With over 500 million daily active users, Instagram stories have become a staple of the platform. That’s almost double the number of people who use Snapchat. But there’s more to Instagram’s stories feature than just sharing candid moments throughout your day. For example, you can use Instagram story games to increase engagement and build rapport with your audience.
Top names like Dior, Pepsi and even NASA use Instagram stickers in story games to engage viewers. But what are IG story games exactly and how can you use them to drive Instagram engagement?
If you’re looking for some new and exciting ways to keep your Instagram audience entertained, then you’re in luck! Check out these fun Instagram game ideas that will make your feed stand out from the rest.
Let’s talk about Instagram story games first. Here’s what we’ll cover:
- What are Instagram Story Games?
- Where to find Instagram story games?
- 15 fun Instagram story game ideas
- 5 tips to increase Instagram engagement
- Which IG story games ideas are you going to utilize?
What are Instagram story games?
Instagram Story Games are interactive and engaging activities that users can play and share on their Instagram Stories. These games typically consist of a series of questions or prompts that prompt users to share information about themselves, answer fun questions, or participate in challenges.
The games can be customized by users, who can create their own questions and prompts, or they can use pre-made templates provided by Instagram or third-party developers. Users can also tag their friends and Instagram followers in the games, encouraging them to participate and share their own responses.
Take a look at this poll by Missguided Arabia as an example:
You can create a similar poll, encouraging viewers to tap on their pick from your choices. Apart from playing a fun game and sparking interaction, such polls can also help you understand your target audience’s feelings about your latest ventures/products.
However, you can get much more creative and interact with your followers by using Instagram story game templates too such as how Ulta Beauty does. See yourself:
You can also create your own game or use a story template and ask followers to screenshot your story to share their responses in their own stories. Remember to ask them to tag you in their replies to fuel further interaction.
Meaningful replies to engaged story participants will help shape a positive brand reputation. It will also push people to comment or react to your posts and stories more often, helping you impress the Instagram algorithm to grow your reach & Instagram SEO.
As your followers get accustomed to your Instagram story games, they’ll also watch your stories more often to play more games with you. In short, Instagram story games are an uber-effective way in increasing story views and engagement.
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Where to find Instagram story games?
It’s pretty easy to create an interactive Instagram story game. Just open your Instagram and click on the ‘+’ sign to create a Story. You can add an image from your gallery relevant to the game you want to create. From there, click on the smiley face icon at the top of your story.
Here you’ll find a couple of stickers such as the Quiz, Poll, Questions, and ‘Add Yours’ stickers. Any of these can be used to create an IG story game.
Here’s what these four stickers are specifically for:
- Polls allow users to ask a question and offer two possible answers for their followers to choose from. This is a great way to gather feedback, opinions, or preferences from your audience.
- Questions allow users to prompt their followers to ask them a question, which can be a great way to encourage engagement and conversation. Users can choose to respond to questions publicly or privately.
- Quizzes allow users to create a series of multiple-choice questions that test their followers’ knowledge or preferences on a particular topic. This is a fun way to engage with followers and create a sense of competition.
- Add Yours encourages viewers to add their image in response to what you’ve shared in the story.
Apart from using Instagram’s native features for creating stories, you can also find IG story games templates through Canva.
15 fun Instagram story game ideas
Need more ideas for what games to play on Instagram stories to engage your followers? Here’s a list of 15 Instagram story games ideas to get your creative wheels spinning.
Unscramble is a game you can play with your audience even if you’re not a language-related or educational page or brand.
All you’ve to do is create a graphic giving your followers a list of words to unscramble. Make sure these words are relevant to your brand.
For example, if your are a juice brand, you may want to include fruit names as words to unscramble.
Mention the steps you want your followers to take in the story. You’ll want to ask them to take a screenshot to play the game and then tag you when they post it as their story.
Ulta Beauty played this game with its followers so you can replicate their
Idea with your own words if you’re confused.
Here’s a story game idea that you may not need to create a graphic for.
Simply create a quiz relevant to your niche and your followers can easily participate by clicking on their answer.
Since the Quiz sticker is native to Instagram, it won’t take more than a question and some options for you to play this game. The best part is that your followers only have to tap on their answer which makes it an easy game to play from both sides.
Owing to how quick this game is, more people are likely to participate and give a boost to your Instagram engagement rate.
What type of a question can you ask? You can quiz your followers on your products to test their knowledge. For instance, a movie page might quiz its audience on what happened to a particular character.
Here’s how Grammarly quizzes its followers — it posts a language quiz to test people. When a follower taps on an incorrect option, the quiz mentions the right answer as well which works as a great way to educate as well.
