Be There Or Be Square: Your Thoughts On The New Instagram Update

The human race is divided into two camps: those who square their pictures on Instagram, and those who leave these ugly white/multi-coloured bars at the sides to make a shot “Insta-ready” (Yes, I belong to the former faction). But the (first-)world drew a collective gasp earlier today when popular haolian photo-sharing app Instagram broke one of its longstanding rules; You can now post pictures in portrait or landscape formats!


Just one sleep ago, photos had to be taken, edited, filtered, and worst of all, cropped before it could see the light of day/phone screens. But welcome to the future: a bold new Narnian landscape where all your dreams can come true i.e. your uncropped selfies can finally shine in their full, unadulterated glory. Take heart for this world is ours.

“Square simi sai lah make people so ma fan. And so bloody pretentious.”

Omg!!!!! 😱😱😱😱 now Instagram can post portrait and landscape pics I’m so happy!! Look! Feast your eyes upon Dash’s elbow which normally would have been cut off! Don’t you feel lucky to see it? Hahaha! Finally no more cropping off my hair!! My portrait pics can take up so much space in your phone screen I love it!! No more having to use external apps to put my landscape Youtube video into a square! (If not subtitles cut off) Y DIDNT U DO THIS EARLIER INSTAGRAM Square simi lah make people so ma fan. And so bloody pretentious. Oh RIP Whitagram and Squaready + Squaready video (which I hate… Stupid ads) I feel so happy I don’t have to use them anymore. And this is finally an update I like! Woohoo! Now bring back customized locations dammit @instagram! If not I anyhow tag that my dining room is Instagram’s headquarters.

A photo posted by Wendy Cheng ❄️ 下雪 (@xiaxue) on

Singapore’s beauty blogger/blogger mum Xiaxue (@xiaxue) ripped into Instagram’s old format immediately when she discovered the new update, posting this image of a surprised Dash (plus his camera-shy elbows).


But what does this mean to the 300 million users of the social networking app? We asked a few regular users to share their views on Instagram 7.5!

“(The update will benefit users who want to) post photos in a cinematic point of view or in a panorama view.”

Asshiddiq Rizuan (@deeqmiles), post-hardcore activist and photographer for Popspoken, praises the update. “Personally, I think it’s a good move for Instagram to remove their “square-only” policy,” as this benefits users who are looking to “post photos in a cinematic point of view or also in panorama view.” He believes that the decline of “third-party (cropping) apps” would lead more people to use Instagram, and “there will be a lot of creative photos” on the platform.

“The user experience wouldn’t be as consistent. (The varied dimensions) make scrolling and browsing very uncomfortable.”

Jermaine Lim (@jermainish) feels that the update is a double-edged sword. “It’s good because it makes things easier. I don’t need to crop and edit and put in so much effort just to square it.” However, she is concerned about the overall user interface of Instagram, especially on the main timeline. “The user experience wouldn’t be as consistent. (The varied dimensions) make scrolling and browsing very uncomfortable.”

“Now I don’t have to make the hard decision whether to cut off the top or bottom part of my selfies.”

Like any serious conversation about Instagram, selfies are a hot-button topic. Joshua Benjamin Ho (@hojoshho) gushes about the liberating new changes. “I love the update because now I don’t have to make the hard decision whether to cut off the top or bottom part of my selfies because my face is amazing.”

Others are just trying to get used to the app’s new look. Sara Teo (@saraxteo) feels that “photos shot in landscape format – especially panoramas – may appear a little squinty”. To the trained user’s eye, landscape photos appear to be “hiding” behind other tabs, or the user hasn’t scrolled enough to view the entire photo, leaving one with a sense of dissatisfaction.


The Promising Benefits Of Instagram Updates

Are you ready to embrace Instagram updates to optimally benefit from them? Instagram has been a popular photo-based social media app since it existed over the web. This social media network isn’t alone in enhancing features. With technological advancement, social media networks are in a tough fight to earn more members. Hence, they’re competing fiercely with themselves by launching new features to provide more benefits to users.

Sales and marketing teams of many companies and even private citizens expect a lot from social media platforms like Instagram to bring them closer to their target audiences. Therefore, launching new Instagram updates increases buzz, collaboration, and engagement opportunities for everyone who uses the app. 

From content and influencer marketing to affiliate and social media marketing, marketers can use Instagram to launch new promotions and products and make relevant brand announcements. With the new orientations, private individuals and brands can do more to create more appealing Instagram visuals.

In addition, any budding or seasoned photographer will be thankful for this new Instagram update. This feature makes any type of photography suitable for Instagram, cutting off angular and style restrictions. Such an innovative feature makes social media photography more exciting, especially for a professional photographer who works with private individuals, bloggers, content creators, and businesses.


But love it or hate it, you’ll just have to roll with it. While the new orientations might need some getting used to, it seems that the pros of finally being able to break free from standard-issue squares vastly overweigh the negatives. After all, we’re addicted to sharing.


P.S. At press time, the new Queen of Instagram Kim Kardashian (@kimkardashian) has yet to post her first portrait #célfie. Someone buzz her personal photographer please.


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Explore latest trends in contemporary culture


Explore latest trends in contemporary culture