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Instagram Launches Layout, an App for Photo Collages

Instagram launched its fourth standalone app on Monday.


Instagram unveiled Layout on Monday, a standalone app that lets users create photo collages from images on their phone’s camera roll.

Users can save these collages to their phone and then share them directly to Instagram or Facebook (or other places online). Layout has 10 different collage layouts depending on the number of photos used; users can include as many as nine pictures in one collage.


This is the second creative app to come out of Instagram in the past year. The company unveiled Hyperlapse, a standalone app for time-lapse videos, back in August, and like Layout, those videos don’t have to be shared to Instagram.

The hope, of course, is that Hyperlapse videos and Layout collages will be shared to Instagram. Giving users new types of content to share should also give them another reason to open and use the app on a daily basis.

Photo collages are already popular on Instagram. Roughly 20 percent of the app’s 300 million users currently use a third-party photo collage app like Pic Stitch or InstaFrame, according to a company spokesperson.

In fact, Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom got the idea for Layout when he saw how popular photo collages were with the Instagram user base. This Instagram blog post from 2011 encourages users to download other collage apps, so it’s clear that the company has been thinking about this type of feature for a while.

Layout is trying to differentiate itself from these competitors with little features, like a tab that automatically pulls all the images from your camera roll that include people’s faces. The company found that 90 percent of collage photos shared on Instagram have faces in them.

The Layout app also has a photo booth feature that takes four pictures in rapid fire, and the ability to easily mirror images.

These are a few of the reasons Instagram built Layout as a standalone app instead of a feature of the main app. It wanted to keep the Instagram app from getting cluttered.

“Instagram is really simple and that’s what people love about it,” explained Joshua Dickens, a product designer for Layout. “Building [Layout] into the main app would inherently make it more complicated.”

Layout is available for free on iOS only beginning Monday, and an Android version is in the works, according to a spokesperson.

This article originally appeared on

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