Sunset of a Feature: Instagram Says Goodbye to Guides

Austin Dean


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Instagram, the social media giant known for its constant evolution and feature updates, has made an announcement that points to its understanding of what resonates with its audience – and what doesn't. In a surprising turn, Instagram is phasing out its “Guides” feature, which had promised a new realm of content showcasing when it was introduced in 2020. The intention was noble: to provide users with a platform for thematic, in-depth content akin to Pinterest, but it appears the feature didn't quite strike a chord with the Instagram user base.

The concept of Guides was intriguing from the offset; it presented an opportunity for creators and businesses to curate content in a narrative format, tying together posts with text to tell a story or convey a message more comprehensively. Instagram envisioned a richer user experience, where guides were not just collections of posts but also vessels for storytelling, with the potential to be shared widely via Stories. The format was ideal for tutorials, travel recommendations, and product features, among other content-heavy showcases.

However, despite the possibilities, Instagram Guides fell short in captivating a wide user appeal. It's a testimony to the dynamic and sometimes unforgiving nature of social media trends – just because a feature brims with potential doesn't guarantee user adoption. As the social media landscape continually diversifies, platforms must make tough choices, prioritizing features that align with their audience's preferences and usage patterns. In this case, Instagram has decided Collections will be the successor to Guides, offering a similar, albeit less feature-rich way to group content.

This move invites users and brands leveraging Instagram to think on their feet. For those who saw value in Guides, it's a call to adapt and migrate content to Collections or other formats. For Instagram, it could be seen as an acknowledgement that its strength lies in immediacy and visual impact, rather than detailed, brochure-like content. In a platform defined by quick scrolls and swift engagement, maybe the lengthier Guides were simply misaligned with the platform's pace.

As we bid farewell to Instagram Guides, we embrace the changing tides of social media. The conclusion is not of defeat but of evolution – a continual refining process where only the most resonant features survive. This change underscores the importance for digital marketers and content creators to remain agile and responsive to platform changes, always ready to tailor their strategies to align with the ever-changing preferences of the ever-elusive social media audience. The retirement of Guides is a poignant reminder that in the world of social media, adaptability is not just beneficial; it's essential.