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  Article updated: May 13, 2021

Create an Instagram story

With the Instagram story composer, you can manage your entire digital marketing plan in one place. Prepare and schedule your story in advance, and see it along with your other scheduled posts on the Planner tab in Publisher.

To publish Instagram stories, use the mobile notification workflow. You or a team member will receive a push notification to your Hootsuite mobile app. Hootsuite sends your prepared story, including all media files, to your mobile device for you to publish via the Instagram app.

By completing the workflow in Instagram, you keep full control over the look of your story with access to the latest Instagram featured sticker types and the ability to add final touches like filters and tags.

Note: This publishing method is an Instagram limitation for all third-party tools like Hootsuite.

Plans: This feature is not available to Free plan members. To change your plan type and access this feature, see Manage your Hootsuite plan and account.

Watch Best practices for optimizing your story for tips to maximize your story reach. Visit Hootsuite Academy to watch more videos, take courses, or earn industry-recognized certifications.

Before you begin

Make sure you’ve already done the following:

Create an Instagram story

  1. Point to Create new post, and then select Instagram story.
    A cursor pointing to Create new post, opening the composer menu
  2. Select Select a social account, and then select your Instagram profile.
  3. Select select files to upload to attach up to 10 images or videos to your story.
    You can also select Open media library to add free stock images, or other image assets from your media library apps. Business and Enterprise plan members can access images from their content libraries to keep story content on-brand.

    Note: The maximum file size for images is 5MB, and maximum video length is 60 seconds.

  4. Optionally, select Edit image below each image to make edits such as adjusting the aspect ratio, or adding text or stickers. You can also edit your images later using the Instagram app. See Work with images.
  5. Review your story using the preview on the right. You can move your assets in the list on the left to reorder them.

    Note: Playable previews aren’t supported for .mov files in the composer.

  6. In the Clipboard text box, enter text and links for your story. Clipboard text is sent to your device with the push notification and copied to your device clipboard. When you add your final touches in Instagram, you'll have easy access to paste in your captions and create swipe up links.

    Note: To access the swipe up link feature, your Instagram account must be verified or be a business account with at least 10,000 followers.

  7. Select Add next to Notes for the publisher to enter additional guidance or instructions to the person who will be publishing the story on Instagram.
  8. Select Post now, or select Schedule for later, select a date and time, select Done, and then select Schedule. You can also save your story as draft.

    If you get the error, "Your Instagram account requires a paired device," it means that no one has push notifications enabled in their Hootsuite app for the Instagram account you are sending content to. Enable notifications, and then try again.

Publish an Instagram story

When it’s time to publish (either right away or at the scheduled time), all devices that are set up to receive publishing notifications for that Instagram profile receive a notification. See Enable Instagram publishing notifications for more information.

From the notification, any team member with Hootsuite publishing permissions and login credentials for the Instagram profile can publish the story in Instagram.

  1. To open the notification in your Hootsuite mobile app, go to Streams, and then select Notifications.
  2. Select the new publishing notification.
  3. Select Open in Instagram. Your caption text and links are copied to your clipboard and the Instagram app opens.

    Important: Hootsuite does not detect which Instagram profile is signed in to your Instagram app. If you publish to more than one Instagram account, ensure that you are signed in to the Instagram app with the same profile you selected in Hootsuite, so that you publish the story to the correct account.

  4. In the Instagram app, select Your Story.
  5. Select the camera roll image to open the story assets saved on your device.
    • If your story has more than one asset, select the multiple option so that you can select them all, and then select Next.
  6. If you have copied clipboard text to include, select the text option, tap-and-hold and then release, and then select Paste.
  7. Add your finishing touches to your story using Instagram effects, stickers, drawing tools, and text, and then select Next.
  8. Share to your story.

Watch Getting creative with editing features for tips to make your story stand out.
Visit Hootsuite Academy to watch more videos, take courses, or earn industry-recognized certifications.

If multiple team members receive publishing notifications for an Instagram profile, you can select a notification to see if it has already been actioned. Open in Instagram will change to Opened by (name) if the story has already been opened in the Instagram app. You can select Opened by (name) to mark the post as not opened or to open it again.