Last week, Instagram launched a brand new photo sharing “Carousel” feature wherein users can choose up to 10 photos or videos to feature in a single post. As Instagram writes explaining the new feature – “You no longer have to choose the single best photo or video from an experience you want to remember. Now, you can combine up to 10 photos and videos in one post and swipe through to see them all.” Basically, you can share a mix of up to 10 photos or videos as a single carousel post that friends can swipe through.

Unlike its Snapchat stories clone, Instagram now wants you to share a complete picture of your experience, as Instagram albums. The feature rolls out globally on iOS and Android over the next few weeks.

And the functionality is darn simple. You can simply click a new icon that allows you to select more than one photo or video. You may choose the order of their appearance, apply a filter, and tag your friends. There will also be an option for caption and location in addition to the comments. After you share, your friends will be notified by a series of blue dots, alerting that you have indeed shared a carousel post. Even more, to identify a carousel post, Instagram will add an icon to the post’s thumbnail.

Well, now the question that makes me think is, will this feature be availed only by the youngsters and individuals? Can any brand leverage this feature and get any benefit?

I guess yes. Because ultimately what do brands want? They want to share their interesting and value added content to their target audience so that the brand engagement is sustained. And in the process talk about the product or service they offer. This new Instagram feature is an excellent way to do that for brands who are intensely active in Instagram.

In this post, we’ll discuss as to how you can leverage this brand new photo feature of Instagram for your brand.

1. Show a step-by-step process
Since this new feature gives you the freedom to post multiple images, you can show a step by step process by placing the photos in a particular sequence. Be it a product, or a demo, a recipe, or whatever you want to show in a gradual progression. And this is nothing wrong or unconventional but is a very elegant way to demonstrate your product.

2. Explore a panoramic photo
If you have an image of your product which doesn’t fit within the square format on Instagram, you can take multiple pictures of it, and share as one single image. Multiple photos as in, one large photo split into sections. Suppose your product is a new motorbike, then you can easily take two three images showcasing the front, middle and back part of the bike. And then you may post the image as a single one, that will let your fans explore it.


3. Showcase multiple products
Earlier in Instagram, to showcase multiple images you were required to split the frame up into pieces. Now with the new feature, you can highlight several images of your product making it easier for your fans to view those, from different ranges.

4. Ask a multiple choice question
Imagine you receive real-time and instant feedback on any of your business decision or any new product launch. Instagram now allows you to share multiple images that you can use as an opportunity to seek real-time feedback from your fans. Share each image as a choice and ask your fans to comment on each image. Thus you can get instant feedback instead of conducting a time-consuming fan survey.


5. Incorporate video and animation
Not just photos, but Instagram “Carousel” enables you to use both, photos as well as videos, or a blend of both! If you are selling a product, you may shoot a video as to how people should use it. Or if you are selling a service then you can shoot a video of you talking about the services you offer. Also along with the video, you may share a supportive image. That’s all you need to do, and you would see the level of engagement soaring higher and higher. Because whatever you do, whatever you share is all real-time.

6. Tell the story of a day
With Instagram stories, you could tell a story about your day as it unfolds. But with multiple images, you could do the same thing, but in a bit more polished manner. Choose the best photo or video that sums up your day and present it to your audience. Your audience is sure going to love it. Share about an event in your office or annual meetings. This helps in fostering your brand engagement.


It’s your turn now
So how do you think you would utilize the new “Carousel” feature on Instagram? Do you have any other idea as to how brands can reap benefit from this feature? Let us know in the comments below.