Instagram’s new Layout feature means hundreds of apps are now useless

Currently, the Layout function only works with Instagram Stories. — Picture via SoyaCincau
Currently, the Layout function only works with Instagram Stories. — Picture via SoyaCincau

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 19 — Well, not totally useless. Instagram is rolling out an update that will bring a feature that users have been requesting for a long, long time. Layout, as its called, is a feature that allows users to take photos for Instagram Stories and place them within a collage. If that seems pretty familiar, that’s because users have been doing that for ages—but using 3rd party apps instead.

Many of Instagram’s recent updates have mostly been for the Stories element of the Instagram app, including the Create mode that brings a host of interesting, creator-centric features to Stories. But I’d argue that the Layout feature is one that has been coming for a long, long time. Many of the third party options are hampered by ads, and it’s a rather cumbersome process to download a secondary app, create a collage of your liking, export it, and upload it to Instagram.

Still, third party apps will still have a part to play, as far as Instagram is concerned. Currently, the Layout function only works with Instagram Stories, with the full-screen aspect ratio that’s ideal for the mode. Which means that you’ll still need to use third party apps if you want to create collages (or layouts, I guess) for your feed.

It’s yet another example of Instagram cutting out the competition by simply creating its own version of the feature. I vividly remember when my usage of Snapchat reduced drastically—that was when Instagram Stories was launched. Boomerang, of course, wasn’t exactly an original idea either.

I suppose that’s indicative of Instagram’s power as a social media platform. Any future apps from third parties might complement the app well (most even have a convenient “share to Instagram” function), but all Instagram needs to do is create an in-app version.

To use Layout, head over to Instagram Stories by swiping right on your Instagram home screen, and select Layout from the bar at the bottom. There are six layouts for you to choose from, with space for up to six images in a single photo. — SoyaCincau

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