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Square, Landscape, and Portraits- Oh My! How to Use Instagram’s Full Menu Successfully

by Article by Remington Begg Remington Begg | September 6, 2015 at 3:00 PM

If you haven’t heard yet, the popular social media platform Instagram recently let go of their square-only posting capability and now allows users to post landscape or portrait photo and videos as well. Instagram’s official statement

“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.”

Now, when choosing a photo or video, you have the option tap the format icon to adjust the orientation to portrait or landscape instead of square. Once you are ready to share your video or picture, the full-sized version of it will appear to all of your followers in feed in a natural way. To keep the “clean feel” of your profile grid, your post will appear there as a center-cropped square until they are clicked on to be made larger. Thinking outside the square means one thing for your business- more ways to attract and delight your followers. But don’t over abuse the new features just because you can. Certain messages are better suited to each style, so use them accordingly.


Thanks to the enormous popularity of Instagram’s original format, square photos have become the new standard of mobile photography, forcing social media and branding experts to adapt to this unusual photography format. To take full advantage of the Square, take pictures of your staff members hard at work or your morning cup of coffee with a cheerful hashtag, making sure the subject is only taking up ⅓ of the photo. This gives your post an edgy, modern feel and will peak the interest of your followers. If you are ready to kick up your artsy game a notch, chose a black and white filter.


This one is a little obvious- the Landscape style is often best used for outdoor photographs. Perhaps you can take a stunning photo of the early morning sky rising over your building, illuminating your sign outside. If you and your coworkers are on a work retreat, snap some gorgeous photos of the city you’re in. It doesn’t have to be an outdoor landscape though, get creative! This is a great style to take a photo with all of your staff, without squishing or cropping anyone on the sides. Does your business have a long conference table or a cool couch in the break room? Photograph it with the Landscape style, give it a cool filter, and show your followers how wonderful your office looks.


The Portrait falls somewhere in between a rigid Square and a long-and-lean Landscape. It will allow you to share photos of several staff members out on a client visit without cutting or cramping anyone. One exceptionally effective way to use the Portrait style is in your videos. Have fun with your Instagram Portrait video; follow each of your staff members around for an informal “10 Seconds in the Day of…” campaign.

Instagram is just one of the many tools you should be using to keep yourself in the social media game. It now has 300 million users who share over 70 million posts a day. That’s a lot of potential customers out there looking for your brand! If you aren’t sure how to tap into Instagram’s potential, or any other social media platform, download our free eBook Mastering Social Media for Business and learn from the pros.

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