Instagram, the popular photo-sharing app owned by Facebook, is about to get a much-needed makeover to its images. The app previously only allowed users to upload and view photos at 640 x 640-pixel resolution, but Instagram says it will soon let users upload pictures in a higher resolution of 1080 x 1080 pixels.
Users can see if their own pictures are in the new high-res format by using a desktop browser like Chrome to open up an Instagram photo page's source code, and search for ".jpg." The first result should show the larger version of the picture; just copy the link into a new browser window to view the larger-size image, if it's 1080 (you can tell if there is a magnifying glass option to enlarge the photo).
A higher-res Instagram image (click to enlarge), and the 640 x 640 version below.
Credit: Les Shu
Instagram told the Verge that it started "gradually rolling out 1080 across iOS and Android" just last week, so most users are already seeing the higher-resolution images within the mobile app.
Up until now, Instagram has always kept its image size to 640 x 640 pixels, even as smartphone cameras improved by leaps and bounds. Although it took a while for Instagram to make the big jump to higher-resolution images, at least the company is showing it's willing to adapt to change. With the new format, users will be able to post much higher-resolution images to the photo-sharing app.
Instagram has become one of the most popular image-sharing services with more more than 300 million active users. The application allows users to take pictures and videos, and share them on social networking platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Flickr. Instagram was created by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, and launched in October 2010. The service quickly gained popularity in 2012, and was acquired by Facebook for $1 billion in cash and stock.
As of right now, Instagram says sharing will remain on mobile devices, with no plans to share the new feature on the Web, although it appears that the images are already being hosted at a higher resolution.