Here's an interesting consideration for Instagram marketers - some users have reported seeing tests of a new grid layout in the app which displays posts four columns wide, instead of the current three.
Anyone else's instagram keep changing to a 4 pic grid then back to 3? pic.twitter.com/n1ebT20656- Nicky (@nxckyhale) September 14, 2017
Here are the two layout variants side-by-side for context.
The test format (left) and current
To the average user, the change probably doesn't mean a lot, but to those brands and influencers who've spent hours or time and effort cultivating their Instagram feed, the change - if it were to go through - could be significant.
The most obvious impact would be on profiles which have used multi-tile type images, spread out across various posts, as displayed here.
Hey @instagram, people have spent years perfecting their feeds. No 4 grid update please. pic.twitter.com/hPuCJthKb6- Abhimanyu (@ItsMisterJadhav) September 14, 2017
There are various apps and tools you can use to do this, and this change would impact all of them, forcing a significant re-think, and/or update of their feed display options.
It could also have impacts on any business who's taken the time to plan out their Instagram feed with a theme or style - which is a key note of advice most Instagram experts adhere to.
As you can see in these examples, each of the three profiles has a consistent look and style to their posts, which generally permeates through all their posts - meaning the added column wouldn't matter too much. But still, it's a new consideration when looking to maximize visual appeal, utilizing all the tools available.
As noted by Refinery29, the test could be part of Instagram's changing focus from 'perfect' shots to more everyday images, expanding the use case of the app. By having more images in frame, it may increase user engagement, as there's 25% more content to take in on each line.
Right now, it seems like a relatively small scale test, but as noted, if it does get a full roll-out, it may cause a re-think for Instagram marketers.
We'll keep you updated with any future announcements on this front.