Instagram learns to stop being such a square
If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, Instagram should consider itself overwhelmed with adulation, as the photo-sharing service has spawned a seemingly endless parade of competitors. And while many of them have attempted to offer their own twist on Instagram’s formula, the company’s offerings have remained remarkable consistent; sure we see the launch of new filters, and video support arrived a while back, but Instagram’s bread-and-butter has remained its square 640 x 640 photos. Last month we shared news with you of a long overdue resolution bump, raising the cap to 1080 x 1080, and today we see support for other photo shapes arrive, as Instagram begins letting users share landscape and portrait-orientation shots.
With an update last month, phone users found themselves able to capture non-square photos with the app, but when it came time to share them, you were stuck with the standard square layout.
With today’s new release for Android and iOS, the Instagram app now lets users toggle between formats, choosing square, landscape, or portrait. While the app’s grid view will shrink those wider formats down to a square for a consistent display, users who tap on the pics will be treated to the full-sized version in its originally shared aspect ratio. This support extends to video, as well as still shots.
What do you think, is this change long overdue, opening new doors for expression? Or were the square pics part of Instagram’s charm, and this step away from that look threatens to steal just a bit of Instagram’s identity?