You Can Now Post Portrait and Landscape Oriented Photos on Instagram

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?

Instagram 7.5 is available today from the App Store and Google Play.

[via Instagram]

Casey Berner's picture

Casey Berner is a photographer and videographer based in Seattle. After living in the Midwest, he followed his passion for the outdoors and took up residence in the Pacific Northwest shooting timelapse and landscapes. He spends weekdays in the office as a video and photo producer and weekends in the mountains exploring with his camera.

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This some kind of joke or am I missing something? Dowloaded the update and don't see any kind of orientation button anywhere and it wasn't in the update notes either. April 1st is a long way off you know...

Instagram does have a blog post about this. Strange. Checked with several friends and they don't see this feature either.

It's not working for me either. From the look of the comments on Instagram's post about the new feature, a lot of other people aren't able to find the new feature. I imagine another update is coming.

It took a while for the feature to show up for me after updating Instagram, but it did show up. They must be slowly rolling out the feature to everyone.

Interesting. Ok thanks guys!

It's working now for me

Ouu Yeah!!

It seems they placed the orientation setting button on the library photo chooser instead of the screen after you choose the image. This makes it incompatible with Hootsuite's scheduler which is a huge bummer for me posting to the Fstoppers' IG.

At first glance this is a great new feature—but with further review of the details it is VERY important to know that "in grid view on your profile, photos shared as a portrait or landscape will appear as a center-cropped square." Definitely a step in the right direction, but having the grid view simply center within the 1:1 aspect ratio versus center and crop would probably be preferred when deliberately posting an image with an aspect ratio other than 1:1.

Baby steps. Rome wasn't built in a day.

Absolutely. And while this is a great feature for many users, it is equally important to point out the footnote about the auto center cropping in grid view as it can impact the initial view of one's image.

That is called out in the article.

Agreed. Perhaps the next step on the road to perfection would be to permit the user to actively crop for the grid view. So, you'd get the landscape or portrait, and you could select the most aesthetic square crop for the grid.

Happy with all of this!

I think this is a great change, but one thing I found is, at least with the portrait-orientation photos I tried to upload as a trial, they are still limiting you to a preset aspect ratio (it's limited to 4x5), so you'll end up having to either crop your image if its outside that ratio or back out and fire up Instasize (ended up reinstalling it last night). So while this change is for the better, be aware that there are still unfortunately - and potentially necessary - limitations. Hopefully, that will restriction will be removed eventually.

Just to clarify.... You have to be trying to upload a non square image for the crop option to show.... double arrows in lower left of image when selecting from camera roll.... Also, in portrait mode, it needs to be an aspect ration of 10x8.... Otherwise you loose the top/bottom of the image..

I just shoot with the square in mind for Instagram, then crop to whatever fits my own site best. Should be a no-brainer for anyone that's used a Hasselblad...