Add Music to Instagram Posts: Liven up Your Content With Tunes

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Karen Lin

Instagram 101 | May 24, 2024

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You may have always envisioned there would one day be a way to add music to Instagram posts. After all, for many people around the world, music plays an instrumental role in their lives. It adds a lifelong soundtrack to their thoughts and actions, all while setting the stage for their future. Music can evoke nostalgia as well as a sense of familiarity. Similarly, social media has also become a reflection of one’s life, a digital scrapbook of sorts. So, really, it only makes sense that you’d want to combine the two. Whether you’re an avid Instagram user or an occasional poster, you’ve probably wondered about adding background tunes to your content. After all, both music and photography are forms of self-expression.

With that in mind, the idea of attaching music to pictures seems like a match made in heaven. But, is it currently possible to add music to Insta posts? The answer is yes. However, it depends on a couple of factors. These include the type of account you have and, well, on Instagram itself. Let’s get right into talking about how to highlight your Instagram content with snippets of your favorite songs. We’ve got a lot of information to cover but don’t worry. We’re here to break it down for you and keep it simple. Keep reading to find out how to have your followers rocking along with your posts, reels and stories.

Vinyl record on a turntable playing music that are good for Instagram.

Instagram’s Rules and Regulations on Music

Before we start, it’s important to understand Instagram’s rules and regulations when it comes to music. The social media platform highly encourages using music to help express oneself on the app. However, they also have a strong focus on their contract agreements with the rights holders to the songs and lyrics. These agreements protect both the artists and the songwriters by giving Instagram users access to a licensed music library. This collection of songs is available for the public to use to add music to Instagram posts and content.

In some cases, you’ll find that certain business accounts or types of Instagram posts do not have the same access. Why? Instagram’s agreements around their music library are for personal, non-commercial use. This way, professional accounts are not profiting off songs and lyrics. However, the social media app has options for these business-focused accounts as well. The solution? Granting them access to Facebook’s Sound Collection, a compilation of 9,000+ songs across a multitude of genres. This is entirely royalty free music and can be used throughout the app and for commercial purposes as well. Wondering how to access this feature? It’s available as a music sticker for stories and as an audio add-on for reels. Don’t worry, we will fully discuss that later on below.

Person using smartphone to add music to her Instagram posts.

Can You Add Music to Instagram Posts?

So, the most important question on your mind is⸺can you add music to Instagram posts? We’re here to tell you that you absolutely can, although the method to do so might vary a little based on the user as well as your location. We know that can sound a little confusing. But not to worry, we are here to cover all available options and get you up to speed on the processes. In short, Instagram is currently testing a built-in feature that allows users to add music to Instagram posts on their feed. With this test, it’s as easy to add a song as it is to tag a friend. So, wondering who’s included in this test? And, of course, what happens if you aren’t? We’ve got all the answers below.

Instagram’s Newest Test Feature

As we mentioned, the social media app is currently testing a feature that allows users to add music to Instagram posts. However, this is only available in certain countries and to certain users⸺for now. This is a typical process for the social media app. Before they roll new updates out to all users, they like to see how it performs to a sample audience. This way, they can fine tune it and learn what is and is not working among a variety of accounts. Hopefully in the future, all users will have the ability to add music to Instagram posts. It really helps to bring content alive and add another dimension to pictures and videos.

In the meantime, however, all users do have the ability to add music to their Instagram reels and stories. We will cover that process in more detail down below, but for now, let’s focus on feed posts. These are still photos that you share to your followers and that remain on your profile permanently. Unless, of course, you choose to delete them. As you read on, we’ll cover what it looks like for the lucky ones that are part of the test feature. For everyone else, we’ll also touch on other ways you can successfully add music to Instagram posts.

Three people looking at a smartphone, learning how to add music to Instagram posts.

How to Add Music to Instagram Posts

When it comes down to the actual act of how to add music to Instagram posts, the steps can be quickly learned. And the best part? We’re here to guide you through it. Below, we’ll go step-by-step to highlight the process in case you are included in Instagram the test feature. And, if not, we’ll cover the other options that are available to you. Have your phone handy to try these out for yourself. Ready? Let’s get started.

Using Instagram’s Test Feature to Add Music to Instagram Posts

If you’re lucky enough to be included in the test feature, figuring out how to add music to Instagram posts is easy. In fact, you’ll go through the same steps you typically do when posting a photo to your feed. However, at the final step, you’ll be able to see the add music feature. Need a refresher on creating regular posts for your feed? Grab your phone and follow along below.

  1. Open your Instagram app. Look to the upper right hand corner of the screen and tap the plus sign. Next, select post from the bottom row of options. Alternatively, you can also swipe left from anywhere on your feed and select post from along the bottom.
  2. Select an image from your phone’s camera roll. You can also take a picture with Instagram’s built-in camera.
  3. Once the photo of your choice loads on the screen, hit next in the upper right hand corner.
  4. From here, you’ll be able to add a filter and edit the image, if you so choose. When finished, select next one more time.
  5. On the next screen, feel free to add a caption or location and tag people or products. This is also the screen where, if you’re part of the test, you’ll be able to access the in-app music feature. This will be just under add location.
  6. Next, you will be able to search for the song of your choice. After you select it, you can choose your clip duration and adjust what part of the song plays with your post.

Remember, until it’s rolled out to all users, you may not have the ability to complete steps #5 and #6. However, there are a few other ways you can add music to Instagram posts. Keep reading below as we dive into them.

