How to Create Beautiful Instagram Carousel Posts (1/2)

Instagram carousel posts

Instagram carousel posts are one of the most new engaging formats on social media these days.

According to a Hootsuite’s research, on average, their carousel posts get 1.4x more reach and 3.1x more engagement than regular posts on Instagram.

The temptation to swipe left, it seems, is hard to resist—especially when there’s a persuasive cover slide. Give your followers an opportunity to swoonscrolling with such the thumb-stopping carousel posts.

What are Instagram carousel posts?

An Instagram carousel is a post with multiple images or videos that can be viewed by swiping left. Up to 10 images or videos can be added and shared as a single post on the Instagram feed.

Just like any other Instagram post, you can add a caption, alt-image text, a geotag, and account and product tags on every image in your carousel. Audiences can like, comment, and share your carousel post, just like any other posts on Instagram.

Once a carousel is posted, a small icon appears in the upper right corner. As someone flips to the second image, the icon is replaced with a counter that shows the number of frames. Small dots also appear at the bottom of a post to mark progress through the carousel.

Why choose an Instagram carousel? Give your brand the “magazine treatment” with double-slide spreads, close-ups, and shots from several angles. Provide step-by-step guide instructions or parse out information. Build intrigue and unveil a surprise or before and after. Or use the format to convey scale.

Instagram carousel size and requirements

Much like a regular post, Instagram carousel can be posted in many formats such as square, landscape, or portrait.

But remember that all posts must be uniform. The shape that you choose for the first slide will be applied to the rest of the frames, too.

Instagram carousel sizes:

  • Landscape: 1080 x 566 pixels
  • Portrait: 1080 x 1350 pixels
  • Square: 1080 x 1080 pixels
  • Aspect ratio: landscape (1.91:1), square (1:1), vertical (4:5)
  • Recommended image size: Width of 1080 pixels, height between 566 and 1350 pixels (depending on whether the image is landscape or portrait)

Instagram video carousel specs:

  • Length: 3 to 60 seconds
  • Recommended formats include .MP4 and .MOV
  • Aspect ratios: landscape (1.91:1), square (1:1), vertical (4:5)
  • Maximum video size: 4GB

You can post a mix of videos and images at the one post.

How to create an Instagram carousel post

When you create an Instagram carousel post, it’s best to begin with a concept. Determine why the carousel is the perfect fit for your content, instead of a standard post, collage post, video, or Instagram story.

With this question answered, you’ll likely have a good sense of the type of content you plan to use. Sketch out a storyboard to get an idea of how many frames you want. Decide in case your carousel will jump from one image to the next, or have a continuous, panoramic effect.

Here’s how to make a carousel post on Instagram:

1. Add all relevant photos to your photo library.

2. Open the Instagram app and click the + icon from the navigation bar.

3. Tap Library in the lower left.

4. Tap Select Multiple in the bottom right of the image preview window.

5. Select up to 10 photos in videos in the order that you would like them to appear.

Select up to 10 photos or videos in order of appearance

6. Tap Next. If wanted, apply filters or edits to each frame. Tap on the photo to open Edit tools. When you’re finished, or to skip this step, tap Next.

7. Add your caption and tags as geo-tag, account tags, and product tags. Swipe through to tag the appropriate photo.

8. Tap Share.

Tip: Double check to ensure all your frames are in the correct order before you publish. You can’t reorder or delete single images after you share.

Instagram carousel templates

In case you want to take your carousels beyond “ten pictures from the same vacation”? Start by customizing one of our five free, professionally designed Instagram carousel templates in Canva.

1. Get access to the templates by clicking the link from Hootsuit:

Instagram carousel templates in Canva

2. Above is the first page you will see upon opening the template URL. Choose Use Template

Select use template on Canva -Instagram carousel posts

3. This page will open. All templates are shown. Choose one.

Choose from selection of templates

4. You can swap in any photo by choosing Uploads in the side menu and clicking Upload an image or video and selecting whatever image you want off of your machine. Right when the image is uploaded, just drag and drop from the menu into the frame you want the image to replace.

Swap in photos by clicking Uploads on side menu

5. Change the text boxes by selecting the text and pasting in the new copy you want in your post. Using the circles on the corners of the textbox. You can make the box taller or shorter as necessary. Text color, underline, font options, size options, font alignment and line spacing options appear above when a text box is selected. Highlighted in this screenshot is where you can change text color.

Change text box and formatting options in Canva Instagram carousel posts

6. Selected above is where you can change the font size.

Change font size

7. Selected above is the font type.

Font type Canva -Instagram carousel posts

8. If you click on the template background, you can change the background color by clicking the colored square beside animate in the top menu and color swatches will appear on the left menu.

Change background color by clicking colored square beside animate -Instagram carousel posts

9. To change colored blocks/shapes, same as above. Select the shape and the colored square will appear in the top menu. Click the square and color swatches will appear in the left menu.

Select shape and colored square will appear in menu

10. To export: Click Download and save as a png.

Download and save as png to export -Instagram carousel posts

11. In case you want to save only one template of 5, open up Select pages and choose the corresponding template by clicking the square to the right, and then click Done.

Select pages to save one template

Split image online -Instagram carousel posts

12. To split your image up for the carousel: go to and you’ll see the above window, then click Choose file.

Choose file on split image -Instagram carousel posts

13. Choose the file you just downloaded from Canva

Select downloaded file from Canva - Instagram carousel posts

14. Once your file has been imported, select horizontal split, output as JPG or PNG (personal preference) and split by Quantity of blocks (equal width) and put 4 into the Quantity of blocks, then select Split image.

Select horizontal split on PineTools -Instagram carousel posts

15. This is what you’ll see after you click Split image, and under download pieces (images) are now the four pieces of your instagram carousel split to size. Click on each row 1, column 1, row 2 column 1… etc button to download back onto your machine.

Click on each row and column to download images back to machine-Instagram carousel posts

16. And now you have your four separated images to publish onto Instagram using the multiple-image upload. Just make sure that you select in the proper order, or else your carousel will be posted out of order from the template!

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