Instagram launches standalone Layout app for photo collages

Instagram

Instagram has launched a new spin-off app, Layout, to help people create collages of their images before sharing them on social networks.

The app is initially only available for iPhone, although an Android version will launch “in the coming months”, according to Facebook’s photo and video-sharing subsidiary.

Layout is the second standalone product outside Instagram’s main app, following the launch of timelapse-videos app Hyperlapse in August 2014.

The new app gets people to choose up to nine photos from their smartphone’s gallery, or take a new series of shots to use. The images can then be arranged in a variety of layouts, and manually resized or swapped.

Layout can share images directly to Instagram and Facebook; save them to the iPhone’s camera roll; or share to apps including Dropbox, Flipboard, Google+ and Snapchat.

However, Twitter is not included. Sharing Layout collages to that social network involves saving them to the camera roll then posting to Twitter – seemingly calculated awkwardness that matches Instagram’s decision to stop images shared from its main app displaying within tweets.

Is there really a seething demand for an app to create collages for Instagram and Facebook? Actually, the growing popularity of third-party apps providing this function suggests that there is a fair amount of interest.

Instagram users may have noticed more images shared from apps such as Insta Picframes, Pic Collage, Photo Grid, Framatic and LiPix appearing in their feeds in recent months.

here is already an iOS app called Layout, from developer Juicy Bits, which fulfils a similar function for Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. It was chosen by Apple as one of its best apps of 2012 in its annual App Store roundup that year.

Instagram has clearly been following the trend for collages too. “From imagining mirrored landscapes to sharing multiple moments from an entire adventure, we’ve seen these kinds of visual storytelling happening on Instagram and we’re inspired by it,” explained the company in a blog post announcing its new app.

Time will tell whether Layout remains a standalone app, rather than having its features integrated into the main Instagram and Facebook apps.

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Stuart Dredge, for theguardian.com on Tuesday 24th March 2015 07.25 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010