Instagram for iOS recently made a controversial change to how it handled the sound for Stories. The app used to respect your iPhone’s silent switch and mute Stories when in silent mode, but it recently started playing sound for all Stories regardless of your iPhone’s setting.
Thankfully, an update released today seems to have reverted the behavior back to normal…
Update: In a statement to 9to5Mac, a Meta spokesperson attributed this to an iOS bug and confirmed that the latest Instagram for iOS update fixes it.
“This issue has been resolved with the latest version of Instagram for iOS – please update to the latest version of the app available in the App Store.”
Instagram Stories playing sound by default
A number of Instagram users had taken to Twitter to complain about the change. Some of those people even said that the change to always play sound on Stories meant they weren’t using the app nearly as much as they had in the past.
I tend to agree with these complaints, because having an app completely override your iPhone’s settings makes for a terrible experience. If you tap an Instagram Story while your phone is in silent mode, you expect those Stories to be muted. Again, this is how Instagram for iOS had behaved for years; you also had the option to override and play the sound on the Story by clicking your iPhone’s volume button.
Following these complaints, Instagram updated its iOS app this week to revert the behavior. Now, when you open an Instagram Story while your iPhone is in silent mode, the sound of that Story is muted. It no longer plays the sound by default.
What remains unclear – in typical Instagram fashion – is whether or not this was a bug or a feature. Instagram Reels do play sound by default, and it’s possible Instagram wanted to make the Reels vs. Stories behavior more consistent.
The difference is that Instagram Reels are videos. People expect that sound will play when they watch a video. Instagram Stories are a grab bag: some are videos, some are pictures, and some are pictures with background audio.
You can download the latest version of Instagram for iOS from the App Store. Let us know down in the comments if this update fixes the behavior for Instagram Stories sound. It did for us.
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