The day has finally come in which we are no longer bound to the square crop within Instagram. The ability to post horizontal and vertical images has been requested by users since the beginning of the app. In the past, you would have to open your image in another app, add borders, and then export the new image to Instagram. Since this is the process I follow, I know it’s a huge pain. But even with this new cropping ability, I’m sticking with my old ways.
When posting to Instagram, I feel it’s important to have some sort of consistency in the way you post. I think it looks a lot cleaner for all your images to have the same crop, whether it be all square, horizontal, or vertical. When you have a mix between all the different crops, it tends to look messy and cluttered.
Because of this, I have chosen to stick with horizontal images (that and 99% of what I shoot is horizontal). So, when the new crop function was announced, I got pretty excited. No more third party apps, no more borders, and no more having multiple copies of the same image on my phone to deal with. But when I tried it, I realized that it wasn’t that simple. Yes, the image showed as horizontal in the main feed, but for some reason, the image shows as a square in the gallery. I don’t have an issue with switching up the way my feed looks, but I don’t like that I have no option to choose what part of the image is cropped. I have a tendency to play around with abnormal compositions and this can lead to the cropped image not actually showing the main subject at all. If you are a user looking at my feed, you could end up seeing an empty box, or someone cut in half. This makes your work look amateurish and could lead to less engagement and less followers. Also, users have no idea if an image is square, or if it’s just a crop of the real image, unless they actually click it.
One of the added bonuses of the new crop tool was being able to have images that no longer had borders around them. I was hoping to be able to take advantage of this new feature by having my Instagram auto-post to my Facebook account to save me a few steps. But as it turns out, images look completely terrible when you do this.
The only real advantage I can see with this new feature is if you post vertical images and don’t mind the images being cropped for your gallery feed. When posting horizontal photos, the images show as the exact same size no matter if you do the old way with borders or the new way without borders. However, vertical images are displayed significantly larger. They basically take up the entire screen now, which can make your image stand out in someone’s feed.
What do you think? Are you using the new Instagram crop tool? Why or why not?