Gallery vs Individual Instagram Posts – Find out what brands & PR’s want!

Instagram comes up with new updates every other week, only to leave us bloggers more confused ? A majority of the bloggers (myself included) lately have only 1 question after an event/tasting – “should I create a gallery or upload individual shots?”

I asked over 40 individuals (from PR agencies, owners to my own audience), what they personally prefer. Below are the responses!

Personal note: We are bloggers – either for ourselves only, or to contribute to the brands we work with and audience that follow us. We may have several opinions regarding this topic, but I’m voicing out what is preferred.

To summarize in a sentence – Individual shots won by a large margin with respect to a gallery.

1. Advantages of posting 2-3 individual shots

  • You can provide better-personalized captions/descriptions of each picture instead of one long caption (that people won’t end up reading). Remember: you’ll be adding x3 extra hashtags too (∴ better reach)!
  • The cumulative reach for individual posts is higher (a LOT of PR’s mentioned this point)
  • Helps with SEO + better exposure for the brand you’re working for. The possibility for 2-3 posts appearing time and again on an explore tab and people’s feeds is higher than one gallery
  • Whenever someone finds you, the FIRST IMPRESSION is your feed! People are most likely to see what’s front of their face rather than click a gallery always and swipe through. Reality: this generation has a lot of impatient people

2. Why not a gallery?

  • Reduction in impression count: If you have a business profile, you will notice. Your weekly impressions will reduce as you’re posting only 1 file/gallery now contrary to you posting 3-4 files before (i.e. x4 impressions). Brands are getting smart every day, you never know when they will ask you for a screenshot of your weekly impressions!
  • Over 60% owners, PR’s and regular people mentioned: the purpose of Instagram is to scroll, not many want to pause and swipe (at times, they *apparently* don’t even see those tiny dots below). This mentality may take a while to change
  • Uploading a chunk of information in one go defeats the purpose of promoting a brand. PR’s and owners prefer 2-3 images being uploaded in the course of ~2-3 weeks. This “brand recall” will also, refresh your audience memory for that brand
  • Your profile/feed must represent YOU or the places you go to. I’ve been seeing people only uploading galleries now. Thus, your content seems drastically reduced
  • “The feature itself is quite new and I think until it gains more traction, people might end up missing out on seeing the Swipe Right button. People skim through Instagram these days so quick, it’s a tap and go. I think at least for the next 2 months, in terms of coverage in PR we would still appreciate like 3 posts. It’s also added benefit for the properties because the likes/comments are just triple fold, whereas with 1 post it’s quite less.”
  • “I would prefer 2-3 individual posts as that would be allotted separate PR values when calculating ROI for my client. One post with multiple images would go as one post alone.”
  • “As an agency, we would prefer 2-3 Individual posts. Reason being is it showcases more variety over a longer period of time that is shared by the blogger. We also feel it is better in terms of measurement. A Gallery dilutes the point of Instagram which is meant to be individual pictures shared as opposed to 3 in one etc. From an efficiency and attention grabbing perspective as well, individual posts work better as people have a short attention span and are more inclined to scroll down as opposed to swiping across with Instagram”

3. Then… when should a gallery be used?!

  • Food – E.g. To show how a fondant looks before cutting it and after it flows, different items from an #AfternoonTea stand (where the caption can be to-the-point), a layered drink before and after stirring it, interior shots of the restaurant to get better insight on how it looks, etc
  • Lifestyle – E.g. A sunrise/sunset picture, interior shots of one venue, different angles of a hotel room, a before/after picture of a body transformation, an ordinary #OOTD before and after the wind blows, etc
  • Art/Digital Design/Structures – Progress shots from start to finish of a drawing, shots of a structure at different intervals during movement, etc. E.g. Dina Tawil a Visual Designer at IBM Studios created a smart gallery to show the transition/progress of her animation. See below,
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  • Generic images that don’t need explanation/similar pictures throughout/have no ‘super’ interesting pictures after
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  • Event coverage
  • Wellness – E.g. “When visiting a spa, the photo gallery could focus on details like the products used, the view from the spa, the tea provided, etc.”
  • Vacation – “Sharing moments and memories from a trip that needs no description”
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  • “On one hand if you put up 2/3 individual posts, you are able to create a certain amount of curiosity in the mind of the viewer about many different things, to name a few – what else could the other dishes on the menu look & taste like, what would the decor of the restaurant be like as a whole, what views do I get outside the restaurant, and so on. While this is a good practice, on the other hand as a normal person wanting to try out a new place, I’d like to be sure of what I’m getting for the price I’ll be paying and therefore would want a whole 360 experience in terms of visuals and recommendations. This is where I’d want to have a look at a few more pictures than just a few individual aesthetically good looking shots.
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Instagram created this feature to mainly solve 2 issues: 1st is, the need to use a 3rd party app to create collages of photos. Instagram has its own photo-stitching app, Layout, but that requires you to jump out of Instagram. Galleries, keeps you in the app, and imagine how much time you could spend creating the perfect carousel of photos and videos. 2nd issue is feed spam, or when a friend posts several images one after another.



Click here to read my article on “How to judge the strength of your InstaBlog?”

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