How to Upload an Instagram Story: A Step-by-Step Guide

How to Upload an Instagram Story: A Step-by-Step Guide

Instagram stories have become a vital part of the social media landscape, offering a dynamic way for users to share their daily experiences. This guide provides a detailed, step-by-step approach to help any Instagram user – whether they’re a beginner or an experienced user – to effortlessly upload a story.

Step 1: Accessing the Story Feature

A user begins by opening their Instagram app. In the top left corner of the home screen, one will notice their profile picture with a blue ‘+’ sign. This icon is the portal to creating a story. Alternatively, one can swipe right from anywhere in their feed to open the story camera.

Accessing the Story Feature

Step 2: Capturing the Moment

Upon entering the story camera, 3 options are available:

  1. To take a fresh photo: One simply taps the circle button at the bottom of the screen.
  2. To record a video: One should hold down the circle button. It’s important to note that Instagram stories are limited to 15 seconds.
  3. To upload from the gallery: Swiping up or clicking the gallery icon on the lower left corner allows users to choose a photo or video from their device’s gallery.
Capturing the Moment

Step 3: Adding Creativity

Once the photo or video is captured or selected, Instagram offers a plethora of editing tools. Users can:

  1. Add filters or effects: By swiping left or right, various filters can be applied to enhance the image.
Add filters or effects
  1. Use the drawing tool: This feature lets one doodle or write on their story to add a personal touch.
Use the drawing tool
  1. Incorporate text: By tapping the ‘Aa’ icon, users can type out messages, choose different fonts, and colors.
Incorporate text
  1. Include stickers or GIFs: By tapping the sticker icon (smiley face), one can add interactive stickers, location tags, hashtags, polls, and more.
Include stickers or GIFs

Step 4: Sharing with the World

After personalising the story, it’s time to share:

  1. To post the story: Tap the ‘Your Story’ button at the bottom of the screen. This will make the story visible to all followers for 24 hours.
  2. For specific viewers: If one wishes to share the story with a select group of people, they can use the ‘Close Friends’ feature.
  3. Saving the story: Users can save their story to their phone or archive it on Instagram for later viewing.
Sharing with the World

Step 5: Checking Viewers and Engaging

Once the story is live, users can do 2 things:

  1. Check who viewed the story: By swiping up on their story, users can see who has viewed it.
  2. Engage with viewers: If the story has interactive elements like polls or questions, users can view and respond to these interactions.
  1. The Right Instagram Story Duration and Dimension: 

Each story can last up to 15 seconds. If you upload a video that exceeds 15 seconds, Instagram will automatically divide it into multiple segments, each 15 seconds long. For example, a 60-second video would be split into four segments of 15 seconds each.

To illustrate, imagine a fashion blogger covering a fashion show. Rather than uploading a lengthy video that might not hold the audience’s interest, they could divide the footage into several 15-second clips. The first clip might feature the event venue, the second could show backstage activities, the third might capture a runway walk, and so on. This approach of segmenting content helps maintain the audience’s engagement, as they anticipate each subsequent segment.

  1. The Idea Ratio for Instagram Stories: 19:16 

The ideal aspect ratio for Instagram Stories is 9:16, with the recommended dimensions being 1080 pixels wide by 1920 pixels high. This size perfectly fits the typical smartphone screen, allowing your content to be displayed without any unwanted cropping or stretching. These Dimensions matter for 3 reasons:

  1. Quality Preservation: Uploading stories in the recommended dimensions ensures that your content looks crisp and professional. By adhering to the 1080×1920 dimensions, a food blogger can share high-resolution images of their culinary creations, ensuring that the textures and colours look as enticing as possible.
  1. Full-Screen Experience: Since most users view stories on their phones, the 9:16 aspect ratio takes up the entire screen, making for a more immersive experience. For Example: A travel vlogger sharing stories of a sunrise hike can use the full-screen format to immerse viewers in the experience, making them feel like they are part of the adventure.
  1. Avoiding Auto-Cropping: If your content doesn’t fit these dimensions, Instagram might automatically crop it, potentially cutting off important elements of your story. For Example: When a fashion brand launches a new collection, using the correct dimensions ensures that each item is showcased beautifully, without parts of the image being cropped out, thus maintaining the integrity of the visual presentation.

Tips for Posting Good Instagram Stories:

1. Pre-Editing: Pre-Edit Your Videos before uploading them on Instagram. If you want more control over how your story appears, consider editing your videos before uploading. This way, you can decide exactly where each 15-second segment begins and ends.

You can install some Video-editing apps like Prequel, VN, Wink and InShot for enhancing and properly editing the Videos. Apps like InShot have been downloaded millions of times, with a 4.8 rating on the App Store from over 1.2 million reviews, indicating their popularity and effectiveness in enhancing video content.

Moreover, You can add Location/Templates/Music and Gifs into Your Instagram Story to give it a descriptive look and add a sense of uniqueness through personalization. 

Example: A travel influencer visiting Paris could use an app like InShot to edit a video of the Eiffel Tower visit. They could start the first segment with a view of the tower from afar, the second segment with walking towards it, and subsequent segments showing close-ups, all while adding music and captions for context.

2. Continuous Stories: For longer narratives, you can upload multiple 15-second clips. This is ideal for tutorials, Q&A sessions, or storytelling. Example: A fitness coach could use continuous stories for a workout tutorial. Each story segment could focus on a different exercise, making it easy for followers to follow along. This format is perfect for step-by-step tutorials or answering FAQs.

Engagement rates for Instagram stories are high, with a completion rate of 70-80%, suggesting that followers are highly interested in content that is well-structured and engaging.


Uploading an Instagram story is a simple yet powerful way to share life’s moments. By following these steps, users can not only share their experiences but also engage with their audience in a creative and interactive manner. Remember, the key to a great Instagram story is a blend of personal creativity and engaging content.