Instagram Stories has become one of Instagram’s most popular features since its release and it’s a great way of staying up to date with the people you follow, without having to scroll through hundreds of images in your feed. Many have taken advantage of this feature and have been able to grow their followings massively due to their entertaining, educational or simply interesting stories.

The feature itself is pretty straight forward but it has several hidden functions that the pros are taking advantage of – are you? Here are 5 useful Instagram Story hacks:

Fill the Frame With a Solid Color

Sharing videos and images might be the most common use of Instagram Stories but every now and then you want to share text as well – maybe you’ve got something on your heart or you want to share some exciting news. Many tend to just keep the phone on their lap and take a black picture but fewer know that it’s also possible to fill the image with a solid color.

First, you need to take a picture (don’t worry what it’s of as it won’t be visible). Next, choose the pen tool and select the color you wish to fill the frame with. When you’ve selected the color, simply hold your finger on the screen and a color will automatically fill the frame. If you want to fill the frame with another color, all you need to do is select that specific color and hold your finger on the screen once again.

Access the Entire Color Palette

Initially, you seem somewhat restricted in which colors you can use. What you might not be aware of, is that you can easily access the entire color palette and choose the exact color you’re looking for (this needs to be done manually, though, and you won’t have access to entering RGB/CMYK information).

Instagram Stories Hacks

Press and hold on any color to reveal the entire color palette. Be aware that you’ll need to hold your finger on the screen and drag it around until you’ve found the color you want. As soon as you release the finger, the color you were hovering on is selected. The loupe is a helpful tool that you can benefit from in this scenario.

Use Handsfree Mode to Film Your Adventures

Are you filming something where you need both hands or need to take a step away from your phone? No problem! Use the hands-free filming mode.

Recommended Reading: How to Take Advantage of Instagram Stories

In other apps such as Snapchat, the movie is only made as long as you’re manually pressing the shutter. With Instagram Stories, however, this is slightly different. You can choose the Hands-Free Mode to film without actually holding the shutter. Simply click the shutter when you want to begin filming and once again when you’re done.

This mode is found by scrolling past the Boomerang and Rewind modes.

Upload Images Older than 24 Hours

One of the rules (which some consider a restriction) on Instagram Stories is that you can only upload images that are taken during the last 24 hours. However, there are a few hacks to get around this.

The first and most common way of uploading images older than 24 hours are by opening them in your camera roll and taking a screenshot. Since the screenshot was created today, Instagram views it as an image from the last 24 hours – which means that you’re able to upload it to the Stories.

Another method is to use an app such as Photo Investigator to change the metadata of the image. By doing so you’re able to alter the information saying when the image was captured (as well as other information), allowing you to upload in Stories.

Reach More People by Using Hashtags & Location Tags

The last Instagram Story hack we’ll look at might be a little more obvious than the previous but it’s one that has the power to improve your reach quite a lot.

One of the best ways to reach more people on Instagram is by using hashtags and it didn’t come as any surprise when Instagram added a hashtag and location tag to the stories as well. You can now see suggested stories and featured stories in your news feed, on the explore tab and within certain hashtags.

Adding hashtags or location tags are really easy and all you need to do is swipe up after taking a picture. By doing that, you open a panel containing various stickers, the temperature, time and more. Click on the #Hashtag or Location icons to create a tag – and enjoy it as more people see your stories.

Do you have any Instagram Story hacks? Feel free to share them with us in the comments! 

More Instagram

Here are a few more Instagram related articles that you might find useful: