Unable To Reply To An Instagram Story? [Understand]

3D Instagram logo on half checkered and half white background.
Instagram logo

If you can’t respond to an Instagram story, it could be due to several reasons. The person might have customized their story replies, the story is an advertisement or a “Suggested for You” story, they deleted or hid the story, your internet connection is weak, or there might be temporary glitches or server issues with the app.

Instagram is a highly popular social media platform used by millions worldwide. It’s a safe and secure space that values user privacy.

Instagram consistently enhances its services to meet user needs and introduces captivating features to keep users engaged.

Why Am I Unable To Send Replies To An Instagram Story?

A confused man who doesn't know what to do

Have you ever faced difficulties replying to someone’s Instagram story? It’s a common issue that many of us encounter. Plus, your search for this article says it all!

If you’ve ever felt puzzled about why this happens, you’re in the right place. Below, I’ve outlined some potential reasons for this problem. Keep reading to discover why you might have been unable to reply to an Instagram story.

They Have Disabled Story Replies Entirely

If you aren’t already aware, Instagram offers the flexibility to tailor your story reply settings to suit your preferences. Isn’t that great? Instagram consistently strives to cater to its users’ needs and empowers them with control over various aspects of the app.

One such feature is the ability to customize story settings. In the later part of this article, I’ll explain how to do this. For now, just know that there’s an option that lets you completely turn off story replies, preventing people from responding to your stories.

So, if someone has disabled their story replies, you won’t see the usual text box beneath their story. This clearly indicates that they’ve turned off comments for their stories.

They Have Personalized Their Story Replies

As mentioned earlier, Instagram offers extensive control to its users, including the ability to completely disable story replies. However, there are two additional options for customizing story replies:

  1. Allow replies from all followers.
  2. Allow replies from followers you follow back.

If you don’t fall into either of these two categories, meaning you’re not a follower or they don’t follow you back, you won’t be able to respond to their story, regardless of your desire to do so.

For you, viewing their story will be just like when they’ve disabled story replies entirely because you won’t see the text box that usually appears for replying to stories.

Thus, your ability to reply to someone’s story depends on their preference and the story reply settings they’ve chosen.

It’s A Story Ad

When you’re scrolling through your Instagram and going from one story to another, you might come across ads. If something in those ads catches your eye and you want to reply, you’ll notice that there’s no text box available for you to do so.

It’s important to know that this isn’t related to story reply customizations and has nothing to do with whether the ad creator disabled their story replies – they can’t do that. In fact, when someone sets up an ad, there is no option for people to reply to those ads.

Instead, you might find a link that takes you to their website or another account, or you’ll often see a swipe-up option that directs you to their Instagram account, website, YouTube channel, and more.

It’s A Suggested For You Story

Have you heard about Instagram’s “Suggested for You” feature? You may have come across it while scrolling – it’s where Instagram suggests profiles for you to follow.

This feature is personalized using Instagram’s algorithm, which pays close attention to your activities, mutual connections, and interests.

Before, this feature only showed up in your main feed and not in stories. However, in a recent update, you might have noticed that while viewing stories, you’ll sometimes come across “Suggested for You” stories where profiles are suggested.

Now, when it comes to these “Suggested for You” stories, similar to ads, you can’t reply to them, and you won’t even see a text box for replying.

It makes sense because, well, who would you be replying to when these stories simply show multiple suggested accounts for you to consider following, and that’s it

They Have Deleted Their Story

It’s also possible that you’ve viewed someone’s story, but just as you were about to send a reply, they deleted it. Now, since you’re still on the story and haven’t gone back, you’ll still be able to see the story for a short while.

However, when you attempt to reply to it, you won’t be able to do so. Even though the text box and story are both still visible, your replies won’t go through.

This situation is directly related to the fact that they’ve just deleted their story. To confirm this, you can simply go back, refresh your page, and search for them again. If the story no longer exists, then you’ll know that it has indeed been deleted.

It’s Been 24 Hours Since The Story Was Posted

Sometimes, you might find that when you view a story, it’s close to being removed by Instagram because it’s been up for 24 hours. Soon, the 25th hour will begin, and the story will vanish.

In such cases, even if you have a text box for replying, there’s a good chance you won’t be able to reply to the story, no matter how hard you try.

They Have Hidden Their Story From You

If you watch someone’s story and they hide you while you’re still on their story, any attempt to reply won’t work. The text box and the story will be visible as long as you stay on the story, but your replies won’t go through.

This situation can be puzzling, as it might seem like they deleted the story or hid it from your view.

Your Reply Goes Against Instagram Guidelines

If the reply you’re trying to send is offensive or goes against Instagram’s guidelines, it may not get through to the person.

Instagram is pretty strict about users being respectful and following their rules. There’s no need to be disrespectful or send anything inappropriate.

There Are Temporary Glitches In The App

Regardless of how great Instagram is, it’s not immune to glitches, just like any other app. Occasionally, these temporary glitches can disrupt the overall user experience and affect the app’s functionality.

In such situations, there’s a possibility that these glitches might prevent you from sending a story reply to someone.

You Have A Poor Internet Connection

If your internet connection isn’t strong and stable, it’s possible that even when you try to send a story reply, it won’t go through.

This happens because your internet connection isn’t good enough to send the reply.

Instagram’s Server Is Down

From time to time, Instagram conducts server maintenance. During such times, significant issues can arise, causing the Instagram server to temporarily go down.

In these situations, many aspects of the app may not function correctly. This leads to problems like the inability to reply to someone’s story.

What Should I Do If I Can’t Reply To An Instagram Story?

A "Dear me, I will make you proud" Instagram Story, the story reply textbox and avatars to choose from.
Instagram story reply

If you’re facing the problem of not being able to reply to someone, regardless of the reason, there are some steps listed below that you can give a try:

Try Sending The Reply Again

Sometimes, it’s a simple human error. You might believe you’ve replied to someone, but if the reply didn’t go through, it’s easy to think there’s an issue.

Before trying other methods, as long as the text box is still there, give it another shot and see if you can send the story reply.

Directly Message Them

If the text box for story replies isn’t available due to their customizations, here’s what you can do: Click on the person’s name, which will take you to their profile. From there, send them a direct message.

In your message, mention their current story and explain that you couldn’t see the text box, so you’re messaging them separately. Reply to their story within the message.

This way, not only will your reply be delivered, but they might also let you know if they’ve enabled any customization settings.

You can also use direct messaging if you initially saw their story but then couldn’t see it anymore. Asking them directly will help confirm whether they deleted it, if it’s been 24 hours since the story, or if they’ve hidden their story from your view.

Use Another Account To Confirm

You could also try using another account that’s connected to theirs or create a fake account that looks real. Request to be added to that account, and then see if you can reply to the story with it.

If the story is visible and you can reply using this different account while your real account can’t, it might suggest that they’ve hidden you.

Fix Your Internet Connection

Knowing that a weak internet connection could be causing the problem, it’s a good idea to ensure your internet is stable.

If it’s not, consider trying the following steps for a stable connection:

  1. Restart your router.
  2. Switch between cellular data and Wi-Fi or vice versa.
  3. Get in touch with your internet service provider (ISP).

Wait For A While

Sometimes, the practical solution when you can’t reply to someone’s story is simply to wait. If the issue is due to temporary glitches or Instagram’s server being down, waiting might be the best approach.

It can save you the trouble of going through extra steps, and hopefully, the problem will resolve itself.

Try Troubleshooting Steps

If you’re facing this issue due to temporary glitches, you can attempt the troubleshooting steps outlined in the table below:

Restart The AppRestarting your app can often resolve these glitches. Simply go back to your home screen and clear the Instagram app from your app previews. This helps refresh the app and clear any issues.
Uninstall And ReinstallUninstalling and then reinstalling the app has proven to be effective for dealing with these glitches. You can do this by going to your app store or play store, uninstalling the app, waiting a bit, and then installing it again.
Log Out And Log Back InLogging out and then logging back in is similar to restarting or refreshing your account and can help eliminate these glitches. To do this, go to your account settings, log out, and then enter your login credentials to log back in.
Steps you can take to fix temporary glitches

How Can I Personalize My Instagram Story Reply Settings?

Story replies settings to decide who can reply to your stories
Story replies

If you’d like to customize your story reply settings, you can follow these steps:

  1. Open Instagram.
  2. Log into your account.
  3. Click on your profile picture at the bottom right.
  4. Next, tap the horizontal three-lined icon at the top right of the screen. A menu will appear.
  5. From there, go to “Settings and Privacy.”
  6. Scroll down to find “Messages and Story Replies.” Click on it.
  7. Then, go to “Story Replies,” where you’ll have three options to choose from: “Allow replies from followers,” “Allow replies from followers you follow back,” or “Don’t allow story replies.”
  8. Click on the option that suits your preference. You’re all set.
How to turn on/off replies to Instagram Stories

To Conclude

  • Instagram is a popular social media platform that provides a safe space for all.
  • If you can’t reply to an Instagram story, there could be various reasons like their customized story replies settings, a deleted or hidden story, temporary glitches, etc.
  • To address the issue, consider directly messaging them, troubleshooting steps, waiting, etc.
  • You can also customize your Instagram story reply settings through your account settings.

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