As Instagram gets serious with native ads, some brands are making the most of a different aspect of the image-sharing social media app.
Most of Instagram’s 300 million monthly active users are accessing the app from their mobiles.
This typically means viewing images and videos in the feed, one on top of another.
When you view an account’s profile, you automatically see their posts in a grid, three images wide.
We’ve began to observe brands and accounts making the most of this view, with interesting results.
Please, Instagram Responsibly
Whisky brand Ballantine’s have released something incredibly unusual – an Insta-zine.
Its functionality relies on existing app mechanics – tags link from “Tap to Read” squares to articles (which reside on separate accounts).
To ‘subscribe’ to W, users can like or comment the ‘Subscribe’ square. Their username will be tagged in future issues to alert the person of its ‘publication.
How to Lose Followers and Alienate People, A$AP
Rising rap artist A$AP Rocky began haemorrhaging followers when his Instagram account begun spamming feeds with blank white squares.
Unlike Taylor Swift, this ‘blank space’ did not prove popular with his fans.
Eventually, the nature of this artistic endeavour became apparent:
The grid was taken over by album artwork in order to promote A$AP Rocky’s latest release, At.Long.Last.A$AP.
The stunt initially lost A$AP Rocky 100,000 Instagram followers.
They soon returned when the big picture was revealed.
The drawback of this project was that, when viewed in the Instagram feed, the collective nature of the individual images is lost.
Chupa-Choose Your Own Story
The choose your own adventure was an Instagram first, raising product awareness around the largest candy-sharing time of the year.
Using Instagram’s grid to create a haunted house, the sweet brand used network of linked accounts to allow people to rescue Lolli – or meet a comically gruesome end.
Daan Simonis stated that, “this Halloween, we wanted to entertain our audience who have grown up with a mobile device in their hands. The campaign will give them a chance to experience game play on a platform they are already familiar with.
There’s Just One Thing…
As beautiful and entertaining as the grid artwork above can be, there’s a fundamental problem with it in the longterm.
As soon as you post an image, it pushes each previous photo down the pecking order by one place.
Essentially, you will disrupt the entire effect with two out of every three new pictures.
This might not seem like a problem for accounts that are made specifically for the purpose of grid artwork (like Get Lolli or W Magazine).
For an ongoing account like A$AP Rocky, this means his grid view needs three new pictures to preserve the presentation of the art work.
The Magic Number
One Instagram account that I follow posts images sets in threes.
CHRIS_NQManchester sticks to themes that give his sets consistency, which means he only has to maintain that style for three pictures in a row.
Like all of the other accounts above, however, this method is somewhat lost when viewed on a standard desktop/mobile feed.
Over To You
What do you think? Have you seen any clever Instagram grids?