It seems like every time I open an app these days something has changed. In the case of Instagram, the changes that we’re seeing aren’t just designers messing with the user experience, they’ve also added a major new feature that all of us should be paying attention to — Instagram Guides.

Guides is a somewhat Pinterest/Tumblr-inspired way of curating and displaying content, and it will enable us to create the types of collections that just haven’t been possible on Instagram until now. There are three types of Guides: Products, Places, and Posts – each allows a creator to pull together their own posts, and posts from other accounts, adding descriptions above each piece of content. The result is a blog-like experience where people can scroll through content that’s categorized the way that you choose.

The immediate and obvious applications of Guides include the following:

  • Tourism brands & destinations
    Re-create itineraries and travel experiences in a series of Guides
  • Retailers
    Curate a combination of user-generated content and your own posts into an Instagram-based lookbook for each product category, season, or even specific products
  • All brands
    Celebrate your community by pulling the best content from a branded hashtag, or use it to highlight their contributions

Below I’ve included a couple of examples of Instagram Guides that are already up and running:

The W Hotels account created a Story last week that asked its followers a simple question: Which W Hotel location is your favorite?

From the responses, they ranked the top 5 and pulled a past post about each into the guide. With very little effort they’ve made their followers feel heard and created a bit of travel inspiration for anyone paying attention.

Refinery 29 was one of the early brands that Instagram worked with for the rollout of the feature, so they have a much more developed Guides tab. Some of their guides include where to buy fan-favorite products, uplifting content, and recommendation lists like “Best Face Masks for Working Out”.

As with every new content type, creative people are going to shape how we actually end up using it, and the early days are where brands have the most opportunity to grab some attention. To get some Instagram Guides 101 and learn to create your own, check out the How-to guide from the team at Later.

If you want to go deeper and have a chat about what’s possible for you and your brand, shoot us an email, and let’s start a conversation: hello@wearejunction.com.