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Instagram may have stopped its controversial redesign, but that doesn’t mean the company plans to stop focusing on full-screen content. In today’s weekly “Ask Me Anything,” CEO Adam Mosseri confirmed that Instagram will begin testing 9:16 ultra-tall photos “in a week or two.”

“You can have tall videos, but you can’t post tall photos on Instagram,” Mosseri said. “So we thought maybe we should make sure we treat both equally.” Currently, Instagram peaks at around 4:5 when showing vertical images that have been cropped accordingly. But introducing support for slimmer, taller 9:16 photos will help them fill the screen as you scroll through the app’s feed.

Instagram’s TikTok-like redesign has been criticized by some photographers for forcing all photos to be awkwardly displayed in 9:16 frames. The new feed also adds an overlay gradient at the bottom of the post to make the text easier to read. But this conflicts with the original look of the photographer’s work. This is a good initial experiment Courtesy of Thomas Fitzgerald.

During Instagram’s erratic redesign tests with users, Mosseri admitted more than once that the full-screen experience wasn’t ideal for photos. Now we see that Instagram is still very much about showing this super photo experience – but not fully mandated.

The company’s own data shows that some people disliked Instagram’s overhauled design so much that they started using the app less often. “I think we need to take a big step back, regroup and figure out how we want to move forward,” he said in an interview last week. Instagram also said it will reduce the number of recommendations it shows users until it can better choose what they actually like.



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