Types of Instagram Content and Their Lifespan

When Instagram first launched, there was just one type of content you could post – still photos. Now, over a decade later, that has changed significantly! Today, there are tons of different ways you can post on Instagram. Plus, each type of content has its own purpose – and best uses. Here, we’ll break down the different types of content and some situations in which you might want to use them.

Types of Instagram Content

There’s much more to Instagram than simply photo or video posts. Content can come in all shapes and sizes, like the ones below.

Single Photo Post

This is where Instagram earned its reputation and continues to be one of the most popular ways to post on the platform. This type of content is exactly what it sounds like – an individual, static image post. You can either take a photo from within the app or upload one from your camera roll.

A single photo post is most likely to get the vast majority of its engagement in the 48 hours after it has been posted. After a few days, it likely won’t see any more engagement.

Carousel Post

When you have more to say than a single photo can get across, carousel posts are the next best option. These are posts with at least 2 and up to 10 images in a single post that viewers can scroll through. These are excellent ways to share valuable information with your audience in a quick and efficient manner. 

One interesting thing about carousel posts is that Instagram often shares these posts more than once. It will display your post with the first image on peoples’ feeds at first. However, if they don’t engage with it, they could show it again with the second image appearing on their feeds. This means that this type of post can potentially be boosted by the algorithm more than a single photo post can. Still, most of these will stop getting engagement after about 3 days.


You’re probably living under a rock if you haven’t heard of Instagram Reels yet. These are a type of short-form video that is very similar to TikToks. These videos can be anywhere from just a few seconds long up to 90 seconds long. While your current followers will be able to see them, the main reason you want to use Reels is to reach a brand new audience. 

As far as the lifespan of Instagram content goes, Reels have by far the longest lifespan. In fact, it is very common for Reels to see a significant increase in views and engagement even 2 weeks or longer since it was originally posted.

Live Videos

Live video is a great way to connect with your followers in real time. Many businesses use them as an opportunity to share new products or answer common questions. As you would expect, live videos are typically only available during the time you are live. However, once you are done, you do have the option to save the video to your story so your followers can watch it later. But, you have to do so within 15 minutes of ending the live video, or it will be gone forever!


A lot of people probably haven’t heard of Instagram Guides, but they’re a very underrated type of content! You can think of them as the perfect place to share curated, scrollable content in a blog-like format. In a Guide, users can scroll through images or videos with commentary, similar to what you would see in a blog post. As far as how to use them, the possibilities are endless! Many companies use them to share gift guides, FAQ guides, reviews, recommendations, and more. Within Guides, you can choose to include places, products, or posts – even from other accounts! These Guides do not get shared to your main profile feed, but rather a dedicated Guides tab on your profile. Your followers will also see them on their home feed after they get posted, just like a regular image or video post.

Since Guides get posted to users’ feeds, they are similar to other types of posts in that they get most of their engagement right after being posted. However, they remain on your profile permanently, so users could find them at any time and give them a like.


Instagram Stories are one of the most interactive types of content you can create on the app. Stories don’t generally reach a new audience, but they do drive engagement with your current audience. Stories are also a great way to try things out and enjoy posting without as much pressure. They’re a great way to share everyday moments or behind-the-scenes content. You can also add filters, stickers, and text to your Stories to make them more engaging and fun.

Stories are one of the shortest-lived types of content on Instagram since they expire after 24 hours. However, they can be shared on your account’s highlights afterward for viewing later on.

So What’s Best For My Business?

Naturally, you might be wondering which of these content types will be best for your business. It really depends on your goals. If you want to drive traffic to your website, share a photo or video with a link in your bio. If you want to increase brand awareness, share photos and videos that showcase your products or services. And if you want to boost engagement, go live or share Reels.

98 Buck Social Creates Multiple Types of Instagram Content

Creating all of these different types of content isn’t easy, but that’s what we’re here for! We can take the responsibility of posting off your hands thanks to our experienced team of content curators. If you’re interested in learning more about how our team can help you stay consistent on social media, get in touch with us today!

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