“You can have tall videos, but you cannot have tall photos on Instagram. So we thought maybe we should make sure that we treat both equally,” Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri said recently in his weekly Q&A about the service. Instagram will allow users to post photos in the so-called 9:16 format in regular posts.
The introduction of 9:16 is currently said to be part of a test that will be implemented in “a week or two.” Instagram already allows its users to post “story” content and videos ( Reels ) in 9:16, which is also the format most smartphones shoot video in when you hold up your phone. A 9:16 image fills the screen on most phones, as opposed to 4:5, the highest format you can use in Instagram posts today.
The numbers also say something about the ratio between the width and the height of the image. The test also comes at a somewhat tumultuous time for Instagram. “It’s a test for few percentage of people out there, and the idea is that a more full-screen experience not only for videos but for photos,” Mosseri also said. The company recently decided to reverse a design change that meant Instagram would be more like TikTok, with more full-screen content and more videos, as well as more “recommended content” in your feed.
Mosseri admitted that users did not like the changes and said that their own usage data confirms that the changes were a bad idea. “We definitely need to take a big step back and rethink this. We learned a lot and will come back with new ideas and versions,” Mosseri said at the time.