Instagram is a popular platform for sharing and consuming visual content. To help users customize and increase their reach, Instagram Stories and Highlights were introduced in 2016 and 2017, respectively. Through them, users can share and save content while simultaneously improving their discoverability. But, if a user is curious about what other users can see, this article will detail what’s visible, and how users can ensure they maintain their desired level of privacy.
1. Overview of Instagram Stories and Highlights
Instagram Stories and Highlights provide businesses a great way to help tell the story of their brand, build greater awareness, engage with customers, and promote their business. The two features, though related, offer a few distinct benefits.
Instagram Stories are a great way to share day-to-day content such as sneak peeks, new product announcements, company news, and more. Stories are automatically deleted after a period of 24 hours, so users have one day to access and engage with the content. Businesses can use stories to promote events or giveaways, create surveys and let users weigh in on various topics. It’s a powerful way to engage with customers.
Instagram Highlights offer a unique aspect in that unlike Instagram Stories, highlighted content can remain on your profile for weeks or months after the debut. It’s a great way to showcase particular products or promotions that you want customers to see. It also offers an opportunity to showcase old stories and give them a second life. With Highlights, you can categorize content into different stories that are organized together on your profile.
- Engage with customers
- Share day-to-day content
- Promotion of events, giveaways, and surveys
- Showcase particular products or promotions
- Organize content into different stories
2. Differentiating Between Stories and Highlights
Understanding Stories and Highlights
Social media users constantly post stories, posts, and videos, which can often be confusing for the average user. Instagram stories and highlights are two such features that can be used to add content to your Instagram page. Although the two features have certain overlapping functions, it is important to understand the key differences between the two.
- Stories are posts that appear for only 24 hours and are accessible for both followers and non-followers.
- Highlights are posts that last longer than stories and do not disappear unless a user deletes the post themselves.
Sharing stories can be beneficial if you are looking to engage with a larger audience and connect with a larger group of people. Such stories will be visible to people who don’t follow you and may lead to increased followership. Highlights, on the other hand, can be considered as a permanent way of showcasing content on your profile. Hence, highlights can be used to add posts that you want people to constantly see and access, such as portfolio pieces, promotional content, and behind the scenes videos.
3. Who Can See Your Instagram Stories and Highlights?
Stories and Highlights Visibility
Who can see your stories and highlights on Instagram? Generally, everyone who follows you can view your content. However, you can customize your account settings to change who can view the content.
If you have an Instagram account with a public profile, anyone on or off Instagram can view your stories and highlights. If you set your profile to private, then only those who follow you will be able to view your stories and highlights.
You can also customize the visibility of your stories and highlight by manually blocking people from viewing them. From your profile, select the story or highlight you’d like to edit and click on the three dots in the bottom right corner. Select “hide story from” and select which followers you’d like to block. All of your current followers will be listed here.
- Public profiles : Stories and Highlights visible to anyone on and off Instagram.
- Private profiles : Stories and Highlights visible to only those who follow you.
- Manually block followers : Stories and Highlights hidden to specific followers.
4. Protecting Your Privacy with Instagram Stories and Highlights
The privacy of our personal information is important, but with the everyday use of Instagram, it can be hard to stay private. While Instagram posts are accessible to anyone who visits your profile, stories and highlights do provide a secure way to share individual and group moments. Here are some tips on how to protect your privacy with Instagram stories and highlights.
- Keep Your Stories Visible Only to Your Followers: Your current followers will be able to view the content you post in your stories. You can adjust your story’s privacy settings to limit who can see your stories. This feature can be found in the settings menu.
- Create Private Highlights: Highlights are stories that remain visible on your profile for an extended period of time. Make sure to review the stories you mark for your highlights, because users who visit your profile can view them. You can create a highlight reel that is only visible to you by clicking the “Create Secret Highlight” button in settings.
- Do Not Post Personal Information: It is important to be mindful of what kind of content you are sharing, especially if your accounts are set to public. Do not post any personal information, such as your address, phone number, and even your real name.
By following these steps, you can keep your stories and highlights private and protect your personal information. You can also, take additional steps to not share stories or posts that contain personal information. Keeping your profile private, or even switching to a private profile will be the best way to ensure that no one has access to your personal information.
5. Maximizing the Benefits of Instagram Stories and Highlights
The reach of Instagram Stories and Highlights can be intensified for brands, especially for those using Instagram for marketing. Here’s how:
- Grab attention with creative content. Visuals should always be well-crafted as stories only play for 24 hours. Utilize creative visuals such as animations and videos to keep audiences engaged.
- Incorporate text storytelling. Ensure stories include text so they can be discovered within the search community. This way, stories won’t need to be part of a specific friend’s list.
- Do not forget to hashtag. Stories and Highlights should always be hashtagged to ensure they can be found by as many people as possible. Innovative hashtags like brand campaigns, special events, and more are great ways to reach a bigger crowds.
Utilizing the Instagram Story Highlights feature and strategizing with custom stories can increase brand visibility and customer engagement with followers. Utilize interesting colors, designs, and fonts along with interactive videos and GIFs to create compelling stories or informative captures.
Creating Instagram Stories that stick out from the standard generic content, plus strategic Highlights and hashtags, will help to widen the reach of the brand and create a stronger Instagram presence.
When it comes to Instagram Stories and Highlights, it’s important to remember that others may see what you post. Taking a few minutes to revisit your privacy settings and review your posts can help ensure that the content you share is seen by the people you want to reach. With the right strategies, you can use these features to their fullest potential without worrying about an unintended audience.