XX min read

How to Automatically Save Instagram Stories

Published on
February 4, 2024
Instagram stories disappear 24 hours after uploading them. Read this post to learn how to automatically save them and never lose your stories again.

When Instagram first announced the stories feature in 2016, disappearing content was already table stakes for most social media platforms. Because stories only last for 24 hours, they’re a great way for people to post as much content as they want without crowding their feeds. The temporary nature of Instagram stories also makes them easier to toss together and publish quickly, instead of agonizing over color, composition, caption, and every other component like you might with a public feed post.

With that said, Instagram stories can still be a treasure trove of both brand posts and User-Generated Content (UGC). Whether your brand account is layering on fancy design elements or simply repurposing your community’s stories as valuable social proof (with permission, of course), there are any number of reasons you might want to save IG stories for later. 

But it’s far too easy for the process to get bloated and overwrought. There are plenty of manual ways to save Instagram stories one at a time, but those simple methods can only carry you so far. They require too much manual effort to really make a dent for brands, and on top of that, they just aren’t effective. The overworked social media manager (we see you, friends) inevitably ends up missing out on stories, saving duplicates, or building up unwieldy camera roll albums and media folders that take up too much digital space.

That’s why most pros today prefer to save Instagram stories automatically. In this article, we’ll look at the best strategies and tools you can use to say goodbye to manual effort and forget that pressure to remember to save every story before it disappears. Here’s how you can automatically save Instagram stories right now.

What You’ll Learn:

  • Instagram stories are a great tool for building brand awareness and driving website traffic.
  • There are plenty of ways to save Insta stories manually, but none of them cut it for brands.
  • It’s easy to automatically save Instagram stories with the right settings and tools.

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What Are Instagram Stories?

Instagram stories are vertically oriented short-format videos and photos that disappear after 24 hours. A gradient ring will appear around your Instagram profile picture to indicate that you’ve posted a story, and anyone can tap to view your stories from your account page. Instagram users can also access stories from their home page in the app, where the top row of content is populated with stories posted by all the accounts they follow.

You can turn photos and videos from your camera roll into Insta stories just like you would with feed posts, or you can share content from other third-party apps like your favorite music player or astrology guide. You can turn existing Instagram posts into stories as well; if you post something to your feed and want to give it a little extra attention, it’s a good idea to bump it in your stories.

Instagram also allows users to add flair to stories with in-app features like filters, emojis, music, and more. You can type a text caption or use the native toolbox to draw something or write a note by hand. There are also stickers that allow you to add polls, quizzes, hashtags, shoppable links, URLs, or geotags. You can even tag other Instagram usernames. The combinations are virtually endless.

For brands, Instagram stories are an effective tool to build brand awareness, drive website traffic, or even sell products. Stories are a great way to share timely updates and announcements, lean into fleeting news, or play with passing trends, all without cluttering your feed. Brands can also turn Instagram stories into ads, defining a budget and setting a target audience to expand your reach and connect with new customers in new markets.

You Can Always Save Instagram Stories Manually

Some brands like to track Instagram stories for posterity, others like to reuse social media content across platforms, on their website, or even in partnership presentations and investor decks. No matter your reasons, chances are you’ll eventually want to start saving your brand’s Instagram stories. Here’s how to do it.

First, let’s get the manual methods out of the way. It’s always an option to save every Instagram story you post to your camera roll one by one, if you want to stay as old school as possible. Navigate to your story by tapping the profile picture on your Instagram account or in the top left corner of your home page inside the app. Then tap more and use the save button or the download button to add the story to your camera roll.

You can also create a screenshot or screen recording to save the story to your phone the same way you would save photo/video outside the Instagram app. Keep in mind that if you’ve added any stickers, emojis, animations, or tags to your story, those will show up as frozen graphics in a static screenshot and will lose their interactive quality in a screen recording.

Another option is to create story highlights. Instagram highlights are a feature of the app that allows you to keep active stories on your profile even after the 24-hour window expires. You can create highlights around any topic you want, and as soon as you add a story to your highlight it will be permanently available on your profile in between your Instagram bio and your account grid. Go to your story and tap the highlight button, then either create a new highlight or select an existing highlight. (Hot tip: highlights are also one of the best ways to view old Instagram stories after they’ve disappeared.)

Lastly, you can manually save your Instagram stories for later by keeping them active as feed posts. Tap the more button from any story and then select share as post. You’ll be automatically redirected to the post creation part of the Instagram app, where you can repost the story to your grid as if you were creating a new post from scratch out of any photo or video.

How to Automatically Save Instagram Stories

At scale, all those manual methods get messy quickly. If you forget to save each individual story or wait even a second longer than 24 hours, it’s gone forever. The anxiety of making sure you capture every story one at a time will probably lead to duplicate manual saves, which just make the already crowded asset folders on your phone or computer even more overloaded and disorganized.

There’s a better way. These are the two best methods to automatically save Instagram stories, depending whether you posted the story or it’s a story someone else posted about your brand. Let’s check them out:

The best way to automatically save Instagram stories your brand posts

To automatically save Instagram stories inside the app itself, you’ll need to turn on your Instagram story archive. This feature has been around since 2017, and most users today will find that it’s turned on automatically when they start using the Instagram app. Essentially, Instagram’s story archive will auto-save all the stories you post to a private section of the app that only you can see. While you can access your story archive anytime, no one else can see your stories after they’ve expired.

To make sure your Instagram story archive is turned on, navigate to your Instagram profile. Tap the ☰ menu in the top right corner of the screen, and tap archive. At the top of the screen, you can toggle between your story archive, posts archive, and live broadcast archive. Inside your story archive, tap the three-dot menu in the top right corner (the dot orientation may change depending whether you’re using an Apple iPhone/iOS or an Android device). Make sure the save story to archive switch is toggled on, and you’re good to go.

Instagram will automatically archive stories you post as long as this feature is turned on. This allows you to view and download Instagram stories long after they’ve expired, organize them in highlights, turn them to feed posts, or check on the stats they received while they were live.

The best way to automatically save Instagram stories your brand is tagged in

That’s well and good as a backup plan for your own brand IG stories, but what about the stories that other Instagram users post about your brand? When you’re tagged in new stories, you’re immediately on the clock to save them before they disappear. And if you’re doing your job, chances are you’re already flooded with stories, posts, reels, and Instagram videos (or TikTok videos!) tagging your brand account. Having a hard time keeping up? You need Archive.

Archive is an all-in-one influencer marketing platform that automatically collects all the Instagram stories (and a bunch of other types of UGC) that your brand is tagged in. Our UGC management and social listening features make it easy to curate, organize, and work with your most valuable assets. Find the perfect story in seconds using our AI-powered Super Search and turn your best UGC into click-to-buy social proof you can display on your website (without writing a single line of code) using our Shoppable UGC Feeds tool. Ready to do more with your Instagram stories? Get started with Archive today for free.

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