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Instagram no longer thinks it's hip to be square

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Ask any photographer: good composition is essential to capturing a great image. Ask that same photographer the most frustrating thing about Instagram, and they'll probably say "aspect ratio." Since its launch, every image or video uploaded to the service has been restricted to a limited square format, but today that changes. As of right now, you can upload landscape and portrait videos and photos to Instagram.

"Square format has been and always will be part of who we are," the company wrote on its official blog. "That said, the visual story you're trying to tell should always come first." Until today, it hasn't -- users who wanted to share their work in its landscape or portrait formats have had to use third party programs to add white space to the edge of their photos or videos, lowering the overall resolution of the image. Now Instagram has added a "format" button to its uploader, giving users the option to choose what kind of image they want to share without finding a work-around.


It's a simple change, but it means big things. In addition to giving Instagram users more creative freedom, it also makes the social network a better advertising platform. Want to watch the new Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer? Now you can -- right on Instagram. The update should be hitting Google Play and the Apple App store later today.

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