As Instagram continues to grow, its features have expanded as well. In the past year, the popular social media platform has changed dramatically. If you find yourself a little confused on which feature to use when, here’s a short breakdown:

Instagram Posts

The original feature of Instagram is alive and well. Photos and videos with captions. You also have several other post options such as the ability to tag users in a photo as well as tag a location. Keep in mind Instagram’s feeds are now algorithm based instead of chronological.

Instagram post of Old Main.

Instagram Live

The platform’s newest feature is the ability to ‘Go Live’ on Instagram. Similar to Facebook Live, users will get notifications if certain accounts they follow start livestreaming on the app. Having said that, there are a few key differences between Instagram Live and Facebook Live:

  • No tools to title your video before you start
  • Video disappears as soon as you’re done broadcasting.

Example of live video in Instagram.

Instagram Stories


Introduced last August, Instagram Stories were first viewed by many as a rip-off to Snapchat’s ephemeral content model. Despite the hesitant welcome, the feature has continued to gained popularity, with 150 million Instagrammers using Stories on a daily basis, which is about 25 percent of all Instagram users.
With stories, you can share multiple photos and videos and  they appear together in a slideshow format at the top of the main feed.

Two examples of Instagram stories; one of a girl in a pile of yellow balls and another of two cats with hearts.

From Instagram: “With Instagram Stories, you don’t have to worry about over posting. Instead, you can share as much as you want throughout the day — with as much creativity as you want. You can bring your story to life in new ways with text and drawing tools. The photos and videos will disappear after 24 hours and won’t appear on your profile grid or in feed.”