Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Instagram Landscape and Portrait- Good and Bad

Last week, Instagram announced new layout options; Landscape and Portrait mode. This means that instead of being confined to a box, you can upload images that are wider and taller without it being cut off.  So here's my thoughts (remember just my opinion).

As Instagram shows you can get a whole bridge or palm tree in an image, but what's wrong with the box? Instagram's whole identity and selling point is stylised images and clean feeds that aren't constantly changing sizes and look pleasing to the scroller. To use the new options all you do is upload an image and Instagram will give you the option to lengthen it either portrait or landscape, you can chose to keep it square but it remains cropped as before. And the box isn't completely gone, L/P photos are still cropped into squares on profiles anyway.

The Good 
I quite like the landscape option, and so do Instagram it seems. In their announcement they focused a lot more heavily on the landscape option than portrait; fitting all your friends in the picture, getting a full bridge and even partnering with Disney to show exclusive Star Wars trailers. Landscape fits more in with the aesthetic of Instagram, it still looks "right" and clean and will definitely bring in more opportunity and revenue for users as well as Instagram themselves. (who are projected to make $2.8 billion in advertising by 2017).

The Bad
Portrait mode was hardly mentioned in the announcement except to say "here are some palm trees" and I can see why. Unlike landscape which kind of fits with the style of Instagram, portrait
looks too big and a bit wrong for the feed. I tried using portrait, and unlike the promo image Instagram use, the image doesn't fit on the screen with the like and comment buttons. I can see why it'd be good for things like comics, but it may make advertising using portrait harder as users may find it intrusive.

In my opinion I think landscape could be used for good, however don't think the portrait mode is going to be very popular with users. Those who do want to upload portrait photos already use apps such as instasize that make the image square size. I guess that the rise of apps that make your images portrait or landscape are why Instagram introduced it, but personally I'd rather they'd kept images the same size.

What do you think about the new modes? Will you be using them?


  1. I like the square Instagram image the best. This will be what I stick to the most. Unlike on my profile, where the landscape image I tried appeared as a cropped square, on my Instagram feed in a widget on my blog, it appears as the full landscape image, which puts things out of sync a bit. I don't know whether I need to update settings, but if this is just how it is I will definitely be sticking to my squares! Great post Rachel! Xx

    Tania | whentaniatalks.com

  2. I like the squares - I think it is part of instagram's identity!


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