This past week Instagram rolled out a new feature allowing users to post non-square photos. Users can now post a full size landscape and portrait shot as well. This is a step in the right direction and frankly, one that’s probably long over due. However, Instagram has stated they will always be committed to a square format and I think this is where the issue comes into play.
The above image features a landscape shot and you can clearly see a couple superheros on both the left and right side of the frame. Being able to post a non-square photo is great and an example like this shows the advantage of that. I have no problem with this at all, my compliant comes when you view a users grid.
While we’re able to see the entire image above, below on the grid view the image randomly gets cropped back to a square format and does not have the same impact. While I understand having everything the same size might make it easier to quickly scan the grid, if I purposely post a landscape or portrait photo, I expect my grid to show it the same way.
If an image has a tree in the center of the photo but 10 flying pigs on the left side of the frame that’s cropped out in the thumbnail, many people might not click on that photo. They might not care for just a tree shot but they don’t know their missing out on 10 awesome flying pigs. As long as Instagram is committed to a square format, I think this will always be an issue for people who are picker with their photos and how their presented.
For now, I’ll stick with borders to show my images in their entirety.