These Dots Mean Something Special For Insta Posts

Social media technology has the mentality of a shark: keep moving forward, or die. Never one to sit in complacency for more than a few months, Instagram has announced a big-time, game changing update to their platform. If you opened Instagram this morning and wondered what the dots mean in Instagram gallery-style posts, don't worry — you're not alone. For starters, those dots mean you no longer have to create collages full of teeny tiny photos to fit within a single Instagram post yourself; the new multi-image posts let you include up to 10 photos or videos in one post, all at the spectacularly high resolution in which your delightful mug deserves to be seen. Thank Goddess for that.

Instagram announced their latest feature — the ability to include up to 10 photos or videos in one post, which you can then swipe through for easy viewing — in a Feb. 22 blog post, solidly positioning themselves as the "experience" platform. "Share your favorite moments of your best friend’s surprise birthday party, from setting up to when they walk through the door," they suggest in their announcement, "or create a step-by-step cake recipe that people can always find on your profile."

No longer will we be relegated to the aforementioned collages, which render every image too small to enjoy, or Instagram Stories, which disappear after 24 hours, to capture a multi-layered moment. This update will be rolling out globally for both iOS and Android over the next few weeks, so don't be surprised if you don't have it immediately. It'll get there eventually, though. I promise.

So how do you view your friends' new slideshow-type posts? (Also, is it just me or does it feel like Instagram rolled this out just in time for music festivals and wedding season?) If you come across a post with a string of dots directly below the image, like this:


Then you know you've hit upon a Brand New Feature! Those dots represent each of the photos in the gallery you're viewing. The blue dot is the photo you're currently looking right at; the gray dots on either side, meanwhile, stand for each of the photos you can scroll through. Navigating between images is pretty straightforward: Just swipe left or right. In the case of this screenshot here, there are two more photos to the left of the one we're looking at, and two to the right.

Have fun swiping!