Publishing news with Instagram’s latest carousel feature

Since its introduction last week, Instagram’s newest feature serves new and exciting opportunities for news organisations.

In a move that now allows for up to 10 pictures and/or videos to be shared within a single post, or carousel, news organisations can utilise the techniques they learned for Stories to create permanent news content.

I took some time to experiment with this new format, and working out what styles of content works best for news. I’ve also taken a look around Instagram and found some examples already from organisations already starting their own experiments.

My experience of this new format, both as a creator and viewer, is that it is good for creating a series of content that has something in common. This common link could be the subject matter, or time.

In the headlines post I made, the series is tied down to a specific time. In this case, it was 4pm, and because this peg was clear in the cover photo, the different subjects that followed didn’t confuse.

When the subject matter is the same, as was the case with the Roald Dahl exhibition, the series needs no further explanation. The title I gave this series gave some information, with a more thorough description in the caption. This combination meant the post was attractive to view, but also gave the viewer the necessary information they needed.

Examples where there is no title page in this format makes it difficult to understand what is going on straight away. Examples from NBC and ABC News, viewers rely on the caption to provide information. In NBC’s case, this made for awkward viewing. Their series opens with a video without context, and so by scrolling down to read the caption you miss some of what is being said in the video.

Take a look at these examples below.

What do you think of the new feature? Let me know in the comments below, or get in touch.

This post was updated at 6pm on Saturday 4th March after it became known that Instagram has called the feature the “carousel”. The previous version did not name the feature.