Out of the Box: Instagram Opens Up New Formats
On Thursday, expanding photo-only social network Instagram announced a change to its format that sent waves through online communities worldwide: the end of its square-only approach to sharing visual media like photos and videos. But this change has far-reaching impact, not only for your personal pictures like selfies and sunsets, but for marketers as well. The change marks an important shift in the ways that social networks — even visually-oriented ones like Instagram — are treating visual content. It's important, and now it's easier than ever to share high-quality visual content (ads or otherwise) with your network of fans and prospects.
Square always has been and will be part of who we are. We’re glad that moments of every format will now feel at home on Instagram.
— Instagram (@instagram) August 27, 2015
When posting a photo to Instagram, you'll now see a layout button that allows you to change the way a photo displays from a square, to a center-cropped vertical or horizontal orientation. This also works for Instagram's recently-opened advertising API, so it opens up a big door for marketers who are already adding the platform to their marketing mix. The celebrated science fiction movie series Star Wars used the new format to release a brand new trailer for the upcoming film Star Wars: The Force Awakens by surprise, as videos on Instagram now display in their proper cinematic aspect ratio, instead of an ill-suited square. See it below to get a good idea of how the new format can be leveraged for your company or brand.
A video posted by Star Wars (@starwars) on