Instagram quick tip: How to use the hands-free mode in Stories

Platform updates roll out at a fairly fast and furious pace, so it’s possible you might have missed the ability to go hands-free in your Instagram Stories. If you haven’t been using it and you do a lot of video sharing in your Instagram Stories- or would do more if you didn’t have to press and hold the button to record them- then this is the quick tip for you!

It’s a quick and easy feature and we’ll walk you through it. Still got questions or something we missed? Find us on Twitter @UnionMetrics.

1. Open Stories

You’ll see all the options at the bottom of the screen: Live, Normal, Boomerang, Rewind, Hands-Free. Swipe through til you’ve selected your Hands-Free destiny.

Hands free IG
Our Social Media Manager selects Hands-Free mode with the help of Merle

Now ideally you’ll have a small tripod for your smartphone, but if you don’t you can find something else to prop it up against and keep it stable while you’re recording. You might want to test to see how stable it is before you start recording, but Stories are allowed to be a little more relaxed in nature than the more polished content expected on your main posts, so a little hiccup might make for a funny and humanizing moment for your brand rather than a mistake.

Note that you can use the new filters that are available in Hands-Free mode, and add stickers and more to your video. It does still hold you to the one-minute time-limit, so choose Live if you want to keep streaming and don’t want to hold down the button. (That’s still an option in Normal if you’re old-fashioned or hate change.)

2. Record

You’re in Hands-Free, you’ve got your phone set up and you’ve chosen your filters and generally set up your shot. Now it’s time to record up to a minute of whatever it is you’re set to capture for your Story.

Some good use cases:

  • A quick product tutorial that requires both of your hands to be busy
  • A product demo that’s way less awkward when you’re not also holding down a button to record it
  • Any kind of acrobatics, gymnastics or juggling that feels brand-appropriate to share

The possibilities are endless, and it does give Instagram a slight user-friendly edge over Snapchat, which still requires users to hold down the button to record their Snaps or have someone else on hand to do the recording.

3. Repeat

Every 24 hours because that’s when Stories expire, after all. Keep in mind you can save what you want to repurpose later to your camera roll, which is always a smart marketing move. Just be sure to tweak it for each place that you share it.

And if you want help measuring your efforts on Instagram, we can do that too! Start with our free Instagram account checkup to see what your followers like best that you’ve been posting so you’ll know what they might want to see more of in your Stories and more.

Want more engagement on Instagram? Our checkup analyzes the last 30 days of posts, likes and comments on your account to quickly give you key insights into how to improve.

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