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Instagram Story Secrets to Try for Yourself

by Claire Petersen 12 months ago in social media

Three little-known hacks to bring your Instagram Story game to the next level.

Have you ever looked at someone's Instagram story, scratched your head and thought... How exactly did they do that? I certainly have, and after a few Insta-experiments, I think I've cracked most of the tricks that you see on the 'gram.

In fact, it became a low-key obsession which resulted in the creation of a whole class on the topic, and now this post! So get your phone at the ready, because we're getting creative with Instagram Stories...

1. The Peek-a-Boo Effect

A fun and effective way to drive traffic from your Instagram Stories to your main feed is to tease your latest post in your Story. That's where the peek-a-boo effect comes in handy. Here's how it looks in practice:

And luckily, it's super simple to do! Pick up your phone, open Instagram, and have a go using the steps below!

The steps:

1. Open your most recent post in the Instagram Story composer.

2. Tap the pen tool or highlighter tool. Use the pen tool if you'd like the fill to be a solid colour (like the orange image on the left) or use the highligher if you'd like the fill colour to be at a lower opacity, so you can see some of the image peeking through.

3. Choose whichever colour you'd like. You can do this by swiping through the colours that come up along the bottom, or you can use the eye-dropper tool to select a colour from your image. BONUS TIP: Press and hold a colour on the bottom of the screen to unlock a rainbow of additional colours!

4. Once you've chosen the colour, press and hold over your photo to fill the image with that colour.

5. Now, select the eraser tool. Erase part of the image so that the photo below peeps-through. To get the polka-dot effect, choose the largest eraser size and tap the screen where you want the dots to appear. To get a zig-zag, swirl, or any shape, simply draw it with your finger using the eraser tool.

2. The Title Highlight Effect

I'm sure you know how to highlight your text on Instagram Stories, but have you figured out how to extend the text highlight like the images below? It's not quite as simple as tapping the space bar after the first or last word, because this doesn't actually extend the highlight colour, it just adds a load of blank space. There's a simple work-around to get this effect, you've just got to be in the know...

Here I've explained how to make the highlight extend at the end of the text, but you can also do it for the front of the text, or both!

The steps:

1. Open the image you'd like to post in the Instagram Story composer.

2. Choose the text tool and a font, but avoid 'modern' and 'neon' as there is no highlight option for these.

3. Type your text.

4. Select the highlight option at the top left-hand corner (it's the icon with the letter 'A' and two small stars). This will add the text highlight. You can change the colour of this in the same way that you would change the colour of the text.

5. Once you've chosen your highlight and text colour combination, add a random extra letter at the end of the word. Don't worry you'll delete this later.

6. Move the cursor so it's between the last character of your text, and the random letter. Tap the space bar multiple times to extend the highlight.

7. Once you've extended the highlight to the desired length, move the cursor behind the random letter and delete it. You'll see that the random letter has been removed (obviously) but the rest of your extended highlight is still intact. Result!

8. Finally, drag the text and place it where you'd like it. You can place it so that it looks like it's coming out from the side of the screen.

3. Drop Shadow Effect

Finally, there's the drop shadow effect. This is the easiest to try... you can probably even figure out how it's done simply by looking at it! That said, I think it's worth sharing as barely anyone does it, and it can really make the text pop!

The steps:

1. Open the image you'd like to post in the Instagram Story composer.

2. Choose the text tool and a font, this effect works best with the 'strong' or 'classic' fonts.

3. Type your text. It's best to use capital letters. Choose the colour, this will be your drop shadow colour.

4. Tap the text icon again and type the exact same text as before, in the same font but with a different colour.

5. Move the new text over the drop-shadow text and voilà!

6. Repeat if you'd like multiple drop-shadow colours! NOTE: The text that you last touched will be brought to the front.


There you go, three Instagram Story secrets to try out for yourself! I'd love to see how you've applied these tips! Feel free to tag my Instagram or DM me on @byclairep.

Want more tips and tricks? Luckily for you I've released a whole course on the subject! Check out How to Create Beautiful Instagram Stories: Up Your IG Story Game.

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Claire Petersen

Berlin-based fashion photographer from Ireland

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