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Instagram.com

Instagram will now allow users to combine up to 10 photos and videos in one post and swipe through to see them all. Industry experts have anticipated the move for some time, especially after a blogger discovered a beta version of the feature on Android, but until now, only advertisers were allowed to use this format.

Why it matters: A study by data analytics firm Parse.ly shows that swipe-initiated slideshows can be very effective in increasing user engagement, an important metric for Instagram's advertisers. Parse.ly tells Axios that this Vogue Magazine slideshow of celebrities' outfits at the Met Gala last year was one of the most trafficked pieces of content on the internet in 2016.

Snapchat slow-down:

This is just the latest of steps Instagram has taken to slow Snapchat's growth ahead of its IPO. Today's announcement — the additional of a carousel feature to view photos and videos chronologically — mimics Snapchat's swipe format. Last year, Instagram launched a stories feature that mimics Snapchat's. They've also

copied

many of Snapchat's advertising features to win over ad dollars.

Go deeper

5 hours ago - World

Maximum pressure campaign escalates with Fakhrizadeh killing

Photo: Fars News Agency via AP

The assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the architect of Iran’s military nuclear program, is a new height in the maximum pressure campaign led by the Trump administration and the Netanyahu government against Iran.

Why it matters: It exceeds the capture of the Iranian nuclear archives by the Mossad, and the sabotage in the advanced centrifuge facility in Natanz.

Scoop: Biden weighs retired General Lloyd Austin for Pentagon chief

Lloyd Austin testifying before Congress in 2015. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Joe Biden is considering retired four-star General Lloyd Austin as his nominee for defense secretary, adding him to a shortlist that includes Jeh Johnson, Tammy Duckworth and Michele Flournoy, two sources with direct knowledge of the decision-making tell Axios.

Why it matters: A nominee for Pentagon chief was noticeably absent when the president-elect rolled out his national security team Tuesday. Flournoy had been widely seen as the likely pick, but Axios is told other factors — race, experience, Biden's comfort level — have come into play.

Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: WHO: AstraZeneca vaccine must be evaluated on "more than a press release."
  2. Politics: Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York COVID restrictions.
  3. World: Thailand, Philippines sign deal with AstraZeneca for vaccine.
  4. Economy: Safety nets to disappear in December Black Friday shopping across the U.S., in photosAmazon hires 1,400 workers a day throughout pandemic.
  5. Education: National standardized tests delayed until 2022.