As you play around with your shortcuts and iOS 14 home screen aesthetic, you may have noticed Instagram is testing a Stories widget for iPhone home screens. The company confirmed the test to Elite Daily on Nov 12. Only a select group of users have the test feature, but it doesn't hurt to check. Here's how to see if you're one of the lucky ones with the Instagram Stories widget.
Ever since the iOS 14 update dropped in September, iPhone users have been meticulously customizing their home screen with app icons, widgets, backgrounds, and more. While the Instagram widget was previously missing from the game, the new Instagram Story widget test is here to change that. If you want to quickly check in on Stories or upload your own, the widget will cut out an extra step or two, but as Instagram confirmed, it's currently only a test feature available to a small group of Instagram users. As of publication, it's unclear if the test feature will ever have a wide release, or if it will just be this test round.
How to check if you have the IG Stories widget:
- Start by long-pressing on your iPhone home screen until you see the widgets and app icons moving.
- Next, tap the plus sign (+) in the left-hand corner.
- Type “Instagram” into the search bar and if you're in the test group, you’ll see the option for Stories appear, and it says, "Quickly view the latest Stories from the accounts you follow."
- Finally, tap "Add Widget" to add it to your home screen.
If the Instagram Stories widget doesn't appear for you, that means you're not in the test group, so you'll have to hold out hope for a wider release, although it's not clear if or when that might happen.
If you are in the test group and get it on your home screen, you’ll see four circles, which feature three recent stories from accounts you follow, plus the option to add your own Story. When you tap on a friend's Story, the widget will open the Story in your Instagram app. After you've seen the Story, you'll be taken back to the Instagram home screen instead of cycling through other Stories.
If you already have a Stories update, you can also add to your own IG Story by tapping on your Stories circle in the widget to open to the Instagram Story Camera. So yeah, it just got that much easier to add to your Story every hour.
Instagram isn't only testing new features, though, the social media company had a wide rollout of a new Reels tab in the app on Thursday, Nov. 12. The Reels tab lets you easily navigate to the Reels section of the app from the home screen. Look for the tab with the clapboard icon on the bottom menu between the Explore tab and the new Shop tab. With so much going on over at IG, here's hoping the IG Story widget is the next update to come to all users.