Instagram Stories Won't Be Quite As Spontaneous As It Used To Be

When Instagram Stories launched in 2016, it was billed as the spontaneous counterpart to heavily edited and curated posts on your feed. The one caveat Stories has allowed users is the ability to upload photos and videos that were taken within the past 24 hours.

For anyone who can't Story in the moment, camera roll access is a must. It provides the leeway to actually experience an event and be present, knowing you can snap photos and then add the text, stickers, and hashtags needed to make a Story come to life later. However, that 24 hours deadline has been limiting, especially if you've been somewhere with little to no internet access. Today, Instagram announced it's addressing that issue with an update allowing you to upload photos and videos taken more than 24 hours ago.

Photo: Instagram.

You can access these the same way you currently do camera roll images: Tap on the Instagram camera and swipe up on the screen. Instead of seeing images displayed horizontally, they're now vertically aligned, making it easier to scroll through many at once. The header changes from "last 24 hours" to "camera roll" as you continue scrolling down.

Photos that were taken more than a day ago automatically come with a date sticker, which Instagram says is intended to add context. You can always move this sticker to the trash bin (simply tap, hold, and drag), and it wouldn't be surprising if people did just that to trick their followers into thinking their Story is spontaneous. However, the default at least forces users to make a conscientious choice when doing so.

The upside of increased camera roll access is that you can exercise more creativity in your Stories, playing with the brush and new stickers without feeling rushed. However, overuse of images and videos taken more than a day ago threaten the very foundation of Stories. This isn't to say you shouldn't upload photos taken last week or even a month ago, but do so thoughtfully. After all, throwback Thursday has always existed as a standalone day for a reason.