Instagram Launches Layout: How Marketers Will Use the New AppKevin ShivelyBlogger ExtraordinaireSimply Measured
This morning, Instagram debuted a new app called Layout, which is designed for creating custom collages and image effects that can then be uploaded directly to Instagram, shared via text, or a variety of other options.
The new app gives social marketers with limited resources the ability to do more within the Instagram ecosystem, without having to add third party apps to their process.
The app is the latest addition to Instagram’s focus on visual storytelling. According to the release on Instagram’s blog:
With Layout, it’s easier than ever to unlock your creativity — and we can’t wait to see what you’ll make next.
Layout allows users to customize and organize content, but also offers an aptly named function they’re calling “Faces” which finds and selects photos from your camera roll with faces in them. The app also allows some snazzy features like mirroring and rotating.
Why Will Marketers Use Layout?
To be honest? Not all of them will. Layout, as a creative tool, may not be the most useful thing for large enterprise marketing teams with approval processes and professional photography.
But for a scrappier team (and users in general), with only one person managing Instagram and limited design resources, Layout adds the ability to create collages in a much simpler and more intuitive way than many other photo-collage apps do.
The Faces Feature
The “Faces” feature is an under-hyped component, but could be incredibly valuable. In 2014, the Georgia Institute of Technology and Yahoo Labs looked at 1.1 million photos on Instagram. Researchers found that pictures with human faces were 38 percent more likely to receive likes than photos without faces. This new feature allows users to filter their photo stream based on photos with people in them, driving the opportunity for even more engagement.
Telling Richer Stories
While collage apps aren’t anything new, I’ve always thought the feature was under-utilized by brands. The ability to tell a complete story in one Instagram photo shouldn’t be overlooked. Think of this as a comic book. You’re telling a visual story, but that doesn’t mean you need to do so with just one snapshot.
This also provides a great opportunity for user-generated campaigns. By either asking users to create collages of their own photos that involve your brand, or sharing photos they’ve sent in by using your own collage, you’re able to integrate your fans and followers into your marketing story.
Engagement Is on the Rise
Instagram has a large and growing user-base, who are incredibly active and willing to engage with brands. In our Q4 2014 Instagram Benchmark Study, we found that active brands who post regular content are driving record engagement.
The ability to quickly and effectively identify people-centric photos in branded photo albums, and then manipulate images within an Instagram-connected app is only bound to streamline marketers’ ability to tell unique stories with their visual content.
The app is currently only available to iOS users, and is available in the app store.
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