TikTok Carousels: What You Should Know

A picture (or 35) can tell a lot. Scrolling through a nice carousel is fun on social media, and TikTok’s is great too. Plus, TikTok’s algorithm is good at suggesting carousels you’ll like, so it’s easy to keep swiping through. Carousels are hot on Instagram and LinkedIn, and now TikTok loves them too. You should definitely use them in your content. In this article, we’ll talk about TikTok carousels – what they are, how they look, and why you should use them.

What’s a TikTok Carousel?

A TikTok carousel (also called ‘TikTok photo mode”) is a series of up to 35 images, usually posted in order, telling a story or showing a series of events.

TikTok has had the photo format since September 2022, so if you’re wondering how to get TikTok photo mode, you should already have it. But in February 2024, social media expert Lia Haberman noticed something new on users’ feeds.

TikTok Carousels

Surprisingly, TikTok is promoting “photo posts” more, promising users more visibility on the algorithm and the coveted For You page. They say creators will get “2.9x more comments, 1.9x more likes, 2.6x more shares.”

You might find it strange for a video-focused platform to push images, and I’d agree. But it’s sparked creativity and diversified my feed, so as a user, I’m not complaining.

Some users are using the Instagram photo dump, others share their daily lives, and some make platform-specific memes that make the most of this new feature.

What’s the best TikTok carousel format and size?

Images for TikTok carousels should be in PNG or JPG format. Unlike Instagram and LinkedIn, you don’t need to do much to your images to get attention – Canva isn’t necessary.

You can’t upload videos in the TikTok carousel format. Most photos from your camera roll will fit the specified dimensions, but ideally, they should be 1080 x 1920 pixels with an aspect ratio of 9:16 or 1:1. A 4:5 ratio will also work.

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Why TikTok Carousels Matter?

Creators have different styles, so TikTok carousels allowing more than just videos is excellent.

They also boost your visibility on the app’s algorithm. TikTok’s algorithm might prioritize carousels, giving them more views. This can be vital for growing your audience or getting noticed.

Here are more reasons why TikTok carousels are a game changer:

  1. More engagement: Carousels let you tell a longer story than a single post. People interact more with them, liking, commenting, and sharing. Since TikTok likes engagement, carousels can keep your content visible longer.
  2. Creative freedom: With carousels, you can use up to 35 images in one post. This gives you lots of ways to be creative, like making tutorials or showing before-and-after pics.
  3. Emotional connection: TikTok is about connecting, and carousels help with storytelling. They let you create a series of images that can make people feel something, making them more connected to you and your brand.
  4. Versatility: No matter your interest – fashion, food, fitness, or finance – carousels work for any topic. They’re a must-have for any TikTok creator.

Whether you want more interaction, to show off your work, or to tell a great story, carousels are a cheap way to make fun and engaging content on TikTok.

How to Make and Post a TikTok Carousel

Creating and posting TikTok carousels is simple. Follow these steps:

  • Open TikTok and tap the “+” button to create a new post. Your camera should be set to “Photo” mode. If not, swipe until you get to “Photo”.
  • Take a photo or tap “Upload” to pick pictures from your Camera Roll.
  • Swipe to the “Photos” section, then tap “Select” in the top right. Choose as many photos as you want, up to 35. Then, tap “Next”.
  • Add music, filters, stickers, etc. Since you can’t add voiceovers to carousels yet, try using a popular TikTok sound.
  • Post your carousel!

6 Ideas for TikTok Carousels

Check out these ideas for your next TikTok photo or carousel post.

1. Share a photo dump

Go for the easygoing vibe of a classic photo dump with TikTok carousels. This simple approach lets you showcase your daily moments and reveal your personality.

@natashahmedx is a great example with her unique style shining through in every photo. You can spot her signature digital stickers and pops of red, as seen in her photo dump.

Gather a mix of images capturing bits of your day, interesting scenes, or behind-the-scenes shots. Photo dumps feel genuine and less staged, making it easier to connect with your audience authentically. They’re perfect for sharing updates, marking milestones, or offering a candid glimpse into your life. Remember, the appeal of a photo dump is its spontaneity and relatability, so keep it relaxed.

2. Share your thoughts

Give a mix of info and fun with reviews. Review anything – movies, stuff, books, or stuff you’ve tried. Split each thing into different pics to give a good review.

Put captions to explain your thoughts or show the good and bad, so viewers get what you think quick. This way informs and gets people talking, making your stuff more trusted.

3. Give suggestions

TikTok carousels are great for saying what you like, whether it’s books you love, cool places to go, or things to try.

Use each slide to show something new, saying why it’s cool. Make your carousels more interesting by adding personal tips and thoughts.

This way looks cool and makes you a good place for advice.

4. Join the fun

Join in on the latest TikTok stuff by putting it in your carousels. It’s a fun way to join in without doing what everyone else does. Use each slide to do your own thing with the trend, like a fashion thing, a funny meme, or a cool recipe.

This way keep your stuff fun and new, making sure you’re part of the TikTok gang.

5. Share a tale

Use TikTok carousels to tell cool stories that get your audience hooked. Each pic should reveal a part of your story – like a personal adventure, a funny story, or a made-up tale.

This way of storytelling builds suspense and adds detail, pulling viewers into your world. Make it even more interesting with emotions and cool pics in every slide.

6. Show a change – or how you’re getting there

TikTok carousels are great for showing changes or progress in your life.

Each slide can show different stages or big changes, like getting fit, fixing up your home, or growing your business.

This way of storytelling lets people see real stuff happening over time, making a powerful and motivating story.

Keep viewers interested by sharing tips and ideas in each step, helping them understand your journey better.

Get imaginative with TikTok carousels

TikTok carousels are cool because there are no strict rules. That’s both good and bad – there’s no set way to make them successful. But here are some simple tips to jazz up your carousels while you figure out what clicks with your audience.

  • Add short text to explain your story, but keep it brief so people can quickly read it (and want to swipe).
  • There’s no “right length” – it’s about the story you want to tell. Use all 35 pics if you want – or just a couple.
  • Keep your style consistent – when you find a look you like, stick with it. This helps people recognize your content right away.
  • Make sure your pics are clear and look good. Blurry or low-quality photos can make your carousel less cool – unless you’re going for that vibe, then go for it.
  • Make your visuals easy to understand, or add captions if needed since some people might not have sound on.
  • Lastly, post your carousels when your audience is most active on TikTok. Check your stats to see when that is, so more people see and interact with your content.
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