Sharing and editing multiple photos to Instagram just got a whole lot easier. The app is rolling out a new app called Layout for iOS users that lets people combine multiple pictures into a single image, and even add effects like mirroring images and different arrangements.
The app effectively eliminates the need for third-party applications like PicStitch, the go-to app for creating collages with multiple photos. Now editing and posting photos to Instagram will take far less time. And if you were avoiding collages altogether, you won’t have to spam your friends’ feeds with 20 straight photos of your weekend.
On top of the new editing features, Instagram is also debuting Photo Booth, which lets you capture multiple images in a row and combines them into one layout by default.
With these new tools, Instagram just killed a number of outside applications that were building features specifically for the limited functionality of the Instagram app. No longer do you have to use a separate application to create collages, effects, or a collection of photos with a timed countdown.
It’s a gentle reminder that every app developer needs to constantly ask themselves “is this a feature or an app?” If the answer is the former, then prepare for constant in-house competition.
Instagram’s efforts underscore its push to become both a comprehensive photo-editing application and a wildly successful social network. Now if only Instagram would implement smoothing and blemish-removing features, it would own the selfie Photoshopping space as well.
Update 1:06pm CT, March 23: We incorrectly identified the new app as a feature of the Instagram app. The article has been corrected to reflect Layout is a standalone app for Instagram.
Illustration by Max Fleishman