Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Instagram will soon test ultra-high photos to match the full-screen roles

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Instagram may have halted its controversial redesign, but that doesn’t mean the company plans to stop focusing on full-screen content. During his weekly Ask Me Anything today, CEO Adam Mosseri confirmed that Instagram will begin testing ultra-high 9:16 photos “within a week or two.”

“You can have long videos, but you can’t have long photos on Instagram,” Mosseri said. “So we thought maybe we should make sure we treat both equally.” Currently, Instagram peaks at around 4:5 when displaying vertical images cropped accordingly. But by supporting slimmer, larger 9:16 photos, they can fill the entire screen as you scroll through the app’s feed.

Instagram’s TikTok-esque redesign has been criticized by some photographers for the way it forced all photos to display awkwardly in a 9:16 frame. The new feed also added overlay gradients to the bottom of posts so text would be easier to read. But that clashed with the original look of photographers’ work. Here’s a great look at that first experiment courtesy of Thomas Fitzgerald.

During Instagram’s shaky redesign test with users, Mosseri admitted more than once that the full-screen experience wasn’t ideal for photos. Now we see that Instagram still intends to showcase that ultra-high photo experience — but without forcing it across the board.

The company’s own data showed that Instagram’s redesigned design was so disliked by some people that they started using the app less often. “I think we need to take a big step back, regroup and figure out how we want to move forward,” he said in an interview last week. Instagram has also said it will reduce the number of recommendations shown to users until it gets better at selecting content that they will actually like.

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