If you are an active Instagram user then creating photo collages would be one of your frequent activities. Check out any Instagram user, from celebrities to regular users, everyone is telling a story with the ability of multiple photos in one frame. Third party apps like Pic Collage, InstaCollage, PhotoGrid, among others have come to respite since Instagram had stayed away from providing such a service. But not anymore since the company has found out that one in five monthly active users on Instagram use a collage app at least once.
Seeing the growing need from the community, Instagram has launched Layout – a standalone app that will allow Instagram users to quickly build collages using their mobile photos, which they can then choose to share to Instagram, Facebook, or elsewhere.
The app which is right now only available on iOS, when fired up on your mobile screen automatically show previews of custom layouts as you choose photos from your camera roll. “The first thing you see is a view of the Camera Roll,” explains Joshua Dickens, Product Designer at Instagram to TC. “Most apps give you a bunch of empty grids. But more important is choosing the photos you want to share, before you lay them out,” he said.
Layout only allows nine photos, and each time you tap to add another, your photo grid options update automatically to reflect the new additions. When you’re finished adding images, you can then flick through the presented options to choose the grid you like the best.
To make it easier to find the photos users want, Instagram has also added a Faces option that shows users all the photos in their camera roll that feature people. 90% of photos used in collages have faces in them, Instagram found, so this option will be useful to those who are filling their grids with photos of friends and family.
Post this, the app lets you drag and drop photos to rearrange them, pinch to zoom or pull the sides of each photo to adjust its size and get your layout just right. Then flip and rotate your photos to create cool arrangements and mirror effects.
For spontaneous moments, Instagram has also added Photo Booth. When you tap this button, the app starts a countdown timer and then captures a series of photos that you’ll see appear instantly in a layout. The app also offers a few differentiated tools, including the ability to tap buttons that flip images upside down or make photos mirror each other. This allows for more artistic creations, like the below visual.
Layout is already making waves with brands and users jumping on to share better stories via one frame. According to Adweek, first lady Michelle Obama posted a collage within hours of the app’s launch.
Brands like Victoria’s Secret, and few others are already testing the waters with Layout.
A photo posted by john calac (@jcalac) on
Armed with more than 300 million active users, Instagram has been researching the possibilities for an app like Layout since last fall; the app itself has been in development over the past few months. Like its video app Hyperlapse, the company has built Layout to encourage more photo-sharing to Instagram. This also fits into Facebook’s multi app strategy feeding to the needs of different users.
However, to Instagram’s credit it hasn’t killed the collage-making apps but instead competing with them on user experience and innovation.
Layout comes into the market after it recently launched carousel ads for brands so that they can tell better stories with multiple photos. “Carousel ads, a new way for brands to share more images with people interested in their posts. Carousel ads give brands more flexibility in telling their stories by allowing people who view their ads to swipe left to see additional images and link to a website of the brand’s choice.”
The only disappointment is for users like me who will have to wait for an Android version which would take at least a few months from now on.