The Ultimate Guide to Creating Instagram Carousel Posts

April 24, 2024
Instagram Carousel

Instagram carousels are popular among Gen Z’s for “photo dumps,” as these are viewed as a more authentic and unfiltered presentation of the profile owner. Brands and businesses can also use carousels in the same way: to humanize their brands.

A brand’s relatability is important to attract new followers and connect with an audience. In this article, we’ll explain how you can create and schedule Instagram carousels to leverage this content format for your brand. Let’s dive in!

What is an Instagram Carousel?

An Instagram carousel is a type of post that features multiple images. These can include up to 10 photos and videos and are recognized by the layered square icon in the upper-right corner of each post. Aside from photo dumps, there are other ways to use this type of post for your brand. We’ll discuss these and provide some examples later.

What is an Instagram Carousel?

Instagram Carousel Specs & Requirements

Like other content types on the platform, the media you use on Instagram carousels must follow specific requirements. For one, videos should have a maximum length of 60 seconds.

Instagram will also automatically crop all your images following the format of the first image. This means that if the first visual in your carousel is a square photo, the rest of your images will follow the same format.

The recommended sizes for Instagram carousel photos and videos are:

  • 1080×1080 for square formats (1:1)
  • 1080×566 for landscape formats (1.91:1)
  • 1080×1350 for portrait formats (4:5)

How to Create an Instagram Carousel

You can easily create an Instagram carousel on the mobile app or the Instagram website. Simply log in to your profile and follow these steps:

#1. Create a Post

Creating an Instagram carousel is similar to creating a regular post. Click on the Plus icon at the bottom of the screen and choose Post for the content format. Then, tap the layered square icon on the right side of the screen. Lastly, select the photos and videos you want in your post and click Next.

#2. Edit Your Post

After that, you can edit your images. You can choose to apply the same filter to all your media or apply a separate filter to each one. When done, click Next and add a caption for your post.

#3. Upload Your Carousel

The next step is to adjust the post settings. When everything’s done, you can click Share to publish your post.

5+ Creative Ways to Use an Instagram Carousel for Your Brand

The Instagram carousel’s design is perfect for creating informative and engaging posts. But don’t just select ten photos at random without purpose. The key to a successful carousel is cohesion, so consider planning your carousels around an underlying theme.

Let’s take a look at some of the ways you can use this content type creatively:

#1. Tutorials

Instead of detailing the steps in your caption, you can use Instagram carousels for tutorials. How-to content helps promote your product, and by using it in your post, you can make your brand seem more relatable to your target audience.

Additionally, since tutorials are helpful content, users often save them for later. Saves are one of the factors that the Instagram algorithm considers in its content ranking. The more saves you get, the better your visibility on the platform.

#2. Behind-the-Scenes Content

Funny content is popular on Instagram. So, the next time you have a product shoot, consider posting your shoot bloopers and behind-the-scenes photos in a carousel, with the polished product photo as the first image. This is a fun post that can give your followers a glimpse into the creative process and the different personalities behind your brand.

#3. Brand Storytelling

You can also use Instagram carousels to tell your brand’s story in pictures. You can show how your business has progressed over the years or introduce the members of your company to put a face to the brand. These kinds of posts humanize your brand and are great for engaging your audience.

#4. Repurposed Content

Instagram carousels allow you to repurpose content. For instance, if you have a blog post that you want to promote, you can use carousels to highlight its key points and encourage users to read the full article in the caption.

Another way to repurpose content with carousels is by sharing a collection of screenshots of your top-performing posts. Twitter/X screenshots, in particular, are quite popular on Instagram and can even perform better than traditional posts on the platform.

#5. Data and Educational Content

Unlike Facebook, Instagram is a primarily visual platform, so when sharing data like your brand’s growth in the past year or service updates, it’s important to think about how to make it interesting for your audience.

While you can always post an image that teases your announcement and then explain the details in the caption, people are less likely to read through a block of text. Instead, format your post with light and interesting visuals to keep the user invested.

#6. Product Promotion

Instagram carousels are the perfect post type for product promotion. If your product has several color or style variations, you can showcase each one in a single post. You can also use a carousel to show how your product can be styled or worn to encourage buyers to make a purchase.

How to Schedule Instagram Carousels via Meta Business Suite

One way to schedule your Instagram carousel for later posting is through the Meta Business Suite.

