Every few months Instagram releases new features for their Instagram stories. The latest feature is to create highlights that can be featured on your profile. These are curated stories that can be saved since stories disappear after 24 hours. While scrolling through the stories, I came across a story that had a link to their youtube channel on create custom covers for Instagram Highlights. The tutorial showed you how to do it on your mobile device but they had annotations on how to do it in Photoshop. If you don’t have access to photoshop and want to create the covers on your mobile device, check out the tutorial here and here. If you do have photoshop, continue reading below.
Open up Photoshop
Mobile Tab: Photoshop comes with many presets for numerous mobile devices. I have a iPhone 6 Plus. That is the preset I chose. And make sure Artboards is checked.
Next you’ll want to search for graphics for your custom covers. You’ll want to make sure they are PNG’s with a transparent background. You can get some free icons from this site here. Once you found the PNG you like, right click and save to either your desktop or folder for all of your graphics. Now place your graphic in the document.
From here you can change the background color of either the PNG or the background to reflect your branding colors. In my libraries, I have my branded colors saved for easy access.
Once you are done editing the PNG, flatten the image. There are two ways to export to your mobile device. For iPhone users, you can AirDrop the image directly from Photoshop.
For Android users go to file, export, Artboards to files. Select the destination and name the file. Make sure “Artboard content” is checked and click “Run”. Then email the file to yourself and save to your camera roll.
Creating the Cover in Instagram
Open up your Instagram account and select the camera icon on the top left. Swipe up and you’ll see the PNG you saved ready to post to your Instagram story. I know it will be weird to have these in your stories but it’s necessary to have them for your covers.
The following screen shots will be step by step instructions on how to create a highlight, name the highlight and changing the cover photo.
Go to your profile and hit the + icon to create a new highlight. Then scroll through your archived stories and select the stories you want added to the highlight. Select next and name your highlight. Then hit add.
Now your highlight is on your profile but the cover is from the story. Long press the highlight until you see the prompt “Delete Highlight and Edit Highlight”.
From here you can edit the cover. Select “Edit Cover”.
Now you can go to your archived stories and select the graphic you saved for the cover.
Hit done. And now you have your custom cover for your Instagram Highlight. If you want to resize the graphic, long press the highlight and select edit highlight, edit cover and adjust the size of your graphic.
After adjusting the size of your graphic, hit done twice and now you have a custom cover for your Instagram Story Highlights. Repeat these steps for each category you want to highlight. When done, it will look like my profile below.
Sharon_pdx profile with Branded coversIf you have other tips, feel free to post them in the comments below.