Instagram has rolled out a new change for Instagram Stories which enables users to upload any photo or video content from their camera roll for their Story, even if that content is older than the previous 24 hour limit.
As explained by Instagram:
“Starting today, you can add photos and videos to your story, even if you took them more than 24 hours ago. Now, you’ll be able to easily find and choose anything from your camera roll and share it instantly with friends.”
Instagram has been testing the expanded threshold for the last few months - some users reported seeing access to content from the last week in their Stories options back in September.
To upload an older photo or video, you simply scroll down from the main Stories screen, beyond your photos from the last 24 hours, and onto your full camera roll listing. Once you upload an older image, Instagram will automatically append a date sticker to the image for context (shown in the main example above) which you can either re-size or delete entirely.
The move takes Stories a step further away from its original inspiration, Snapchat, for which immediacy had traditionally been one of its core features. They’ve since eased their emphasis on this, adding ‘Memories’ last year, which enables you to post older images, while they've also refined the format of Memories to make the content more seamless within Snap Stories.
It also aligns with usage trends – as noted by The Verge, people have been using various workarounds to post older content to their Instagram Stories anyway, so really, the restriction is only theoretical. Instagram may as well let anyone post anything, and move away from the ‘in-the-now’ focus.
From a brand perspective, the update will make it easier to post, as you’ll no longer need to worry about the time restriction tripping you up. This means campaigns can be prepared in advance, and left in wait, rather than having to share them at specific times in order to qualify for the 24-hour restriction.
It’ll be interesting to see how users adapt to the new option, and whether it changes the feel of Stories. The function is now up to 300 million daily active users, far surpassing its originator – Snapchat has only 178 million daily users total. And while the ability to post older content could have some impact, you’d expect most will keep their Stories updates fresh and original.
You’d expect, but only time will tell how users respond.