Instagram recently backtracked on its TikTok-style full-screen redesign after widespread user backlash. But it still plans to support full-screen photos on the platform. CEO Adam Mosseri has confirmed that testing for taller images will begin soon. This change will allow users to post photos in a 9:16 aspect ratio on the app.
Mosseri revealed the plans during his weekly Ask Me Anything last Friday. “One that we hope to test in a week or two is support for 9:16 photos,” he responded to a question about whether the company is building any cool features for photos (via The Verge). The Instagram CEO added that the idea is to treat photos and videos similarly. “You could have tall videos, but you cannot have tall photos on Instagram. So we thought maybe we should make sure that we treat both equally.”
Instagram currently limits users to posting 4:5 photos. You have to either crop the photos to this aspect ratio or add gradients on the sides to convert them into the supported size. This isn’t always ideal, as the changes may affect the image. Support for taller photos would alleviate these issues. Hopefully, the company wouldn’t force all photos to a 9:16 aspect ratio. It already tried doing so and it didn’t work out. Letting users post photos in natural size, or the size they prefer would be the best way.
Instagram is transitioning into a TikTok-like full-screen experience
As said earlier, Instagram has been trying to go full-screen for everything for some time now. It briefly tested a video-focused redesign earlier this year only to face criticism from users. The redesign copied TikTok’s style of algorithm-curated feed of full-screen vertical videos. Users didn’t like it because the new layout de-prioritized photos posted by friends. The company essentially tried to present a never-ending scrollable feed of videos to keep users on its platform, shifting its core from photos to videos.
Instagram’s Reels Feature, which is essentially a TikTok clone, is already full-screen. The company is also now making normal horizontal videos discoverable as Reels. Now, this plan of supporting taller photos very much reveals where the Meta-owned platform wants to go. It still envies TikTok’s success and wants to go full-screen will all types of content, preferably with videos at the center of it all. It remains to be seen how users will react to this upcoming change. We will let you know when Instagram starts testing 9:16 photos on the platform.