Update on May 19, 2015: Android users, rejoice: Instagram has launched Layout for Android OS. The app is similar to the iOS version. We’ve updated the text.
Instagram introduced a second photo app called Layout, which is designed for creating photo collages. Available for iOS and Android, the standalone app lets users pull their photos from the camera row and place them into one of 10 layouts.
Following Instagram’s Hyperlapse time-lapse app, Layout collages are independent of the main Instagram app (you don’t need an Instagram account to use it). That means users can upload them to any other site they wish. However, the point of creating Layout is to keep Instagram users within its universe.
According to Re/code, Instagram says 20 percent of its users — which is more than 300 million — employ a third-party app to create collages. Instead of building the feature into Instagram’s native app, Layout product designer Joshua Dickets tells Re/code that the company wanted both apps to be simple.
“When you open Layout, we automatically show you previews of custom layouts as you choose photos from your camera roll,” Instagram says in a blog post. “To make it easier to find the photos you want, we’ve also added a Faces option that shows you all the photos in your camera roll that feature people.”
Besides easily rearranging and resizing photos within each layout, users can rotate and flip images to create mirror effects, or shoot four new selfies directly through the app, using the Photo Booth function.
Although the photos can be uploaded to any social network, Instagram obviously wants users to prioritize Instagram over others. The collages, which are saved in the camera roll, are squared and ready for posting to Instagram.
(This article was originally published on March 23, 2015.)