Popular image sharing app Instagram introduced Carousel back in February, a new addition allowing users to add up to 10 images or videos in a single post. Which, naturally, brings the idea of the posts being able to tell a narrative story as pics could be connected by theme of start to finish of an event or location or holiday etc.
Certainly, it does allow for artists to show the progress of their pieces and how they make them. Plenty of artists are already taking advantage of this, such as Ilya Kuvshinov, a Russian illustrator based in Tokyo.
But of course, there could be more that it could be used for. After all, comics and animation are just a progression of images that show the continuation of a movement or action or event. As this Instagram user, salgoolulu, demonstrates here.
But could it be an avenue for telling short, comic narratives too? Like webcomics, could Instagram now be a place for artists to tell short stories, where users swipe between panels to continue the story? It doesn’t seem to be a problem for user johannathemad on the app.
And certainly Adam Ellis, who is a webcomic illustrator in the more traditional sense, has been expanding his work using the capabilities allowed by the app, even merging still comic images and animation together.
And he does so to great effect, the animated sections often providing extra emphasis and humour.
Of course, the question would remain of how artists could use it effectively. Certainly, creating story content on Instagram seems more than possible now, and it could certainly help attract new audiences to their work, but how does an artist justify the time and effort put into creating for this app?
Webcomics can at least be monetised through inclusion of ads on the page, but what about Instagram content? Users could add links to their profile which could link to dedicated web pages or stores where the artist may sell accessories and other products. But ultimately, it has to be up to the artist.
At the very least, Instagram is now providing the capability. And it can add another place for artists to show their work, however they decide to take advantage of it.