Instagram tries to please photographers by testing fullscreen images

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Instagram tries to please photographers by testing fullscreen images


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Instagram will soon begin testing a new format for photos, allowing users to post 9:16 images to the mainstream to match the full-screen videos the app continues to push.

The Meta-owned app has gradually moved towards greater use of video, at the expense of leaving photography behind. However, it will soon make efforts to allow photography to live alongside videos on the service on a similar basis.

Revealed during a weekly Ask Me Anything session, The Edge reports Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri said the app will test 9:16 a.m. photos “in a week or two.”

“You can have long videos, but you can’t have long photos on Instagram,” Mosseri said. “So we thought we should make sure we treat both equally.”

Previously, photographers destined for the feed were limited to a 4:5 format for shots, a far cry from the full-screen aspect ratio used by videos like Instagram’s Reels. Previously, users could post 9:16 images, but only via Stories, which meant the images would disappear from view unless they were saved as a highlight.

Some creative photographers have also created Reel videos that are a few seconds long but only use one frame, giving the appearance of a full-screen image post. However, due to the use of video, there is a loss in quality compared to an actual still image.

The announcement of the photography change could be a change in tactics for an app intent on copying TikTok’s features. After an initial attempt at a full-screen interface that was disliked by photographers for overlaying elements and obscuring parts of the image, the app scaled back the interface.

Part of the backlash was an unexpected complaint from celebrities Kylie Jenner and Kim Kardashian, who urged Mosseri to “make Instagram Instagram again,” and to “stop trying to be TikTok.” The message echoes a meme spread by photographers about the loss of prominence of still images on the service.

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