Sahail Ashraf posted on 3 March 2020
Instagram has just launched what many industry-watchers suspected it would, a new feature on Stories that simply allows for more versatility in the images included with a Story.
To make this clear, Instagram has allowed for a new ‘collage’ style look to a post on Stories, so multiple photos can be included without the need for a 3rd party app. It is a new move, and it shows how Instagram is perhaps doing what it’s parent company Facebook has always done.
It is becoming more enclosed and self-sufficient when it comes to features the users want.
Instagram has always seemed to be a little spontaneous. You would have your phone with you and a moment would come up. You would then take a photo of that moment and upload. This made it more fun and also a little more fast-paced and free. But Instagram has never really been one for standing still, so this new direction was probably a little bit inevitable. But it’s exciting, all the same.
The new function is called Layout, and allows you to capture and share multiple images in an Instagram Story. This obviously means more creativity, and it will allow people to simply curate content, rather than make it and share it.
The app will need to be updated for the changes to take effect, and once they are, that’s when users can start snapping and uploading multiple images. The Layout button will be at the bottom of the app display. Once clicked, users can snap and share multiple images in a collage. Alternatively, they can simply take photos that are in their camera roll and upload those into a collage.
The number of photos that can be in a Layout collage runs from two to six. This is a great bit of flexibility inside the function. And of course, once your collage has been created, you can also add a few finishing touches to the thing, giving you a little more creativity for extra fun.
Interestingly, the feature has not been outlined and/or explained on Instagram’s newsroom page. But we’re sure that will happen shortly.
This is obviously a targeted measure coming in just before Christmas, arguably the most ‘photo friendly’ time of the year. People will be able to use the new feature to be more creative with their Story feed. But we are a little more interested in the reasons behind the move. This is obviously a clear attempt to bring more functionality within the app. And we might even speculate further, and say that this is a little more cynical than it might first appear.
The app doesn’t necessarily need this feature. Well, it’s not crying out for it anyway. There are still third party apps that can do the same thing for users and they are not particularly complicated or arduous to use. No, this is more of an attempt to keep Instagram well within the Facebook walls. And with privacy and data protection being such huge issues in recent months, it makes perfect sense to have the key features of an app completely under the control of Instagram.
When it comes to your branded content, there may be a couple of things to think about…
First of all, this gives you a ton of control over what you share with your followers. You can have more creativity too, so collages can be produced that get attention quickly, and maintain interest. There’s nothing wrong with this, and it’s a very positive step forward for brands.
However, it does also mean that unless you are completely on top of the Story you’re working with, it will be difficult to cut through any noise and make the kind of impact you need with your content. Now is the time to really focus on creativity, and make full use of the new feature.
As with all things social media marketing, especially in a world where everyone has the same features at their fingertips, mastery of the Layout function will be the one thing that helps your brand to keep up.
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