Sammy Nickalls
August 27, 2015 12:09 pm

Squares are for squares, man.

At least, that’s what Instagram decided when they rolled out their latest update — which finally allows you to to post outside of the 1:1 aspect radio. According to an announcement on Instagram’s official blog, the app is officially welcoming portrait and landscape orientations for pics and vids, and we’re totally loving it.

“Square format has been and always will be part of who we are,” Instagram wrote on their blog. “That said, the visual story you’re trying to tell should always come first, and we want to make it simple and fun for you to share moments just the way you want to.”

Instagram did some digging into what kinds of photos and vids their users post, and it turns out that nearly one in five aren’t in the typical square that has become such a staple over the app’s history. “[We] know that it hasn’t been easy to share this type of content on Instagram: friends get cut out of group shots, the subject of your video feels cramped and you can’t capture the Golden Gate Bridge from end to end,” the company continued. And YES. We can totally relate to that sentiment 100%.

So how does it work? Now, when you upload a pic or vid to Instagram, you can tap the format icon and adjust the orientation and cropping to your liking. Then, they’ll appear in your followers’ feeds exactly in the orientation you chose (though profile pages will remain in the typical tiled format).

For ages, squares were a part of the brand, and the 1:1 ratio was what Instagram was known for. And that makes total sense, TBH. After all, a grid format with each image the exact same size and shape looks clean from a design setting.

However, rectangles have been the preferred format of most art, expression, and creativity for centuries (think film, painting, and photographs — how often do you see a perfect square?). Plus, the square greatly inhibited the creativity of users. Getting an entire image into a square frame is often quite difficult (hello, panoramas and awkward group selfies!), leading many to turn to other photo editing apps or to find their own loopholes to the rule (e.g., taking a screenshot of the image on their iPhone with white space in the background).

Other new features on the update include allowing universal filters between photos and video (while previously, there were separate filters for each). You can also now adjust the intensity of filters on video, as well. But most importantly: The constraints have been lifted, guys. We have been freed from our square-shaped prison and have room to move our artistic limbs!

We give all of the props to Instagram for listening to the public and providing us an awesome way to expand our creativity while sharing pics with our friends. Break out the panorama and group selfie shots, because it’s time to post ’em — without awkwardly cropping anyone out.

(Images via Instagram, Shutterstock, author’s Instagram)

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