Instagram thinks outside the square — adds landscape and portrait formats

28 Aug 201518 Shares

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Instagram has decided to think outside the square and allow users to share photos in portrait and landscape formats as well as square.

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It has been the bane of many an Instagram user’s life but now photo-sharing service Instagram has decided to think outside the square and allow users to share photos in portrait and landscape formats as well as square.

Instagram opted for the square look in order to differentiate itself in the market but also for practical reasons because it provided a more clean and consistent experience as users scrolled through the social photo app and shared images.

But now Instagram is updating its iOS and Android apps to enable native support for full-size landscape and portrait photos and video.

These will run alongside the traditional square photos.

Within the updated app users will see a format button above camera roll which allows them to toggle between square, landscape (horizontal) and portrait (vertical).

instagram-formats

The new formatting options in Instagram’s Android and iOS apps

From there users can zoom in and out to crop their photos.

“Square format has been and always will be part of who we are,” Facebook-owned Instagram said in its blog.

“That said, the visual story you’re trying to tell should always come first, and we want to make it simple and fun for you to share moments just the way you want to.”

Instagram goes cinematic

After conducting its own research, Instagram said people wanted more choice in formats.

“It turns out that nearly one in five photos or videos people post aren’t in the square format, and we know that it hasn’t been easy to share this type of content on Instagram: friends get cut out of group shots, the subject of your video feels cramped and you can’t capture the Golden Gate Bridge from end to end.

“Now, when choosing a photo or video, you can tap the format icon to adjust the orientation to portrait or landscape instead of square.

“Once you share the photo, the full-sized version of it will appear to all of your followers in feed in a beautiful, natural way. To keep the clean feel of your profile grid, your post will appear there as a centre-cropped square.”

For users of video on Instagram the ability to post widescreen format videos is an important cinematic feat.

Users will also be able to adjust the intensity of filters on videos, Instagram said.

Instagram image via Shutterstock

Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com