Earlier this year, Instagram introduced the ability to upload multiple photos in a single post as a carousel, gallery or album. Users now have the option to select up to 10 photos and videos at a time when they create an Instagram multi-photo post, allowing their followers to swipe to view all the images in a set.
And while the instinct may be to simply leverage this option when you can’t decide which photo to use, there are so many creative ways to leverage multi-photo posts to create deeper engagement with your audience than you ever could with a single photo.
Here are 7 Creative Ways to Use the Instagram Multi-Photo Post Option
If you create a physical product, then the ability to upload multiple photos gives you the option to showcase the versatility of your wares.
As an artist, you could show how a single design looks on a canvas, print, tote bag, mug and t-shirt.
If you’re a fashion or accessories brand, you can show the different ways your products can be worn; For example, you can show how the same skirt can be dressed up for work, dressed down for the weekend, or styled for a night out on the town, all in one post.
If you maintain a shop, this is always a great way to announce new inventory.
Steps in A Process
The fact that photos in a gallery can be viewed in succession, versus all at once in a grid, makes the Instagram multi-photo post a great option for showcasing a process, step by step, that your users can follow along with.
This is great for recipe walkthroughs and DIY posts where there are multiple steps in a process, allowing you to show each ingredient or each action your audience should take, in order.
If you’re creating an instructional video for another platform, consider taking screen grabs or photos at the same time so you can creatively show that process through a gallery on Instagram.
Before & After
Just because you can add up to 10 photos, doesn’t mean you have to. Simply uploading two photos at once gives you the chance to showcase amazing transformations and changes.
Hairdressers, stylists, and trainers can use this tactic to show how they use their skills help their customers transform their looks.
Interior designers, DIY experts, and furniture or décor companies can show how small changes can completely change how a space is viewed and used.
You can even use this feature for more basic comparisons, like showing the growth of your company by comparing team photos from the past and present.
Progress, Growth & Change
The multi-photo option is great for showing progress over a longer time period too!
- While it may take more time planning and advance preparation, this feature allows you to document the progress that you and you employees are making.
- A farmer or greenhouse could show plant growth, week over week.
- A craftsman might document progress on an ongoing project.
- If you have a physical venue or location, you might even use this feature to show the view in different seasons or weather.
Hack A Panoramic Shot
While Instagram has allowed you to upload portrait and landscape photos for some time now—beyond the original square option— they haven’t yet introduced the option to share a panoramic photo.
But the multi-photo carousel allows you to hack one together, by cutting it down into squares for your followers to swipe through. The CreativeLive blog walks through the steps here, if you want to share a new perspective with your audience.
Trivia & Clues
Multi-photo gallery posts still only display the first photo by default, so users can leverage this to create Q&A style posts, where users can swipe to reveal and answer.
You can use this for trivia questions, where the first/default photo is a question or clue. Require your viewers to swipe to the second photo to reveal the answer.
Travel bloggers can post a gorgeous outdoor shot, then follow it with a photo of an airport sign or postcard of a location, with a caption asking “Where in the world do you think I am, based on this view? Swipe to see if you’re right!”
Run a business that hosts, sponsors or works with events? An Instagram multi-photo post allows you to address each event in its own photo or flyer, in chronological order, like a visual calendar of upcoming engagements.
#SleepAwarenessWeek is an annual event celebrating sleep health that runs through April 29th. ?? The theme: #SleepBetterFeelBetter. ☝️?? This week we’ll encourage you to prioritize sleep in order to improve your overall health and well-being. We have Instagram Stories takeovers (#yay) set up with @kristiedash ?? (@obsessee senior editor), @ashleywilking ?♀️(fitness extraordinaire), the women behind @ladylovin_ ?(@lobosworth @gertiebird @jillyhendrix) and @theladygang ?(@keltieknight @itsbeccatobin & @jacvanek). ?Head to the link in our bio every morning for fresh sleep content! ?Comment below (with the ? emoji) if you’re as excited as we are! ??
A local bar might share four photos at the beginning of each month, sharing the theme for their weekly trivia nights or the featured artists for the next few live performances.
A food truck could upload a gallery of maps of the coming week’s locations so their hungry followers can find them, and a speaker could share a gallery of their next few conference gigs.
DIY Photo Booth
Photo booths are becoming increasingly common at weddings, conferences, and other events.
The carousel posts let you share actual photo booth shots in an engaging and native way, but they also let you create your own by sharing several slight variations of the same photo of employees, friends, colleagues and more.
Pick a consistent backdrop and take a series of photos showcasing different emotions or poses, perhaps working in some props as you might if you were in a real photo booth.
Have you created a campaign using the Instagram multi-photo post option? Know of any brands that have used the feature well? Let us know in the comments.