- Posted by Nigel Edelshain
- On August 31, 2015
- Industry changes, Social media
Another social app has dropped its signature characteristic in favor of functionality. Not long after Snapchat started letting users tap once to view messages instead of tapping and holding, Instagram rolled out an update that lets users upload portrait and landscape photos to the app.
With nearly 20 percent of all photos uploaded to Instagram having rectangular aspect ratios, the change is a welcome one for the app’s 300 million users. As hospital marketers, it gives you more flexibility with your photos and videos, whether you’re paying for ads or building your reach organically.
If you’ve ever tried to upload a group shot or any other photo that doesn’t fit easily into a square frame, you’ll immediately see the utility of native portrait and landscape orientations. In the past, you were forced to use third party apps that added white space to the top and bottom of sides of a wider or taller photo. It was an awkward solution that was inconvenient to implement and didn’t look as good in practice. Now, all you have to do is tap the “format” icon (the circle with two diagonal arrows in the screenshots below) to automatically switch to portrait or landscape mode.
Natural video format
The most noticeable application of the new format, other than group and architecture shots, is video. Portrait orientation naturally fits phone screens while landscape gives an immersive cinematic experience rather than reminding viewers of the days when they had to watch widescreen videos on fullscreen TVs. It’s a move that should help Instagram compete with Snapchat and other popular video apps.
Uploading video is a whole lot simpler as well because you don’t have to worry about cropping it just right to fit the frame. As soon as you start dealing with more than one frame, finding the right place to crop becomes a whole lot harder—what works best for one frame might not work not another. With a natural aspect ratio, you won’t have to worry about that anymore.
Everything in one place
If you have work and personal Instagram accounts, you know that switching back and forth between them is pretty tedious—especially if you’re uploading multiple photos weekly or even daily. While the process of changing accounts hasn’t gotten any more streamlined, the few minutes you can save by removing extraneous steps and third party apps from the upload process could add up quickly.
Clean photo grid
You’ll notice another benefit when you tap your hospital’s profile page. Unlike third party apps that fit rectangular photos or videos into square spaces, the photo grid crops the edges off of new portrait and landscape uploads to maintain a clean, uniform look when people view your account.
More control over your content
It all comes down to having more control over the content you share with your followers. The new Instagram gives you the flexibility to share your patients’ stories the way they ought to be shared without shoving them in a box, and if you’re managing a multitude of social channels, it also makes it easier to push your content across all of them when necessary.