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What Is a Photo Dump, and Why Should Marketers Be Concerned?

Updated: Dec 2, 2022

What Is a Photo Dump
What Is a Photo Dump

It's difficult to accept anything with the term "dump" seriously. Regarding Instagram's newest trend, the photo dump, embracing your funny side is half the battle.

The photo dump has appeared among the filtered, manipulated, there's-no-way-her-room-is-actually-that-clean photos we expect from the platform in 2022 — and it is magnificent. Celebrities, influencers, and ordinary people alike are rejecting perfection and sharing grainy, often ugly, and seemingly random photographs. Quantity triumphs over quality.

Everything you need to know is right here. However, there is some planning involved in releasing the perfect photo dump. Sometimes it takes a lot of effort to appear as if you don't care.

Don't be a grump. Please post a dump.

What exactly is a photo dump?

An Instagram photo dump is a collection of photographs and videos haphazardly collected together in a single carousel post.

Unlike a traditional carousel of carefully managed content (such as Kylie Jenner's Met Gala post), a photo dump post is intended to appear uncurated, unfiltered, and unposed.

Photo dumps frequently contain a mix of "excellent" photos, blurry selfies, candids, silly photographs, and even memes. Olivia Rodrigo shared an excellent example of a photo dump post:

These posts will typically have four or more individual photographs or videos (the more, the better—it's called a dump, not a sprinkle).

The photo dump is vaguely reminiscent of Facebook albums in their heyday in the early 2010s. It contrasts sharply with the overly manipulated single-shot posts for which Instagram has become famous. It's a phenomenon that rejects perfection and relieves the strain of uploading (or, at least, it's meant to—no one knows how long you spent curating your photo dump).

Why Are Photo Dumps Appealing?

Instagram Carousel posts are regularly the most engaging content on Instagram, probably because Instagram displays viewers other photographs in the carousel if they do not engage the first time. They let producers connect with their audience by allowing them to dump a sequence of raw, unedited photographs. Making the photo abandon a helpful tool for increasing brand-audience relatability.

Aside from authenticity, this nostalgic movement is also popular on social media. Many current themes, such as social media challenges, popular audio from the 1990s and 2000s, and photo dumps, harken back to the early days of social media. A photo dump, for example, is similar to taking our digital cameras with us on a night out and then uploading all 75 photos from that single night to Facebook the next day. Or when Myspace users meticulously selected their favorite song and had it automatically play when someone went to their profile page, the same as how audio automatically plays when you watch a Reel or TikTok. Something about the simplicity of social media in the past appeals to younger viewers.

Why are Instagram photo dumps become popular?

The development of the photo dump, like many of history's most outstanding achievements, is being led by young women.

Emma Chamberlain, a YouTube star, is known for her photo dumps, which range from a seemingly random collection of images to a close-up look at what appears to be a terrible eye infection.

The point is that photo dumps aren't pretty. Instagram has been characterized as a place where people pretend to be more polished and put together than they are, which is not valid. In addition to being viewed as morally superior, sincerity is what sells. Brands want to work with influencers who appear to be real people rather than one-dimensional internet personas.

Furthermore, photo dumps — or, more broadly, carousel postings in general — are beneficial to Instagram's algorithm.

In other words, in addition to being a more relaxed approach to publishing, photo dumps appear more honest, are preferred by the algorithm, and increase your chances of landing sponsor deals.

To ensure that your brand’s voice is heard, you need to be there too!


Should Brands Share a Photo Dump?

Yes, it's a simple way to get in on a popular social media trend. And, because it's a carousel post, it'll boost engagement, making it a win-win situation for you and your performance metrics. It strikes the ideal balance between remaining fashionable and achieving results. The picture dump trend allows companies and creators to interact personally with their consumers. Not only that, but it's also a quick and easy approach to posting some impactful content. You can go in various directions by releasing a photo dump through a brand account.

Helia Mohammadi

Social Media Specialist

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