Courtesy of Instagram
August 02, 2016

If you agonize over how to take the perfect travel photo for Instagram, always post vacation pics on #TravelTuesday, or plan entire vacations around the most photogenic destinations, you’ll love Instagram’s latest update.

It’s called Instagram Stories, and the key features will be very familiar to anyone who uses Snapchat Stories.

Social media copycatting aside, Instagrammers can now share every moment of their travels without wondering if they've posted one too many beach photos than their non-vacationing friends can take.

Instagram Stories stitches both photos and videos together into a slideshow-like narrative, and offers users the chance to share more candid, less staged pictures. (That is, more like Snaps.)

Today, we’re introducing Instagram Stories, a new feature that lets you share all the moments of your day, not just the ones you want to keep on your profile. As you share multiple photos and videos, they appear together in a slideshow format: your story. With Instagram Stories, you don’t have to worry about overposting. Instead, you can share as much as you want throughout the day — with as much creativity as you want. You can bring your story to life in new ways with text and drawing tools. The photos and videos will disappear after 24 hours and won’t appear on your profile grid or in feed. You’ll see stories from people you follow in a bar at the top of your feed — from your best friends to your favorite popular accounts. When there’s something new to see, their profile photo will have a colorful ring around it. To view someone’s story, just tap on their profile photo. It’s easy to view stories at your own pace: tap to go back and forward or swipe to jump to another person’s story. If you want to comment on something you see, you can tap and send a private message to that person on Instagram Direct. Unlike regular posts, there are no likes or public comments. Your story follows the privacy settings of your account. If you set your account to private, your story is visible only to your followers. However, you can also easily hide your entire story from anyone you don’t want to see it, even if they follow you. When watching your own story, swipe up to check out who’s seen each photo and video. You can even choose to feature a particular part of your story by posting it on your profile. Instagram has always been a place to share the moments you want to remember. Now you can share your highlights and everything in between, too. Instagram Stories will be rolling out globally over the next few weeks on iOS and Android. To learn more, check out help.instagram.com.

A video posted by Instagram (@instagram) on

Unlike regular Instagram posts, Stories won’t appear in your public photo grid. So it’s impossible to overpost, and it's never a problem to share something that doesn’t fit your chosen aesthetic. Stories also allow users to mark up photos with text, drawings, and color filters. Snapchat-style face filters may very well be on the horizon.

For public profiles, Stories are visible to everyone, but there's no option to comment or “like.”

Don’t count on stories to capture your trips and adventures forever, though: Stories will disappear after 24 hours. But if you’ve created one that you’re especially proud of, you can opt to promote it to your main profile, where all the worthy pictures and video clips live.

Melanie Lieberman is the Assistant Digital Editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @melanietaryn.

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