Instagram Stories started as a knock-off of Snapchat’s very similar feature, but it has grown to be incredibly popular with more than 400 million people using the feature daily. Stories offer an ephemeral, more casual way to share content with your friends and followers that doesn’t live permanently in your main Instagram feed. Stories can be shared either to all of your followers, or to a select few through the new close friends option. As Instagram is owned by Facebook, you can also share your Instagram story straight to your Facebook story to reach your friends on both platforms.
Images and videos posted to your story remain visible for up to 24 hours; after that, they disappear forever — but you can access them from your private archive and even choose to show select stories permanently as “highlights” on your profile page. You can also save your stories to your phone’s photo library, either saving each image or video independently or downloading the entire story as a single video. This is useful if you want to share the content with another social media platform, like Twitter. However, if you want to save someone else’s story, it’s a bit more complicated.
For still images, the easiest way to save a story is simply to take a screenshot. We have guides for taking screenshots on iOS and Android, but the key with Instagram Stories is to first hold your finger or thumb on the screen — this stops the story from progressing and clears away the user interface elements so that you can get a clean capture. Screenshots don’t really work for video stories, however; if you want to save videos, you need a third-party app.
Go to the App Store and search for Repost Story for Instagram. The app is fairly straightforward, and you’ll need to log in with your Instagram account and give it access to your device’s photo library to be able to save stories. Once you’re set up, you’ll see stories from your followers in a row at the top, not unlike the Instagram app itself. Tapping the circular icon brings up a preview of the story; tap on that preview to open the image or video fullscreen. You’ll see a save icon in the top right; simply tap that to save the file to your device. Note that if a story is made up of multiple videos or images, you’ll have to save each individually — you cannot save the entire story as one movie file as you can with your own from within the Instagram app.
By default, Repost Story for Instagram is a free app that will show an annoying five-second ad every time you save a story. You can remove those ads for a $5 in-app purchase, but if you only need to save a story every now and then, the ads won’t trouble you too much.
The Android app we used is called Story Saver, available for free from the Google Play store. As with Repost Story on iOS, you will have to log into your Instagram account to get started. The main page shows you all the Stories that your followers have posted, but you can also search for other users in the search bar. Select the photo or video you want and then tap Save. The photo will show up in the StorySaver folder when you are looking at your photos.
Regardless of how you save a story, it’s best to make sure you’re doing so with the permission of the person who posted it. This is especially important if you’re going to share the content in your own story or feed. You can, of course, share stories straight from within Instagram if you don’t want to bother saving them to your device first. For instructions on how to do this and more, see our complete guide to using Instagram Stories.