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Actually, thinking outside of the "box" is stupid

Lauren Blackwell

Scrolling through my Instagram feed after the latest update added horror to my day. Through the glaze of filters and collages I noticed something terrifying ... something inconsistent ... something updated.

It was a landscape photograph.

What? Is this some sort of sorcery? Is there a wizard hacking into my Instagram feed?

Nope, it’s all a part of the new update. As of Aug. 26, 2015, Instagram allows its users to post landscape photos as well as portrait photos.

I was fine just thinking inside the "box," thanks.

Instagram hasn’t completely done away with its iconic square dimensions, but it now offers users the options to post both landscape and portrait photos when uploading a photo to Instagram from his or her photo library.

According to the Verge, Instagram initially used the square dimensions to set itself apart from other photo-sharing channels and to provide a more consistent look to users’ feeds.

Whether Instagram’s 300 million monthly users enjoy the new dimension options or not, I find myself a little frustrated. Sure, I can finally fit my 6’1” frame into the portrait field now and also post an extra wide panoramic, but I liked the consistency that Instagram’s squareness offered.

Confining every user to the same box demanded more creativity and thought as to the content and form behind every picture. Now that everyone has room to think outside of the box – literally – I don’t feel like many will put as much effort into thinking through their physical settings of their photos. Instagram’s square confines surely got my noggin going before taking any picture I was planning to post to Instagram, which I think in turn made me a better photographer and designer.

Instagram’s layout was not made for portraits and landscapes. It was made for square photos that filled the entirety of the mobile screen’s width with room for the user’s name and options for liking and commenting. This layout is what makes Instagram so appealing and intuitive. Offering different sizes will throw off Instagram’s balanced flow of visual and textual information.

Call me an Instagram purist, but I don’t like this update. Thinking outside of the “box” is messing with my love for visual flow and consistency.

By: Jena Valenzuela