It is generally assumed that anyone in their 20s or 30s would find it fairly simple to learn to use social media, but is that really the case? You might not have considered this possibility before, but not everyone is as enthusiastic about it. Some use it merely for the sake of appearances, while others are still starting out, struggling to get the hang of things. If you’re one of the latter, we understand that you’re currently learning many new things on a daily basis.
Amidst all this, the colorful, outlined circles around profiles on top of your newsfeed are yet another mysterious feature, aren’t there? Well, you needn’t worry at all, for we are here to end your struggles. Stay with us till the end to learn all about these circles on Instagram.
Why Are Some Instagram Profiles Circled in Color While Others Aren’t?
So, the topic we’re going to talk about in this blog is the little circles outlining the profile picture thumbnails on the top of your newsfeed on Instagram. What are those circles there for? Are they around every profile on Instagram? This is an easy one to answer: No.
The circles only appear around certain profiles, and only those profiles show up on the top bar of your home tab. If you swipe through this bar, you’ll notice how not all your followers are listed there.
So, what does this all mean? Here’s the short answer: Stories.
Now, it’s time for the long answer:
You know how stories are different from posts in that they don’t appear on the profile grid of the user? Neither do these turn up on the newsfeed that you scroll through on your home tab.
But where do these stories appear, then? And how will you see them? Well, the answer lies in those circles. You might not find it mentioned on Instagram anywhere, but the topmost section of your newsfeed is actually the Stories section, where all the new stories uploaded by the people you follow are posted.
The circles around these profiles are indicative of the stories they’ve uploaded. And since not every user uploads a story/stories every 24 hours, those who have no circle around their profile; neither does their name pop up in your Stories section.
Now, another factor that differentiates these stories further is their color. Have you noticed how some profiles have a pinkish circle around them, while others have grey ones. Wonder why?
It’s pretty straightforward: the profiles that have new stories that you haven’t watched yet are circled pink, while the ones you’ve watched already are grey-circled. Occasionally, some profile also come up with multi-colored circles that appear quite striking. We’ll talk more about these in the next section.
Can you change the color of your circle? Here’s how:
Now that you’ve figured out the reason behind those circles around users’ profiles, you might want to do that for your own profile as well, wouldn’t you?
We both understand and encourage that. In fact, if you want to add a circle in color other than pink around your profile, we have a little trick for that as well. Here’s a step-by-step guide that might come in handy:
Step 1: Launch the Instagram app on your smartphone, and on the home tab that you first find yourself on, navigate your profile picture’s thumbnail on the top-leftmost corner of the screen, right below Instagram.
If you’ve added any story in the last 24 hours, you’ll see a pinkish/grey circle around this thumbnail; otherwise, not.
Now, simply swipe right on the screen to open the Camera tab. Although you can upload stories, posts, and reels from here itself, and can go live as well, its default setting is on STORY, perhaps because that’s why most users use this feature for.
Step 2: Now, either click a picture or upload one from your gallery by tapping on a small thumbnail in the bottom left corner.
If you want to add any caption or filter, go ahead and do it.
Now, locate the stickers icon on the top right side and give it a tap.
Step 3: When the stickers window slides up your screen, you’ll notice a search bar on top. Enter in the bar the name of any celebratory event that’s currently relevant. Some examples are pride month, Christmas, Halloween, and so on.
When you hit enter, you’ll find several relevant stickers. Select the one you liked most and tap on it to add it to your story.
Step 4: When your story is ready to be uploaded, locate a white icon with a right-facing arrow drawn on it.
Step 5: Give this icon a tap to post your story. Once it goes live, you’ll be redirected to your home tab.
When back here, check the circle around your profile picture thumbnail again; this time, you’ll find a different-colored circle (matched with the theme of the event the sticker represents) around it!
There’s just one catch to it. Because these stickers are all themed on a celebratory event as we discussed above, they’re only valid for a limited period of time in the year. But now that you know this, you can keep an eye out for them.
It is time for us to wrap this up, but before we leave, we’d like to do a quick summarization of all that we’ve learned in today’s blog to send you some final takeaways.
The pink circles around profiles are one of the first things most Instagrammers are eager to check when they open the app. Why? Because they’re indicative of stories uploaded, and because stories aren’t permanent, people get bolder, and more creative with these. Also, they’re so easy to upload that you can post several within seconds.
In our blog, we learned all about these circles, why they’re only seen on select profiles and their different colorations. We also shared with you our trick of getting a different colored circle around your profile. What else can we help you with? Feel free to reach out to us in the comments section below!