Instagram now lets you group Stories into Highlights

James Marshall
December 5, 2017

Instagram is rolling out a private archive of the ephemeral stories you have posted in the app. Starting today, Instagram will begin to add your expired stories to the archive feature, which until now has been used only to house photos and videos you no longer want to display on your public profile. This will remove the highlight from your profile, but deleted stories will still be saved in your archive until you delete them. Tap on any photo or video in your archive to watch or view it. Archived Stories can then be shared as part of a new Story, in Highlights, or as part of a post.

Instagram says Highlights represent the biggest change to profiles in years.

The new Instagram alerts come after US Forest Service officials in Lake Tahoe warned park-goers in 2014 against taking selifes with wild bears, because some were putting their lives in danger just to get an Instagram-worthy snap. A private archive represents an obvious-to-the-point-of-being-inevitable solution. But there are more substantial changes than that too, and the features together offer major changes to the way that the recently introduced stories feature works. Once you're done, your highlight will appear as a circle on your profile that plays as a stand-alone story when someone taps it. Highlights stay on your profile until you remove them, and you can have as many highlights as you'd like.

As a practical matter, the existence of Snapchat Memories all but required Instagram to build its own version. This will automatically take you to your archived Instagram Stories. The flip side is that I rarely return to my old stories, wherever I've posted them - the posts are meant to be ephemeral, after all.

Instagram now lets you group Stories into Highlights
Instagram now lets you group Stories into Highlights

With this new feature, Instagram is furthering its initiative to become more attractive to use over competitors' platforms, namely Snapchat who lacks this feature set. Until now, Instagram profiles have been places for carefully manicured self-presentation. That consists of an area on people's profiles where they can post their favourite collections.

You'll be directed to give your Story Highlight a name, and Instagram advised that it's best to choose a short name so it's not cut off when others view it.

Instagram Stories Archive and Highlights one-up Snapchat Memories, which only lets your repost old clips to your current Story. You scroll through them horizontally, as with stories in the feed. Though the company (which could go months on end without significant app updates prior to Stories) has been spinning out new features for more than a year now, updates have barely touched profiles. From there, you can choose any stories from your archive, select a cover for your highlight and give it a name.

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