Instagram has always had a concrete identity associated with it, and the company has always been cautious not to tamper with it. Even after the introduction of Stories, Albums and other forms of expression such as Reactions on their parent platform, Instagram has managed to retain the singular ‘Heart’, the standard Instagram ‘Square’ image aspect ratios and excluding ‘links’ from captions.
Starting today, Instagram will do away with the necessity for a ‘Square’ image in Instagram Direct, although that only applies to permanent images, and not for Stories that you send to your friends. You can now send Landscape or Portrait images in their original aspect ratios.
You can also share links with your followers through Instagram Direct with a preview of the links, and “You’ll also see links for phone numbers and addresses,” says Instagram in a blog post announcing the new update.
Instagram Direct has witnessed some significant changes this year with its user base expanding to more than 375 million monthly active users, with Instagram pushing for more one-on-one interaction between users on Direct.
These new features will be made available to iOS users starting today, and will be made available to Android users soon. Links in Direct Messages will be made available today to both Android and iOS as a part of Instagram version 10.22.