Mark the boxes
Accessories brand Coach also takes to Instagram to play games with its followers.
One of the games you can find in its story highlights is ‘Mark the boxes.’ Here’s how it works:
- Create a graphic with a number of boxes, each including products from your brand.
- Ask your followers to mark the boxes which contain items they own.
- To participate, followers can screenshot the story, encircle their boxes, and then post their response to their story.
- Don’t forget to ask participants to tag your brand in their responses.
Similarly, you can also create boxes with new traits or features followers want to see in your product. This way, you can engage followers as well as learn which of your products or product features are admired the most. Such information can help your brand create better products too!
Here’s the story Coach posted so you can get a clearer idea:
True or false
You can create a true or false game to play with your followers by using the Quiz sticker. Then, ask a question and give only two options to choose from — true and false.
The simplicity of this game makes it an easy one to play with your followers.
Here’s how Disney played this IG story game with its audience:
Make your name
Another common game that you can also use as an Instagram story game idea: make your name.
Movie and book accounts can play this game best. However, you can also ask your followers to name their own unique product using this game. For instance, you could ask them to participate to find their custom lipstick name if you’re in the beauty niche.
Here’s how Epic Reads on Instagram played this game:
You can also do something similar by giving a few dashes in a phrase, and ask your followers to fill the empty spaces to complete the name.
Slide the emoji
KitKat played a super simple game with its audience on Instagram: slide the emoji.
Your ‘slide the emoji’ game can also be a tad bit advanced. For instance, put out a question and ask your followers to drag the emoji to express their answer.
Here’s one idea, for example: ask your followers what they think about your new launch or look and they can slide the emoji as far as they believe it to be impressive.
Wondering how to create this game? It’s pretty simple — just use the sliding emoji sticker on Instagram. You can enter a custom question and emoji in this sticker to personalize it.
Yet another Instagram sticker that you can use to create a fun game is the Poll sticker.
Just ask a question and then give a couple of options to your followers to vote.
The poll story game is a great way to gather information on what percentage of people like your new launch or how many of them attended an event. So, you’re essentially killing two birds with one stone — engaging your followers as well as gathering valuable information.
However, your Poll games don’t always need to have an ulterior motive.
Netflix show YOU’s Instagram page often Polls it’s followers, merely for the fun of it. Take a look yourself:
Ask a question
You must have noticed the ‘Ask Me Anything’ or AMA sticker on Instagram.
Fortunately, the question text is customizable which means you can use this sticker to play Instagram story games.
You can ask your followers any fun question relevant to your niche to encourage participation and consequent engagement.
Here’s how Cocomelon used this sticker in one of its Instagram stories:
Spin the wheel
For this game, you’ll need the help of a graphic designer to create a simple video with a spinning wheel.
You can take inspiration from this story that Innocent Drinks posted on Instagram:
In the graphic, mention that your followers must press and hold to take a screenshot. When they press, the story will pause and so will the wheel. Wherever the wheel stops, it will give participants a challenge.
They have to complete their challenge and make a video doing so to post it as their story along with tagging you.
Sounds like a fun game, no?
Pro tip: Research a bit so you can make the challenges about as many Instagram viral trends as you can find. This way, your followers will also receive higher viewership, and since they’d have tagged you, so will you!
Use stickers or GIFs
McDonald’s used a fun Instagram story game idea to entertain and engage its audience.
The hamburger giant posted a game in which it asked its viewers to make their friend’s meal on their story using stickers on the gram.
Take a look yourself:
Since Instagram’s stickers and GIFs library is vast, any brand can replicate this idea. You could ask your followers to use stickers for making their dream shopping cart, for example.
This or that
Yet another effective and simple IG story game idea.
Just give your followers two images of your products/services to choose from with the This and That as options. You can use the Poll sticker for the game.
Here’s an example of how Drybar used the Poll sticker to create this story game:
To reiterate, this game gives you a genius way to get your audience to react to your story. And it’s also a great way to gauge their interest in your products.
Pick an option
Buzzfeed played this fun game with its Instagram family in which it asked viewers to choose a sandwich from the options it shared in its story.
Then, followers could swipe to the next story to find the occupation of their future spouse based on the sandwich they had picked.
Here’s the story Buzzfeed posted:
You can copy this IG story game idea too, regardless of your niche. While the game doesn’t necessarily encourage interaction with your target audience, it’s still a great way to entertain.
Would you rather
Quite like the ‘this or that’ game, the ‘would you rather’ game also revolves around giving your followers choices to pick from using the Poll sticker.
