At Loves Data, we take developments in Social Media way too very seriously. So this morning when we were greeted with news of Instagram’s recent update, we became an office divided.
A video posted by Loves Data (@lovesdata_) on Aug 27, 2015 at 9:18pm PDT
To fill you in, Instagram has radically changed the previous restrictions on uploading an image which ruled that it must be a 1:1 square. This was often the cause for dismay due to the results of awkward cropping; like losing the top of a mountain, team members being cut in half in the office selfie or having to choose between keeping your shoes or your head in frame for your #ootd. Now however, you can upload your picture as it was taken in whichever proportion your heart desires, simply by tapping on the circle icon which will resize it to fit in all of the action. After a few experiments we’ve discovered that anything too long (like an infographic) or wide will still be cropped which is actually a relief as it will stop users from spamming you with a graphic that is 3000 pixels long! My main concern was with the way that the gallery feeds would appear but Instagram is on top of it; there will be no messing with your curation, with all preview images remaining as a square snippet of your larger image. Here’s where we’re divided – you don’t get to select which section of your static image will be featured in the square, so awkward cropping could still ensue! However, we’re willing to look past this because it will stop banners of white space appearing in your feed which, till now, have generally been a last resort attempt to avoid said awkward croppings. Unless your entire account is optimised for this visual aesthetic (see the wonderful Insta-gallery by @aimeapparel) it doesn’t work as well as the standard square.
HOT TIP #1: When using Instagram, especially for business where you’re editing and curating on a desktop, be careful about how you save and optimise your images. Instagram recently changed the optimal dimensions from 640 x 640 pixels to 1080 x 1080 pixels, so my best bet would be to keep your width dimension at 1080px to ensure your images are shown at the highest quality. Instagram’s new landscape and portrait options are also going to ease the sharing process onto other social platforms and stop you from having to create a new version in different dimensions or deal will having a clunky square on your Facebook or Twitter feed.
HOT TIP #2: Another exciting new development which was totally overshadowed by the ratio game changer is, the video filters are now all the same as the normal static ones and you can finally adjust the intensity. You are unfortunately still unable to edit things like brightness, contrast, temperature etc. for video but you know, I’m sure we’ll get there eventually.
While we’re still coming to terms with the loss of the beloved square simplicity, we’re excited for what this could mean for future expressions of visual creativity around the world particularly for business. Let us know what you think about the new developments in the comments and while we’re on the topic of Instagram, if you haven’t already, make sure you enter our #DataInTheWild Competition to win a ticket worth over $575 to our nearly sold out Analytics Conference!