If you have any respect for your photos and videos, hopefully you've been using some secondary apps to optimise them before sharing to Instagram or Vine. While both the platforms are huge and amazing for sharing, their built-in features have been lacking. Until today.
Face it: some of your landscape and portrait-shot images just deserve better than the Instagram's automatically square-cropped look. Fortunately, the app finally agrees: and in an unexpected announcement yesterday, Instagram revealed that the app will now be able to support both landscape and portrait photos (and video!) natively.
Today, we're excited to announce that — in addition to square posts — you can now share photos and videos in both portrait and landscape orientation on Instagram. Square format has been and always will be part of who we are. That said, the visual story you're trying to tell should always come first, and we want to make it simple and fun for you to share moments just the way you want to. When choosing a photo or video, you can now tap the format icon to adjust the orientation to portrait or landscape instead of square. The full-sized version will show up in feed in a beautiful, natural way. To not disrupt your profile grid, your post will appear there as a center-cropped square. We’re especially excited about what this update means for video on Instagram. All filters will now work on both photos and videos, and you can now adjust the intensity of filters on videos, too. To learn more about the changes in today’s update, check out blog.instagram.com. Instagram for iOS version 7.5 is available today in Apple’s App Store, and Instagram for Android version 7.5 is available today on Google Play.
"Square format has been and always will be part of who we are," admits Instagram in their announcement. "That said, the visual story you're trying to tell should always come first, and we want to make it simple and fun for you to share moments just the way you want to."
So for all you landscape photo junkies, you no longer have to run your photo through a white-background app to get the perfect look for your photos. But if you've got an aesthetic going on on your profile, watch out - the thumbnail preview still crops to square.
Meanwhile on Vine...
Whether it's an epic dance loop, or part of an unnecessarily dramatic moment in a comedy sketch, music is a really important part of Vine culture. And the latest update on the 6-second video app has just made it even easier to incorporate music into your videos.
In a new blog post last night, Vine announced new built-in feature "Music for Vine", which will allow users to import, synch and snap music to their Vines without the need for editing in a third party app. Viners can use "Snap To Beat" to create a perfect loop within a song, without the painstaking effort of doing it by ear in other mobile apps like iMovie.
And that's not all - Viners who use the app to discover new music are about to have a much easier time of identifying songs. Vine's built-in Featured Tracks library means that there will be an icon next to Vines to help immediately reveal the song used.
All these juicy new updates might spell some bad news for third-party apps, but hopefully this trend of the big players finally listening to and paying attention to their users' experiences will inspire some some pretty great things in the mobile app world...