How To Save Instagram Stories

Instagram launched Stories in 2016 to give users a unique and fun way to connect and engage with followers.

Despite the ephemeral nature of its content (or maybe because of it), Stories is one of the most popular features on the platform. Statistics show that over 500 million Instagram users watch Stories daily, which explains why 96% of marketers plan to include Stories in their marketing strategy.

However, some businesses may question the logic of creating marketing assets with limited lifespans. Spending resources on content that vanishes after 24 hours seems counterproductive.

Thankfully, your marketing efforts don’t have to go to waste. This post explores how to save Instagram Stories to use for future campaigns. 

What Is Instagram story?

Instagram Story is an in-app feature that allows users to post full-screen, vertical videos or photos. The content lasts 15 seconds and disappears after 24 hours.

Users access Stories at the top section of the app on the home screen. When you post a Story, a ring appears around your Instagram profile picture, alerting followers to new content. Anyone can see the content on public accounts. However, Stories are only visible to followers on private accounts.

But just because this content disappears after 24 hours doesn’t mean you can post anything. Customers still expect high-quality content.

Insta Stories offers lots of interactive elements to make content fun and engaging. These include captions, gifs, polls, and music. They are a great way to experiment with content without disrupting your well-curated feed. You can post behind-the-scenes, flash sales, user-generated content, and more.

When do users save Instagram stories?

Effective social media marketing requires authenticity and consistency. Brands invest time and money into creating marketing assets. So, it’s understandable why they want to save them.

Beyond the initial 24-hour timeframe, businesses can repurpose Stories into other content formats across different platforms. For example, you can use user-generated content for authentic storytelling or demonstrate social proof. You can also now easily repurpose Stories content for your blog, eBooks, email newsletters, or future campaigns. Efficient content creation is one of the many generative AI use cases you can leverage. 

Another reason businesses may want to save Stories is to preserve marketing links. Links drive traffic to your website. If you also leverage fast web hosting services and your site is mobile-friendly, you can easily rank higher on search engine results pages.

The problem is you can’t share links on regular Instagram posts. Besides the link in bio, you can add links in Stories. However, Story links disappear, wasting the efforts of your marketing team and retail or SaaS link building agency. Saving IG Stories helps contribute to an effective link-building strategy, allowing you to capitalize on your social media audience.

5 ways to save Instagram stories

Whatever your reasons for saving Instagram Stories, here are five ways to do it. These steps are similar for IOS and Android mobile users.

1. Manually save a Story to the camera roll

The first way is the simplest – downloading your Stories from the app to your phone’s camera roll. You can do this before or after uploading your Story.

Here’s how:

  • Click on your profile picture on the app’s homepage to view your Story.
  • Open the three-dots menu and select Save.

You can save a Story as a static photo or a video to your phone’s gallery.

Let’s compare the screenshots below.

The only difference between these images is the location of the three-dot menu. Before you post the Story, the menu is at the top left corner of the editing screen (left photo). After posting, the menu is at the bottom-left corner of the screen.

2. Include Stories to highlight on your profile

Instagram Highlights allows you to collect and curate Stories. The feature sits between your bio and photo grid as tappable circles.

Businesses use Story Highlights to showcase important information, for example, hours of operation, reviews, restaurant menus, or product details. You can customize the appearance of Instagram Highlight covers to reinforce branding standards.

GoPro organizes its highlights by product. Followers looking for content about a specific camera tap the circle with the product’s name and browse past Stories.

Here’s how to save Instagram Stories as Highlights.

If your Story hasn’t expired:

  • Click your profile picture to view the current Story.
  • Select the Highlights icon.
  • You can also find the Highlights option under the three-dot menu.
  • Create or choose a collection to add the Story to.
  • Tap Done.

If your Story has expired:

  • Click the more options (hamburger) menu on your profile page.
  • Select Archive.
  • Browse through your archived Stories to find the one you want.
  • Select Highlights.
  • Create or choose a collection to add the Story to.
  • Tap Done.

Note: Instagram will automatically archive Stories if you have the feature turned on.

3. Utilize the built-in Instagram story archive tool

Speaking of the Stories Archive, it’s an in-app tool you can utilize to save content so you don’t have to download them onto your phone. However, you can also download archived Stories (see previous section). 

This feature is only available on mobile devices, and here’s what it looks like.

Here’s how to save Instagram Stories from the Story Archive.

  • Click the hamburger menu on your profile page.
  • Select Archive.
  • Browse through your archived Stories to find the one you want.
  • Click the three-dot menu.
  • Tap Save Video.

