How do you use previously taken photos and videos in Instagram Stories?

Estimated read time: 1 minutes

You may have seen highly produced video and great-looking graphics in some people’s and brand’s Instagram Stories, which are supposed to be short stories from the last 24 hours.

How do people do that if they have to shoot Stories in the app? There’s a trick that is build into the Instagram app but it’s not very obvious. Here it is:

Go to Instagram Stories and start creating one. Once your camera is up, swipe down on the iPhone screen (yes, sorry, if you don’t have an iPhone. I only tested this on an iPhone and don’t have another device. So no idea how or if it works with other devices.)

Once swiped down, you can access all media placed in your camera roll in the last 24 hours. That includes photos and videos (including saved Scopes or Snapchats). As long as your nicely created graphic is in there, you can grab it. To get a graphic into the camera roll, email it to yourself and then save it from your phone.

If you are going to use this function make sure the photos and videos are shot in the Instagram Stories dimensions. That means it all needs to be vertical footage or pictures. Those square photos we’ve all been trained to take for our Instagram feeds won’t work. Stories will zoom in and make them less effective. Same with horizontal video. It’s automatically zoomed into and you can’t zoom out inside Stories.

Recommended reading: 

The reverse basically: How to add Instagram Stories to your feed

So, this is a nice way to repurpose our media assets on Stories and even create special graphics for it. Sportscenter, The Onion and others have done a nice job with this already. Now you know how to do it, too.