Instagram for iOS has recently made a controversial change to how it handled Stories'' sound. When in silent mode, the app used to respect your iPhones and mute Stories, but it has now begun playing for all Stories, regardless of your iPhone setting.
Happily, an update released today appears to have reversed the behavior to normal.
Instagram Stories playing sound by default
A number of Instagram users had gone to Twitter to protest the change. Several people said that the change to always play sound on Stories meant they weren''t using the app much as they had previously.
Since I tend to agree with these complaints, the fact that an app completely override your iPhones settings makes for an awful experience. Again, this is how Instagram for iOS had performed for years; you also had the option to override and play the story by clicking your volume button.
Instagram has updated its iOS app this week to reverse the behavior. 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 its possible Instagram wanted the Reels vs. Stories behavior to be more consistent.
The difference is that Instagram Reels are video. People anticipate that sound will play when they watch a video. Some Instagram Stories are a grab bag: some are videos, some are pictures, and some are backgrounds audio.
You may use the app store to download the latest version of Instagram for iOS. Let us know in the comments if this update improves Instagram Stories'' performance. It did for us.