Instagram's musical photo carousels are a lot like TikTok's Photo Mode

Collabs also now lets you add up to three co-authors.


Instagram now lets you add music to photo carousels. Unveiled in partnership with pop star Olivia Rodrigo to promote her single “bad idea right?”, the feature allows you to pick licensed music to soundtrack your slideshows. In addition, the company announced that you can create Collabs with up to three co-authors and post audience-response prompts to Reels.

The carousel soundtracking feature adds a missing piece already found in TikTok’s Photo Mode, launched last year. “Whether you’re sharing a collection of summer memories with friends or moments from your camera roll, you can now add music to your photo carousels,” Instagram wrote in a blog post today. “Building off our launch of music for feed photos, anyone can add a song to capture the mood and bring their carousel to life.”

Also announced today, Instagram Collabs adds the ability to invite up to three friends (up from one) to help co-author feed posts, carousels or reels. The platform says each contributor’s audience will see the content (perhaps hinting that it could be a handy way for influencers to benefit from each other’s followings) and will feature on each account’s profile grid. In addition, the company says private profiles can still start posts / reels and invite collaborators as long as they follow the private account.

Promotional screenshots for Instagram’s new ‘Add yours’ feature. Pop star Olivia Rodrigo posts a party photo with the caption ‘vids from last night — bad idea right?’ on the left with follower reactions on the right.

Instagram also updated how the Add Yours sticker works. When a creator adds the new Add Yours prompt to a Reel and followers contribute content as a response, the creator can now highlight their favorite posted replies for all their followers to see. “With the Add Yours sticker, a creator or artist can invite their followers to join in on a fun prompt or challenge they create on Reels, and then hand-pick their favorite submissions to celebrate their fans’ creativity.” It essentially sounds like a way to use the human social desire to connect with high-status figures (especially celebrities like Rodrigo) to build engagement for creators and the platform as a whole.

Finally, Instagram noted that it’s bringing its music library “to more countries over the coming weeks,” although it hasn’t yet announced specific nations or dates. However, it did mention that Instagram is partnering with Spotify in Mexico and Brazil to showcase 50 of the most popular songs on Instagram Reels on the music platform’s Reels Music Chart.