Instagram Stories Is 2 Years Old & These Are The Best Features From The Past Year

If you've had an Instagram account since the very beginning (I'm talking 2012 or before, people), take a second and think back on how much the app has evolved over the last few years. Not only has IG created a massive Discovery page to help users find interesting and specified content, but they've also gone through a number of interesting algorithms. Most importantly, Instagram added this feature you likely use on a regular basis: Instagram Stories. Since Instagram Stories is two years old now, there are some seriously cool Story features that you can use to celebrate today (and every day!).

According to an Instagram press release, Instagram Stories' second birthday is Thursday, Aug. 2, 2018, and it's kind of a big deal. Since it started way back in 2016, IG Stories have normalized the idea of "casual sharing" and "self-expression" for over 400 million IG users daily, per the release. That's wild! And in the past year, Instagram has done so much to let its users customize their Stories, whether it's with a GIF sticker, a location sticker, a song, cool font, Superzoom, or, of course, a poll sticker. So make sure you learn how to use every single one of them, and pick your favorite.

1Poll Sticker & Emoji Slider Sticker

Instagram

When it comes to questions on your Story, there are so many ways to find out if your followers like something — and how much they like it. You have the poll sticker that came about in October 2017, and you can use it to ask a yes-or-no question to your IG fam. If you want to get more animated, you can use the emoji slider, which launched in May 2018, to find out to what degree people feel a certain way about something.

Both options are located in the sticker tray, which is the smiley icon in your Instagram Camera after you've taken a photo or video. TBH, the poll sticker and the emoji slider features are both pretty awesome, especially if you're interested in crowd-sourcing the answers to your most important IG questions.

2Music In Your Story

Instagram

As of June 2018, users have been able to add music from Instagram's quickly-expanding song library to Photo or Video Stories. There are already thousands of popular tunes to choose from, and taking advantage of this feature is so simple. Just navigate to the sticker tray again, and you'll stumble across a music icon. Click it, locate the perfect song, and it to your Story. Easy peasy.

3An Expanded Sticker Tray

Instagram

You can add a variety of stickers to your Stories. The moving GIF sticker showed up in January 2018, and it adds a little extra bling. The location sticker followed in March 2017, and you can add your current location to your Story to let your IG pals know where the party's at. The Mention sticker was an update in the spring of 2018, and you can use it to tag your crew in your Story on the 'Gram. Finally, according to Romper, the hashtag sticker is an OG Story feature from March, 2017, and it shows everyone what's trending in your 'Gram life.

To grab any of these stickers, take or upload your Story photo or video, and navigate to the sticker tray. You'll be able to find practically any type of sticker that you could possibly want.

4Superzoom In The IG Camera

Instagram

If you want to take quick, hilarious close-up videos of your friends, find the Superzoom feature, which was created in October 2018, by swiping right from your IG's opening page. On the bottom, you'll be able to scroll through several different capture features, and you'll find Superzoom sandwiched between "Focus" and "Rewind."

Pick "Beats" to make your friend feel like they're in a night club, "T.V. Show" for a sitcom vibe, "Bounce" for a little additional goofiness, and, of course, "Dramatic" to make your life like a real-life soap opera. They're super fun, and they'll totally add a little extra personality to your Stories.

5Highlights From Your Stories

Giphy

Instagram also added the Highlights feature in December 2017. Highlights essentially allow users to pin Stories directly to their profile, and it stays there until it's deleted. You can divide your highlights by category, and you can watch them in the small circles beneath each person's bio. If you want to add some for yourself, go to your IG profile, and simply click the plus sign under "Highlights."

6Uploading Different-Sized Photos To Stories

Carl Court/Getty Images News/Getty Images

In January 2018, Instagram rang in the new year by letting its users upload photos of any size to Stories, with no cropping required. To do so, pinch-out to use the entire photo, and it'll be surrounded by any color gradient of your choice. However, if you happen to prefer uploading them the old way, you can simply pinch it in, and get it to be the 9:16 size.

7Questions Sticker

Instagram

In July 2018, IG introduced the questions sticker, which allows you to post a question for your friends to answer. You can add a questions sticker to your Story by grabbing it from the sticker tray, and then you can post it onto your photo or video. It's so easy: You'll type out your question, then and share the Story. Friends can tap to reply, and you can see each of their responses in your Story's viewer list. It's fun, simple, and super interactive.

There are so many cool things you can do with Instagram Stories, and Instagram has upgraded it tremendously since its humble beginnings. This birthday is definitely one for the books, and I can't wait to use every single one of these features in celebration!