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Compare Social Media Stories: A quick guide to Stories on YouTube, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Stories on different social media platforms have a lot in common: they are mobile-only, and include vertical images and video. They often let the creator add text overlays, stickers, and fun AR filters or special effects. 

And, notably, social media Stories are temporary. They eventually disappear from public view

The content is often more casual and personal (or promotional) than the creator's usual posts. 

Note that social media Stories are not to be confused with Google's Web Stories (or the similar Pinterest Story Pins and WordPress Stories), which uses the Stories format, but are meant for high quality visual content.  These Stories won't disappear unless you delete them. 

As a creator and social media user, it's a bit confusing that different social networking platforms offer different features in Stories and different lifespans for the content. 

I've compiled a general feature list for myself, and though I'd share it. Note that the information is accurate as of this writing (March 2021), but is subject to change. 

I've written up more details about Stories on different platforms below, but if you just want to know how long Story content will be available, here's a quick look: 

Social Media PlatformHow long is the Story public? Can you save the content?
YouTube 7 days Save video after recording, or download Story from YouTube Studio before it expires.
Instagram 24 hours Save photo or video after recording. Content is saved in your private Story Archive and can be added to your profile's Story Highlights.
Facebook 24 hours Save photo or video after recording. Content is saved in your private Story Archive.
Twitter 24 hours No easy way to save Story content.
LinkedIn 24 hours You can save Story frames while they are live, and later save any rich media you uploaded.

Watch for a quick overview of how to save your Stories:

Read on for more details. Note that all Stories on social media have the following in common: 

  • You can only create a Story in the official mobile app
  • You can take a photo, record video or upload photos or videos from your camera roll. 

YouTube Stories

Who can create them? Generally limited to channels with at least 10,000 subscribers.

How long does the appear? Content expires after 7 days. 

Can you save your Story content? Yes you can. You can save recorded video immediately after recording. You can save published Story videos from your Content page in YouTube Studio on desktop. 

What features are available? 

  • AR filters? Yes
  • Other editing or visual filters? Color filters
  • Text overlay? Yes.
  • Stickers? Yes. Special stickers include Video (link to video), Mention (mention another channel), and Location (add your location) 
  • Music? No. The option to add music from the YouTube Audio Library was removed due to "low usage."
Can people interact with the content?
  • You can add video stickers that link to YouTube videos (you can only share one of your own videos once a week). 
  •   Story viewers who are not subscribed to your channel will see a "Subscribe" button.

Other notes: YouTube has a free Creator Academy course for how to "Express yourself with Stories"

More information: YouTube Help Center "Stories for Creators"

Instagram Stories


Who can create them? Anyone. 

How long does the content appear? 24 hours.

Can you save your Story content? You can save story photos and videos immediately after recording. A Story is also saved to your private Story Archive, where you can reshare, download, or add it to your profile as Story Highlights. 

What features are available? 

  • AR filters? Yes
  • Other editing or visual filters?   Yes.
  • Text overlay? Yes. You can add an @mention or #hashtag to the text. 
  • Stickers? Yes. There are a number of special stickers including donate, challenge, quiz, countdown, ask a question, music, poll, location, hashtag, current time, weather, selfie boomerang.
  • Music? Yes, you can add a music sticker that links to a song in Instagram's library.
  • Other features?  
    • Share feed posts from public accounts to your Story.
    • If you live stream, that will appear next to the stories at the top of the feed.
    • Draw on top of your images.
Can people interact with the content? Interactive stickers include polls, quizzes, and the option to"ask a question". Business and Creator accounts can add a "purchase gift card" or "food order" sticker. Large businesses and verified accounts can also use the "Swipe Up" option to link to a web page.

Other notes: 

  • Instagram Stories can be shared to Facebook Stories, either individually or automatically. 
  • Visibility of Stories depends on whether your profile is public or private. And you can hide your Instagram Story from specific people.
  • Instagram Stories are the most full-featured of any I've tried, and they frequently add new stickers for holidays and special events. 

More information: Instagram Help Center: Stories

Facebook Stories

Who can create them? Any personal Profile or Page. 

How long does the content appear? 24 hours.

Can you save the Story content? You can save Story photos and videos immediately after recording. Not surprisingly, like Instagram, your Facebook account has a private Story Archive.

What features are available? 

  • AR filters? Yes.
  • Other editing or visual filters?  Yes.
  • Text overlay? Yes. 
  • Stickers? Yes. Special stickers include @tag, event, donate, comments, register to vote, music, poll, question and location.
  • Music? You can add a music Story, including lyrics for some songs. This option has limited availability. You can also add a music sticker.
  • Other features? 
    • Share a news feed post or event to your Story.
    • Profiles that are broadcasting Live video will appear next to Stories at the top of the mobile app feed.
    • You can draw on top of your images.

Can people interact with the content? If you share an event, people can tap to respond or see more information. If you add a poll people can vote. And if you add a register sticker, people can tap to register to vote.

Other notes: 

  • Facebook lets you choose a type of Story before you begin. If you want to record yourself, choose the "Selfie" option. 
  • While it's possible to share a Story from Instagram to Facebook, the reverse does not appear to be currently possible.  
  • You can choose to share your Story with the public, or limit the audience.

More information: Facebook Help Center: Stories

Twitter Stories (Fleets)

Who can create them? Anyone. 

How long does the content appear? 24 hours. 

Can you save your Story content?  There isn't any easy way to save your Story image, video or post.

What features are available? 

  • AR filters? No.
  • Other editing or visual filters?   No.
  • Text overlay? Yes, but only on images or shared Tweets, not videos.
  • Stickers? No. (Update March 31: Fleets now have a limited selection of stickers)
  • Music? No.
  • Other features? 
    • Share a Tweet to your Story.
    • Live audio Spaces appear next to Stories at the top of the feed in the mobile app.

Can people interact with the content? If you share a Tweet, people can tap it to open the original Tweet post.

Other notes: Fleets are a pretty rudimentary version of Stories. I am expecting more features to be added eventually. 

More information: Twitter Help Center: About Fleets

LinkedIn Stories

Who can create them? Any member or Page admin, except users in China. 

How long does the content appear? 24 hours. 

Can you save your Story content? You can save your Story while it's live, and after than download the rich media (along with your other account data).

What features are available? 

  • AR filters? No.
  • Other editing or visual filters?  No.
  • Text overlay? Yes. You can @mention your connections or pages you follow in the text.
  • Stickers? Yes. Special stickers include @mention, "Question of the day", and a live clock. 
  • Music? No.
  • Other features? No.

Can people interact with the content? LinkedIn Pages or members with at least 5,000 connections or followers can use the Swipe Up feature to add a link.

Other notes: The "question of the day" option is neat way to encourage people to participate. Otherwise, the options are pretty mundane, which seems appropriate for a professional networking site. 

More information: LinkedIn Stories Overview

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