Instagram’s New Feature – the Good, the Bad & the Ugly

Photo choice has been a difficult decision when uploading to Instagram – whether you’re posting for a person or a brand.

But the decisions just got way easier, thanks to Instagram’s new update. Instead of trying to choose which selfie you prefer, what angle of the product you’ll be highlighting or whether to put a photo of your dog or cat up, you can now take all the umm-ing and ahh-ing out of the equation by posting up to ten photos at a time.

It’s been a move long in the making from Facebook-owned Instagram. Facebook introduced the carousel not-too-recently, and it’s been a step up in the way businesses promote themselves on the platform, allowing brands to showcase seperate qualities of their products in a single post  – without just uploading a mass of photos. For me at Snowsport England, it lets me promote skiing, snowboarding, nordic & freestyle in a single post (and easily) with up to 4 captionable images.

But for a long time, Instagram was left as a single-photo posting platform.

Until this week.

In the same way that you can add boomerang clips or Layout mosaic images when you’re uploading a photo – you can now select “multiple photos” to add up to 10 images. You might need to update the app first for the button to appear, but once it’s available just click it and it lets you start selecting.

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The Good

For a brand, you can now showcase all the angles of your product. No longer is Jeep going to be just posting the photo of their Jeep Renegade Trailhawk in the desert – if they were clever they would capture the vehicle from an almost-identical angle but with a different backdrop: Desert; Mountains; Snow; Forest; City; Lakeside; and finally tucked away in the garage at night. This would get across that idea that the Renegade is suitable for all conditions.

For me, I can now show-off a selection of photos after a trip or an event, rather than having to select just one to tell all my friends where I’ve been (which is a surprisingly difficult choice). I judged at a snowboarding competition this week, and a photographer friend of mine was at the event and sent across some photos of me at work that I could put up – capturing a variety of angles, and I spent a significant amount of time trying to pick my favourite. Had I updated my Instagram app earlier I could have uploaded all of them to capture the various angles of judging a snowboard competition.

It will let a brand tell a story.

The Bad

Like that short period of time after every update or new flash of technology – we’ll see LOTS of Multiples over the next few weeks as people test out the feature. There’ll probably be a time where we ask “remember when you only used to post 1 photo to instagram?” as the app gets saturised with 10 different angles of someones dinner, dog or starbucks cup.

It’s also not clear when you’re scrolling down that a Multiple is actually a Multiple and not just a standard photo. This means you can spend a while trying to think of a new idea and a story for your brand to amplify your message to your followers, only for them to just assume you’ve posted the first photo and skip straight past it. To avoid this – point it out in the first part of your caption: “Swipe left to check out…” etc

The Ugly

The only annoyance I’ve had with it so far, is during the photo-selection phase. When you’re selecting your ten photos, if you un-select one, it then finds the one you selected previously and focuses you back on that. Not so bad if you’re sharing ten photos that you snapped together – but if Instagram don’t fix it before 2018, be careful when you’re choosing your faouvrite 10 photos of 2017 to bring in the New Year! If you take as many photos on your phone as I do, it’s a little frustrating.

And overall?

Personally I’m a big fan of the feature – I think it’s going to be exciting to see how the brands all react to it, as the marketing geniuses at each company try to make the most of the opportunity and their creativity.

How do you think the new feature be used? What would you do?

 

 

 

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