Instagram implements Guides: what they are, how they work and who can use them

30 November 2020

Instagram did it again. That’s right: another evolution on the part of the social giant, which has implemented its structure by offering users a new function, those of Guides. The news is very fresh, with the official release coming in the last few days.

But what is it all about in concrete terms? What is the function of these Guides and, above all, are they accessible to any user? Let’s try to clarify all the points in detail, because this is a service that is attracting enormous attention and could really become popular in the near future.

Instagram Guides: what they are

The main purpose of the new function is to allow users to group content on their profile belonging to the same category in one place. How? By recommending this type of post, thus giving rise to a sort of rubric – or ‘gallery’ – within the various profiles.

Guides can be targeted at three different types of objects: places, products or general posts. In this way, each Guide will be able to provide profile visitors with advice and tips related to the topic on which it is focused.

The visual and compositional structure is as follows: the user can upload a cover photo for what is effectively an album, a description of its nature and then select the posts he or she wishes to include in it. The product and post guides can contain an infinite number of elements, as long as they have been published by the user (i.e. present on his profile) or saved by him.

The situation is different for the Guides dedicated to places: the availability of elements from which to draw is decidedly greater, because the photos can be selected via geolocation and have been taken and uploaded to the social network by any user; but the maximum number of elements that can be uploaded is limited to five, which compared to the other two categories are displayed in carousel mode.

Who can use Guides on Instagram

When a Guide is created and published, it appears on the profile in question in an exclusive tab, which is created between that of the posts published and that of the posts in which the user has been tagged. However, the Instagram Guide does not appear in the feed of all other users; instead, it can later be shared in Instagram Stories or via a private message.

Several profiles are already using it. But is this function available to everyone? The answer is no. After a classic experimental phase, which began in mid-April 2020 and was obviously made available to a few users as a trial, Instagram has made it possible to create Guides for creator and company profiles. Business accounts, then, and not normal ones.

The usefulness of this new function, in view of its characteristics, is undoubted: it greatly facilitates the sponsoring of places or products. It is a particularly useful tool for influencers who are affiliated with certain brands.

Finally, it is worth noting that Instagram is continuing its policy of scientifically studying its competitors in order to implement the services it offers its users: this change in fact has several traits that seem to derive from Pinterest, just as happened in past years with Stories first (Snapchat) and then Reels (TikTok).