How to Add Music to Instagram Stories

In many ways, Instagram Stories has been the surprise success feature on that social network. It was initially introduced as a "SnapChat killer" – taking one of the most significant features of that platform and trying to make it better. Ever since the introduction of Instagram Stories, Instagram has added to, evolved, and improved its feature set. One of the more notable recent changes has been the ability to add music to your Instagram Story.

According to Brandwatch, 60 percent of the people who play Instagram Stories have their sound turned on, so the addition of music adds to the user experience. And don't worry, you aren't limited to canned elevator music or ancient tunes out of copyright.

You Can Now Add Music to Instagram Stories:

How to Add Music to Instagram Stories

How to Add Music to Instagram Stories

We have written about this in detail in How to Add Music to Instagram Stories in 7 Easy Steps. The conventional way of doing this is by using the Instagram Music Sticker. Although it has entirely different functionality from most of the stickers, you use the Music sticker like any regular Instagram Sticker.

There are seven simple steps to go through to set up your sticker:

Step 1

Go to the Instagram Story creation interface.

Step 2

Add an image to your Story, as you usually do. 

Step 3

Click on the stickers icon to see all the stickers available. The stickers icon is the little square with a smiley face at the top of your screen

Step 4

Click on the music sticker. This opens a new screen

Step 5

Search for the song that you want to add to your Story. You can search by Popular, Moods, and Genres, or look for specific tracks

Step 6

Select the song that you like and add it to your Story. You need to decide the length of the clip you want (up to 15 seconds) and the precise part of the song you wish to use. If you're adding a music clip to a section of a video, the music clip will automatically be the sem length as your video.

Step 7

The selected song will appear as a sticker on your Story

You Can Add Lyrics to Instagram Stories

Instagram upped the music ante in June this year when they added the ability to add lyrics to your Stories. This effectively turned Instagram into a karaoke app. You won't find the lyrics for nearly every song on Instagram, but you should be able to find some for your favorite musical genre.

This means that you can organize one great singalong for all of your followers. 

We're used to Instagram "stealing" features, often improving on them, from SnapChat. You have to wonder whether the Instagram development team have now turned their attention to TikTok. It's clear that the availability of music and the associated lyrics on Instagram is particularly popular with younger Instagrammers.

Adding lyrics is simple. You create your Instagram Story, as usual, adding a Music Sticker, as described above. If a song has available lyrics, they will pop up on your screen automatically.

You can easily change the appearance of the lyrics in your Story so that they fit in with the mood of the visuals. Instagram offers a wide range of fonts, designs, and text effects so that you can personalize the lyrics as you desire. Your viewers can tap on the lyrics to find out more about the artist, or even listen to more of the song. You can also customize what the Music sticker look like on your Story.

If you have lyrics showing up in your Story, it's probably more important than ever that you select the best portion of the song to convey the meaning of your message. Alternatively, you can, of course, use multiple 15-second blocks fo the song on different slides of your Story, with the lyrics matching them – to effectively create an entire song for your friends to sing along.

Best Practices for Using Music in Your Instagram Stories

Remember to keep your audience in mind when you create an Instagram Story with music. Your artistry may not quite match that of a famous film or TV music composer, and your video will be considerably shorter, but you still want your music to match your visuals.

In some ways, the short period of an Instagram Stories clip is harder than with a long video. You need to limit yourself to a section of a song that fits logically with your image. It's probably easier to do this with a picture, where you have the same image fro 15 seconds than with a video that can last for any length up to 15 seconds.

Unless you are looking for a specific lyric section to match your Story image, you need to ensure that you can find a clip with a definite part of music you can use. You don't want to break into a section of music, and you don't want to finish abruptly when your time runs out.

A common practice is to start a song at the beginning of its chorus. Hopefully, you can stop it at the end of a line, or at least avoid finishing mid-word abruptly.

Take the effort to style the Music sticker, so it doesn't detract from your Story. You can select from three styles: Normal, Transparent, or Square. You can position the sticker anywhere you want on your screen and alter its size to ensure that it doesn't cover up anything you want people to see clearly.

Make sure that you preview your Story first, to check to see that the music works with your images/videos.

This is Still Only Available in Select Countries

Lyrics are still a relatively new addition to music in Instagram Stories. The company is gradually rolling out the feature across select countries. 

One reason for this gradual release could be the thorny issue of music rights. Presumably, Instagram has made licensing agreements with music companies, and they will have to be negotiated separately for each region. The first countries to access Instagram Music are Australia, New Zealand, France, Germany, Sweden, the UK, and the USA. Presumably, other countries will be added to this list when legal issues are sorted.

Several websites have suggested a workaround for this limitation if you live outside the official nations. According to Techwiser, you should follow these steps:

  1. Uninstall your existing Instagram app
  2. Use a VPN on your phone. You should find a suitable VPN by searching if you don't already have one of choice. There are both free and paid alternatives
  3. Connect to a server from one of the "legitimate" countries (i.e., Australia, New Zealand, France, Germany, Sweden, the UK, or the USA.)
  4. Follow the VPS's instructions to ensure that it's running properly
  5. Go to your app store and reinstall Instagram
  6. Log into your account

At this point, you should be able to create a Story with music by following the instructions above. Make sure that you can see the Music tab on the bottom left as you create your Story.

What Kinds of Music Can You Choose?

You have the choice of thousands of music tracks to enhance your Instagram Story. Instagram and Facebook have numerous partnerships with all the major record labels so that you will find songs from many top-flight recording artists.

Alternative Way to Add Music to Your Instagram Stories

People have been adding music to their Instagram Stories, long before Instagram invented a proper way to achieve this. You can still use this workaround f you feel restricted by the conventional method, or live outside the approved countries and prefer not to use a VPN.

The easiest way is to include videos in your Story that already have music on them. At the most unsophisticated level, this means having music playing in the background as you make your video, that is picked up by your phone, video camera, or other recording devices. That won't give you the best quality music, however, and you will do better to add music to your videos in a video editing app.

There is a massive range of video editing software available, depending on the level of power and sophistication you need. They range from free apps up to professional heavy-duty editing apps, such as Adobe Premiere Pro or Final Cut Pro. These professional software programs are substantially more than what you would need to add music to 15-second Instagram clips, however, and you would generally only buy them if you intend to make longer and more substantial videos for other purposes.

You will find a range of video editing apps more suitable for general Instagram use, however. Many of these are free or priced at a low level.

One such app is Animoto: Social Video Editor, which is designed for creating videos for Instagram Stories. It recognizes that people love to include music in their videos and incorporates a library of commercially-licensed music.

If you're putting music in your videos, you create an Instagram post/Story, as usual, adding the edited videos from your Camera Roll. You could help your viewers by adding a Sound On sticker to the first slide of your Story.