Instagram is making it easier to flesh out your Instagram Stories, adding the ability to quickly share something there directly from the feed. The new feature further blurs the lines between the traditional Instagram timeline, and the more recently-introduced, ephemeral stories.
Initially, stories only supported fresh content: you’d need to take a photo or video there and then to include it in your feed. Last year, though, Instagram added the ability to upload existing photos and video, optionally remixing them with graphics, people tags, hashtags, and other text. After that came text-only stories, doing away with photos altogether.
Now there’s another way to add to a story, and that’s with someone else’s Instagram post. If you see another person’s photo or video that you want to highlight, there’s a new sharing option alongside the existing ability to send it as a Direct message to another user. Choosing “Create a story with this post” generates a new story entry, complete with a customized background.
As you’d expect, there’s a link to the profile of the person whose content you shared. You can also add extra stickers and tags, and generally modify the story as you would normally.
Instagram says that only posts from public accounts will support this story sharing, so if you have a private Instagram you don’t have to worry about people resharing the content on it. If you want to stay public, but don’t want people sharing your photos and videos in their stories, you can turn it off altogether. You’ll find the option for that in the settings: from your profile page, choose the cog icon on iOS or the three dots on Android up in the top right. Then turn off the “Allow Resharing to Stories” toggle in the list.
The new sharing feature is being added to the Android Instagram app today. It’ll be following on to the iOS app “in the coming days,” the company says. It’s part of the photo-centric social network’s attempt to make its app stickier and encourage greater sharing, which saw augmented reality camera affects added back at the start of the month, and the ability to share ten images or videos at once just prior to that.
However, there are more features in the pipeline. Instagram Music was spotted recently in the app’s code, though while the name might suggest some sort of streaming music service, in reality it’s all about further customizing what you share. Believed to be akin to YouTube’s Open Source Music feature, it’s likely to support adding license-free background music to the content you post.