that does depend on the subject of your live video. However, I do feel there needs to be some type of engagement with the watchers to make it interesting.

Once you stop the live video, the video itself disappears. Instagram doesn’t record it.

How to use live video:

  • Have a live Q&A. You’ll get to know your audience and what they want to see in regards of content. Plus your audience will get to know you better.
  • A great example of someone using the live video is Amelia Liana during London Fashion Week. She let’s her audience get a peek behind the scenes what goes on during LFW. She had videos where she did her makeup or picked out her outfit for the events. She made them more interactive by letting the watchers decide what she should be wearing or type of products that she should be using. All the while answering questions.
  • Certain events are great for live streaming. Like streaming fashion show. An event like the opening of a new store is probably better covered with the use of the normal video function.


This is the function where you can just film like you would normally do with your phone or with a camera. To use this function, keep pressing the circle button on your screen. To zoom in, keep pressing the button and swipe up. Swipe back down to zoom back out. The video will be 3 to 60 seconds long. It’ll be available to watch in your Stories for 24 hours. You can also take a photo by clicking on the circle button. Photo’s are also available for 24 hours.

You can edit your story in this mode but more on that later on. Another fun thing is that you have the option to send a story directly to one person or a curated group. This makes it interesting if you want to do a special Q&A where people can ask you questions and you can reply to them by sending a private story.

Once you have a story up, people can also react to it by clicking on ‘send message’ in the left corner. These messages end up in your inbox. You can find your inbox on the main page in the top right corner that looks like a paper plane.

How to use the normal mode:

  • Use photo’s for details or to write down text. You can write down an announcement for live video you’re about to do.
  • Not the most exciting but you can use it to promote a new blog post by filming while scrolling through your new post.
  • Cover an event or party with random videos throughout the night.
  • You can use your Instagram Stories during the day to vlog what you’re up to. One that I always watch are stories from Miss Gunner, who vlogs her day, and Honey I dressed the Pug.
  • You can use Instagram Stories for more behind the scenes, raw video. I love Claire Marshall’s Insta stories because her stories are an addition to the content she normally makes. She often opens up packages with products you’ll see in a video later on where she’ll give a more in-dept review. Plus I love the Bruce videos that she posts.


Instagram launched this special gif video app in 2015. Now you can take a Boomerang directly in the Instagram Stories. You can shoot it by sliding to Boomerang in stories and click the button once.

How to use a Boomerang:

  • If you’re covering an event, a Boomerang could be a nice change between your other stories.
  • Play around with it! It’s meant to be playful and fun. Throw confetti around or wink at your audience.
  • Tip: shoot the Boomerang by beginning and ending in a different position.


I’ve never used this function but it’s the same as the normal mode except you don’t have to keep pushing the button.


Just like on Snapchat, you can edit your stories. There are a couple of different ways to do that:

  • Sound: You can choose to use sound or no sound by clicking on the sound button on top.
  • Filters: You can add a filter to your snap by swiping left. You have six different filters you can use. My favorite is the second one because it fits with the rest of my feed.
INSTAGRAM STORIES HOW TO GUIDE || THECHICITALIAN || Why you should use Instagram Stories, how to use it, planning them and story analytics
  • Adding text: By clicking on the two Aa’s in the right top corner, you can write text in your snap. You can change the alignment by clicking on the stripes in the top left corner. Add a banner to your text by clicking on the ‘a’ in the middle on top. Or change up the color or size below. If you’re done writing click done in the top right corner. You can move the text around by swiping it around or use two fingers to change the size.
  • Coloring: By clicking on the pen you can write or color in your story. There are three different pen tips you can choose from. My favorite one is the magical marker. Changing the color and size can be done at the bottom of the screen.
  • Tagging: You can tag other accounts in your story by adding text and add @username. The person gets a notification when you tag them.
  • Stickers & emoji’s: You can now add different stickers but also emoji’s. The first sticker is a location one. When you click on it, you can search for your location and add it to your story. You can also add the temperature or time.

This is how I edit my Instagram Stories:


Most new functions are mostly rolled out with verified account access. One of the functions only verified accounts can use right now is adding links in a story. followers will see ‘see more’ with an arrow pointing up on the screen. By swiping up, you’ll be directed to the link.


If you want your stories to go along with your Instagram mission statement. If your mission statement is about letting people see the world through your travels, you want to focus on travel stories. Capturing your trips, local findings and making memories with your audience.

Instead of winging it {even though that can create original content}, plan out your stories by thinking of events or products you can show that support your mission statement. You can also film things in advance and add them later on by swiping down in Instagram Stories. You’ll get a carrousel feed with the photos and videos you took in the last 24 hours. You can also use Planoly to plan your Instagram Stories. You can read all about it here.

When you have a business account you can also check your analytics. If you don’t have a business account, like I do, you can check them like this:

  • Go to your stories and swipe up.
  • you can now see how many people have seen your story.
  • Or watch this quick video:

Best way to see how many people have seen your story is to write down the exact time you put them up and check again 10 minutes before the 24 hours are over. This will be the most exact number of people who’ve seen your stories. Instagram doesn’t count duplicate watches so you’ll have your unique views.

Another metric that can be interesting is the difference between your first and second story and beyond. That will show how engaged your audience is with your content.

Hope this Instagram Stories how to guide helped!
Do you use Instagram Stories?


xo FG

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