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Instagram decides it's finally hip to not be square

Richard Easton
28 Aug 2015
Instagram landscape update
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The social image and video sharing platform now supports non-square formatted content

Square images and video are synonymous with Instagram, yet that supposedly hasn't stopped users crying out for the ability to share their content in portrait and landscape modes. After updating their Instagram apps, users today can now share their content in either format, as well as the usual 1:1 square crop we've all become accustomed to. Instagram has said that 1 in 5 photos and videos shared weren't originally in the square format, meaning cropping was always needed; potentially leading to awkwardly removing friends from group shots.

You'll only be able to share photos and videos from your gallery as photos and video shot through the Instagram app itself will still be in the traditional square format. The standard grid-view of content will remain, as a centre-cropped thumbnail will appear to maintain the existing look and feel of browsing the content sharing platform's discovery and profile grid views.

If anyone skipped geometry, here's the difference between a square and a rectangle:

Instagram app update landscape

While I found forcing users to compose their video and images with a square format in mind meant promoting a different, more considered, approach, I can easily see why landscape and portrait options have now been added to take advantage of users' existing media. Many media outlets, such as National Geographic, are using the service to share their photographs and content and until now they've had to crop their images to fit. Image and video composition, tone and feel can be drastically altered based on the crop you use, so at least now the photographer's original intent will remain. 

We'll all also all benefit from more cinematic widescreen video content. The only real bad news to come out of this update is that yes, you can share portrait videos on Instagram, but you shouldn't because that will make you awful.

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