You can make this game much more interesting though, just like Missguided has done so in its story games. Take a peek:
The idea is to ditch the poll sticker and create a graphic with a list of options. Next, tell your followers how they can participate: by taking a screen grab and circling their options. Once they’ve marked their choices, encourage them to share the edited screenshot on their story along with tagging you.
Again, you can create a unique version of this game to make it relevant to your brand to increase brand awareness as people participate and tag you in their responses.
You must have seen, even played, crossword puzzles in magazines.
For your Instagram story games, create similar puzzles but make them mini. See how Warby Parker has posted a crossword puzzle and detailed its followers on how they can participate:
Create your own filter
Taking Instagram story games to the next level, Haribo created a custom augmented reality filter and encouraged viewers to participate.
Here’s the AR filter it created so that you can take notes:
Here’s what Haribo did: first, the jelly brand shared a story announcing the game and its rules.
In the next story, it shared a story of a follower playing the game so that viewers could get a visual representation of how they were supposed to play the game. Along with this, Haribo shared a link to the filter with the call-to-action ‘tap to play.’ Clicking on the CTA opens up the story camera with the filter on so that viewers can start playing along.
If you’ve the budget, you can follow suit and create a similar AR filter. Since augmented reality is more engaging than videos, this IG story game idea is a pretty awesome one for impressing your target audience.
5 tips to increase Instagram engagement
Now that you know how you can create Instagram story games, let’s give you a bonus: 5 tips for increasing engagement on your Instagram account. Here you go:
Being a visual platform Instagram gives you several ways to show your authentic, vulnerable, and human side. And originality + honesty is exactly what your audience wants to see in your content.
But how can you be authentic on social media? Here are some tips:
- Share behind-the-scenes glimpses. BTS content establishes trust as your audience gets to see the real people behind the brand.
- If you make a mistake, own it. Admitting you made a mistake makes you come off as honest and worth trusting again.
- Always be there to help. If people share a query, be quick to respond and guide them.
Lean into video content
90% of users consume video content on their smartphones, as per a latest report from Wyzowl.
Fortunately, there are a number of ways you can utilize video on Instagram.
Apart from Stories, you can share more Reels and even tap into Instagram Live to make the most of Instagram’s features and keep your audience engaged.
Engage wherever you can
Received a couple of comments and DMs? Don’t be sluggish in responding back.
Remember the key to attracting engagement is by first engaging yourself.
So, give meaningful, empathetic yet professional replies to your audience when they reach out or leave comments on your posts. You never know, a single helpful reply can convert a lead into a buyer.
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Stick to your brand personality
Make sure you revisit your brand personality before you start posting on the ‘gram.
The reason? A unique brand personality makes you stand out and helps your business resonate with its target audience.
So, whether it’s your graphics, captions or videos make sure you stick to your brand’s unique style.
Post regularly and when your audience is active
For the final tip: post frequently and that too, when your followers are likely to engage.
Posting at the best times on Instagram helps you catch your audience when they’re using the application. On the other hand, regular posting is essential for staying at the top of the users’ feeds.
To make posting frequently easier you can use ContentStudio. ContentStudio’s publishing tool helps you schedule your posts for automatic posting when your audience is active. As you pre-schedule postings, you get your weekends and holidays to yourself whilst ensuring you’re sticking to your posting calendar.
Related Read: How to Schedule Instagram Posts, Reels & Stories in 2023
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So, which IG story games ideas are you going to utilize?
Instagram story games are an easy way to increase story views and engagement. You can create Instagram story games by tweaking ready-made story templates or by using Instagram’s stickers. You can also go a step ahead and create an AR filter for creating a one-of-a-kind Instagram story game.
Remember: Don’t just post your stories and forget you did so — respond to the reactions and comments you receive on the ‘gram. Apart from stories, focus on other video content as well such as Instagram Live and Reels. Finally, make sure you share content regularly to boost your engagement.
How do you start a story game?
For creating Instagram story games, first determine what type of a game you want to post. You may need a template for the game or you can use Instagram’s story stickers. For templates, use an app such as Canva or your team’s graphic designer can help with this. Finally, make sure you mention the rules of the game in your story clearly so that participants know exactly what steps to take.
How do I make my Instagram stories more fun?
To make your Instagram stories more fun, share behind-the-scenes (BTS) moments, aesthetic vertical images as well as use Instagram’s native stickers, effects, and filters. Make sure you don’t share the same content in your stories as you do in your posts. You can also share posts from other accounts in your stories that your audience is likely to find interesting.
Alafiya Memon is a freelance content writer and an ardent lover of fries. She creates value-packed, conversational blog posts. When she's not working, you'll find her doodling or reading.