How to Add Highlights on Instagram Without Posting Story?

Updated on: November 12, 2022

Many Instagram users are looking for solutions to create highlights without first posting them as a Story. With Instagram Story Highlights, you can make collections of your favorite Instagram stories. Commonly known simply as Highlights, this feature helps you showcase special moments prominently on your Instagram profile. They are placed right below your Instagram Profile Picture and Bio. Highlights serve as more detailed introduction into your life, personality, and interests. For Instagram Business accounts, they are a great way to promote their products & services. By creating various highlights collections to showcase their partners, events, deals, and other themes, they can generate more user engagement. In this article, we tackle how Instagram users can add new content to their Highlights, without spamming their followers with lots of Stories in a day.

Why Cannot We Add New Content Directly to Instagram Story Highlights?

We must understand that Instagram Highlights are actually "Instagram STORY Highlights". This is how the feature has evolved: a way to preserve and utilize content from Stories. This need follows an important characteristic of Instagram Stories: they automatically expire or disappear after 24 hours from the Public view. Only the owner of the Insta account can view their expired Stories in their Stories Archive. But this content is gone for good for everyone else, unless the owner adds it to their Highlights.

From their stories archive, they can add notable stories to their Highlights section. Typically, Stories with a common theme are collected together inside one Highlight collection. The Highlights section consists of unlimited "Highlights Collections". These collections appear as circles below the Insta Bio. Every collection can have upto 100 items. Remembering that Highlights on Insta are "Instagram Story Highlights" is important. To add any content to your Insta Highlights, you must first add them to your Stories. It is not possible to directly add a photo or video to your Highlights, without first posting it as a Story.

But don't forget that you can add almost anything to your Instagram Story! You can make fresh content for adding to a Story. You can share your older posts to the Story. And you can share anyone else's Stories, Reels, and Posts to your Story (as long as their Privacy Settings allow such sharing). Once any content is added to your Stories, this can serve as the source material for your Highlights. There is another point to understand and remember about Highlights. If the original Story, Reel or Post that you added to Highlights is deleted or archived, it will also disappear from your Highlight Collection. On the other hand, you can the same Story to multiple Highlights collections.

Is there a Workaround to Add Highlights without Showing Stories to your Followers?

Now we have clarified that to add content to your Highlights, it first needs to be a Story. It is not possible to add fresh content directly to your Highlights from your gallery or camera. So, if you wish to add a lot of new Stories to your Highlights section, you need to create those many stories.

STEP 1: Make your profile Private and Hide Stories From all your Followers

It is possible to hide these new Stories from your followers and the public, by customizing your Privacy Settings.

  1. Go to Settings > Privacy > Private Account: Toggle ON
  2. Then, while you are still inside the Privacy settings, look under the Interactions section. Story > Hide Story From > Select All Your Followers.
  3. Now, no one from the Public can see your Stories, because your Instagram profile is made Private. And none of your followers can see your stories because you have hidden them from all your followers.

Note that, it is not possible to use the Close Friends option for this solution instead of the Hide Story From option. This is because Highlights made from Close Friends-only stories will be visible only to the people you add to your Close Friends list. This will greatly limit the number of audience that can view your Highlights.

STEP 2: Create New Stories and then Add them to your Highlights

  1. Now you can create lots of new Stories, without worrying about spamming your Followers with this flood of content. For the Stories content, you can add photos or videos from your Gallery, create new content using your Camera, or add your existing Posts & Reels.
  2. Wait till this content is uploaded and posted successfully to the Stories on your Profile Pic. All of these Stories are now ready to be saved to your different Highlights collections.
  3. To do so, simply open the Stories by tapping on your Profile Pic.
  4. For every Story, there is an icon for "Add to Highlights" on the bottom right. Simply tap on it, choose the Highlight collection (or create a new one), and confirm to add that story to the chosen Highlight.
  5. In this way, you can add all of your new Stories to your Highlights. By placing the Stories in the appropriate Highlights collection, you can curate your Highlights section by different themes.
  6. For now, since your Profile is Private, and your Stories are hidden from all your Followers, no one can see your Stories OR the Highlights you added them to. They are visible only to you. To let your Followers and Public view these highlights, you need to wait for 24 hours, and then revert changes you made to the Privacy settings.

STEP 3: After 24 hours, make your profile Public, and stop hiding your Stories from your Followers

  1. After 24 hours have passed, all your Stories will disappear from your Profile Pic. Since you already added them to your Highlights, they have been preserved and curated in the appropriate Highlights collections.
  2. Now you are almost ready to show off your newly created Highlights section and content to your Followers and Public.
  3. Go to your Privacy Settings again, toggle OFF the Private Account and make your profile Public.
  4. Inside the Privacy Settings, open the Hide Story From option, and deselect all the accounts.
  5. Now, everyone can view and enjoy your newly created Highlights section, and all other content on your Profile!

How to Edit your Highlights Cover with a Custom Pic without Posting it to Instagram Story?

We have an additional tip to beautify and personalize your Highlights section. By default, Instagram sets the first item in a highlights collection as its Cover Pic. But you can choose any picture from your Gallery as the Cover Pic for your Highlights. This way, you can decorate your Highlights section with beautiful icons that match the theme of each Highlight. You can create your own icons for Highlight Cover Pic, or download beautiful pics from the Web. Then, to add a custom pic as your Highlight cover pic, follow these steps:

  1. Go to your Profile, and tap on any Highlight.
  2. Tap on the "More" option (with three dots) at the bottom right > "Edit highlight".
  3. At the top center, you can see the cover icon for this Highlight. Tap on "Edit Cover".
  4. Tap on the generic picture thumbnail (sun and hills) icon at the bottom. This will open your Gallery and other local folders on your mobile device.
  5. Choose any beautiful pic or icon from your phone/tablet that matches the theme of the given Highlight collection. Tap the right arrow or "Next" on top right.
  6. Now you can choose to zoom and move the picture to decide what is visible within the circle frame. Once you are fine with this selection, tap on "Done" on top right.
  7. Optionally, if you wish you can change the Highlight Title under the Title field. Choose a short text and feel free to include emojis in your Highlight Title.
  8. Now, again tap on "Done" on top right, to save the changes you made to the Highlight Cover and Title.

Final Words on Instagram Story Highlights

Instagram Highlights are made from the content that you post to your Stories. Your Followers see your stories at the top of their Insta Feed right when you post them. This makes Stories the suitable vehicle to send out instant updates. However, Stories automatically disappear after 24 hours. In order to preserve, reuse, and cherish your favorite Stories, Instagram created the Instagram Story Highlights feature. You cannot directly add content to Highlights, it first needs to be posted as a Story. Both newly created stories, and past stories from the Archive, can be easily added to your Highlights section. By making different Highlights collections based on themes, with suitable titles and cover pics, you can decorate your Highlights section and curate your best Insta content for all to see.

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