Instagram updates change how brands tell stories

Instagram's Stories Highlights

Instagram is rolling out profile changes in what it has described as the biggest update to the platform since 2013, adding two new features aimed squarely at brands – Stories Highlights and Stories Archive.

Both are part of a redesign that aims to make Instagram Stories more useful to brands and other users.

Before now, Stories would vanish after a 24 hour deadline, never to be seen again. If this sounds familiar to Snapchat's stories feature, that's because Instagram borrowed it after it saw how popular the feature had become.

With these new features, however, users will be able to hold on to their Stories once they're posted, meaning that they'll still be accessed and shared after the previous 24 hour cut-off point.

Instagram's Stories Archive

Save your content for a later date with Stories Archive

Specifically, Stories Archive gives people the opportunity to store images and videos they post for use at a later date. In the past these posts would disappear unless you'd gone to the trouble of saving the assets to your phone separately.

By saving Stories to the pre-existing archive, users can add them back to their main feeds or resurface them via their profile's highlights section. And if it isn't for you, you can switch off the archive feature completely.

With Stories Highlights, brands and creatives can pull out the main Stories that sum up what they're about, helping users to relive stories that might have passed them by.

In the features announcement, Instagram said that the upgrades will give users the chance to "more fully express your identity by grouping Stories you’ve shared into highlights and featuring them on your profile."

Check out the video below, which shows how they work.

While this is welcome news to quirky individuals looking for a chance to present themselves to the world, Stories Archive and Stories Highlights will give brands a new way to show off their products, too.

Up to 100 photos or videos can be added to a Story Highlight, and what's more there isn't a limit on how many Highlights a user can create.

With these updates, and by removing the 24 hour expiry date, Instagram hopes users will post a more diverse range of Stories and content, safe in the knowledge that they aren't going anywhere any time soon.

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Dom Carter

Dom Carter is a freelance writer who specialises in art and design. Formerly a staff writer for Creative Bloq, his work has also appeared on Creative Boom and in the pages of ImagineFX, Computer Arts, 3D World, and .net. He has been a D&AD New Blood judge, and has a particular interest in picture books.