Yesterday, Instagram announced the addition of Layout. An iOS app that allows users to quickly create and share collaged images. This marks the second complimentary Instagram tool since the release of Hyperlapse last August. But unlike Hyperlapse which offers users a unique selling point (to easily create quality, time-lapsed videos) Layout's feature set is anything but innovative.
Nevertheless, any announcement from Instagram these days is sure to get attention. Many brands and of course individuals have already jumped on the bandwagon- just search using the hashtag #Layout to see. And while we hope Instagram is quick to add new features (and release the Android version to really drive adoption), the overall UI and tap-to-edit functionality is dead simple for users who may not be aware of or are overwhelmed with the other editing options available.
Sure, some may say there is beauty in simplicity. But our initial review of Layout scores a measly a 1 out of 5 stars. The limited functionality just doesn't stand-up in a sea of apps designed to do the same exact thing. It's too simple to hold our attention because quite frankly, there are other apps that have much more editing power allowing users to get über creative. Functionality that extends well beyond simply tiling images together; features like more filter options, adding text, adding pre-designed graphics, and creating frames and borders to name a few. Many of these apps have also been around for a year or more and have extremely engaged user-bases. Here is a list of just a few personal favorites. In full disclosure, we are iPhone users but some of these are available on Android.
Alternatives to Layout from Instagram:
By no means is this list comprehensive, but rather to illustrate the point. Layout offers too little, too late for our liking. And we are sure there are plenty of Insta-fans that would agree.