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(Pocket-lint) - Meta-owned Instagram is introducing a new way to interact with Instagram Stories: You can now send a "like" response.

Previously, you could only respond to a story by sending the creator a direct message or an emoji reaction - and both of those responses would clutter up the creator's messages inbox. Not now. 

With the addition of likes, Instagram is not only giving users more ways to interact with stories, but it's hoping to make creators' inboxes more manageable. That's because instead of sifting through their inbox to see which viewers "liked" a story, creators can simply go to a story's viewer sheet to see the data. Here's what else you need to know about likes on stories - including how they work. 

How to 'like' an Instagram Story

Once you have access to the feature, follow these steps to "like" a story on Instagram:

  1. Open the latest version of the Instagram app.
  2. View someone's story.
    • You'll see stories from people you follow in a bar at the top of your feed.
    • When there's something new to see, their profile photo will have a colourful ring.
    • To view someone's story, just tap on their profile photo.
  3. You should see a heart between the "Send Message" field and the plane icon on a story.
  4. Tap the heart to 'like' the story you're viewing.

How to see who 'liked' your Stories

Should someone "like" your Instagram Story, it will show up in the viewer sheet, which you can access by viewing your own story again.

  1. Open the latest version of the Instagram app.
  2. Tap on your story icon in the upper left corner.
  3. In the corner, you will see another user's profile icon.
    • This indicates that someone has viewed your story.
  4. Tap the icon to see who has viewed your story.
    • If you don’t see the icon in the lower left, it means no one has viewed your story.
    • To double-check, swipe up from the bottom. You’ll see names of viewers listed.
  5. If a viewer has "liked" your story, you'll see a heart next to their name. 
InstagramHow to like Instagram Stories and how to see who liked yours photo 1

Are 'likes' on Stories public or private?

If you "like" a story: Only the person who received the "like" will see it in their viewer sheet. It's not public to anyone else.

If you received a "like": People who publicly view your stories won't see a "like" count. Only you can see likes in your viewer sheet.

UnsplashHow to like Instagram Stories and how to see who liked yours photo 2

Want to know more?

Check out Pocket-lint's Instagram guides for more tips and tricks:

Writing by Maggie Tillman.