Don’t Get Left Behind If Instagram Changes to a 4×4 Grid — Plan Ahead Now

Don’t Get Left Behind If Instagram Changes to a 4×4 Grid — Plan Ahead Now

Old Barker Social News Social Media Marketing

Have you been freaking out about the possible Instagram layout change from a 3-across grid to a 4-across grid?

Last week Instagram started to roll-out beta testing of a new 4-across grid to some of its users. For many bloggers, businesses, and Instagram influencers who have been carefully curating their Instagram boards, there’s been a lot of face palming over this. After all, why ruin a good thing?

You can read more about the news in these articles:

Well, we aren’t here to speculate as to why Instagram would make such a calamitous change, but we do have some advice:

Prepare for the change now or you might get left behind.

Social media is constantly changing and being disrupted. Instagram’s latest update is just another example of what you need to expect in this digital world. If this change does come to fruition, and it looks like it will, it’s better to be ready for it.

As per usual, some people might have temper tantrums and disavow Instagram for a few days following the switch-over. But even if you count yourself as one of the ticked-off, Instagram is far too important of a platform to neglect when it comes to your brand—plus, there’s no way that this change will “kill” it. It’s going to continue to be one of the most important spaces for business and personal brands to be present. So, don’t swear off this platform!!! Instead, start thinking about ways you can adapt to the potential change.

Now is the time to plan for a new Instagram branding template. Here are a couple of our go-to suggestions.

The Diagonal

Previously, if you wanted to create a nice diagonal pattern on your 3×3 grid, you would use a system where every 4th image followed a template. Now, that would switch to every 3rd image. Here the darker blue colour represents whatever “other” usual images you would share, and then the lighter colour shows where you’d put in the “stand out” templated image as every 3rd post:

The Multi-Diagonal

For this one, you can use the same pattern and include up to three repeating templated images. This pattern would also work with two templated images followed by a spontaneous photo. The main thing is to keep it in groups of three. It would look as follows.

Why the Checkerboard May be Dead

On our own feed, we’ve been creating a checkerboard look, where every other image is a templated image. However, with a 4×4 grid, this becomes a major pain the tushy. If we wanted to continue with a checkerboard pattern, things would get more complex. Right now with a 3×3 layout, all we have to do is alternate images. But if we were to alternate on 4×4, that would give us four long vertical stripes, not a checkerboard. A checkerboard would require alternating between these patterns:


…which, in planning, would be X O X O O X O X X O X O O X O X X, etc. While this is certainly doable, it leaves too much room for messing up for our liking. We prefer Buffer for scheduling posts, and it’s terrific, but it feels like the visual organization could easily go awry with an alternating system like this. If the grid does change, we’ll be switching to groups of three and ditching the checkerboard for good.

Do we want Instagram to change grids? Nope. But if they do, we’re ready for it. With a little planning, you can make the transition as seamless as possible. In the meantime, we’ll be watching the Instagram news like hawks and continuing with our regular system until we see otherwise.

Todd Foster

As a dedicated Digital Marketing Strategist at Barker Social, I am passionate about helping businesses unlock their full potential online. With a focus on results-driven strategies, I aim to deliver measurable success for our clients.