Guides

Facebook Stories: Complete Guide to Getting Started

Megan O'Neill

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What is your Story on Facebook? How do Facebook Stories work? How do you add to your Story? And should you be using Facebook Stories for your business? We’ll answer all these questions and more in this getting started guide.

what-are-facebook-stories

Searching for the answer to a specific question? Click the links to jump directly to the right section of the guide.

What is a Facebook Story?

We’ll start with the basics. What is your Story on Facebook? Similar to Instagram Stories, Facebook Stories are collections of vertical photos and videos that appear for only 24 hours. With 500 million daily users and 3 million advertisers, Facebook Stories are a fun way to engage with friends and family—or with potential customers.

You can view the Facebook Stories of your friends and the pages you follow at the top of your Facebook News Feed, on the Facebook app or in a web browser. You can also add to your own Story in the same place. We’ll show you how to do this later on in the guide.

Facebook Stories

Facebook Stories vs. Facebook News Feed

Facebook Stories are different from the Facebook News Feed for a couple reasons. The first is that they aren’t permanent. When you share a Facebook Story, it only shows up for 24 hours. Anyone that hasn’t viewed your Story within that 1-day timeframe won’t be able to come back and watch it later, like they can for content you post in the News Feed.

The other thing that makes Facebook Stories different is where and how you view them. Simply click on a Story (or tap on mobile) in the Stories section at the top of your feed to view.

Note: Facebook has done some tests merging Stories with the feed, so you may see Stories popping up in your News feed as well.

How to use Facebook Stories

Now that you know what your Story is on Facebook, it’s time to learn how to use Stories. In this section we’ll show you how to add a Facebook Story, how to delete a Facebook Story, and how to see who viewed your Facebook Story. Plus we’ll share some tips on how to make Facebook Stories that stand out.

How to add a Facebook Story with the Facebook app

Adding to your Facebook Story is simple. But the process is a bit different, depending if you’re using the Facebook app or updating your Story from a computer. The easiest way to add to you Story is with the Facebook app, so we’ll start there.

  • Step 1: Tap "Add to Stories" at the top of your feed to add a new section to your Story.
  • Step 2: Choose the type of Story. You can choose from Text, Selfie, Boomerang, Music, or Poll, or tap to add a photo or video from your device.

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  • Step 3: Add the finishing touches. Add text, stickers, effects, or draw on your Story to make it your own. We’ll talk more about adding stickers and effects later on in the guide.

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  • Step 4: Share your Story. Tap “Share to Story” to add your photo, video clip, poll, or whatever you’ve created!

How to add a Facebook Story from your computer

You can also add to your Facebook Story from your web browser, although the features there are limited. Similar to the mobile app, you’ll start by clicking "Add to Story" at the top of your News Feed.

A new window will pop up where you can add content to your Story. It works in a similar way to how you add a post to your News Feed. Just make sure you’ve got "Your Story" selected as the posting location and add a photo or video, plus text.

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We’ll dive into how to share to your business page’s Story later on in the guide. Click here to jump to that section.

How to delete a Facebook Story

Posted a Facebook Story but changed your mind? No problem. You can delete your Facebook Story at any time. Simply view the piece of the Story you’d like to delete and tap on the three dots in the upper righthand corner. You’ll see the option to delete.

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Note: This is also where you can choose to save your Story if you’re in the Facebook app. Tapping to save will download the photo or video in your Story to your camera roll.

How to see who viewed your Facebook Story

Interested in knowing who is looking at your Facebook Stories? When someone views a Story, it gets recorded and you can check in to see how many views you’ve had and who the viewers are.

To see who viewed your Facebook Story, simply go into a section of your Story and tap where it says the number of viewers. This will open up a new page that will show you who those viewers are.

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How to view your Facebook Story archive

Stories may disappear after 24 hours for your friends, but you can still view them in your archive. To view your Facebook Story archive, head to your own profile page.

If you’re on the mobile app, tap the three dots towards the top of your profile and select "Story Archive." If you’re on a web browser, click on the "Archive" button towards the top of your profile. You can easily enable or disable the automatic saving of Stories to your archive.

Facebook-Story-Archive

How to design Facebook Stories that stand out

Want your Facebook Stories to stand out from the crowd? In this section we’ll show you how to use the various effects built into Facebook Stories on the Facebook app. Plus, we’ll show you how to use the Animoto: Social Video Editor iOS app to create stunning videos to share to Facebook Stories.

Facebook Story effects

We’ll start by taking a look at some of the effects built into Facebook Stories within the Facebook app. These effects are similar to the effects you’ll find in Instagram Stories.

  • Add stickers. You can add emojis or stickers to any Story. Simply tap the sticker icon when you’re putting your Story together.
  • Add photo or video filters. Tap on the magic wand icon to add filters to a photo or video clip. Tap through to preview your media with different filters until you find one you like.

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  • Add face filters. When you’re in "Selfie" mode, you can also add fun, Snapchat-style filters to your face.

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Animoto: Social Video Editor iOS app

Got an iPhone 6s or above? Check out the Animoto: Social Video Editor app. The app lets you create Stories that'll stand out on Facebook. Check out the video below to learn more.

Facebook Stories for Business

Did you know you can share Stories from your Facebook Business page too? When you’re on your Page, simply click on the plus sign by your logo to add to your Story. Similar to personal Stories, your business Story will be visible for 24 hours.

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In addition to sharing Facebook Stories from your business organically, you can also use Facebook’s Ad Manager to run ads in Facebook Stories. Check out our guide on targeted ads to learn more.

If you’re already posting Instagram Stories for your business, you can easily get started with Facebook Stories by simply posting your IG Stories to Facebook too. We’ll tell you more about that in the next section of the guide.

Facebook Stories vs. Instagram Stories

As you’ve probably noticed by now, Facebook Stories and Instagram Stories are quite similar. They are created and viewed in a similar way on both platforms. So how do you decide which Story platform is right for you?

While it may feel like Instagram Stories are more popular, the audience on Facebook in general is much larger. So posting in both places can help you reach even more people.

Luckily, sharing your Story in both places is easy. The next time you share an Instagram Story, simply tap on the sharing screen to choose to send it to Facebook as well. You can choose to always share your Instagram Stories to Facebook, or to just do it once.

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Are you using Stories for your business? For fun? We'd love to hear about your experience with them. Drop a note in the comments below, or join the discussion in our private Facebook group—the Animoto Social Video Marketing Community. We look forward to connecting!