Instagram has finally added one of its most requested features - though there is a catch.
From today, Instagram users on iOS will be able to zoom in on both photo and video content.
Starting today, you can pinch to zoom on photos and videos in feed, on profiles and on Explore. Dive into an adorable puppy's smile or into every detail of your friend's new shirt. Over the past six months, you've seen many exciting changes come to Instagram, from a new icon to longer videos and even a new way to share everyday moments with Instagram Stories. And as things change, we're still focused on improving the core parts of Instagram. Zoom is available today for Instagram on iOS. Zoom will be available on Android in the coming weeks.
A video posted by Instagram (@instagram) on Aug 31, 2016 at 8:00am PDT
Pretty cool right? Though you may have also noticed that as soon as the person took his/her fingers away from the screen, the image snapped back to its original state. That's how Instagram's designed it - you can't zoom in on a specific element then get your digits out the way for a closer look, you have to keep your fingers on screen while you're zoomed in.
Video via PetaPixel
Why, exactly, the function has been designed this way is unclear - it may simply be to avoid having people accidently double-tap and like posts when they seek to zoom out again - but Instagram does always seek to put their own spin on things. For example, while you can switch to full-screen mode for content on YouTube, Snapchat, Twitter and Facebook, you can't on Instagram - which is odd given the platform's focus is all about image quality. In fairness, Instagram has added a range of content improvements over the past year or so, including support for landscape and portrait formats and upping their image quality to 1080p, but there are still some elements on which the platform has refused to budge - either by choice or technical limitation.
But as noted, zoom has long been one of the most requested features on Instagram so today's announcement is big news, regardless of their alternate approach. There have always been zoom workarounds and processes available, but now the capability will be built in and easier to utilize.
And with the platform now in a direct battle with Snapchat, you can expect Instagram to keep rolling out the updates at pace to build on their growing momentum.
Zoom is available today for Instagram on iOS and will be available on Android in the coming weeks.