Instagram Finally Shows Some Out of the Box Thinking

Instagram made recent changes to their app and that’s great news for anyone making videos and cinemagraphs. Launched way back in 2010, Instagram, and their iconic square format, redefined how photos and videos were captured and shared on smartphones. While many old-time Instagramers grew to love the quirky square constraints imposed on them, others longed for more traditional photo and video aspect ratios.

While apps like Squareready and Square Sized helped Instagram artists squeeze their portrait and landscape images into a square, the process and results were far from perfect. With over 300 million users, Instagram’s own analysis found that 1 in 5 photo and video posts were not natively square. Clearly, Instagram artists and Instagram advertisers yearned for more freedom on the platform. With the August 27th app update, Instagram finally added support for both portrait and landscape oriented photos and videos. Great news for all Cinemagraph Pro for Mac and Cinemagraph Pro for iOS users as you can now share your living photos exactly as you created them.


What was behind this change? “Square format has been and always will be part of who we are,” reads an Instagram press release. “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.” The square will still be shown in grid profile view, but full sized versions will show up within the feed.

Great News For Video on Instagram

In addition to the formatting change, Instagram now allows users to adjust the intensity of all filters with either photos or videos. These changes provide more creative freedom to users, which is Instagram’s ultimate goal. These updates seem particularly geared towards video, considering that the square crop affects video more than photos, as the framing of shots often switches throughout a composition. The inability to shift the framing of video within a square also dramatically affects how a video is showcased. Expect to see more videos in your newsfeed from here on out.

Instagram has gone through some significant changes within the last year. Left relatively untouched for a while after being acquired by Facebook in 2012, it seems like the focus has been shifted to Instagram as a new and developing ad platform. Sponsored posts can now capitalize on more space within newsfeed. The change is also a way for Instagram to better adapt to the increase of portrait mobile video. Landscape looks great and has a cinematic feel, but takes up the least amount of space. We foresee portrait oriented video to be the next big thing in Instagram advertising. Portrait oriented cinemagraph videos, to be exact.

Hello London! By #London #londoneye #cinemagraph #Flixel #igdaily #timelapse A video posted by Flixel Photos (@flixelphotos) on

As screen sizes continue to increase, Instagram has begun to host more and more serious photography. With the potential to reach an audience of millions, and now the ability to showcase photos and videos in their natural orientations, Instagram is becoming a great platform to curate a serious visual portfolio. Posting cinemagraphs is another way to differentiate your visual storytelling and engage with your followers.

You can follow Flixel on Instagram here. We share cinemagraph created with our apps daily.

(Flixel Marketing Manager)

When Cassandra was six, she was asked to share a story with her class…and hasn’t stopped telling them since. Now she does so through photography, video and writing, but with the same sense of wonder - and love for glitter - as her inner kid.


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