Instagram recently announced an update to its platform that allows users to share up to ten posts and videos in one single post. Posts with multiple photos or videos will appear just like a regular post on user timelines and the first photo in the series of pictures will be displayed with a row of dots under the image to indicate to users that there are multiple images or videos in the post, which can be used through carousel-style.
When viewing a user’s profile, the first photo or video in the series is displayed with a ‘select multiple’ button on the top right corner. Users can like and comment on multi-image posts just like with a normal Instagram post. The credit for engagement on such posts will be given to the entire post and not individual images or videos within the carousel. Users can choose one filter for all images or videos or each individual image or video can have its own filter and edits applied.
Once the multi-image or video post is shared, the caption and location can be edited but individual images or videos cannot be deleted or rearranged. To remove a specific piece of media or rearrange the order of posts, the entire post needs to be deleted and re-posted. Once other user accounts are tagged in a multi-post image, they cannot be changed or removed.
Currently, multi-posts can only be shared in the square aspect ration and not as portrait or landscape. Sharing photos with multiple images or videos may take longer to upload than a single image or video post.
What this new update means for marketers
Possibly one of the biggest benefits of Instagram’s new update is that brands can now share multiple high-quality images and videos without fear of over-saturating timelines with too many posts. However, brands should bear in mind that being selective is still important and they should only share the best content available with their users while carrying out their social media marketing campaigns.
While paid Instagram carousels are restricted to fewer images, Instagram may increase the number of images or videos advertisers can share in a paid ad placement in future as engagement with multi-image carousels evolves.
Lastly, even though Instagram’s data and analytics remain restricted, marketers should test and evaluate multi-image post performance by comparing observed engagements to a recent-post average. Marketers can test posts with a different number of images and videos to determine the incremental advantage of each image or video shared.
Things to consider
Instagram’s new update opens up possibilities for more creative hacks that marketers can draw inspiration from.
The update also opens up the creative aspect for supporting paid campaigns with similar organic content.
Users will also become more familiar with these types of posts and that could have both positive and negative implications for ads.
Ad carousels could use their new ‘wow’ factor but, going forward, users will also understand how these posts work and it could lead to more engagement.
Giving users the chance to post grouped images/video will reduce the number of posts in a user’s timeline thereby possibly lessening their feed browsing time too.
Fewer posts in user feeds means fewer opportunities for ad insertion without creating an overwhelming amount of promoted content. It’ll be interesting to see how Instagram is going to handle this.