Higher resolution Instagram photos are coming! As reported by theverge.com in the one of Instagrams latest updates, the source code mentions 1080 x 1080 pixel (photo on the right) quality photos.
Previously Instagram only supported 640 x 640 pixel resolution (photo on the left). The reason why they have been using such low quality photos on their service is to accommodate the global smartphone quality standard - plus it would probably also save them a ton of dollars in hosting & distribution. Glad to see that the photo quality will finally be up to today's smartphone standards.
Please take note that Instagram started to roll the upgrade out to iOS and Android sometime last week. You may already be seeing the higher resolution images already, depending on where you are.
Either way, if you edit in Adobe Lightroom or any other third party platforms, you should start exporting your images to 1080 x 1080 so that they make full use of the available pixel resolution.
The Co-Founder (Mike Krieger) has tweeted about the higher res roll out and confirmed that it is happening. He has also assured users that the size of the higher res photos is actually quite similar to the previous 640px photos. Users had concerns that the higher resolution meant higher file sizes - which would effect their cellular usage cap.
Krieger has assured users (via Twitter) that they have done a lot of engineering work to ensure that the file size difference is minimal. From initial user tests (via petapixel) the old 640px photos were around 84kb and the new 1080px photos are around 110kb. I'd say the increase in file size is negligible.
Have you noticed a difference in photo quality on Instagram yet? Let me know in the comments.
You can find me on Instagram @itchban.