By Melony Roy

By social media editor Melony Roy

MENLO PARK, Calif. (CBS) — Instagram, the photo-sharing smartphone app owned by Facebook, is launching a new, long-overdue app that lets you easily combine multiple photos into a single image.

Third-party apps such as “Stitch” and “Diptic” are already used by one in five active Instagram users to make photo collages.  So, Instagram has created its own app, called “Layout.”

With Layout, Instagram users will be able to build collages using photos from their camera roll, which they can then share to Instagram, Facebook, or elsewhere.

Layout suggests up to ten collage templates to choose from, and lets users tweak their work any number of ways, such as by dragging and dropping photos into the collage, pinching-to-zoom, and a sci-fi-like “mirror” effect that duplicates part of a shot.

There’s also a “Photo Booth” feature which uses the smartphone’s front-facing camera to snap four shots in quick succession.

The app is free and available now on Apple iOS devices.  An Android version is expected in the next few months.

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