The recent Instagram version is a milestone release. Instagram Direct, the messaging service received major improvements. Without any doubt the biggest change is the fact that IGs epic square format no longer is mandatory. Finally both landscape and portrait formats are supported! If you want to keep your picture's original aspect ratio* you can. Great!
Portrait is BIGGER, it is really breaking out of instagram's square format! You will literally get a lot more attention using portrait orientation:
- Portrait pictures are longer ( =more screen estate)
- Portrait takes longer to scroll. (Ok we're talking about milliseconds here…)
- Portrait on IG contains more visual content than all other supported aspect ratios (square, landscape)
- Portrait equals more visual information per post!
That's why portrait is more likely to become hot property in Instagram. That's why you should consider the orientation of your images the next time you communicate on Instagram. Hint: finally there is infographic-friendly format on Instagram.
* Stating that IG allows truly free aspect ratios is incorrect! There is a limit to both portrait and landscape! For the portrait format the aspect ratio is 4:5, more narrow formats will be cropped! Of course there is a reason for that: readability in the Instagram interface is a must and should stay optimal.
Landscape on the other hand will only narrow down your post on Instagram. That is still cool because you no longer need extra tools like Squaready to add extra white space to fit the classic square format. Personally I don't think tools like Squareready will become redundant. I would even still consider using tools that fit the square in case of landscape (to give the image more white space and also more coverage) and in special cases where the exact aspect ratio is important.