Instagram Just Announced Its Biggest & Most Controversial Update Yet

Photo: Courtesy of Instagram.
Single photo Instagram posts are now OG. Instagram slideshows are officially here to change the game as you know it.

Starting today, Instagram users will be able to combine up to 10 photos and videos in a single post. The idea is that when you have multiple images from one event and can't decide which one to share, you can put them into what is essentially a slideshow. Four blue dots along the bottom of a multi-photo post will let your followers know to swipe through when they see it in their feed. On your grid, these posts will be denoted by the ombré logo (shown above) in the upper right-hand corner of the slideshow's opening image.

In an email to Refinery29, Instagram product manager Yichen Wang provided further insight into the release:

"This product was inspired by members of our community, who have told us that there are times they want to share more than just one moment from a memorable experience in their feed. The ability to upload multiple photos and videos within one post not only adds depth to those moments, but it also complements other products within the app, such as stories, in a way that makes it easier than ever to share your highlights and everything in between on Instagram."

Rumors of the new gallery tool first popped up earlier this month, when a Twitter user discovered the feature in a beta version of the update. You might have seen gallery posts before: The option has been available to advertisers for some time, but not the general public.
Photo: Courtesy of Instagram.
The update is sure to be a polarising one for loyal 'grammers. When news started spreading that Instagram was testing the tool, Twitter users were split between fiercely opposed and excited about the prospect.

What will be most interesting is seeing how influencers, many of whom have relied on Instagram for their careers, and celebrities respond. The gallery tool could mean that influencers are able to charge brands more for each sponsored post, but it would also mean additional work and planning to tell an entire story within a single post. Likes for a single album post will be cumulative and will not show up individually for each photo and video.

The timing of the rollout is particularly interesting for celebrities, since this weekend is the biggest awards show of the year, the Oscars. If nominees and presenters take advantage of it, we could be in for some incredible behind-the-scenes slideshows and galleries of stars getting ready for the red carpet. While this sort of access has been offered on Instagram Stories and Snapchat previously, those posts disappear after 24 hours. An Instagram album will remain visible (unless it is manually deleted, of course).

Head here for a step-by-step guide to creating your own Instagram slideshow. And prepare for some heated Twitter debates about the new tool.
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