It may seem unimaginable but there was a time when Instagram did not have the stories feature. It wasn’t until August 2016 that users could post short stories to share with their followers, rather than post on their profiles every day.
This feature has become so popular that many Instagram users now primarily post stories rather than post on their Instagram walls.
Over six years on from the introduction of Instagram stories, we have witnessed a true evolution in the feature. These include new filters, surveys, GIFs, stickers, weather, and much more.
One of the latest features to be launched has been the chance to see previews of stories, rather than watch the whole video. This is in the form of an additional story bar.
His feature was introduced in 2021 as users started to see the previews being posted between various posts on their feed whilst they scrolled.
The main objective of story previews was simple – for users to use it. This led Instagram developers to change the size of the sidebar by double and introduce an option to preview the history.
Another reason for Instagram story previews is so a user can discreetly see someone’s story without leaving any trace (without the other user seeing who has seen their preview).
Want to access Instagram, story previews but are unsure how to do so? Today, we are going to show you how to see story previews and discuss some apps you can use to see someone’s story without them knowing it.
Instagram Story Features
Ask most Instagram users and they will tell you that the stories feature on the app is the most used. This is because Instagram stories offer a variety of features to help you create and share engaging content with followers.
Below are some of the most popular features found within Instagram stories:
- Stickers – You can add fun and creative stickers to your stories, including emoji, hashtags, location tags, polls, questions, and more. This makes your story more appealing to your followers who are more likely to interact.
- Filters – You can enhance your stories with filters that change the look and feel of your content, including face filters, AR filters, and effect filters. Again, this can compel followers to keep watching your stories.
- Text – It is possible to add captions, headings, and subtitles to your stories, using a variety of font styles and colors.
- Drawing – Instagram allows users to bring out their inner artists! You can draw on your stories using your finger or stylus. This allows you to introduce creative elements to your stories and highlight important parts of your content.
- Music – This is ideal for musicians or music fans. Music can be added to your stories, helping enhance the mood and make them more engaging. You can choose from a variety of songs, or select a music sticker to add a snippet of a song to your story. For musicians, this is a great way of advertising their music to their audiences.
- Boomerang -This is a very popular feature allowing you to create looping videos. This adds motion and energy to your stories.
- GIFs – Everyone loves a silly GIF! Add GIFs to your stories to add humor and personality to your content.
- Live – Want to interact with your followers live via video? If so, you can go live on Instagram, to connect with your followers in real-time. You can also save your live streams to your highlights section to share later on.
- Shop – If you have an Instagram Shop, you can add product tags to your stories, to make it easy for followers to shop your products.
How To View Instagram Story Previews
Whilst you can use different apps and websites to view Instagram story previews, there are a few simple methods to try first. This saves you time and having to download certain apps or logging into websites.
Here are a few ways of seeing someone’s story preview and viewing them anonymously.
Airplane mode isn’t just for when you’re flying for a vacation. By putting your phone on Airplane mode, you can view other user’s stories anonymously. Here’s how to do so:
- Start by opening the Instagram app (see also “How To Use Instagram Without Installing The App“). Load up the stories of those you are following in the top bar of your main screen.
- Load up the stories you wish to view but before clicking on them, put your phone into airplane mode. This will block your access to the internet and allow you to see videos without the user knowing.
Whilst this trick is useful, there’s only so many stories you can see until you need to turn the internet back on.
A Partial Swipe
This method takes some getting used to, but you can do it with practice. It involves you swiping a feed but only partially and without unlocking it.
To view stories in preview mode, you need to check the small story icons found in the top bar of your main Instagram screen.
After playback has begun, you need to hold your finger on the right side of your screen. Here, swipe lightly and quickly from right to left.
If this is done correctly and the scroll runs at 30 percent or 40 percent, then the user will not get any alert saying you have seen their story.
However, it is worth noting that this method is not foolproof. But, it does not require you to download any external apps on your phone or device.
Considered a last resort by many, blocking a user immediately after viewing their story can prevent them from seeing if you have viewed their story.
Because the user has been blocked by you, they will be unable to see your account’s history or anything about you. Once you see the story, you will need to wait 24 hours or until the story has disappeared and then unlock it once again.
Although this trick works, the other user you’re “spying” on is able to see if you have blocked them if they check, which is likely if you know each other.
View Instagram Stories Without Being Seen Via Applications
The easiest and most reliable way to enjoy Instagram story previews without users knowing you have seen them is via an external application. This means you have to install an app on your device first, though, which puts many users off the idea.
If you like the sound of this, though, one app to try is Blind Story.
Designed to help users view another person’s Instagram story anonymously, Blind Story allows users to browse any user and watch their content without anyone ever knowing. In other words, it allows you to be an Instagram ninja!
The only drawback is that this feature requires payment, if you want no limits. But, there is a free version for basic features, too.
Another method is to use the Google Chrome extension StoriesHub. This is available for free on the Chrome Web Store and is easy to install. Just select “Add” and then “Add Extension” and it will be installed to your computer as an extension.
Once you have installed StoriesHub, you can use it by doing the following:
- Log in to your personal Instagram account.
- Click on the icon of IG Stories, found in the upper right of the screen.
- A box will appear. Here, select “Go to IG Stories.”
- Click on the icon that looks like an eye located in the username section of the user you;re trying to view.
- Lastly, select “Download” or “Download All” and this will complete the process.
You can now view their stories anonymously like the IG ninja you are.
Another app to use is Twitly. Used by over two million people worldwide, Twitly allows Instagram users to view stories anonymously. This is via its “Ghost Mode.” As well as this, users can even download all content, too.
One of the main features of Twitly, however, is the ability to track those who have unfollowed you on Instagram or find those who follow you and you don’t follow back.
This is a great way of organizing your Instagram and getting rid of any unwanted followers or unfollowers.
Finally, there is Weynstag.com. If you don’t want to download an app on your mobile, you can use this web page. This tool allows you to view any story that is public completely anonymously.
You simply use the search option to input a username and then find the story you wish to view. There is also the option of downloading stories of other users.
Instagram is continually updating its features, particularly those associated with its stories. Now, you can preview other user’s stories without them ever knowing you’ve seen them.
We hope this has helped you today! Thanks for reading.
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