On Wednesday, Instagram announced its latest feature — a the ability to make swipeable, gallery-like posts including up to 10 images and videos — quite literally changing the way ‘grammers scroll through their feeds. The mysterious new multi-image post format resembles Stories in a few ways, so one of my initial questions is: Can you see who's viewed your Instagram gallery-style posts?
Up to this point, most users have had to rely on the collage app or the ephemeral Instagram Stories to present multiple images in one post, and both formats have come with their own drawbacks. These new multi-image posts change all of that, though, bringing a slideshow-like format to the main feed. Viewers see a single cover image like any normal post, but underneath will be a number of dots — a subtle suggestion to swipe to view more images. If viewers do not wish to see the rest of the photos in the gallery, they can easily scroll past the post without it automatically playing through the slideshow. This format closely resembles the carousel ads that have been used by brands to tell sequenced stories for a year now.
As for that initial question, though? The answer is, not really. For the most part, the gallery-style posts behave like regular posts; unlike Stories, you won't have a list available of specific users who have viewed your photo collections. However, 'Grammers can get a sense of who has viewed their multi-image posts by checking out the "likes" and comments that a particular post has received. As with any video or image uploaded to the main feed, likes and comments will apply to the entire post, rather than individual images within the post. As such, it may be difficult to tell if someone has swiped through an entire gallery.
Popularity of a post is easier to judge with the Stories function. Users can simply swipe up on their Story to access exact view counts and the names of the individuals who have watched it; however, these daily narratives disappear after 24 hours and cannot be saved to your profile, whereas multi-image posts last forever (unless you decide to delete them of your own accord, of course). If you're trying to decide whether to use Stories or Instagram Galleries to tell the tale of your latest vacation, might I suggest — both?
This new Instagram feature will be rolling out globally over the next few weeks, so be on the look out for those little dots while swiping through your feed. To start building your own slideshow-esque post, head to your image library as you normally would, and tap the photos and videos you want included. Once you've set your lineup, you can change the order of your images, and apply filters to the slideshow all at once. Add a caption (you're only allowed one, alas) and tag featured friends and locations. Once you hit "Post," your beauteous gallery will appear on the main feed for all to swipe through! With the weekend coming up, there has never been a better time to make some memories (and then share them on Instagram).