Instagram is introducing a new type of post that will be available to a small group of influencers, publishers and organizations: Guides, a new format the company says is meant to emphasize “wellness” amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The update will allow publishers, nonprofits and other organizations to create new article-like posts that combine photos and videos, along with original text, into a single “Guide.” Guides will have their own section in an account’s profile, much like IGTV, but can also be cross-posted to Stories and will appear in a new “wellness” section of the app’s Explore tab.
The update marks Instagram’s biggest push into longer form content since it launched IGTV in 2018. But while IGTV enabled longer videos, Guides is closer to the type of content you’d expect from traditional publishers.
Instagram says it’s focusing on “wellness” content only as part of its efforts to reach users during the coronavirus pandemic. And the company’s initial launch partners include organizations focused on local communities and mental health, as well as a handful of publishers, like BuzzFeed and Refinery29.
But while the guides are, for now, limited to “wellness,” it’s not difficult to imagine just about every other category of influencer on Instagram would also want access to such a feature, which would allow them more flexibility in how they showcase their content. But the company is noncommittal about whether or not guides could expand to other categories, or be available more widely. Instagram is still “exploring what the future of Guides will look like,” a spokesperson told Engadget.