This week, Instagram has launched a brand new feature that is one of the biggest updates to the platform since the launch of IGTV in 2018. The feature is known as ‘Guides’ and will be a new tab on a user’s profile. Here, creators can collate images, videos and content in one place for users to scroll through.
Discover all you need to know about the new feature below, how it works and the benefits.
What exactly is the new Guides feature?
The new feature has been introduced as a way of aggregating a range of content that has the same message into one place for users to discover tips, recommendations and information. Users can scroll through images, videos and even longform content on a particular topic and find reliable, helpful information.
Currently, Instagram is only focussing on ‘Wellness’ as a topic for the Guides, to help those struggling with mental health issues and stress during the COVID-19 pandemic. Although we can expect this to be expanded on in the coming months, as this is a massive opportunity for the platform to improve its offering into further longform content.
How does it work?
The Instagram Guides feature allows creators to collate the images and videos from their own profile or the profiles of other Instagram creators. All of these are then added into the Guide for users to scroll through.
All images and videos link back to the original post, so it’s a great way to get visibility and links to your profile from other, possibly high profile users. The Guides can be shared and linked to in Stories and sent as DMs (direct messages) to other users.
Currently, they aren’t available in the Explore tab, but Instagram have said they will be added here “in the coming days” (as of 18/05/2020). This gives users another opportunity to be discovered in the search function of the platform, increasing your chances of visibility and virality.
Who can create Instagram Guides?
At the moment, with the new Guide function only just being rolled out this week, the new feature is only available to certain creators and influencers, mainly wellness focussed accounts. However, if the function proves popular, then we can imagine that it will continue to be rolled out to further accounts in the coming months.
In their statement, Instagram said that “creators, public figures, organizations, and publishers” are those who will have the ability to create Guides. So we can expect to see business accounts, as well as further creator accounts to receive the functionality to create Guides, although there is no word when this will be.
What are the benefits of using it?
Instagram has said the purpose of the new Guides feature is to “be a place where you can easily find reliable information and inspiration from your favorite accounts”. So it’s a great way to show off your expertise in your chosen field and give users a helpful guide on literally anything (once the feature has rolled out further).
With the opportunity to create more longform content, it allows you to show off more information about your business, but also become more discoverable. User’s searching for certain topics and information may discover your profile because of the longform content you have put together for your Guide.
It’s also worth mentioning that as the Guide’s link back to the original post, it’s a great way to discover new profiles and even share some profile’s your followers may like but don’t know about in a more organic way.
Whilst we don’t know the full extent of how the Guides are going to work yet, it will be interesting to see more benefits over the coming months as this is rolled out further.
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