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Breaking out of Instagram's square mold

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When the popular Instagram community led by Josh Johnson featured a non-square image, followers left shocked comments like "And its in full iPhone ratio!!! I never thought I'd see the day, but I love it!!!"

Instagram's giant overhaul late last year changed a lot of things. While everyone was busy clamoring about terms of service, the Facebook-owned photo sharing social network removed a feature that many people loved by preventing users from posting anything but square-format photographs.

So what is a panorama-loving Instagrammer to do? Luckily, many apps have stepped up to put photos of all shapes and sizes into a square format so Instagram will post them without issue. We took a look at the best options for both iOS and Android users.

Squareready; iOS; Free/$1.99

Squareready for iOS will place your image on a square canvas.

For quick and easy photo editing placement on an iPhone, Squareready does the job. It allows for both landscape and portrait photos to be placed on a solid color background without cropping and provides Instagram previews so you can see what your image looks like before uploading it to Instagram. Squareready is free, but the $1.99 "pro" version of the app offers an effects mode and doesn't have any ads.

SquareIt; Android; Free

SquareIt offers many of the same features as Squareready in Android.

Don't worry, Android users, you have options, too. SquareIt is essentially the Android version of Squareready. It allows users to choose an unique background color and will quick share to Instagram straight from the app.

Shape+Shape; Android; Free

Shape+Shape offers more than 40 shapes to choose from.

If shapes of the rectangular variety are too boring for you, try Shape+Shape for Android to shake things up. The free Android application will crop your photos into dozens of shapes and put them on a square format to post to Instagram.

PicFrame; iOS and Android/ $0.99

For Instagrammers who can't make up their mind, PicFrame puts multiple photos in one image.

Some mobile photographers want it all—square, vertical, and horizontal all in one image. PicFrame for iOS and Android allows users to collage multiple photos together to build a fresh composition in a square frame. The app offers 36 different arrangements and can accommodate up to five photos. The border can be either a solid color or a pattern.

Think outside the (square) box

EyeEm lets users share non-square images.

If you're sick of Instagram all together, EyeEm offers a rectangular alternative. The mobile photo sharing service allows users to upload images of all shapes and sizes. While it may not have the giant user base that Instagram has, EyeEm has plenty of active users who love to share, comment on and like photos. As an added bonus, EyeEm is available on Android, iOS and Windows platforms.

Comments

Total comments: 14
canvasframes
By canvasframes (7 months ago)

Hi,
I like the square shape it is easy to take the pics too.

0 upvotes
violadavis
By violadavis (11 months ago)

Cool, thanks.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 23 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
David Parker
By David Parker (Apr 19, 2013)

Sorry, I have to say it: It's hip to be square. ;-)

0 upvotes
momoLevi
By momoLevi (Apr 4, 2013)

cool article! I'm going to try those apps :)
mlevi2538@gmail.com

0 upvotes
sigala1
By sigala1 (Apr 4, 2013)

People are violating the spirit of Instagram by using borders to make the photos rectangular.

1 upvote
Leandros S
By Leandros S (Apr 4, 2013)

You just what?

0 upvotes
Ak pinxit
By Ak pinxit (Apr 5, 2013)

there is a spirit in the Instagram ?

0 upvotes
Aaron Tsuru
By Aaron Tsuru (Apr 5, 2013)

The "spirit of Instagram" is to share your life via photography. They just prefer you do it in square format.

0 upvotes
David Parker
By David Parker (Apr 19, 2013)

I'm with you. Non-square images look lame.

0 upvotes
areichow
By areichow (Apr 3, 2013)

The absurdity of having to use so kludge work around like this to get around an artificially imposed limitation is rich.

3 upvotes
Doug Pardee
By Doug Pardee (Apr 3, 2013)

Herewith my usual suggestion to consider Streamzoo as well as EyeEm.

1 upvote
Erin Lodi
By Erin Lodi (Apr 3, 2013)

Thanks, Doug!

0 upvotes
PhD4
By PhD4 (Apr 3, 2013)

Finally... relief for those that don't like to be stuck shooting square frames !

... and don't have an actual camera.

4 upvotes
areichow
By areichow (Apr 4, 2013)

Not even that- you can shoot rectangular frames on most any phone- the square format is intentionally imposed by the Instagram application. Doesn't matter if the source image was taken by a phone from inside the app or if you're posting an image from a "real" camera onto the service.

0 upvotes
Total comments: 14
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