Instagram’s user experience has begun to significantly morph over the last several months, as Meta strives to compete with TikTok’s momentum. Near the end of July, the social media platform went so far as to deploy and test an immersive full-screen experience to a handful of its users, prioritizing Reels content and filling feeds with recommended content in place of content produced by accounts these users actually followed.

The test quickly back-fired as influencers and content creators went to great lengths to voice their frustration with the change. “Make Instagram Instagram Again” petitions circulated social media platforms. It’s as if Instagram is so focused on being TikTok 2.0 that it’s lost touch with its original purpose – photo sharing.

Eventually, Head of Instagram Adam Moserri publicly addressed the situation. Moserri stated that the full-screen experience will be put on the back-burner for the time being. Since then Instagram has expressed its preference for vertical media, reminding content creators and brands that because vertical media takes up more “real estate” on the screen, the longer format in turn receives higher levels of engagement. This leads to an increase in visibility and preference within the eyes of the Instagram algorithm.

Also worth considering is the fact that Instagram now categorizes all video content as an Instagram Reel.

What shall we do with this Instagram knowledge?

Moserri stated that the full-screen experience has only been placed on the backburner “for now,” so it would be wise to get into a habit of creating vertical content. If the habit is developed over time, it will be a seamless transition when this fully immersive Instagram experience inevitably comes to fruition.

What is the best way to accomplish this?

Eliminating horizontal content from the Instagram strategy might feel strange at first, but ultimately the change will give way and produce higher engagement rates and higher reach as a result of the algorithm awarding posts that incur “social proof.” Start by implementing an Instagram strategy that lives and breathes with these photo and video dimensions:

Square Image – 1080×1080
Portrait Image – 1080×1350
Instagram Story and Reels Dimensions: 1080×1920

If you’re looking for a helpful tool to use for storing and resizing social media images and video content, Canva is a great place to start. From there, a successful content rotation requires setting goals and planning things out.

Develop a social media mix that includes regular Reels content, vertical carousel posts, and consistent Story posts. By doing this, your content will remain exciting, engaging and significantly more visible.