Instagram is constantly trying new models of presenting information. Reels, which is functionally similar to TikTok, is available now for almost every Instagram user across the world. There are also live streams and IGTV, but the most important is the Stories feature that Instagram launched in 2016. Many built-in tools within the app allow you to make the background of your Instagram story crisp and attractive. Let's talk about the features of the built-in editor and third-party apps that will help you.

Why change the background?

Stories quickly gained popularity, because they are displayed at the top of the screen, and unwatched videos are highlighted in color, unlike posts in the general feed. This draws attention and increases the chances of being viewed by followers. You can use an unusual and beautiful background in the Instagram story if you want to stand out in the growing number of stories in the feed. This can be done both using the built-in editor, and by editing stories in advance in third-party applications.

Built-in editor

Many people are used to posting short unprocessed videos or photos and links to posts in stories. Stories like that are usually swiped by users, as they are not informative and do not draw attention. However, the built-in functionality of the Instagram editor allows you to make cool and attractive story backgrounds right in the app. Especially when it comes to a static image.

Image filter

We recommend applying a filter to the image itself, before creating a background in an Instagram story. To do this, go to the publication section and select the main image, by the way, now you can use any picture you like or already prepared background as the main image, later we will tell you how to add additional images over the main one to turn it into a background image.

After the main image has loaded, swipe left or right across the screen so the editor applies different background filters to it and you can choose any effect you like.

The background image itself can be dragged, resized, and positioned with two fingers.

By choosing an effect for the image and its position on the screen, you can make a beautiful background using the fill tool and the eraser. Tap the wavy line at the top right of the screen, select your favorite color on the scale at the bottom, or define it with a dropper, then tap and hold your finger on the screen. The whole story will be filled with the color of your choice. After that, select the eraser and scrape the desired area of the background with beautiful lines or make handwritten inscriptions.

There are 27 basic background colors available by default, but you can open a hidden menu with many more colors by holding down the palette at the bottom of the screen.

You can also draw on the screen using different colors and line thicknesses. As you can see, our stories are already becoming more unusual and attractive than a simple photo. Change the background to semi-transparent by selecting a fill color, then switch from the pencil tool to the marker tool and hold your finger on the screen for a while.

You can fill in an unusual background with a gradient by using the "text" tool. To do this, select the "text" mode, then type any word and click next. Now erase the text and change the shade of the gradient. You can add any frames, images, and elements over this background. Also, there are interesting design templates in the same section.

If you don't want to waste time, simply type "beautiful backgrounds for stories" into the search engine, then select, download, and upload the background you prefer to the editor tool.

Frames and additional tools

Once the main background image is selected and the effects have been applied, you can go to the section with the smiley face to the left of the wavy line. There are a lot of interesting tools here. For example, you can upload one or more photos over the first one. Frame shapes can be changed by clicking on the added images, and their position and size can be adjusted with two fingers.

Selected background images can be decorated with an animated frame and other elements. To do this, type the word "frame" into the search box and use the option you like. We got a pretty cluttered image. Let's make it more attractive by removing some of the filters and adding more pictures. Here's what we got.

Text and Gif

You can use text or animated elements for the background. Use dots and dashes, different fonts, and frames to get interesting effects in the design. The main thing is not to clutter up the background too much, as we did. In the example, we are showing the features of the Instagram editor, so there is a lot of stuff and the individual elements overlap each other.

Video effects and music

Once you’ve done making the background and adding basic images, animations, and captions, you can add the background effects for the video, because the story can be not just a static picture. You can do this in the section marked with asterisks. Choose the effect you like and apply it to the story.

Third-party applications

All of the functionality described above relates specifically to the internal Instagram editor, to which everyone has access. You can use special applications to create eye-catching stories, make something unusual and design a background that others do not have.

In addition to fonts and frames, Story Lab app also has visual filters for photos and videos, which looks especially interesting in moving stories. Advanced settings like changing the background color, position, and size of other elements on the layout are also available here.

Nichi app features fonts, filters, stickers, and visual effects, making it one of the most functional apps for designing stories on Instagram. In addition, you can make a collage here.

Unfold app offers two design packages - one is free and the other with the option to purchase professional themes. Try the free version of an app and if its functionality is not enough, choose a suitable plan for the money. The disadvantages of the application are the loss of image quality after processing and the static nature of individual elements which cannot be dragged or swapped. Unfold app also has a wide range of additional options and is available in paid and free versions. Many ready-made templates can be edited. But you need to buy a subscription to get unlimited access to them. The feature of the application is a convenient and intuitive interface - everything is simple from the start.

StoryMaker app has several hundred tools and layouts for creating videos for all tastes, as well as a package of interesting fonts. You can create something of your own, or use ready-made design layouts of frames and captions. In addition, to bold frames and solid backgrounds, StoryMaker features decorative outlines and other elements.

Adobe Spark Post app is used by many popular Instagram bloggers professionally. This multifunctional app gives you unlimited editing options like making animated screensavers, short videos and original stories, and even gifs for use in chats and social networks. The application can be used for free, but you will have to pay if you want to remove the watermark and unlock all the additional functions.

There are quite a lot of editing tools for processing photos and videos today. We recommend downloading a few and trying to create stories in each of them. This will allow you to understand which application is most suitable for you. Compare different fonts, backgrounds, templates, effects, and interfaces to find the best option.

Design tricks

In conclusion, let's talk about the Instagram features, which not many people know about. These are hidden functions, which will simplify your work and help you to avoid unnecessary actions:

Text shadow. A simple trick that everyone can do. Write text twice and make it lighter or darker to add a shadow, then place one text over the other.

Changing the color of the letters and making them multicolored. To do this, select the text of the caption and change its color. Then deselect the last letter and change the color again. You can do this with each letter until the lettering becomes rainbow.

To hide hashtags and mentions of other accounts that spoil the visualization, simply place a picture or animation over them. You can also change the text color to match the story background so that it is not conspicuous.

Adding stories to the highlights. This can be done after or while posting. To add a story to the highlights, press and hold the “add story” button and then select an existing highlights section or create a new one.

Adding a photo from the gallery to the stories. To do this, select the photo you like, click the “share” arrow, and select Stories. Image copying is available in some versions. Instagram will offer to attach it as a sticker if you copy the image and go to stories after that.

If you do not know what kind of background to come up with, simply type "ideas for stories design" in a search engine and look at ready-made templates on Pinterest and other photo stocks.

To increase your reach, engage your audience by asking questions, adding polls, asking them to share their opinions, or doing surveys, which will have a positive effect on your impressions.

Use collage mode to upload multiple photos, and the hands-free button to shoot video without holding the record button. You can find them in the vertical menu on the left side of the screen.

Get glowing emojis by using the NEON font, which highlights not only the letters but also other characters.

You can save the story to your device by swiping up your posted story and selecting the arrow icon next to the number of views. This feature works only with your stories.

Add a short text description, so that followers immediately know what the video will be about. Moreover, the lettering will keep the viewer's attention and engagement.

You can limit who can see your stories by going to the Privacy section in your profile settings. Select the Story section and specify the people you want to hide your posts from.

There is one more simple trick that not everyone knows. Click on the “airplane” button under posts and select the desired layout to share your own or someone else's post in the stories.

Stories can be shared in your feed and profile. To do this, press the three dots at the bottom of an already posted story and select the relevant command.

Recently, Instagram added the feature of adding music to stories. These stories are placed on the song page and have a larger reach.

These little tricks and tools will allow you to create vibrant stories that are sure to please your followers and stand out among the identical posts of other users.