Earlier this week, Instagram announced that in addition to the standard square format, users will now be able to upload images and videos in landscape and portrait format.
With Instagram for iOS, and Instagram for Android versions 7.5, Instagram users will be able to adjust the orientation of their photos to landscape or portrait simply by tapping on the format icon after they’ve selected a photo of video to upload. Photos and videos can be shared with aspect ratios between 1.9:11 and 4:5. To maintain the clean, grid-like appearance that Instagram is known for, the default for all uploads is still be square, and all uploads will appear as center-cropped in a square.
According to Wired, enforcing a standardized aspect ratio is a huge creative constraint. Sometimes friends and family, or other parts of a photo or video have had to be cropped out of shots. Although there are several photo editing apps that can be used to make an image square by adding padding to the sides or top and bottom, this requires users to open another app in which to edit the photo, which is slightly less convenient.
This change in Instagram’s format is also a way for Instagram to better capitalize on the growing rise of mobile video. With rival services becoming increasingly popular in the way of mobile videography without the constraints of the square, this couldn’t have come at a better time.
“We’re especially excited about what this update means for video on Instagram, which in widescreen can be more cinematic than ever,” reads an Instagram press release.
Along with the ability to change the orientation of photos and videos, the newest version of Instagram will enable users to adjust the intensity of the filters they use on their uploads. There is also a new feature that allows users to fit multiple photos into one post and choose a layout in which to display them. Instagram version 7.5 went live Thursday and is now available for download.