Content marketing: Telling Meaningful Stories

How can I make my photos fit on Instagram?

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taking photos with my iPhoneAug. 29, 2015, update: Instagram now allows other formats and no longer restricts them to square.

I like Instagram, the photo-sharing social media network. It’s one of the faster growing social networks with a lot of potential. It also joined Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn as one of the networks accessible from Hootsuite. Hootsuite, of course, allows users to schedule posts to those networks. A great tool, for the busy social media marketer or participant in general.

Related: Scheduling blog posts and social media updates doesn’t hurt authenticity

Back to our main question here though: How can I make my photos fit on Instagram?

When I first started using Instagram, I would take photos with my iPhone and then try to upload them via the Instagram app. Problem was that the photos didn’t fit correctly on Instagram. One piece or another was usually cut off strangely.

That happens because the iPhone takes photos in the Photo mode (see the nearby photo). Sometimes those photos work for Instagram, but often they don’t.

I tried to start shooting photos directly inside the Instagram app, but that wasn’t a great solution. First, I had to unlock my phone, find the app, open it and then take the photo. That took longer than just clicking the take a photo button from the screen – even when the iPhone was technically locked.

S0 … there’s a really simple fix to the problem. If you routinely use photos on Instagram – which you should 🙂 – just swipe the iPhone camera setting over to  Square. Photos are now shot Instragram-ready. The iPhone camera will stay on whatever the last used setting was. So once you used the Square setting it will stay on that until you use another setting – for example panoramic photo or video. 

By way of example, let me show you the slight difference between photo and square modes:

Here’s a picture of a tree shot in the photo mode.

tree photo shot in photo mode on iphone

And here’s a picture of the same tree shot from the exact same location, but in square mode:

tree photo shot in square mode on iphone

You can see the square mode is a little tighter, which prompts the cutting off when photo mode images are used on Instagram.

Contact me here if you need help with your integrated Instagram strategy.

Instagram is a growing network and it’s time for many brands to use it. It’s also fairly easy to natively send Instagram photos to Facebook and Twitter.

For Facebook, just connect your Facebook account and when you turn on the Facebook share it’ll send the photo natively to Facebook.

For Twitter, don’t use the build-in Twitter share function. That function will only share a link to the photo on Instagram. That’s not very user friendly for Twitter users. The If This Then That however allows you to push the photo natively to Twitter.

Here’s how that looks on Twitter:

iftt on twitter


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Christoph Trappe

Hello and thanks for stopping by. I'm Christoph Trappe and I'm the Vice President of Content Marketing Strategy, Americas, at ScribbleLive, which is based in Toronto and is a global content marketing software company. Before I started at ScribbleLive I was VP of Content Marketing and Conversion at MedTouch, a Boston-based company that helps healthcare organizations with digital marketing. I've written two books, speak at conferences around the globe and blog frequently on here. I love sharing my stories and helping organizations share theirs. If you need help, just visit the Contact Me page in the navigation and drop me a note. I'm always happy to chat! Thanks for reading! - Christoph ctrappe@christophtrappe.com 319-389-9853

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