By: Katie Mercer

There’s more to the disappearing 15-second video and photo at the top of your Instagram screen than you may think.

More than 200 million people—including publishers and SMBs—are taking advantage of Instagram’s Story features each day to retell stories, link to websites (if they have over 10K followers) and engage with audiences.

Here are just a few of the “hidden” tricks that will make you look like a social media pro:

Customize Your Colours

Instagram Colours
Select the pen or “Aa” icon in the upper right-hand corner of the screen to open the colour options. Tap and hold any of the default colours to open the colour spectrum then swipe across the slider to choose your custom colour.

Customize Your Fonts

Instagram Fonts
Change the colour of a single word in a caption by highlighting it and selecting from the coloured options (or press, hold and swipe to choose from the colour slider). You can also individually write each word or section of your caption and resize portions of it for a strong impact.

Create A Drop Shadow

Instagram Text Shadow
Create a drop-shadow effect by tapping the “Aa” icon and writing your message. Repeat this step but choose a different colour and then arrange it on top of the first layer of text but slightly askew.

Change Your Sticker Colours

Instagram Stickers
Tap stickers while in colour mode to revert them to a stencil. Then, once placed in position, carefully colour behind them.Similarly, you can tap hashtag and location stickers to change them from their Instagram-hued default to a translucent grey.

Create Overlays

Instagram Transparent
Create a coloured overlay by selecting the pen in the upper right-hand corner of the screen and then selecting a colour. Tap and hold anywhere on the screen until the screen is filled with a solid colour. You can then use the eraser tool to reveal a section of the image.

Create a translucent overlay by selecting the chisel-tipped marker and then the colour you wish to use. Tap and hold anywhere on the screen to create an opaque layer.

Layer Your Captions

Instagram Layers
First, add a caption to your image and then click the “Save” arrow in the bottom left-hand corner of the screen. Then add the image to your story. Next, select your saved image from your camera roll and add a second caption/sticker to the first. Repeat as desired.


Instagram Mentions
Tag other accounts in your stories by selecting the “Aa” icon in the upper right-hand corner of the screen and typing the @ symbol immediately followed by the user’s Instagram handle. Select the correct account from the drop-down menu.