Instagram has yet another Snapchat moment. This time, it’s with augmented reality (AR) effects. And while they’re incredibly fun, they’re also a bit confusing to use. Here’s how you can get started with Instagram Effects on your iPhone or Android phone.
How to Find and Use Instagram Effects
Instagram effects are another addition to the already crowded Instagram Stories interface. To check it, open Instagram, then swipe right from the left edge, or tap the Camera icon in the upper left corner.
Make sure you are in “Normal” mode. The shutter button should be in the center, surrounded by a carousel of circular icons, which are Instagram effects.
Just swipe left to preview the new effects (the top and selected effects will appear).
To open the effects gallery, swipe completely to the right of the carousel and press “Browse effects”.
You can also select any effect in the carousel, then press its name.
Here, press “Browse Effects”.
The “Effects Gallery” shows you the best effects. At the top, you can move to another category. Tap an effect if you want to preview it.
If you like it and want to see what it looks like, hit “Try it”. The Instagram Stories interface opens instantly with the new ready-to-use effect.
If the effect has more options, smaller circles appear above the trigger; scroll down to try them all. Some effects also have hidden versions; tap the screen to access it.
When you are satisfied with an effect, press the Shutter button to take a photo or press and hold to record a video.
On the next screen, tap “Your story” if you want to add the image or video to your story. To send it to a friend or to see more options, press “Send to”.
How to save Instagram effects
As you follow more creators and explore the “Effects Gallery”, you will likely use some effects more frequently than others. Fortunately, you can use the “Save” function to recover your favorite effects.
To do this, tap the name of the effect when you preview it.
Then press “Save effect”.
Your saved effects will appear to the left of the Shutter button.
To remove an effect from your favorites, tap its name, then tap “Saved”.
How to Discover Instagram Effects
While the “Effects Gallery” is a good place to start discovering Instagram effects, the best place to find interesting new effects is on the creators’ Instagram profiles.
To get started, just search for the hashtags related to AR and effects. When you find a creator you like, tap the Smiley tab. This shows you a list of all the effects the person has created.
Tap a creator to preview the effect. Tap “Try it” to open this effect in Instagram stories.
If you’re looking at someone’s story and you like an effect they’ve used, tap the effect’s name at the top of the screen (under the person’s Instagram handle).
This opens the (now) familiar effects info screen. Press “Try it” to preview the effect.
If you are viewing a story by a creator, you can see a Swipe-Up button with the name of an effect. Swipe up to go directly to the Filter screen in Instagram Stories.
Now that you’ve discovered the new Instagram effects, keep browsing, trying and collecting! When you’re ready for a break, check out our guide on how to make Instagram work better for you.