In mid-2017, Instagram started letting users post multiple photos in a carousel format. With this new feature, users could upload up to 10 photos including videos simultaneously.
Your followers could interact with your post by scrolling through them. This new format was a welcome move as you couldn’t spam your users by posting separate single photos.
Creatives started using them to show steps such as food recipes, celebrating an event or curation of memes – my favourite.
Since last year, Instagram has been ruining this experience for both the users who post pictures in this format and the followers who interact with said posts.
This is a scenario many of you will find familiar. Have you ever been scrolling through your Instagram feed and you see an interesting carousel post but when you start to scroll left, you realize you’ve seen this post before.
Instagram started showing the multiple photos not in chronological order but from midway. On your timeline, you start seeing the second or third photo in the series instead of Instagram showing the first picture.
The carousel photos are always neatly curated in an orderly way by users for their followers to interact with them as intended and Instagram just decided to ruin that experience.
If you’ve been keen enough, Instagram does this for posts that you skipped interacting with. So Instagram disguises that same posts and thinks that showing you the second photo will increase its engagement but it ends up being an annoying tactic.
This sly move is only to Instagram’s advantage as it tricks you to post more after the carousel post disguised as new gets fresh likes especially from users who infrequently open the app.
In December, Instagram had tried changing the format from horizontal to a vertical scroll of photos and it brought chaos and faced a backlash from users and the giant photo sharing platform had to go back to the drawing board.
— The Verge (@verge) December 27, 2018
Instagram needs to figure out a better way to increase actual usage instead of tricking users just to increase engagement or else users will move to the next photo sharing platform that doesn’t disrupt users expectations.