Instagram images no longer just squares

SAN FRANCISCO (AFP) - Instagram on Thursday broke its square mould with an update that adds portrait and landscape formats to the image-sharing smartphone application.

"Square format has been and always will be part of who we are," Instagram said in a blog post.

"That said, the visual story you're trying to tell should always come first, and we want to make it simple and fun for you to share moments just the way you want to."

Updated versions of Instagram tailored for mobile devices powered by Apple or Android software let users share photos or videos in portrait or landscape styles.

Approximately one out of every five posts to Instagram is in square format, according to the Facebook-owned company.

"We know that it hasn't been easy to share this type of content on Instagram: friends get cut out of group shots, the subject of your video feels cramped and you can't capture the Golden Gate Bridge from end to end," Instagram said of being limited to square imagery.

"We're especially excited about what this update means for video on Instagram, which in widescreen can be more cinematic than ever."

Facebook acquired the fast-growing Instagram in 2012 for $1 billion.