Almost two years ago, Instagram introduced a sincerely useful feature to the app: the ability to upload multiple photos at once, letting your followers browse them by swiping on a carousel of images. It was an obvious solution to one of the Instagram feed’s most persistent problems — users who spam it with seven or eight photos at a time. Which made it all the more inexplicable that Instagram restricted photo carousels to its advertisers. The company said it might bring the feature to regular users eventually, but it made no promises.
Today, we’re finally getting the feature that advertisers have enjoyed for years. Instagram said on its blog that users will now be able to upload 10 photos and videos per post, telling more complete stories. “You no longer have to choose the single best photo or video from an experience you want to remember,” the company said. “Now, you can combine up to 10 photos and videos in one post and swipe through to see them all.”
The company suggested a variety of uses for the new format, from documenting each phase of a surprise birthday party to showing the steps for making a recipe. In that sense, the carousels can feel like a more permanent version of Instagram stories — complete narratives that live on your profile for as long as you like.
To create a carousel, you tap a new icon that mimics a photo stack. From there, you select the photos and videos you want to include. To change the order of the posts, you tap, hold, and drag. You can edit your photos and videos individually or as a group, but you only get one caption and location tag for your post. (Likes and comments are all grouped under the complete post, too.)
You’ll know you’re seeing a carousel in the feed when you see a blue ellipsis (...) at the bottom of the post. To see the rest, just start swiping. Carousels will roll out to all users on Android and iOS over the next few weeks, the company said.