Instagram stories

Instagram launched a new feature this week called Stories, which allows you to post photos and videos that will not appear in your feed, but will be visible by your followers in a slideshow format, for up to 24 hours. This is a great way to share more on Instagram without polluting your feed with dozens of photos and videos you wouldn’t otherwise publish.

When first playing with Instagram Stories, I couldn’t figure out how to upload picture or videos that I had already taken. Instead, it seemed I was forced to first shoot using the Instagram app, and upload from there. After a few minutes, I finally figured it out, and because it’s not that obvious, I thought I should post about it as it may help a few readers wondering the same thing: how do you put photos or videos from your library on your Instagram story?

Uploading photos and videos from your library to your Instagram story

As it turns out, the feature was hiding in plain sight.

1) In the Instagram app, tap on the Camera icon in the upper left corner to add a new story. This will take you into camera mode.

create new instagram story

2) This is where you can choose to record a video, or snap a photo. But what we want to do is bring up our photo library. To do this, simply pull up on the screen, and an image picker will be revealed at the bottom.

add photo to stories on instagram

3) From there, simply choose the photo or video you want to upload. You may of course annotate it before uploading it.

pick photo to add to story

There are some limitations to this. First and foremost, only pictures or videos captured within the last 24 hours will be available and eligible to be shared on your story. Anything shot over 24 hours ago will not even show in the image picker.

The second limitation is that if you upload a video that is longer than 10 seconds, it will automatically be cropped to fit the the 10-second format. In that case, I’d suggest editing the video first to crop it as you want it, then upload it to your story.

Also read: How to upload photos older than 24 hours to your Instagram Story

And that is all there is to it. It’s definitely not complicated, but not completely obvious either.