What Does Forward Mean on Instagram Stories?

Jul 8, 2024
Jul 8, 2024
4 min
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What Does Forward Mean on Instagram

What does ‘forward’ mean on Instagram Stories? Find out how this metric, along with others, can help you refine your strategy and keep your audience hooked 🪝

When we hear the word 'forward,’ most people think of passing something along, like an email or a WhatsApp message. However, on Instagram, the term has an entirely different meaning. When someone talks about going forward on IG Stories, they’re not talking about sharing it with someone else. Let's unpack.

What does forward mean on Instagram Stories?

In the context of Instagram Stories, ‘forward’ refers to a user tapping to skip ahead to the next segment of your Story. This action indicates that they are moving past your current Story slide to view the next one, either within your Story or moving on to the next person's Story if they've reached the end of yours.

Forward on Instagram

Whether you're a brand or managing a personal IG account, this metric helps you gauge which parts of your content are engaging and which are causing viewers to lose interest.

Forward vs. next Story on Instagram

The terms ‘forward’ and ‘next Story’ on Instagram Stories might seem similar, but they signify different viewer actions and provide distinct insights into how your audience interacts with your content.

Forward: As mentioned, viewers skip to the next segment within your current Story when they tap forward. This action can mean they're moving from one part of your Story to the next without watching the current entirely. It can indicate that the viewer is either uninterested in the current segment or is just eager to see what comes next. 

Next Story: When a viewer taps to go to the next Story, they skip your Story entirely and move on to the next user's Story. This action is a stronger signal of disinterest as it shows the viewer is not just skipping a segment but is leaving your content altogether. 

A high number of ‘next Story’ taps could suggest that your overall Story isn’t resonating with your audience, signaling a need for you to create more captivating content to keep viewers engaged.

How can I see my Instagram Story taps forward?

Before we get into it ☝️ You need a Professional (business) or Creator Instagram account to access this data. If you've already got a personal account, you can easily convert it to a Professional account or start a new one from scratch. This guide shows you how to do that.

Okay, now the steps to access your Instagram Story forward taps:

  1. Go to your profile on the Instagram app, and then go to the burger menu in your top right corner.
View navigation insights for  IG Stories 1
  1. Now, go to ‘Insights,’ where you can view Instagram Stories analytics.
View navigation insights for  IG Stories 2
  1. Scroll down and select ‘Stories.’
View navigation insights for  IG Stories 3
  1. Here, you will find a grid of your most recent Stories.
View navigation insights for  IG Stories 4
  1. Click on the filter icon at the top of the screen and then select ‘forward’ from the list of metrics. You will be able to see your ‘forward’ data.
View navigation insights for  IG Stories 5

Additional Instagram Story metrics you should be tracking

It’s crucial to keep an eye on various metrics to optimize your Instagram Story performance. Here are some additional metrics that provide valuable Instagram insights into how your audience interacts with your content:

Taps back

Taps back occur when viewers tap to return to a previous segment of your Story. This action can indicate that the last segment was engaging enough for viewers to want to rewatch it or that they missed some information and want to see it again.


Exits measure when viewers leave your Story entirely. This metric helps you identify points in your Story where viewers lose interest. High exit rates suggest that your content is not resonating or is too long.


Impressions represent the total number of times that particular Story has been viewed, including multiple views by the same user. This metric helps you understand the overall exposure of your content.


Reach indicates the number of unique users who have seen your Story. Unlike impressions, which count every view, reach only counts individual users, giving you an idea of your Story's unique audience.


Swipe-ups are crucial for stories with a call to action, such as visiting a website or a landing page. This metric shows how many users swiped up to follow your link, directly measuring engagement and conversion.


Replies track how many users have responded to the Story you posted. High reply rates indicate strong engagement and interest, as viewers are taking the time to interact directly with your social media content.

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Jul 8, 2024
Jul 8, 2024
Annette Nyembe

Digital copywriter with a passion for sculpting words that resonate in a digital age.

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