Instagram loves squares, that’s just its thing. Since day one, the photo-sharing service has forced users to crop their photos to a 1×1 perfect square, and this neat limitation is one of the things that has made the service so popular. That’s all about to change, however, as Instagram has announced that it now supports both landscape and portrait photos. The reasons for this are pretty clear: remove any limitations you have in order to increase user content.
Your days of awkward photo cropping are finally over — you can now post landscape and vertical photos and videos on Instagram. Until now, Instagram photos always had to be cropped as a square, which didn’t make a lot of sense given most users take pictures and shoot video on a rectangular smartphone. Thankfully for Instagram lovers, that restriction is a thing of the past courtesy of an app update released on Thursday. There seems to be an obvious reason for the change: Hope of more user content. I’d wager you’re more likely to share a photo to Instagram if you don’t have to crop out part of the image every time you want to post one. Others in the industry are also pushing vertical content to take advantage of the material captured by smartphones. Snapchat is aggressively pushing vertical video (and so are its publishing partners), and YouTube’s recent app update supports vertical video, too. “Some of the best and most immersive video out there is landscape, and before this it didn’t really feel like there was a home on Instagram for that,” explained Christine Choi, a product designer for Instagram. Plus, Instagram is often lauded for its simplicity, and this update makes the app even simpler.
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