Instagram and the square format
Created by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, Instagram was launched in October 2010 as a free mobile app. With 300 million active users today, it has grown rapidly. In direct competition with Instagram is Snapchat, which has 100 million daily active users. The recent news going around is: Instagram loses square format. Why did they choose to do this now? For social media platforms such as Instagram having the correct format for photographs could be a great way of sharing your brand to your customers and as well as build awareness around your brand. Alternatively, you could want to promote your brand through your bio, as this is the first thing that someone see’s when clicking on your profile. The most obvious way to do this would be by adding your links in your bio, but unfortunately, you’re only allowed one link to be placed. But what if you have multiple? Luckily, websites like link tree can create a micro web-page that contains all your links. You should read a review on link tree before using it as there are many alternatives, and it might not be right for you, but it’s a very clever tool and concept. Another way to promote your business is to have a stable following on social media. Luckily there are social media tools similar to SocialFollow that could help a business to get instagram followers for free and expand the reach of that business’s brand.
Losing the square format restriction will encourage many users to be even more active on Instagram and others who may have completely abandoned Instagram, to return, and maybe even gain instagram followers on their accounts by being able to get more of the picture in the post. There were entire apps dedicated to sizing your images before uploading. Instead of having to use third party software to crop your images to rectangles you can now do it directly from Instagram. According to Instagram, more than 20% of images uploaded aren’t in the square format.
It’s actually fairly easy to ditch the square with the new update. When uploading photos there’s a new icon that allows you to upload the entire photo and not just a cropped square version (as seen above in first image). Your profile will still show images in squares but once you tap them you’ll see the rectangle format.
As a photographer I know how hard the square format can be to master. Only a few have really mastered it like Lee Friedlander. The square restriction being removed is a relief for many, including myself. I love rectangle formats, especially since I learned photography with traditional 35mm, 4×5 and 8×10 film cameras.