For the longest time it’s been a shame to be a photographer on Instagram.
High resolution photos were often shared, but were indistinguishable from those shot on cheap, low quality devices. That is because it would compress pictures to a 640×640 resolution. But no longer.
From today – according to the company’s co-founder Mike Krieger -, Instagram is “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 :)”.
But does resolution really matter to the average user?
The majority of Instagrammers view photos through the app on their phone, and they’ve been quite unfazed by its most limiting feature. While professional photographers may use the service to gain attention, their tactic is usually to lead users who like their content off of Instagram, and onto platforms that display it in better quality, and perhaps offer better ROI.
By many accounts, Instagram has become more of a necessity to gain exposure, rather than a place professional photographers choose to show off their work. This is because it’s often difficult to tell the difference between a photo shot on an DSLR and an iPhone. Turn on your “Auto Enhance” and add a filter and you’ve got yourself a pretty good photo to share.
This trend has lead to a decisive drop in camera sales, with Canon’s compact camera sales falling 70% since 2008, the year after the introduction of the iPhone. Smartphones ate compact camera’s lunch, and they’re also responsible for SLR numbers declining 9.8% year on year, according to Reuters.
While Instagram’s latest update makes the case for higher quality photography, it likely won’t result in an uptake of the traditional SLR, with the quality of smartphone cameras constantly improving. The latest iPhone and Samsung Galaxy phones provide such great resolution and convenience, it’s unlikely brands like Canon and Nikon will ever claim much of that market back.
Nonetheless, this is a coup for better looking photography.
Now, if Instagram could only improve the resolution of its -currently very grainy – videos, then we’d be all set.