We never thought this day would come, but Instagram now allows you to natively post portrait and landscape oriented photos and video. The days of cropping, white backgrounds, and 640x640 pixel photos and videos are over (unless you don't want them to be).
The iconic square format has always been a part of Instagram's culture and today marks a shift in how users can tell their visual stories. "We want to make it simple and fun for you to share moments just the way you want to," the Facebook-owned company said of the new feature release.
The reason for the change? Instagram did some number crunching and noticed a trend. Nearly one in five photos or videos posted are not in the square format. Instagram is looking to make it easier to get those non-square photos and videos online by removing the 1:1 aspect ratio requirement. No more friends getting cut out of group shots, cramped video, and not being able to "capture the Golden Gate Bridge from end to end."
The new feature, which rolls out today on iOS and Android, allows users to tap the format icon to adjust the orientation to portrait or landscape instead of square. Once you share the photo or video, the full-sized version appears in followers' feeds. But Instagram is not getting rid of your profile grids. Your posts will appear as a center-cropped square when viewing your profile.
Another update is all filters are now available for both photos and videos. In the past, Instagram has had separate filters for photography and video shares. Users can also adjust filter intensity on their videos.
This is a monumental shift for Instagram, who popularized the square photo. By allowing different aspect ratios to be shared natively, are they moving away from what made them great? Or just embracing how users have been uploading content to the social media app for years?