Have you ever posted a photo on Instagram only to change your mind about sharing it with the public? Obviously, deleting said photo is an option, but there’s also a less radical option. By using Instagram Archive, you can temporarily remove a photo, then put it back on your profile later if you change your mind — the perfect solution for the whimsical photographer.
Instagram Archive is an ingenious little tool, not just for the indecisive among us, but also for when it comes to sharing memories, highlighting Stories, and increasing engagement on your posts. Here’s how to use Archive to your advantage on Instagram.
What is Instagram Archive, and how does it work?
So, what exactly is Instagram Archive? This nifty feature was rolled out in 2017 and enables users to remove photos and videos from their profile without deleting them entirely. With Instagram Archive, you can still see your archived photos, but the rest of the world won’t know they exist.
Instagram Archive stores both Posts and Stories, and while you have to archive posts manually, you can easily adjust your settings so that your Stories are automatically added to Instagram Archive after 24 hours.
How to archive posts on Instagram
- Open Instagram and navigate to your profile.
- Tap the photo you want to archive.
- Select the three dots in the upper-right corner of your post.
- Choose Archive.
- Your photo will disappear from your profile.
Where to find your archived photos on Instagram
- Open Instagram and head to your profile.
- Tap the menu (three horizontal lines) in the top-right corner of the screen.
- Tap Archive. All of your archived posts will show up here.
- Tap on the drop-down arrow at the top of the screen to choose between archived posts or Stories.
How to automatically save Stories to Instagram Story Archive
You can enable automatic archiving of your Stories within your settings on Instagram. Here’s how to do it:
- Open the Instagram menu on your Instagram profile.
- Tap Settings > Privacy > Story.
- Scroll down to Saving and toggle on the Save to Archive function. All of your Stories will now be saved in Instagram Archives.
How to put archived posts back on Instagram
Change your mind about a post you’ve archived? Here’s how to add it back to your profile:
- Open Instagram and navigate to your profile.
- Tap the menu in the upper-right corner.
- Tap Archive.
- Choose the photo that you want to return to Instagram.
- Tap the three dots in the corner of the post.
- Tap Show on Profile. The post will be returned to the original location in your Instagram feed.
5 ways to use Instagram Archive to engage your audience
Now that you know the basics of Instagram Archive, here’s how to use it creatively to engage your audience.
1. Highlight your best Stories
The Highlight feature on Instagram is a fabulous way to show off your best Stories right on your profile. Because all of your Stories are automatically archived, it’s easy to create and change your Story Highlights with a few taps. Here’s how to add archived Stories to your Highlights:
- Open Instagram and navigate to the menu from your profile.
- Tap Archive and choose Stories from the drop-down menu at the top of the screen.
- Scroll through your archived Stories until you find one that you want to add to Highlights.
- Tap on the Story and choose Highlight.
- Choose the Highlight that you want to add it to, or tap + to create a new Highlight.
2. Post your memories to Stories
Did you know that Instagram keeps track of your post dates so that you can add them as Stories to increase engagement? Your Memories are located in your Instagram Archives under Stories. Depending on how long you’ve been posting to Instagram, you may see one or more Memories. Next to your post, it will say “On This Day – [x] years ago today,” followed by a Share button. To share your post to your Stories, simply tap the button and create your Story.
3. Test different Instagram themes on your account
An Instagram theme is simply a cohesive look for your feed based on a specific style, color, or type of photo. You don’t have to create a theme for your Instagram account in order for it to be successful, but Instagram accounts with recognizable themes often see more engagement and recognition. Want to try it for yourself without harming your account? Decide on a theme and choose the posts that fit within it. Archive the rest. It’s that simple. If you don’t love your new theme, all you have to do is return your archived posts to your feed.
4. Repost photos that didn’t see great engagement
Using Instagram Archive gives us opportunities to increase engagement by using the analytics from an archived post to repost for more engagement. By using Instagram Insights, you can easily see which posts got the least amount of engagement over the past year. Now, maybe those photos were subpar to begin with, but it could also be that you posted the photo at a weird time, your caption was humdrum, or you didn’t make good use of your hashtags. You can test your theory by archiving those posts and creating new posts from the same photos using a different technique to get more engagement.
5. Reuse photos without seeming repetitive
Like most social media platforms, the lifespan of a single Instagram post can be pretty short. You may see engagement for a few days, but after that, your views, likes, and comments will probably tank, and you will have to create a new post for your followers to enjoy. If you’re running out of new photos to post, you can reuse some old photos you particularly like by archiving them and posting them again? Not only does this breathe new life into your photos, but it frees up more of your time.
Ready to kick your Instagram game up a notch? It’s time to show off your best work, encourage engagement, and attract new followers, all with Instagram Archive.