Why Can’t I Like Stories on Instagram?

Instagram is one of the world’s most popular social media platforms. Since its launch in 2010, it has shaped how we share and consume digital content. One prominent aspect that leaves many users perplexed is the inability to ‘like’ Instagram stories. This article aims to shed light on this interesting design choice.

The Structure of Instagram

why can't i like stories on instagram

Instagram offers several features like the feed, stories, IGTV, reels, and more. These features are designed to enhance user engagement and provide different content consumption experiences. Of these features, Instagram stories have garnered massive popularity due to their temporary nature and real-time content sharing capabilities.

These stories are primarily intended for sharing everyday moments, allowing users to interact with them via replies, reactions, and shares. However, notably, the platform does not allow users to ‘like’ these stories, unlike the traditional feed posts.

This doesn’t imply that you’re unable to respond appropriately to Instagram stories. You have the option to use standard reactions or select an emoticon that fits the context.

Interaction with Instagram Stories

Stories have been built for direct interactions, such as replies or reactions, which are more personal in nature.

When you send a reaction or a reply, it directly reaches the person’s inbox, fostering a one-to-one conversation.

This is a unique aspect of Instagram Stories that sets them apart from feed posts, which focus more on collective likes and comments.

Why Can’t I Like Stories on Instagram? – Main Reasons

If you’re struggling to like an Instagram story, several potential reasons could be at play. First, ensure you’ve updated to the most recent version of the Instagram app. This is because certain features may not function properly or be available on older versions.

Moreover, Instagram occasionally rolls out new features such as Private Story Likes that you might not have gained access to yet. In case you manage multiple accounts, a feature may have been activated on one but not the other.

Another possibility could be that you’ve hit your daily ‘like’ limit. Instagram enforces a maximum number of likes per user per day; surpassing this limit can result in a temporary block on your ability to like posts or stories.

Alternatively, the individual whose story you’re trying to like may have barred you from accessing their story.

If you’re experiencing issues accessing someone’s Instagram story, consider restarting the app, clearing the cache, or reinstalling it. The problem could also be due to your internet connection or Instagram’s server. In such instances, verify if other apps or websites are functioning correctly and try accessing the story again later.

To like someone’s story on Instagram, open the story and find the heart icon next to the paper airplane symbol at the bottom. Tap on it to express your appreciation without sending them a message. If the individual has activated the private story like feature, your like will only be visible on their view sheet, and it won’t appear in the direct message thread.

The Fundamental Difference between Stories and Posts

can you like stories on instagram

Instagram Stories and Posts are fundamentally different, both in their form and purpose. While posts are permanent until manually deleted and are geared towards collecting likes and comments, stories are temporary, disappearing after 24 hours, and are designed for more personal and direct engagement. This fundamental difference influences how users interact with these two features.

The Impact of Direct Interaction on Instagram Stories

The direct interaction approach on Instagram Stories cultivates more personal interactions, creating a sense of connection between users. Replies and reactions are received as direct messages, creating a space for conversation and direct engagement.

This interaction has a different psychological impact, making the engagement feel more personal and less like a competition for likes.

The design choice to exclude a ‘like’ feature for stories helps foster an environment of individual expression rather than peer comparison.

Potential Reasons for Instagram’s Decision

i still can't like stories on instagram

Instagram’s design choices seem to be driven by the objective of creating a real, unfiltered, and personal content-sharing space. The focus of stories is real-time, raw content, reflecting everyday life, where the need to ‘like’ a moment doesn’t necessarily align with the purpose.

The absence of a ‘like’ feature discourages passive engagement and encourages active participation, thereby promoting more intimate connections among users.

User Feedback and Potential Changes in the Future

While some users appreciate the direct interaction mechanism, others desire a ‘like’ feature for stories. They argue that ‘liking’ a story could be a way of acknowledging it without having to send a reaction or a reply, which could be more time-consuming.

If Instagram ever decides to incorporate this feature, it could indeed reshape the way users interact with stories. However, it would be crucial to consider how such a change might affect the user experience and the platform’s overall dynamics.


Instagram’s decision not to include a ‘like’ feature for stories can be traced back to its objective to foster personal connections and encourage active engagement. While this has led to a unique user interaction, the platform may continue to evolve based on user feedback and changing social media trends.

It’s important to keep in mind that every design choice has potential implications, and in the case of Instagram stories, it’s all about promoting meaningful and personal connections over mere passive ‘liking’.

As the platform continues to evolve, they encourage readers to share their thoughts and stay tuned for future updates.

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