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article imageInstagram's new swipeable 'carousels' divide long-time users

By James Walker     Feb 23, 2017 in Technology
Instagram has announced a new feature that lets you share up to 10 photos and videos in one post. The images show up as a swipeable carousel in the feed. The feature, designed to let people share more often, has been given a mixed reception by users.
Instagram said it's launching the feature to help users share more memories of one experience. It suggested people currently make a choice over which photo or video to share, rather than having to tediously upload multiple posts and type tags for each one.
With the new update, it's much easier to share a collection of photos and preserve the context that accompanies them. When creating a post, you can tap up to 10 photos and videos from your camera roll to add them all to your feed. Once the content has been selected, you can drag items around to re-order them. Adding a filter and a single caption completes the post.
If you desire, it's possible to customise the filter individually for each photo. However, the description and tags cannot be changed, ensuring the feature is not abused. Otherwise, scammers could gain more exposure by adding 10 photos simultaneously and then changing the tags on each one.
Instagram Carousels
Instagram Carousels
When you upload a post with multiple images, it displays in the news feed as a carousel. You can swipe left and right to navigate between the content in the post. On profile screens, posts with more than one photo or video are signified by a new stack icon displayed at the top-right of the thumbnail image. The first photo added to the post will always be displayed by default.
"With this update, you no longer have to choose the single best photo or video from an experience you want to remember," said Instagram. "Now, you can combine up to 10 photos and videos in one post and swipe through to see them all. Share your favorite moments of your best friend's surprise birthday party, from setting up to when they walk through the door. Or create a step-by-step cake recipe that people can always find on your profile."
The feature has divided Instagram users. Some have opted to embrace it and begin sharing even more of their lives with followers. However, others have criticised the company for attempting to condense the feed, suggesting it's trying to make people see posts from a wider selection of users as they browse.
"Albums are destined to turn Instagram into a place where tedious photo sets from vacations, bar mitzvahs and holiday parties are interspersed with the images users actually want to see," Pete Pachal, Tech Editor of news site Mashable, said of a beta version of the feature launched earlier this month.
Instagram Carousels
Instagram Carousels
The launch of carousels is related to Instagram's ongoing efforts to become a less pressurised platform. In December, Kevin Weil, the company's head of product, confessed to Recode that the app was facing a problem as people tried to make all their posts "Instagram worthy."
"Instagram became a place where people kept raising the bar on themselves in terms of the quality of what they had to achieve to post," Weil said. "We didn't want that."
With carousels, Instagram is bringing the bar back down. It hopes that people will feel encouraged to share more photos, regardless of the quality level. Less "worthy" posts could be positioned later in the carousel but still uploaded to the feed. As ever, the overall aim is increasing user engagement.
The update also gives new options to advertisers, raising revenue by letting marketers share up to 10 posts in one carousel. Previously, only five photos could be added in the initial carousels implementation available to brands.
Instagram carousels are available now in app version 10.9, currently available on iOS and Android devices. The company hasn't yet specified when the update will be available on Windows 10.
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