How to add music to Instagram Stories – a complete guide

Discover how to add music to Instagram Stories and level up your engagement
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Table of Contents

In August 2016, Instagram launched Stories.

The feature was designed to compete with Snapchat, which was one of the most popular social media apps at the time.

With Instagram feeds generally consisting of aesthetically pleasing imagery that wouldn’t look out of place in a glossy magazine, Stories offered something that felt more natural. Stories were posted by creators with the intention of giving followers a sneak peek into their daily lives through on-the-go images and vlog-style video snippets.

With Stories being easily accessible for 24 hours, creators and brands also didn’t have to focus as much on the best time to post content, making Stories feel even more authentic.

In June 2018, the platform announced that creators and brands could add music to their Instagram Stories.

In this guide, we’ll cover how to add music to Instagram Stories and why it’s a great engagement booster for your social media strategy.

Why add music to your Instagram Stories?

We’re about to get a little nerdy, but there’s scientific evidence that when we hear music that we like, our limbic system (which processes emotion) is stimulated. And if it’s a piece of music we really connect with, our bodies can release dopamine, which triggers feelings of positive wellbeing.

But what does that have to do with Instagram Stories?

Well, brands and creators often promote products through their Instagram Stories. So just by learning how to add music to Instagram Stories, you can increase your chances of building likeability and trust, and even boost your sales.

How to add music to Instagram Stories from Instagram

There are several different ways to add music to Instagram Stories but in-app is the easiest. Here’s how:

  1. Capture or upload your Instagram Story content: Open your Instagram profile and click the + sign next to your profile picture. Use the camera option to film content or select something from your camera roll.
  2. Navigate to the music option: There are two ways to select music. Either click the smiley face sticker and select the music option or click the musical note icon.
  3. Choose your music: You’ll see a ‘For you’ tab and a ‘Browse’ tab. ‘For you’ is curated music; you can choose a specific genre of music in the ‘Browse’ section. You can also use the ‘Search’ bar to find a specific song or artist.
  4. Choose the music display: Once you’ve selected the song, choose to have the lyrics show up on screen, the song cover image and artist details, or just the music.
  5. Choose your song snippet: At the bottom of the story screen, you’ll see a scrollable bar enabling you to set your clip to the 15-second snippet you want to use.
  6. Finish up: Add any other Story elements you want to include, click ‘Done’ and share your Story.

instagram stories music screenshot

Unfortunately, Meta doesn’t allow you to share songs direct from third-party music apps, which is a bit of a buzzkill. But if you want to share a link to a song on a music platform, here’s how:

How to add Spotify music to Instagram Stories

You can add a link to a song on Spotify in your Instagram Story (if you’re a premium Spotify user), but due to Instagram’s licensing agreement, the audio won’t be included. If you want to drive more traffic to a song on Spotify, this is how:

  1. Open Spotify and find the song you want to share
  2. Select ‘Share’
  3. Select ‘Instagram Stories’
  4. A pre-formatted Instagram story will open, which includes the song’s artwork and artist name
  5. Finish editing your Instagram Story and share

How to add Soundcloud music to Instagram Stories

Soundcloud is a platform that empowers independent artists to share their music with a global audience.

If you want to share from Soundcloud, unfortunately your followers won’t hear the audio. But if you want to link to a song on Soundcloud, here’s how:

  1. Open the Soundcloud app and find the song you want to share
  2. Click the share icon
  3. In the options that pop up, choose ‘Instagram Stories’
  4. Soundcloud will import the artwork and artist details
  5. Finish editing your Story and then post

How to add Apple Music to Instagram Stories

Apple Music is an incredibly popular music platform with over 100 million songs to choose from. You can add your favourite song details, including artwork and artist info, but not the sound.

Here’s how to add a link to a song on Apple Music:

  1. Open the Apple Music app and find the song you want to share
  2. Click on the three dots
  3. Scroll down until you find Instagram and click the icon
  4. The artwork and artist details will be imported
  5. Finish editing your Story and post it
apple music screenshots
Credit: Apple

How To add Shazam music to Instagram Stories

By now, you’ll know what we’re going to say here… You can add Shazam music to your Instagram Stories but yes, it will be without audio. Here’s how to add a link to a song in your Instagram Story:

  1. Open the Shazam app and find the song you want to share
  2. Tap the three dots next to the song title and select ‘Share’
  3. Choose ‘Instagram Stories’
  4. Shazam will automatically create a Story clip with the song’s artwork and artist name
  5. You can customise it with text, GIFs, or stickers before sharing

Why won’t Instagram let me add music to my Story?

If you’re having trouble adding music to your Instagram Stories, it’s probably for one of the following reasons:

  1. The music feature isn’t available in your region due to copyright agreements and licencing restrictions
  2. You’re using an older version of the app, which can cause glitches, so try updating it
  3. You’re creating a branded content campaign, so may not be able to access the music feature
  4. You’re trying to share from a third-party app, which isn’t allowed

Why am I only able to see limited music choices on Instagram?

If your music choices for Instagram Stories are limited it could be because you have a business account.

Business accounts are restricted from using certain songs because not all songs are cleared for commercial use.

When you open the music section in the Instagram app, you’ll only see songs that have been cleared for commercial use, so you can choose any of those safe in the knowledge that you’re not breaching copyright.

How to add music to an Instagram post

Adding music to Instagram posts that show in-feed can liven up static images or carousels. It’s also very easy to do. Here’s how to add music to an Instagram post:

  1. Open the Instagram app and click the + button at the bottom of the page
  2. Select ‘Post’ and choose your image or carousel
  3. Click ‘Next’
  4. Click the musical note icon at the top of the page
  5. Search for a song, look through the ‘For you’ choices or use the ‘Browse’ option to navigate to different music genres
  6. Select the song you want to use
  7. Use the slidable scale along the bottom to select the section of the song you want to use
  8. Click ‘Done’
  9. Click ‘Next’
  10. Write your caption and share

Can I add my own music to Instagram Stories and posts?

If you’re a musician and want to know how to add your own music to Instagram Stories and posts, then there are a couple of different ways you can do this.

First up, you could add your music to Soundcloud and then share it to your Instagram Story (don’t forget that audio won’t be included though).

You can also submit your tracks through Meta’s Independent Artist Program. If they’re accepted, people will be able to use your music on their own Stories. This is a really simple way to upload your music and earn royalties.

That’s a wrap

So, there you have it, your complete guide to adding music to Instagram Stories and posts. Choose music that complements your Stories and posts, and you’ll be giving your engagement levels a nice boost.

If after reading this guide, you want to discover even more about building your brand through social media, then Vamp has you covered.

Take a look at our platform, which enables creators and brands to collaborate on campaigns with ease.

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