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Instagram’s Newest Feature Has a Hidden Trick

3 minute read

Instagram recently added the ability to upload multiple images in a single post. It didn’t take long for some clever photographers to figure out you can use this “carousel” feature to upload amazing panoramic images to the app, like the one below. (It’s far more impressive inside the Instagram app, rather than here on the web.)

How can you do this yourself? There are two ways.

First, you can try an app that automates the process, like Swipeable. However, after a quick test, I found that Swipeable kept trying to add a bunch of advertisement-like images onto my uploads, so it wasn’t a keeper. But if you want a simple solution and don’t mind doing a bit of deleting every time you use it, this app may be fine for you.

The other method is a little more complicated.

First, you’ll have to actually go ahead and take a panoramic image (most cameras and smartphones have panoramic modes to help you get the job done, but more experienced photographers do it manually with a tripod.)

Then, open that photo in your image editing software of choice. I use Lightroom and Lightroom Mobile, but pretty much any editing software should be able to get the job done.

Next, open up your program’s crop tool, and set your crop ratio for 3×1. (Assuming you want three different segments for your Instagram upload. If you only want two, set it for 2×1, or 4×1 for four, and so on).

After you’ve cropped your original photo into a 3×1 image, you’ll want to open the crop tool once more. This time, set the crop ratio for 1×1, and pick the leftmost section of your image. Select it, copy it, and open it as a new image. Save it with a filename like “pano1.jpg.” Then go back and repeat the process for the middle and rightmost section of your panoramic, naming them pano2.jpg and pano3.jpg.

When you’ve made all three of your 1×1 images, send them to your smartphone by emailing them to yourself or perhaps by using AirDrop, if you’re using Apple devices.

Now it’s time to open up Instagram. Hit the upload button (bottom-middle), then look for the icon that looks like three stacks of paper on top of one another. Click that, then select the three square images you just made from your original panoramic, making sure the leftmost side is first, then the middle, then the rightmost side. Hit “next,” then upload your final result the same way you’d upload any other Instagram post.

And there you go, seamless and swipe-able panoramic on Instagram. Have fun trying this for yourself!

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