The All-New Way to Use Instagram - and the Social Media Stars Already on Board

Celebs including Victoria Beckham, Taylor Swift, Chrissey Teigen, Alexa Chung and Nicole Richie have already signed up for the new Instagram Stories app feature
BySarah Hedley HymersTuesday , 02 August 2016
The All-New Way to Use Instagram - and the Social Media Stars Already on Board
© Getty Images
Taylor Swift might try to destroy Kim Kardashian with and Insta Story now!

In a top secret meeting this morning at Instagram’s Middle East HQ, Ahlan! was the first to see the company’s revolutionary new feature, called Instagram Stories, which will change the way we all use social media.

Instagram Stories will become part of everyone’s Instagram pages, rolling out across the world from 6pm on Tuesday 2 August, and should be live for all Instagram 9.0 users within the following 48 hours. The celebs already signed up include Victoria Beckham, Taylor Swift, Chrissy Teigen, Alexa Chung, Nicole Richie, Serena Williams and Usain Bolt.

It will allow users to create mini movie montages of their photos and videos every 24 hours, after which time the feed vanishes, much like Snapchat. Other similar features include the option to save your daily montages to your photo album, and to comment on other people’s montages – your comments will go directly to their private message page and remain their indefinitely so you can keep track of chats. However, the major benefit of Insta Stories is that you will have access to the montages of every person you already follow on Instagram without having to try to find their usernames – a major downside of Snapchat.   

It doesn’t affect your existing feed; by simply hitting a plus sign at the top left of the screen you can add Insta Stories – or can we just start calling them Instories now, as you know it’s only a matter of time before they’re reduced to this?

To add content to your regular feed, you’ll still use the camera icon in the bottom centre of your screen.

Thumbnails of other users’ Instories will sit in a neat little row along the top of your homepage. You can scroll through them sideways or search for a user’s name to see their daily montage instead. It’s really simple to use – after a five-minute tutorial we were up to speed.

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So, does this new launch signal the end of Snapchat? While it’s debatable how many social media platforms one human can handle, it’s not quite over for ‘Snappies’ just yet. Undoubtedly, it would be easier to have all the fun and useful functions we know and love within one platform, but the Instagram Stories feature is still very much in its infancy.

Currently, there aren’t any snazzy filters like the ones that made Snapchat famous. You can add icons and doodles to images, and you can also hide your montages from specific individuals, like say your parents or your boss, by selecting the hide option and clicking their name. But development is ongoing and more features will become available in time, so watch this space – and watch our Insta Story @ahlanmagazine.

Censored: how to hide your footage from followers you’d rather didn’t see you dancing on the speakers at ladies’ night


Ahlan! Editorial Director Sarah Hedley Hymers at Instagram HQ today getting the region’s first demo in Instagram Stories

The writing’s on the wall: Sarah left our tag at Instagram HQ where graffiti is part of the décor

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