For years, Instagram has been uploading pictures in a 640 by 640 pixel format. That was all well and good when devices couldn’t handle much more than that, but the small image size seems antiquated now. After all, the iPhone 6 has a resolution of 1,334 by 750 pixels, so Instagram’s photos don’t even have enough resolution to fill the width of the screen. From what we’ve seen in the past few days, and as noted by The Verge, it looks like Instagram might finally be catching up with the times.
As early as July 2, Instagram has appeared to be uploading pictures in a 1,080 pixel square format. The image displayed at Instagram is still the usual size, but you can locate the larger pictures if you dig into the page source. For example, looking at the source code for AppAdvice’s Instagram feed, you can find the highlighted image code that will bring up the full 1,080 by 1,080 pixels picture. If you copy and paste that code into your browser, the picture that loads will be in 1,080 by 1,080 pixels format.
Instagram’s Web page is still displaying the images in the old 640 by 640 pixels format, downsizing the higher resolution photograph. Right now, you can only see the larger photograph if you go into the page source and find the source code, then copy that image code into your browser. I’ll do the hard work for you for this one, and you can click here to see the large version of the image shown below.
This is a pretty big step in image sharing, assuming the change moves beyond the code. It would mean being able to see more of the glory of the images our mobile devices can capture. The Facebook-owned visual social network is making a huge push to use Instagram to help document the world’s events and places. The service is working with Getty Images to encourage users to “document stories from underrepresented communities around the world,” but 640 pixels isn’t really enough to document much of anything.
We’re rolling out 1080×1080 uploads (and higher-quality viewing) for IG on iOS and Android. Let me know if feed looks a bit sharper today :)
— Mike Krieger (@mikeyk) July 6, 2015
With improvements in data upload speeds, thanks to LTE technology, and the boost in quality smartphone cameras have received, it is high time Instagram increased the upload size of pictures. Our screens can handle so much more than Instagram currently has to offer, and it is refreshing to see that the social network is trying to catch up with the times.