Remember when Instagram first launched their Stories in August 2016? (Yes it’s been that long) and we all laughed and vowed to stay loyal to Snapchat? Yep, I said the same but here we are in 2018 and Instagram Stories have far surpassed Snapchat. Instagram has reported it had 250 million daily users of Stories, versus 166 million for Snapchat. Not only have Instagram Stories won the war against Snapchat, but they have also potentially outdone themselves. With all the algorithm changes it seems these days people are more likely to see your stories than your posts!

Due to my love of being a marketing nerd, I am always on the lookout for new social media tricks so I thought I would put together a list of all my favourites, many of which are unknown to many. Instagram is adding features all the time so I’ll make sure to keep this list updated over time.

1.Rainbow Text

This trick is one of my favourites. Creating rainbow text/ombre text effects takes some practice but the end result is always impressive.

  1. Write text
  2. Select All text
  3. Hold your right thumb on the purple colour
  4. Hold your left thumb on the text cursor
  5. Slide both fingers at the same time to the left
  6. Your letters will change colours

Instagram Rainbow text

2. Type mode

If instead of posting a photo, you want to post some text, the type mode is the easiest way to do so. Editing options are restricted in this mode, use the method below if you want to be able to edit the colour of your text and use different sizes and fonts in the same image.

Instagram Text Mode

Instagram Text Mode Story


3. Background colour

This method is similar to Text mode but you have more options for editing and background colours. I prefer this way of writing text to the actual Text mode.

  1. Take a photo
  2. Touch the pen icon
  3. Touch any of the icons (except for the second pen)
  4. Touch a colour
  5. Press and hold your finger down on the screen
  6. The entire screen will be covered with the colour you chose

Instagram background colour

4. Better Boomerangs

We all love a cheeky boomerang, but did you know you can take them on your iPhone’s regular camera? If you take a picture on Live mode you can open it in the Instagram app, hold down on the photo and just like that you have a (better quality) boomerang.

5. Stop motion

I love this photo trick and I always have people ask me how it’s done. When you’re in the Instagram camera, scroll all the way to the right of options near the bottom of the screen. You’ll find stop-motion there. You can take a tone of photos to create some great stop-motion clips for your story.

Instagram stop-motion

6. Text styles

There are currently five styles of text- Classic, Modern, Neon, Typewriter and Strong. Typewrite, Strong and Classic can also be used with a coloured background.

7. Matching colours

Use the eyedropper tool and move it over different parts of the image to see the text change colour to match.


8. Transparent overlay

  1. Tap the pen in the top right corner
  2. Choose the second marker from the left
  3. Choose what colour you want the transparent overlay to be, then tap and hold the screen
  4. This will create the transparent overlay
  5. When your picture/video is covered, tap the eraser brush. The eraser brush allows us to erase the transparency from any part of the photo

9. Text Story

  1. Create a text story over one individual image.
  2. Add some text or other edits, save the image to your phone.
  3. Reupload the image and make more edits and save to your phone.
  4. You will then have different variations of the same image to create a story.

Instagram text story

Instagram text story

Instagram text story how to (1)

10. Screen Recording

Using the free Record It! app you can now record the screen of your iPhone and upload the recording to Instagram. Use it to show people what’s on your phone, tutorials and other ideas you may have.

11. See Photos Beyond 24 Hours

Some people can only use photos from the past 24 hours. Use third-party apps to amend metadata or send images to yourself to change the time and date. I currently use the Metapho app.

12. Stories Archive and Highlights

By now you will have seen the highlights feature. This allows you to keep your stories on your page for over 24 hours. The stories archive is also a nice way to see every story you have posted in (approx) the last six months.

13. Story Covers

Highlight covers are really popular at the moment, probably seen people post them to their stories and maybe wondered why or how to create your own? It’s super easy and there are multiple tools you can use. There are lot’s of Typography apps but my favourite is Canva. I have used Canva for desktop for years to create all my graphics, it really is so easy to use especially if you don’t have Photoshop and Illustrator. If Highlight covers are your only need, I recommend downloading the Canva app (free) to your phone. Search for graphics to match your highlight and add text and different colours.

  1. Once you have created your HIghlight cover, open it up in Stories and save to your story
  2. Once it is on your story, tap “add to highlights”.
  3. On your profile tap the highlight you want to add a cover to or create a new one
  4. Find the story you want to add to your selected highlight in the Archive section and select to add
  5. Tap “edit cover” and find the cover image

Instagram story covers

I hope you found this post helpful and discovered a few new tricks! If you have any more tricks I have missed please let me know in the comments below!

I’ll have more posts on Instagram tricks soon and advice on the algorithm as well as other interesting information and secrets people always wonder about!

Thanks for reading,

Sophie x


For pinning purposes

Instagram story secrets and tricks