When Instagram added the Stories feature in 2016, it was designed as a way to compete with Snapchat, which was absolutely exploding in popularity at the time. Like Snapchat, Stories provides users with a way to make a limited-time (24-hour) post for other users to view before it disappears forever. And when it launched, Instagram users flocked to the feature and it quickly became one of the biggest features on the platform.
Since then, Instagram has added many additional features, including the ability to add songs to your Instagram stories.
This allows people to make their content more engaging to appeal to their followers and help them to gain new ones.
Here's how you can utilize the Instagram music feature and add all of your favourite tracks to your next Instagram Story.
Best ways to put music on your Instagram Story
There are several ways to add music to your Instagram Story, and they all give you different options for music choices. You can include certain songs from Instagram itself as well as popular music services such as the Spotify app, Soundcloud, Apple Music, and Shazam.
All Instagram stories last up to 15 seconds per individual Story, so it's important to find a track – or section of a track – that fits into that time window. Let’s take a look at the options you can use to find a song that fits your Story.
Add music from Instagram
Adding music from Instagram itself is the most straightforward option. Here’s how to do it:
Open the Instagram app and click on the plus icon at the top of the screen. This will bring you to the "add to Story" screen where you can create your Instagram Story.
Once you create your Story (video, photo, GIF, etc.), you can select from Instagram's music library.
To add a track to your Story, click on the Sticker button and then tap on the Music sticker.
This will open up the Instagram music library, where you can then browse through thousands of songs. Keep in mind that not all songs are available in every country due to copyright restrictions. Business accounts are also more limited in song selection.
When you begin to browse, you'll see a "for you" section. This is determined by Instagram's algorithm and the accounts you follow, who you interact with, and your own posting history.
If you want to explore beyond these tunes, you can tap on the browse button at the top of the screen. This will allow you to search through Instagram's music catalogue. You can also manually type in the name of a song or artist if you are looking for something specific.
When selecting songs, you have the option to use a segment of the song that lasts from 5 to 15 seconds. You’ll pick the length using a slider within the app. Then, click on the "Done" button and you have successfully added the selected song to your Instagram Story.
Add music from Spotify
If you can't find what you're looking for on Instagram, the next best place to search is Spotify. Spotify is one of the most popular music streaming apps, and chances are it has exactly what you need. To integrate it with Instagram, you need a Spotify Premium account, which costs $9.99 per month for individual plans.
To add a track from Spotify, follow these steps:
Open the Spotify app
Click on the song that you want to add
Click on the ellipses in the top right corner of the screen
Scroll down and click share in the menu
Select Instagram stories
Spotify will then automatically open the Instagram app for you. It will update your Story with the selected track and also add the cover art of the song or album.
When you use this method, the song will not play directly on Instagram. After you post your Story, the app will create a link in the top left corner that says "Play on Spotify." Your followers must click on the picture of the album or song so they can open Spotify to listen to the audio.
Add music from SoundCloud
SoundCloud is primarily used by up-and-coming artists, and Instagram stories is a great place to showcase this type of music. That’s particularly true if you’re into music production or songwriting and looking for a way to share your own tunes.
You can post SoundCloud songs on Instagram stories by following these steps:
Open the SoundCloud app
Select the song you want to share
Click on the share icon and select "Share to Instagram stories."
This will then open up the Instagram app, which will automatically add the album or song artwork as the image for your Story. You can also add a sticker with the SoundCloud logo and song title on it. This allows users to click through to your desired SoundCloud page to listen to the song. You can also add hashtags, GIFs, and text to the image to help other users discover it.
Add music from Apple Music
Sharing music from Apple Music to your Instagram Story is a great way to share your favourite songs with your friends and followers. Like other third-party integrations with Instagram Stories, you can’t share the music’s actual audio directly in the Instagram app. The good news here, though, is that Apple Music has more than 90 million songs, so you shouldn’t have any issue finding the song you want to share.
The process is simple:
Open the Apple Music app and click on the ellipses in the top right corner.
You now have the option to "Share."
Once you select “Share,” scroll down through the various apps and select Instagram.
This will import the album or song artwork with a link in the top left corner of your Instagram Story to "Play on Apple Music." If users click on the link, it will open the Apple Music app where they can listen to the track.
Add music from Shazam
Have you ever heard a song in public, on a television show, or at a party and you couldn’t quite put your finger on what it is? There’s an app for that, and it’s called Shazam. The app has actually been around for more than 20 years, but it’s grown a lot since Apple bought it in 2017. It’s now native to all iPhones and is even integrated with Siri.
Shazam’s prevalence makes it easier than ever to use the app and identify a song playing in a grocery store. And if you ever felt the need to share your discovery with your Instagram followers, you can do it directly within the Shazam app.
Once you discover a song, here’s what you need to do:
Tap on the ellipses in the top right corner of the Shazam app.
Click on "Share" and then "Instagram stories" to open Instagram.
This will import the album or song artwork and add a "More on Shazam" link in your Instagram Story.
This is a great way to show your friends how you discovered or rediscovered a new song. You can also add text and other stickers to explain how you found this song and where you were when it happened.
Putting song lyrics on your Instagram Story
When you add a track to your Instagram, you can add more than just the audio or artwork. You can add the lyrics, too. The lyrics will fit exactly with the section of the song you choose to highlight in your Story, and you can add them over either a photo or video.
To add lyrics to your Story, use the following steps:
Open the Instagram app.
Click on the plus sign on your profile pic in the top left corner of the screen to open your Story.
Add the photo or video you want to feature.
Select the "Music Sticker" to add music directly from Instagram.
Search for the song you want to add to your Story.
Once you select the song, tap on the album artwork that appears.
You now have the option to add lyrics in several different font types. You can also alter the size of the lyrics and where they appear in the Story. Keep in mind that not all music in the Instagram music catalogue allows you to add lyrics.
Sharing music with your friends and followers on social media is one of the greatest ways to connect with people. And with Instagram Stories, you can broadcast your new favourite tracks while discovering new music through people you follow on Instagram. You can also click through music-related hashtags, which is just another way to find the best new tunes to add to your playlist.
About the Author: Daniel Horowitz is a contributing writer for HP Tech Takes. Daniel is a New York-based author and has written for publications such as USA Today, Digital Trends, Unwinnable Magazine, and many other media outlets.
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