How to make a carousel on Instagram. 15 photo, video, and text ideas for the carousel


The ability to publish a carousel on Instagram appeared in 2017, previously it could only be done in promotional posts. This type of publication is called a gallery or post carousel. You can add up to 10 photos or videos to it.

Today we will tell you how to publish a carousel in Instagram, and what it gives to the account. And we’ll also suggest 15 interesting ideas for publications in the form of a gallery.

How to publish a carousel on Instagram

Open your Instagram account, click on the plus sign.

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Select the icon with several squares – it says “Select multiple”.

Select several photos or videos, they are marked by numbers – this is the order in which they will be placed. Press “Next”.

You can apply a filter to the gallery. This is automatically applied to all photos.

If you want to apply a filter to specific photos, not the entire publication, then click on the circle in the lower left corner of the photo.

You can also open advanced settings – disable comments, write alt-text to the photo, mark a business partner if it’s a sponsored publication.

Under the posted gallery you can see dots – they show how many photos or videos are in the selection. You can browse the gallery by scrolling on your phone or by using the arrows if you’re in Instagram from your computer.

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Also in the upper right corner you can see the number of photos, for example, if you opened the first one, it will be 1/2, if the second one, it will be 2/2. In the “Interesting” section, the post carousel is marked with an icon with squares.

Why to post carousel on Instagram

Carousel in Instagram is not only a convenient way to show content, but also a promotional tool. What it gives the account:

  • increased reach/shows – if there is no likes, the post will be shown again;
  • involvement – when you see a post with three dots, you want to thumb through it and find out what other photos/videos are hiding there. As a result, the user interacts with the publication and spends more time viewing the posts;
  • you can place a large text and video in the carousel, thus bypassing Instagram’s limits;
  • Photographers, stylists, artists no longer need to make collages or fill the band with single-type photos to show their work – carousel can be used as a portfolio, and stores can make a showcase of their products;
  • If a user paging through carousel from his computer, clicking on the arrow with his mouse, then after the last photo he can accidentally put a “Like”.
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Ideas for using carousel on Instagram

1. Carousel as an extension of the text in the post

You can write text in the post up to 2 000 characters, place the continuation in the carousel as a photo. To make it clear to users, write the phrase “Carousel continuation” at the end of the text. You may use this method not only for large texts – the point is that most users will find it easier to scroll through the images than to unfold the description below the photo and read the body of text.

2. Video in parts

Long videos can only be posted in IGTV or a series of storis, but carousel allows you to post a video in a post. It needs to be cut into parts of 1 minute each. That is, you can put a ten-minute video in one carousel in this way.

3. Tips from

You can make a carousel with short tips on your topic. For example, whether to post on Instagram every day or how to understand your target audience. The more colorful and original the photo – the better. Below is an example of tips on the topic of SMM.

4. Presentation of a product or service

Carousel in Instagram is a great opportunity to showcase a product from different angles and offer a way to use it. For example, IKEA brand shows in galleries how their furniture and other products look in the interior.

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A good impression of the carousel, where the product can be viewed from different sides to the smallest detail.

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You can dedicate a gallery to one product or a whole series

5. How-to / tutorial / checklist

You can show a step-by-step process of a tiphack or make a mini-tutorial in the carousel. An example is the account of the developers of the Photoshop editor. They show a finished photo processed in the program, followed by a short video with step-by-step instructions on how to make such a photo.

Лайфхаки в карусели в Инстаграм

6. News

Tell us what’s new at your store and format it as a slider. For example, the re:Store brand made a gallery with a story about what security measures were put in place in the store for customers and employees due to the coronavirus outbreak.

7. Contest

Come up with a contest and display the results as a carousel. An example was the “Pet Portrait” contest where you had to send in pictures of your pets. The best photos ended up in the gallery, and the winners’ profiles were listed in the text of the post. You could make a carousel with pictures of prizes to be raffled off first, and then a separate carousel with the contest results.


8. Postcards with merchandise

The idea is to make funny postcards with your product. You can add a caption there in the theme. Postcards can be printed out, reposted to your account with the recipient’s nickname, simply forwarded to another person, or saved for yourself and posted to your storis. Example – cards with gadgets for Valentine’s Day.

9. Picks

The Carousel format is just made for picks. Make a selection of your favorite movies or books, photos of interesting places in your city, a list of the best cafes, tips for motivation. You can post picks on psychology and self-development, like “7 types of people who piss everyone off. Invite subscribers to evaluate the proposed list in the comments, let them tell you what of the above they applied in life and what they can advise in response. You can do such picks endlessly, and they always have a high level of engagement.

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10. Before / After

You can show what came out of your work. Photographers, stylists, artists, designers, and builders use this technique. Usually two photos are used in such compilations.

До / После 

11. Answer the question

You can just answer subscribers’ questions or make up a game – post a picture with the question on the first slide, and post the answer on the second slide. Ask users to write the answer to the first question in the comments without peeking, and then check yourself and open the second slide.

12. How it’s done

Show how the product or photo was created. You can post short videos of the backstage or just post a couple of “in progress” photos.

13. Reviews

Post some pictures of the item in the carousel, and leave a review about it in the description. Suitable for those who do reviews and unpacking. If you are a seller – use customer reviews. You can offer them a discount or a small gift to send them reviews themselves and you will publish them.

14. Photo report from the event

You held/attended an event, went on a trip, witnessed something unusual – show it in a carousel. In the same format you can show your subscribers how your day went.

Фотоотчет с места событий

15.  Advertising

While carousel used to be a paid format, you can now make free native ads in your account. To make it not seem obtrusive – take the product and take some “non-advertising photos” without emphasis on the subject of advertising. Example – a guy shows a carousel of photos from a trip to London, but some of the photos clearly show a bottle of perfume and its name. One of the buildings resembles the shape of the bottle. There is a branded hashtag in the description of the carousel.


The text doesn’t give away overt advertising in this post either: “Back in November, I went to London with #isseymiyakeparfums to rediscover the city and reflect its duality. Classic, but modern. Prestigious but avant-garde.”

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