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(Pocket-lint) - Instagram is launching a new Guides feature that gives users a way to aggregate content together in a single place. You can curate feed posts, products, or locations from across Instagram, and then add your own commentary. Here is everything you need to know about Instagram Guides, including how they work.

What are Instagram Guides?

Guides can be about any topic, and they can include posts, products, and locations. For instance, you can create travel guides and buyer's guides and FAQ guides, and so on. 

Instagram first launched Guides at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. So, initially, the new feature had a focus on wellness topics in order to help users. But Instagram maintained that it wanted Guides to help users more "easily discover recommendations, tips, and other content" from their favourite creators, public figures, organizations, and publishers." One of the first Guides promoted by Instagram was from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Another was a Mindful Movements guide filled with exercises and stretches from Sarah Campbell, a Yogi and meditation expert.

Instagram What are Instagram Guides and how do they work image 3

Basically, think of a Guide as a blog post on Instagram - because it can feature text, photos, galleries, and videos.

Where do you find Instagram Guides?

Guides are located in a separate new tab on a user’s profile Look for the booklet icon between the photo grid icon and tagged photos icon. If you can't see the icon, it's because that user does not have any published Guides. Guides also appear in the Shop tab. When you find a Guide, you can share it across your own stories and in direct messages on Instagram.

Example of Instagram Guides

To view an example of a Guide, visit the profile of one of these pages and then tap the middle icon to view their Guides:

How do Instagram Guides work?

Create a Guide

To create your first Guide:

  1. Tap the plus icon on the top of your profile page and select Guide.
  2. You can then choose from three different formats:
    • Places
    • Products
    • Posts.
  3. Select the type of Guide you want to create, and follow the on-screen prompts.
  4. Once you’ve chosen what you want to feature, you can re-arrange it.
    • You can also add a title and change the cover photo.
    • You can even add new commentary for each new content block.
  5. When done, select Next in the top corner of the screen and then Share. 

Published Guides go to the dedicated Guides tab on your profile. Guides are also surfaced in your followers' Home feeds. 

Read a Guide

In a Guide, you will see posts and videos that the creator has curated with their own tips, commentary, or advice. The posts in Guides can come from the creator or from other Instagram users. If you want to learn more about a specific post, just tap on the image or video to view the original Instagram post. You can also share a Guide to your story by tapping the share button.

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Who can create Instagram Guides?

When the feature first launched in early 2020 on a trial basis, only a select group of creators ("creators, public figures, organizations, and publishers") were able to use it to publish content focused on mental health and well-being. As of 17 November 2020, Instagram has made the format available to all users. It's also expanded Guides to include other types of content.

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When will Instagram Guides be available?

Guides are available to all users via user profiles and the Shop tab.

Writing by Maggie Tillman.