Our use of social media is constantly evolving. Instagram began as a photography app and is now one of the biggest social media platforms in the world. With the addition of the shopping feature last year, it’s interesting to think about what might come next. The New York Public Library is already paving the way forward with their own innovation – Instagram books.

Using Instagram Stories alongside the Highlights feature the New York Public Library, NYPL, has been able to share the books Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland and Yellow Wallpaper in their entirety. They also added The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe. The goal of this project is to bring books to a new platform in the hopes of reaching more young readers and reinstalling that love for books which many people lose as they reach adulthood.  Instagram is ideal for this, as 59% of 18 to 25-year-olds use the platform on a regular basis.

NYLP pairs their ‘Insta Novels’ with animated graphics and beautiful design to bring them to life, utilising every feature they can in Instagram Stories. Instagram Stories only appear for 15 seconds before moving to the next one unless you hold down on your screen, meaning that the Instagram books are designed with this in mind. Each page includes a spot for you to place your thumb, so you can read at your own pace. Alongside their Insta Novel Highlights, the NYPL has even included a tutorial as to how to get the most out of their Instagram books.

The introduction of these Instagram Books to their page has had a fantastic impact on the NYPL’s Instagram account, with their follower count reaching 337,000. Their page also includes beautiful photography and reshares of other library’s content, making it a hub for book and library lovers across the world.

Instagram books are one of the best things to happen to Instagram Stories

How can writers make the most of Instagram Books?

The NYPL has opened a wider conversation about books and social media. Instagram Stories are one of the most effective ways to get your voice heard. The short nature of them means you can connect with your audience quickly and get across key information. They have also utilised the highlights feature to enable their audience to revisit their favourite books without the worry of them disappearing after 24 hours. This is how NYPL have ‘stored’ their two Instagram books, much like in a real library.

Audiences are more likely to purchase a physical or digital copy after reading an excerpt. This feature enhances the traditional blurb and gives marketers the opportunity to reach a new kind of audience. An audience who would be more likely to browse Instagram than the blurbs in a bookshop.

Are Instagram books an upcoming trend?

What about the future of Instagram Books?

The growing popularity of Instagram books begs the question… Will we see a future feature developed that makes it easier for book lovers to read their favourite books off their favourite publishers. Only time will tell.


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