Music pairs perfectly with Instagram stories, but getting that music there can be tricky. For videos, you have to play the music in the background as you record, while photos have no choice but to remain silent. That changes now, as Instagram introduced an easy way for users to add the latest hits to their stories in-app.
With its new feature, Instagram claims users have access to "thousands" of songs. While it doesn't specify exactly how many songs there are to choose from, there does appear to be a healthy variety of tunes available at your disposal.
There are two ways to add music to your story — one method to use before you create your story, and one in case you've already taken your story's photo or video. Note: only the first of these methods allows you to delete the song's sticker from your story while still keeping the music, so keep that in mind before jumping in.
If you want your music selection to inspire the story you create, check out this method. Unfortunately, this feature is only available on iOS currently, but Instagram claims Android users will see it soon.
To start, fire up the story camera, then select "Music" from the carousel at the bottom of the display. From here, you can browse through the songs Instagram has available, under either the "Popular," "Moods" or "Genres" tabs. You can also search for songs yourself via the search bar. Tap the play button next to songs to hear a preview.
When you find a song you like, just tap it. Instagram will load it up in the center of the display at a pre-determined timestamp. However, you can easily change the location in the song by moving the slider left and right to your desired location. Again, you can tap the play button to listen to a preview of your selection. If you want to select a different song, tap the album cover on the left to return to the music browser.
When you're ready to make your story, just use the record button at the bottom of the display. You can film for up to 15 seconds, or take a photo that will play your song in 15-second loops.
At this point, Instagram will place a music sticker on your story. Just as with any sticker on Instagram, you can move and resize this one as you see fit. If you tap on it, you can switch its style, between white, translucent, and a simple album cover.
Unfortunately, if you want to remove this sticker, Instagram takes the song with it. If you recorded a video, you can still hear the music if your iPhone's mic picked up the audio, but, of course, all other sounds picked up during the recording will be present as well. If you want a clean music experience without the sticker, make sure to record your story with no other sounds around. This will not work with photos, of course.
If you already snapped a pic or shot your video, Instagram still lets you add music to your story. In this case, Instagram treats added music just like its other stickers. Just tap the sticker button at the top of the display, then select "MUSIC" from the sticker drawer to access the song selections.
Just as in the first method, you can select or search for a song here and listen to a preview by tapping the play button next to the song. Once you select your song, you can choose what part of the song you'd like to play. If you are playing the song over a picture, you can tap the time underneath the slider to choose any timeframe of up to 15 seconds.
You won't be able to delete the sticker in this method without removing the music entirely, however. Because the song is added after recording, you need Instagram to keep the master track playing over your story. Deleting the sticker deletes the music.