First, open the Meta Business Suite and log in. Then, on the home page, click on Create post.

How to Schedule an Instagram Carousel via Meta Business Suite

Next, you can upload the photos and videos you want to use in your Instagram carousel.

If a file doesn’t meet the required image specifications we discussed earlier, you’ll see a warning on each one. You don’t have to edit these yourselves, as Instagram will automatically crop the photos, but this method may not highlight the most important details on each photo.

choose Instagram photo size

To ensure your images are properly cropped, tap the pencil icon to edit the photos and choose their size.

After cropping, you can check the preview on the right to see what your Instagram carousel would look like on the feed. Then, add the caption, hashtags, and links.

Instagram Feed Preview

When done, scroll down to “Scheduling options” and set the schedule for your Instagram carousel.

Scheduling Options - instagram carousel

How to Schedule Instagram Carousels with Publer

Using Meta Business Suite is great if you’re only planning to share the post on Instagram and Facebook, but if you want to cross-post your content on other platforms and fully experience the benefits of scheduling, Publer is the best option. The process is quite simple, so let’s go over the steps below.

#1. Sign Up on Publer

The first step is to sign up on Publer using an email address or an existing social media account. Then, you’ll need to provide some details and create a workspace.

Publer tool for Instagram

After the initial setup is done, you can connect your Instagram account to the platform and start scheduling posts, Reels, and other content.

#2. Create Your Instagram Carousel

To create an Instagram carousel, go to Create and select the account you want to use. Then, upload the photos for your post. You can also utilize Publer’s Canva integration to create handy Instagram carousel templates and streamline content creation.

Publer’s Canva integration

After all the images have loaded, you can rearrange them in the order that you want.

Rearrange Instagram Carousel images

Next, you can add the caption and other necessary details. With our Link in Bio feature, you can also promote your other social media accounts by turning your carousel into a clickable post.

Add Caption to Instagram photos

Check the preview on the right side, and when everything looks good, you’re ready to schedule your post.

#3. Set the Schedule for Your Instagram Carousel

With Publer, you have four scheduling options:

  • Manual scheduling. You set the time and date for your scheduled post.
  • Automatic scheduling. Publer utilizes the time slots on your account for your scheduled post.
  • Recycling. Publer reposts the carousel at your chosen timeslot.
  • Recurring. Publer reshares the carousel on a recurring schedule, daily, weekly, or monthly.

Instagram Carousel Examples

Here are a few Instagram carousel examples we’ve done in the past to help inspire you.

Zooming in on Details

The main photo of our first quarter roadmap contained many important elements, and using a carousel allowed us to highlight these details.

Video on the Next Slide

Video posts are great, but the first frame isn’t always interesting. A carousel allowed us to choose a good visual and set the theme of the post.


You can also use carousels to provide informative content, like these time-saving tips.

Product Reveal/Announcements

Instagram carousels are good for announcing new updates or products. Grab the user’s attention right away with the first photo, and use the following slides to provide details.

Telling a Story

Instagram carousels allow a more fun and creative way of telling a story than just explaining the details in your caption.

Key Takeaways

  • An Instagram carousel is a post that features multiple photos and videos.
  • To create an Instagram carousel, you need to tap the layered square icon to select multiple photos.
  • Brands and businesses can use Instagram carousels for tutorials, behind-the-scenes content, and educational posts. Carousels are also ideal for repurposed content, engagement prompts, and brand storytelling.
  • You can schedule Instagram carousels on the Meta Business Suite and automatically share the post on Facebook as well.
  • Instagram carousel scheduling on Publer can be easily done on the mobile app or website. With our tool, you can also cross-post on other platforms and use Canva templates to save time on content creation.

Instagram Carousel FAQ

#1. Are Instagram carousels better than Reels?

Instagram carousels are better than Reels in terms of engagement and content versatility. But that doesn’t mean you should focus on one content format alone. Having a variety of content types is important to keep your followers interested.

#2. How many photos can fit in an Instagram carousel?

You can fit up to 10 photos in one Instagram carousel. If you want to add more than 10, consider creating a collage of your images and then using it in the carousel.

#3. Should I use carousel posts for a single image?

Yes, you can use an Instagram carousel post for a single image. Carousels are great for photos with a lot of details, with each slide focused on a different part of that image. You can also use carousels to divide landscape images seamlessly, allowing users to swipe through the slides to see the full photo.

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