Since Instagram launched Stories last summer, it has introduced a constant stream of tools and updates to increase the platform’s usefulness: A way to go Live (alone or with someone else), location and hashtag stickers, and a rewind camera mode, to name a few. But it’s been noticeably missing one of the most useful tools of all.
How often have you watched an adorable dog Story (Ace_Adventures is my current favorite), or a slow-motion runway walk, and wished you could send the Stories to a friend? Too many times to count? Same.
Today, Instagram is finally ending the sharing drought by adding a way to share Stories you watch (and love) as Direct Messages. If someone has Sharing enabled, you’ll see a Direct icon (the arrow-like image) at the bottom right-hand corner of their Story. Tap that, and choose the friend or group you want to send it to. You’ll be able to control whether someone shares your Story in the same way you control who can reply to your Story: Simply go to your Story settings (tap the settings icon in the upper left hand corner of the camera screen) to change up sharing permissions.
If someone shares a Story with you, you’ll want to make sure to check your DMs within 24 hours. As soon as a Story disappears or is deleted, you won’t be able to see it anymore.
Sharing Stories may seem like a small change, but it’s one that has the potential to expand a Story’s reach exponentially. Without it, Stories has been far more limiting than your regular Instagram feed, since viewers could only reply directly to you. If you're trying to grow your following, enabling Story sharing is a solid start.