When Instagram began testing out a 4-grid layout to replace the current 3-grid one in September this year, many who had been curating their accounts with the 3-grid layout in mind started freaking out. Since it does not appear that Instagram has any real plans to scrap the 3-grid layout in favor of the 4-grid one, let’s take a look at what some Instagrammers (both brands and influencers) have done with the 3-grid layout over time.
How Brands Have Used It
Kith Women is a brand who has used the 3-grid layout to their advantage. In the first two rows, we see photographs of the same model in the same piece of clothing, but from three different angles and/or positions. In the final row, we see the same crop top, but in three different colors. @kithwomen‘s Instagram feed essentially acts as a catalogue, where women can look at the different clothing styles or color options available.
@creepyyeha‘s Instagram account serves the same purpose, but affords the viewer with more artistic elements. For brands, another positive aspect of such a stylistic choice is exposing viewers to the same product multiple times. Even if viewers are not attracted to the product in the first instance, they may find themselves liking it more as they see it for the second and third times. This is particularly helpful if the posts are of the same distinct style so that users can associate them with each other.
While the first two examples of advertising are more direct, our final example, @differ.tv, operates on different principles. Instead of only featuring their clothing line, which is often inspired by quotes from films, they also feature screenshots from the films themselves or images that fit into their brand’s cult film theme. This then attracts followers who like the subculture and who are also more likely to purchase clothing from their brand.
How Influencers Have Used It
Similar to the way Kith Women advertises some of its clothing line, influencer Afifi Razi (@pipirazi), also posts photographs of himself in three different poses and/or angles.
Unlike many of the other accounts featured here, @pipirazi only began using the 3-grid series in August this year, but has been using it ever since. Once he took up the 3-grid series, however, he has kept to it, whether it is a sponsored or a regular post. Influencers who are thinking of using the 3-grid series might want to consider how they would like to monetize their posts. Would you charge by a series of 3? Would that cost more than a single post?
Simon Porte Jacquemus is a fashion designer who designs prêt-à-porter clothing but he has curated his Instagram account so that it does not only feature the clothing that he designs. In many cases, he features himself.
Unlike the brands shown above who post different variations of the same item, or who make three posts in succession with the same theme, @jacquemus regularly posts a series of three photographs or videos that are almost identical to each other. Perhaps this is to make followers spend a longer amount of time than usual on his Instagram posts, trying to figure out what the differences between the photographs or the videos are. Or perhaps he simply wants to make sure that his posts do not get buried in his followers’ feeds, giving them various opportunities to view his content.
While this visual style is uniquely Jacquemus, other influencers (microinfluencers in particular) may not want to try this technique as it does affect engagement. In each series of three, the first post usually gains the most number of likes and comments, whereas the other two tend to receive half the rate of engagement.
In order to deal with this decrease in engagement, however, influencers can take a leaf out of Beyonce’s book.
Although each of the series of three posts she makes belongs to a distinct theme, each individual post operates in its own right.
In the series above, for an example, the photograph on the left, which is a tribute to the victims of the recent shooting in Sutherland Springs, differs greatly in content from the slideshows in the center and on the right. Posting in a series of three with the same theme, whether by color or by event, but with different content allows her to vary her nature of her posts whenever she feels like doing so.
Whether you are a brand or an influencer, we hope you got a little inspiration from the accounts we have featured above. If you have, use and get used to the 3-grid layout while you can (before the 4-grid layout comes about and you have synchronize content across 4 photographs instead).