Everything you need to know about Instagram’s new collage app Layout

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Do you have several mobile photos you want to showcase and share with your followers and the rest of the world? There’s an Instagram app for that.

The photo-sharing social network announced Monday that it has launched Layout, a mobile app that allows users to merge up to nine images into one. Collaging pics standalone feature that will complement the very popular photo-sharing tool.

It is currently available for the iOS, and the Android version will be unveiled within the next few months.

Layout organizes images into three different sections: recent photos, photos with others’ faces in them and a generic place for all of your images. The mobile app also offers “Photo Booth,” a feature that enables the phone’s front-facing camera to take four quick and consecutive shots.

When users pick up to nine photos from their smartphone’s Camera Roll, they will be provided with 10 collage templates, and they can be customized by the user with various effects, modifications and edits. Upon completion, the collage can be shared from the app to Facebook, Snapchat, Slack and Flipboard. Twitter is not an option at the moment.

This was a logical move for Instagram considering that a bulk of its tens of millions of users utilize other mobile apps to construct collages, like PhotoGrid, InstaCollage and Stitch. Layout encourages users to stay active and engaged on Instagram, while also discouraging them from seeking out other photo apps from competitors.

“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,” the company wrote in a blog post. With Layout, it’s easier than ever to unlock your creativity — and we can’t wait to see what you’ll make next.”

Layout would be a perfect opportunity for a B2B company to start incorporating Instagram into their marketing plans. A photo collage is a great way for any B2B brand to begin expressing their creative side and highlighting what they do best, even if the company thinks what they do is quite dull. From creating collages of engaged employees to producing a mash-up of industry-related quotes, B2B firms have a new method to modernize and capture audiences.

Whether or not advertisers will begin taking advantage of this remains to be seen, but the odds are quite high. Any latest Instagram feature is instantly taken advantage of by brands, and the advertising agency says that the social media outlet does in fact work. Instagram collaborates frequently with advertisers.

For instance, earlier this month, Instagram debuted slideshows but only for advertisers. Carousels would permit advertisers to post several photos at once for users to peruse through. Links will also be attached so followers can learn about brands outside of Instagram. Carousel ads will be rolled out gradually over the next several weeks, but it’s unclear if Carousels will be available for the general public.

“One way to look at it is carousel ads bring the potential of multi-page print campaigns to mobile phones—with the added benefit of taking people to a website to learn more,” the company wrote in a blog post.

In the past year, the Facebook-owned app has been expanding its multimedia functionalities. Last summer, the social media outlet launched Hyperlapse, a native video application that makes creating time lapse videos easier – it should be noted that a lot of reviews say that it actually reduces shaky hands and could very well be used just for standard videos.

A couple of months ago, Instagram garnered headlines because it warned that it was cracking down on spam accounts and this could affect the number of followers that celebrities and teenagers have. Identified by social media as the “Instagram Rapture,” millions of accounts were deleted, and many personalities immediately noticed the effects. Instagram confirmed to the Business Insider that much of the accounts it was erasing were already deactivated spam accounts or were in violation of the user agreement.

Instagram currently maintains a userbase of 300 million. It was acquired by Facebook in 2012 for $1 billion in cash and stock. Since then, the photo-sharing social network has grown by 23 percent.

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Andrew Moran

Andrew Moran is a full-time professional writer and journalist, who covers the areas of business, economics and personal finance. He has contributed to Benzinga, Capital Liberty News, Career Addict, Money Morning and PFHub.

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