Instagram: Don't be a square

I don't think I can take an Instagram post seriously unless it is square.

Instagram made the announcement on their blog that you can now share photos and videos in both portrait and landscape orientation, and not be restricted to the 1:1 aspect ratio. Squares are still allowed though.

It turns out that nearly one in five photos or videos people post aren’t in the square format.
— Instagram

No longer do you have to worry about cropping out your friend who is at the far left of the selfie, or contemplate which is the best angle for your panoramic extreme sports profile pic with a tiger - without stressing over whether or not you managed to get the whole of the Grand Canyon in the background.

This update shows Instagram has listened to their Instagrammers. They have always wanted more creative control over how their images appear - especially professional photographers - who are beginning to use the service more and more.

How does it work?

There is now a format icon that appears when you upload a new picture or video. Tapping this alternates between the 1:1 square and the original ratio of your media. Once you've added your new filter of the month and shared it, a full sized version of your post will display in your followers' feeds exactly how you imagined.

Portrait and Landscape photos in Instagram

Portrait and Landscape photos in Instagram

We’re especially excited about what this update means for video on Instagram, which in widescreen can be more cinematic than ever.
— Instagram

Your photos on your profile page will remain as a center-cropped square, which I think is nice. Instagram was known for the 1:1 ratio, and I kinda liked it. It reminded me of the Polaroid's dimensions. So I'm glad they have kept this. 

Make the most out of the update

Before this update, people had to be a little creative when it came to squashing their perfect cold beer on a beach photo into a square frame, ensuring it would go viral with 11 likes and a variety of made up and irrelevant hashtags.

People would spend far too much time taking screenshots of their photos or using other photo editing apps and re-uploading them to Instagram. To then spend another 3 hours deciding whether or not Nashville is the perfect filter, or if it would look better in Juno

Now we don't need to. 

I can't wait to take a panoramic selfie in front of the Great Wall of China, and not have to worry about cropping out any of the important bits, like my shoes.

Conclusion

So let's make the most out of not being confined to a square anymore - and keep producing awesome images and  videos for everyone to like.

Take some tips from Nasa. They certainly know how to take advantage of Instagram's new update. 

As did Star Wars, who made the most out of the landscape orientation and uploaded a new 15 second trailer for their new movie - Episode VII: The Force Awakens. Brilliant.

The update is being rolled out in Instagram version 7.5 for iOS and Android.