Man using smartphone and learning how to add music to Instagram posts.

Using Third Party Apps to Add Music to Instagram Posts

Of course, don’t feel discouraged if you don’t have access to this test feature. With any kind of luck, Instagram will roll it out to all users in the near future. This way, you’ll be able to easily create content with music added to it. In the meantime, you still have some options. Wondering what they are? Well, turns out there are a variety of work-arounds for you to choose from. In fact, there are a plethora of third-party apps and websites available that let you add music to Instagram posts.

If this is something that interests you, take to the internet or your phone’s app store for a quick search. You’ll be able to find a variety of options to choose from, some that are free and some that cost money. However, make sure to do your research and read user reviews as well as policies. Some may feature additional in-app purchases or require you to log into Instagram through their app. By knowing all the facts beforehand, you will get the best possible experience without jeopardizing your content or privacy.

Photo of a headphones beside a phone while playing music.

Ways to Add Music to Other Types of Instagram Content

Of course, you do have other options on ways to add music to Instagram posts. It’s just focused on a different kind of post. More of a live-action, in the moment type of post, if you will. That’s right, we’re talking about stories and reels. Since their launch in 2016 and 2020 respectively, these have quickly become an increasingly popular way to share content. Why? Both let you express yourself or your brand through short videos. In the case of reels, they also let you reach a border audience. And of course, both have the built-in ability to add tunes, including music from Instagram’s music library. This let’s all users, regardless of location, add songs and lyrics to their stories and reels.

Man on headphones listening to the music he added on his Instagram story.

Add Music to Instagram Posts With Stories

As you may know, Instagram stories allow users to quickly share moments throughout the day in both photo and video format. Gaining instant popularity, they’ve now become a favorite among casual and professional Instagram users alike. Why? They offer an easy way to share daily life, adventures and even products from businesses and brands. And, of course, they only last for 24 hours. With this time limit, you’re able to constantly keep things fresh and new. One of the best parts is the ability to add music to Instagram posts you share to your story. If you’re ready to learn, read on below.

  1. Open your Instagram app. Tap the plus sign square icon in the top left hand corner of your screen. You can also swipe right anywhere in your Feed.
  2. Look towards the bottom right hand corner and select story.
  3. Tap on the circular record button icon in the bottom middle of the screen to take a picture. Or, tap and hold this button down to record a video.
  4. You can also choose to use a photo or video that’s already saved to your phone. Simply swipe up anywhere on the screen or select the camera roll icon on the bottom left hand corner. Done? Tap the next arrow at the bottom right corner.
  5. From here, swipe up to access the available Instagram stickers. Alternatively, tap the smiley face icon at the of the screen. Select music to add a catchy tune to your story.
  6. Hit next to choose where you share your story.

Looking for a simpler option? You can always repost someone’s story if you’ve been tagged in it. If the user included music with their content, it will automatically transfer to your shared story. There you have it, the work has been done for you.

Friends recording a reel and learning how to add music to Instagram posts.

Add Music to Instagram Posts With Reels

Instagram reels are short multi-clip videos that let you add audio and other effects. With a focus on content creation, they let users post engaging videos to share with a broad audience. Ever wondered how to make a reel on Instagram and how to add music to Instagram posts shared as a reel? Then this section is for you. We’ll cover it all below, including the steps needed to add trendy music.

  1. Open Instagram and click the plus sign button on the top right hand corner of the screen. Select reel from the options. Alternatively, you can access reels by swiping left to open the Instagram camera from your home screen. From here, select the reel option located at the bottom of the screen.
  2. Next, press and hold the record button to capture your video in real-time. You can also upload existing footage from your camera roll.
  3. Once you have your first snippet recorded, you’ll have the option to continue on or add more content. To include multiple clips in one reel, simply tap the record button to begin capturing again.
  4. Next, tap the audio icon along the right side of the screen to pull up the Instagram music library. Search for and select the song of your choice.
  5. From here, you can cut and choose which part of the song you want to use. After you’re satisfied with the selection, select done to return to the app editor view. You’ll be able to preview your reel with the overlaid music before posting.
  6. Hit next to further edit your reel. Then, next again to choose where to share your reel, along with a few extra add-ons.

The ability to add music to your Insta posts shared as reels is a popular way to bring your clip to life.

Person playing a guitar to add music to Instagram post.

Record and Share Your Own Songs and Lyrics

You also have the option to record video content for your Instagram stories and reels with your own custom music. After all, social media is a tool that many up-and-coming artists use to get noticed and gain fans. In fact, you may have always wondered if you can make money off of Instagram with your musical talent. Although it will take time and effort, you can build a loyal fan base with a little dedication and self-promotion. Ready to turn your musical social media presence into a profitable future?

You can easily add music to your Instagram posts by recording yourself playing an instrument or singing. Post this as a reel or on your story and encourage your followers to share. Remember to always make good use of hashtags and tag friends, fellow artists and product companies. Additionally, be sure to share information about any upcoming shows you may be performing in.

You can also work to partner with music brands for sponsored posts or affiliate marketing. This is a great way to promote both yourself and your talent. 

At Path Social we’ve built up an in-house platform of Instagram influencers and a proprietary Al targeting algorithm over the past decade. That’s how we reach organic users who are targeted, interested, and engaged. And that’s why no one can replicate our results, which means you’ll build an Instagram community that lasts! Start growing and gaining Instagram followers today.