Instagram has updated its swipe-able Carousel format to allow users and brands to select and post up to ten images and videos in a single post on the photo-sharing application. The Facebook-owned company is allowing the format to be used organically, so brands don’t have to pay for ads.
According to Instagram, the new feature means users will no longer have to choose a single clip or photo from an experience, delivering on its goal of being more than a ‘highlights’ platform. Its 600 million monthly users will soon be able to select, edit and share multiple photos. When the format appears in feeds, it will be accompanied by a set of blue dots to indicate the Carousel format.
The update, which is rolling out on Android and iOS over the next few weeks, will initially be limited to content with square ratios, but Instagram is aiming to allow clips and images of all aspect ratios to be used in the future. It believes the new format will be great for brands publishing how-to’s and step-by-step guides and for user’s celebrating special occasions, such as birthdays and weddings.
“Sometimes you want to show more than just the best photo or video from a memorable experience,” an Instagram spokesperson said.
“Now, users and businesses alike can tell a deeper story by grouping moments together in one post without having to worry about over-posting.”
Brands have been able to use Carousel for ads before, but they will now be able to introduce organic Carousel posts to supplement their campaign storytelling and drive engagement with Instagram users. The Carousel format will now sit alongside the Stories feature and Layouts app for content creation for brands.
Instagram’s goal of facilitating more creative storytelling is behind the introduction of new tools. When it first launched back in 2010, the app was focused on sharing individual images, but it has become more expansive, enabling users to capture and share more in one post. Stories in particular have proved popular, with 150 million people now using the feature every day.