Instagram launched its new Galleries feature on Wednesday, just in time for fashion brands and spectators in the throes of runway season.
The newest Instagram tool lets users upload up to 10 photos in one post. When scrolling through the main feed, the first photo in a gallery carousel appears like any other standalone Instagram, anchored by one caption. A group of dots below the photo signals that there are more photos in the post that are viewable if the user swipes left.
Like with any other Instagram update, brands hot on the platform are already testing out the new feature en masse. (Fashion publishers, armed with massive amounts of runway content, have begun using the tool, as well.)
Fendi, which showed its Fall 2017 runway collection on Thursday during Milan Fashion Week, used an Instagram gallery to display multiple shots from the show in one stream. New season drops typically take up multiple squares of space on a brand’s feed, and Instagram’s algorithm also dings people for posting too much very quickly. Compiling more shots into fewer posts will help stem the flow of spammy uploads around a big event.
“Nothing turns followers off more than radio silence from a user, followed by a huge spam of more than three photos or videos in a row,” said Fabrizio Perrone, CEO of Italian influencer platform Buzzoole. “Galleries contains that.”
Therefore, it works wonders for fashion show updates, new campaign launches and product drops. According to Bryan Segal, CEO of Engagement Labs, using a new Instagram tool immediately helps brands looking for better engagement get on the right side of the platform’s algorithm, which rolled out last year.
“In fashion, high follower count and plenty of content no longer gets engagement,” said Segal. “You have to play the game. That means using the features and creating content that resonates.”
Unlike past updates, like Instagram’s Shop function, Galleries was rolled out to all users, rather than a select group in beta. As a result, plenty of brands are making use of the multi-photo posts. Streetwear brand Kith used a gallery carousel to release photos of the newly launched Asics Gel-Lyte V sneaker, which came in three colors. Beauty brand Glossier announced Thursday that its highlighter sticks were back in stock and took to an Instagram carousel to show each highlighter shade on different skin tones. Opening Ceremony shared four photos from a Kenzo collaboration release party, and TopShop used a combination of photos and videos to announce its new denim campaign.
Apu Gupta, CEO of marketing technology platform Curalate, said that the downside of Galleries is that in some ways it draws attention to the non-shoppability inherent on Instagram. “We’re making it easier for people to discover, but when it comes time for someone to buy, the resulting commerce experience is broken,” he said.
On the influencer side, though, it will get easier to sneak in sponsored products. These users are testing the feature already: WeWoreWhat’s Danielle Bernstein used the carousel to display her latest outfits in Paris, while photographer Tommy Ton uploaded a series of behind-the-scenes photos from the Gucci runway show. Away from fashion week, Very Good Light’s David Yi posted a contour tutorial for men in the carousel.
Perrone said that Galleries could help sponsored Instagram content on influencer pages blend in with the unpaid content.
“As it currently stands, it’s often very obvious when an influencer has been paid to speak about a particular product,” said Perrone. “However, by blending in a paid-for placement with other products, the feel of authenticity will be stronger. They now have the power to create a more seamless ‘how-to’ slideshow, blending [a paid-for product] with products from other brands.”