At the end of 2015, Instagram moved away from its square-only emphasis, and began displaying landscape and portrait modes as well. Up until that point, users had to rely on third-party apps that essentially let you add white borders to the top and bottom or left and right in order to fit landscape and portrait formatted photos into the app’s square presentation.
However, there are still limits.
- For landscape (horizontal) photos, you can use aspect ratios up to 1.91:1
- For portrait (vertical) photos you can use an aspect ratio up to 4:5
In terms of the most common aspect ratios for cameras, 4:3 and 3:2 continue to be so in the digital era, a continuation from film cameras. Now with the proliferation of widescreen TVs and computers, 16:9 is popularly used too. All three of those proportions fit within Instagram’s horizontal landscape limit.
The main issue that remains for me is portrait photos captured at 2:3, which exceed the vertical limit. Hence, the need to still keep a cropping app on my phone. And if you’re really nitpicking about presentation, Instagram still automatically crops your photo into a square when displaying your profile in grid layout. So adding white borders remains the only way to ensure all of the photo is displayed at all times (for the real purists out there).
Of course, that was all in respect to posting one photo at a time. Earlier this year, Instagram changed that too, adding a gallery feature that allows users to add as many as 10 photos into one swipeable post. It’s important to note that photos added to galleries must be square. Another reason a crop app remains useful.
In searching for a third-party app that would best add white borders to avoid cropping my portrait and widescreen gallery-wannabe photos, I had three main requirements:
- No watermark
- Simple interface (with minimal ad interruptions)
- High-resolution output
To be clear, I was more than willing to pay money for said features. Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised to find one that did all three for free on my iPhone: Whitagram. (And, yes, it’s also available for Android.) I had first experimented with Square Photo, but the output resolution was very poor. With Whitagram, you can actually output at the original photo’s dimensions. See the app’s simple, easy-to-use interface below.