The Day Instagram Killed 3000 Apps

Instagram announced the launch of its second standalone app, Layout, yesterday. Unlike Hyperlapse, which prompted a new way to film and post videos on the platform, Layout’s creation was based on a popular existing trend on the platform — collages.

One in five users already post collages

Although Instagram’s native image size is already pretty small, users often use third party apps to create collages on the platform. The company says that one in five of the app’s 300 million monthly active users post collages — which lead to the creation of Layout.

Layout not only killed third party apps, its better than them

There are around 3000 collage-making apps in the Apple App store. Most of them force users to pick a grid in the first step, which forces users to figure out exactly which pictures to use. Layout eliminates the need for that and allow users to flexibly pick and choose in their camera roll while swiping through grid options.

Simplicity always wins

Layout absolutely nailed it with UX. The app is simplicity at its best. As Nir Eyal mentioned in Hooked, “the process of innovation…is when once the series of tasks from intention to outcome is understood, start removing steps until you reach the simplest possible process”. Instagram took an already simple process and made it even more intuitive.

Why not in app?

Although a collages are popular on Instagram, there are still plenty of users who are not making them. And those that do are already editing and making collages in other apps before importing them into Instagram. It seems like its the right choice to make this into a stand alone app instead of fitting it into the native Instagram experience.

What’s next?

What kind of third party apps are they gunning for next? Cinemagraphs have been making a come back lately. And there’ also this 3D-esq video trend(although currently mostly used by brands). Regardless, props to Instagram for staying ahead of user trends and providing more and better ways to use the platform.