Note: if you use the music sticker, your video will download without the audio. Instead, use the music icon in your Stories so you can download videos with music.

In the previous section, we mentioned that Instagram automatically saves Stories to the archive. We also shared how to access the Archive.

If you’re unsure if your Story Archives is on, follow these steps to check:

  • Go to your profile page and click the hamburger menu
  • Tap Your activity.
  • Click the three-dot menu and select Settings.
  • Toggle the Save story to archive to enable automatic archiving. The switch onicon means it’s on.

Only you have access to Stories stored in the archive. Also, Instagram only archives Stories that disappear. That means it won’t save a Story if you delete it before the 24-hour limit.

4. Keep your Story as a post on Instagram

Another in-app option to save content is converting stories into Instagram posts. Doing this places them in your main feed, where followers can interact with them long after they’ve ‘disappeared.’

The process is straightforward.

  • Click your profile picture to view the active Story.
  • Tap the three dots at the bottom of the screen.
  • Select the Share as Post option.

See the screenshot below.

Unlike the Instagram Highlights, there’s little for error. You can’t go into Stories Archive and convert expired Stories to posts. So, if you want to use this method, you only have a 24-hour window.

5. Use third-party Story downloader apps

So far, we’ve covered how to save Instagram Stories from your brand account. But what if you want to save content from your latest influencer marketing campaign?

While Instagram remix allows anyone to create and download reels using someone’s video or photo, this feature isn’t available for Instagram Stories. You could take a screenshot of another user’s Story, but that only allows you to capture a single moment, not the entire Story.

So, if you want to capture user-generated Stories from influencers, partners, or customers, you need content downloader apps.

Screen recording apps and downloader websites allow users to capture and save Instagram Stories. If you have an Android device, you have an in-built screen recorder.

Enter the username of the targeted account and tap the download button. Browse through the account’s Stories and Highlights to find the desired content and click Save as Video to start the download process. This method only works for public accounts. You can’t access content on private accounts.

A word of caution when using third-party apps. Instagram is sensitive about copyrighted content. The platform’s community guidelines state you can only share content you own or have the right to share. So, even though you may have explicit permission from other accounts to use their Stories, Instagram flags the use of downloader apps as a violation of their terms of use.

Bonus: Schedule Instagram stories and track analytics using Keyhole

In addition to curating and saving Instagram Stories, social media managers must keep up with content creation and performance tracking. What Stories will you save in the first place? How else will you know which Stories are worth saving and repurposing?

Fortunately, technologies like social media analytics platforms enable content creators and marketers to make valuable social media posts at scale.

Keyhole is an all-in-one solution with cross-platform content scheduling, social listening, trends monitoring, profile analysis, and influencer tracking. The platform offers five pricing plans for companies of all sizes and industries. Start with a free 14-day trial and experience how Keyhole can transform your social media strategy.

Conclusion

Despite their limited lifespan, Instagram Stories are powerful marketing mechanisms businesses can’t ignore. Furthermore, creating attractive yet ephemeral content doesn’t have to be a waste of resources. You can get more mileage from these marketing efforts by repurposing them for other content.

We showed you five ways to save Instagram Stories from your and other users’ accounts. You can download Stories to your phone’s camera roll, create Instagram Highlights, deploy Instagram’s archiving tool, convert Stories to posts, and use third-party apps. We also shared how social media tools like Keyhole can optimize your content strategy.

Now that you know how to save Instagram Stories, nothing’s stopping you from turning Insta Stories into powerful marketing assets.

Author Bio

Eli is the Content Manager  of Crunch Marketing. The company works with enterprise SaaS clients, helping them scale lead generation globally across EMEA, APAC, and other regions.

Related Articles:

How To Become An Instagram Influencer: 13 Tips For Beginners

How To Use The Instagram Link In Bio The Right Way

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How long do Instagram Stories remain visible?

The photos and videos you share on Stories disappear after 24 hours unless you add them to Highlights or save them as regular posts.

2. Where can I find old Instagram Stories?

Instagram automatically saves expired Stories. To access them, click the hamburger icon on your IG profile page. Tap Archives, and you’ll see all your old Instagram Stories.

3. Can you save someone else’s Stories?

Instagram doesn’t allow users to download other people’s content. You can work around this using screen recorders and downloader apps. However, Instagram flags the use of some third-party apps as community guideline violations and will disable or deactivate your account.

4. Can you download Instagram Stories with music?

Yes. You can save Stories with audio directly from Instagram using the music icon (and not the music sticker). Alternatively, you can use third-party apps.

Put an end to manual legwork once and for all.