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What's the deal with Instagram 'Guides'?

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Instagram makes changes regularly to it's algorithm and UX - many of which are not met with glowing reviews from its users. Whether it be complaints that the algorithm is reducing people's post reach, or that the new 'Shopping' tab is a function nobody wanted.

However, when Instagram launched 'Guides' this year, it was met with positive reviews from the majority of Instagram users, as a great way to add value and give more breadth to conversations or topics that can be discussed on the platform.

As the name suggests, the Guides feature allows a user to create a Guide pertaining to a certain topic and provides an easy to share and read collection on their Instagram account. Whether it be a guide to your favourite brunch spots, Christmas wish list, skin care reviews, it can be used however you like.

The feature sits on your page alongside Reels, IGTV and Tagged photos so your audience can easily find your Guides. (as shown in the image to the right).

From there, you'll be able to see all the Guides a creator or brand has uploaded - similarly to how IGTV is visible.

So should brands be adopting Guides, and how is it useful to them?

Guides can be a great way to give more discussion on your product/service range and allows you to repurpose existing posts, giving your content further longevity. This feature opens up huge opportunities for story-telling and e-commerce on the app, allowing you to tag products and talk to their USP's and features in an almost blog-like fashion.

For Instagram, Guides offers another way to keep users on the app and to keep users choosing Instagram as their preferred social media. Many brands and creators send their audience external to the app to a blog or website, so Guides offers a way to encourage creators to send their audience to other parts of the Instagram app, as opposed to elsewhere.

Instagram have noted that they enable Guides, Shopping & Productions to all work harmoniously together, allowing brands to list their products for sale in the app and then link them in their Guides and in-feed content to further encourage sales and product/brand awareness.

Kitch Catterall

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