Instagram has announced that it dropping the requirement that all photos and videos uploaded to the site be square. The company is updating its Andriod and iOS apps so users can now share their landscape and portrait photos and videos alongside traditional square posts, which will remain the default setting.
“It turns out that nearly one in five photos or videos people post aren’t in the square format, and we know that it hasn’t been easy to share this type of content on Instagram,” the company said in a blog post.
To use the new feature, simply tap the format icon to move between square, portrait or landscape modes. From there, users can zoom in and out to choose the best crop for their photos. The update is the biggest to hit Instagram since its launch in 2010.
Instagram says that 20 percent of photos uploaded to its site had been modified to fit into a square frame. These were usually edited with with third-party software such as Squaready, an app that puts borders on photos so it can be uploaded to Instagram without any cropping.
Speaking about why the company’s founders originally chose the square format, Instagram’s Product Manager, Ashley Yuki, said: “The story we’ve heard is it looked beautiful, and it looked really nice in feed when they were mocking it up.”
Another new feature sees Instagram’s previously separate filters for photos and videos now unifying. Now all filters work on all types of posts, no matter what the format. Users can now also adjust the intensity of filters on videos.
It’s suspected that allowing a wider range of picture and video formats on Instagram will encourage its users to share more of the content they upload with the company’s parent, Facebook. If you would like to download the new Instragram please head here.