The photo-sharing network is quietly rolling out a higher image resolution for its photos.

Prepare your food, landscape and selfie photos, Instagrammers.

Photograph by Thomas Coex — AFP/Getty Images

The photo-sharing platform has long compressed images in its 640×640 pixel resolution so they are easy to load, but it will soon bump up photo resolution, improving image quality across the platform.

The Facebook-owned photo-sharing app is getting ready to start displaying photos in 1080×1080 pixel resolution, according to The Verge. While Instagram hasn’t begun yet to display photos in that format, it has started to store them in that size, the source code of its browser-based version has revealed.

An Instagram spokesperson confirmed to The Verge that it’s indeed working to roll out the bigger format to its iOS and Android app. It’s unclear when all users will start to see their photos in the new resolution.

The new size brings a number clear advantages. At 1080 pixels, users can see more detail — which likely won’t come at the cost of slower load times or data usage. Cropping an image that’s already 1920 x 1080 resolution also makes it easier to post, since some of the length is already cut off.

When Instagram launched in the fall of 2010, mobile photography was in a much different place. Photos needed to be smaller so they could load more quickly, as most phones used a slower 3G connection to the internet. A photo’s details would be lost, but smartphone screens were smaller and less pixel-dense, so it was harder to tell what you were missing.

But now, most mobile devices have screens that span 6 inches and resolutions that surpass full-size televisions so the upgrade was begging to take place. Beautiful photos are being handicapped by the 640 x 640 resolution, so the move is a big step in the right direction for many of Instagram’s 300 million users.

The higher-res shots look more crisp, but there isn’t exactly a world of difference between the two sizes.


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