Instagram is rolling a feature out across its iOS and Android apps that allows its 600 million monthly active users to share more in a post. Now, instead of selecting all your best photos and videos and flooding your friends’ notifications with them, you can share up to 10 photos and videos in a single post.
Although somewhat akin to Instagram Stories, this new feature is more permanent in nature and lacks stickers and drawing. When uploading a batch of photos and videos, tap a new icon within Instagram. You’ll be able to edit posts like you would normally, including editing the entire post or individual photos and videos. These can also be re-ordered prior to publishing. However, captioning, location tags, likes, and comments are applied to the entire post.
The downside: It’s limited to square ratio images and videos, a restriction that Instagram did away with in 2015. Hopefully, the company will soon ease up and allow photos and videos of all aspect ratios to be inserted into these carousel posts.
To distinguish these new carousel-like posts from standard posts, Instagram has added an icon within your profile feed to denote that there are more images within the post. And when you’re looking at one of these posts, there will be blue dots at the bottom to show that there is more content and that you can view the rest by swiping left or right.
This capability is beneficial for when you’re on vacation, at a party, or on any other occasion when you just want to share a bunch of photos on Instagram.
“Sometimes you want to show more than just the best photo or video from a memorable experience. Now, users and businesses alike can tell a deeper story by grouping moments together in one post without having to worry about over-posting,” an Instagram spokesperson told VentureBeat.
Of course there were already ways for people to be creative in the storytelling department, either by relying on Instagram Stories, which is ephemeral, or by leveraging the Layouts app to create collages in posts. The problem with Layouts is that the more photos are added, the smaller they become, and you cannot add videos.
While the general public will find this feature appealing, it’s also a good thing for businesses, since it’ll provide opportunities to engage in campaign storytelling. But this isn’t the first time brands have been exposed to this type of media format, since some may have used Instagram’s carousel ads.
When Instagram first launched, it distinguished itself as app that let you post a single image to share with friends and followers, with the philosophy that “a picture is worth a thousand words.” But nearly seven years later, it has shifted to providing users the tools to tell a creative story in a manner befitting the moment. It’s likely that Instagram benefited from the fact that its Stories offering received good pick-up from users — 150 million users read Stories daily.
Facebook declined to provide information about how well this feature did in early tests.
Users will start seeing the feature today, and it will be rolling out globally over the next few weeks on both iOS and Android.