The Instagram story scaling problem was a problem only for Android device users until recently. This issue started to annoy many users since it occured even on new generation iOS devices. It is known that infinite display devices, notched designs and long phones are among the first choices of most users in the market. However, as long as the change in screen designs is not supported by softwares, it causes problems that disrupt the user experience. The losses experienced while sharing stories on Instagram are one of those problems that cause difficulty for the user.
Optimizing story sharing is extremely important, especially for users who want to manage their own business social media accounts. The images shared on social media are prepared with great care and everything from timing to design is thought in detail. Consequently, nobody wants the images they have shared meticulously to be displayed incompletely and incorrectly by different users. However, Instagram’s screen ratio optimization problem sometimes causes your images to appear on different users’ screens even though you are not even aware of it.
YOU MAY NOT REALIZE THAT YOUR STORIES HAVE BEEN SPOILED
The more annoying aspect of the issue is that most users exposed to this problem in Instagram are not even aware of the problem. Because when you want to view the story shared in the account that is logged on the device used, there is no problem with some visuals. Consequently, your story seems to have no problem with you on your device.
However, it can be seen that some parts are lost when the related story is displayed by logging into a different account from the same device. When trying to view the story from a different device, it is observed that some parts are lost, but even more challenging is that the parts that are lost in the story viewed from a different device are completely different.
Shortly, if you post a story from device X and account A and use Instagram camera, your story is visible to you properly. So you think everything is fine. But when you switch to account B from device X and view account A’s story, the story is zoomed.
If you post a 9:16 story from a 9:16 device from account A and then log in to account A from a 9:18 device and want to check your story from there, again the story is zoomed. Lets deep dive and explain why this happens.
WHY DOES INSTAGRAM ZOOM STORIES?
The main reason for the problem is that mobile devices used in the period when social media applications such as Instagram, YouTube and Facebook were developed, were produced in the ratio of 9:16. Old smartphones and apps were having the same aspect ratios. Today’s devices have different screen sizes. Nowadays, there are devices using 9:18, 9:18.5 or even 9:20 ratios instead of 9:16 especially in new generation smart phones. The change of screen ratios and the loss of the standard of screens with the introduction of notched front cameras with infinite screen features, made it difficult to cope with.
WHAT IS 9:16 OR 16:9? WHY ARE LATEST MOBILE PHONES NOT USING 9:16 SCREENS?
What are we trying to express when we talk about the 16: 9 screen ratio, which is still accepted as the standard ratio of TVs and monitors, and until recently, the most commonly used screen ratio in most devices and social media platforms?
In the 1980s, the standard TV screen aspect ratio was 4:3. The 16:9 ratio proposed by Kerns H. Powers, a member of the SMPTE working group at the time, has since become the standard for TV and monitor screens. In smartphones, the 9:16 ratio was used as the most commonly used aspect ratio too.
16:9 simply means a screen with a width of 16 units versus a height of 9 units.
For example, we are talking about a height of 1080 pixels versus a width of 1920 pixels in a resolution known as Full HD on horizontal screens (1920 × 1080). Here, when we divide the height and width into equal units, we are talking about a screen of 16 units of width and 9 units of height.
Likewise, for 4K UHD on the horizontal screen for example, it gives us the ratio of 3840 x 2160 height (3840 × 2160) and for the horizontal screen 7680 width versus 4320 height (7680 × 4320) for 8K UHD.
Let us remind you that when it comes to mobile phones, the same ratio only changes in terms of width and height position. Considering that larger but shorter devices would not be possible for handheld use, it is most logical that mobile phones are produced as a vertical screens, 9:16 instead of 16:9.
In short, all the devices we encountered until recently were produced with a 9:16 aspect ratio. However, the user’s desire to reach the larger screen without sacrificing the convenience of portable and one-handed use caused us to say goodbye to 16: 9 screen ratios. Extending the screen size to the upper and lower parts of the device without changing the width relatively and the use of infinite screens brought up screen ratios such as 9:18 and 9:19.
WHY COULDN’T INSTAGRAM SOLVE ASPECT RATIO PROBLEM?
As a result, the devices we have no longer use the 9:16 ratio and the camera, processor, performance, etc. Since we do not stop using new generation devices according to the criteria, this problem has to reach a solution.
In fact, Instagram’s effort to create a solution made things worse.
WRONG USAGE OF BLACK BARS
After new generation screens released apps did some updates. When you want to play a 9:16 image or video on a device with a different aspect ratio, the content is adjusted according to the relevant screen size by adding black bars and no deformation occurs in the visual. This is the main solution of YouTube, Netflix and etc.
That’s why we still see black bars on the left and right in most games on our infinite screen phones. First of all, our screen is reduced with black bars, the game screen is shown to us in the 16:9 scale. Thus, the content does not have to be stretched to the right and left to fit our screen, neither is it visually distorted, nor is it displayed with a visual magnification, and there is no loss.
Actually, Instagram also tried the same and has made use of the black bars. In the early days, there was a problem of stretching the stories upwards to fit the screen, and today this is mostly no longer a problem about that. But now it started to put the black bars “on” the image. Which makes images lose pixels.
Since the lossy state of the image is not visible to the user because of the issue explained on former titles, the user may not even be aware of it. While sometimes there is a visual loss from the top and bottom with black bars, on some devices, there is a loss from the sides.
The most confusing error is here. Black bars are not displayed in the user’s own stories. As a result, you don’t know how the third person sees your stories on other devices. As a result most of your followers have to guess the full content especially if you’ve written something on the screen and used the full width of it.
PUBLISHING UPDATES ACCOUNT-BASED
Another annoying feature of the Instagram side is that application updates are published on a user-based basis and some users access updates later than others due to server-based reasons. Even if such problems are solved, the fact that who can reach the solution and how fast they will reach it will be in the gray zone.
It is understandable to create a test group for beta versions and A / B tests, the number of followers etc. But it seems that it will be much more efficient for users to reach such important updates at the same time in such problems.
HOW TO SOLVE INSTAGRAM ASPECT RATIO PROBLEM?
To solve this problem you can shortly change your device’s aspect ratio. Even if you use a 9:18 device, if you switch to a 9:16 screen view your problem will be solved. You can make such switch temporarily or permanently. But of course why permanently use a smaller screen if you payed for a bigger one?
USING AN APP
Our first recommendation is as “STAY AWAY FROM RISKY APPLICATIONS THAT REQUIRE ROOT”.
There is of course a shortcut for brave users who say “I can’t wait for Instagram’s beta versions, A / B tests, server slowness” in the screen ratio problem. However, of course, we do not recommend such methods. You should keep in mind that third-party applications that require root on the device and allow you to make changes to your screen ratio may cause irreversible damage to your devices.
SOLUTION FOR ANDROID STUDIO USERS
There is a tweak you can try if you are familiar to Android programming. You can connect your mobile to your computer and by using ADB you can easily change your mobiles aspect ratio manually.
Comment below if you have any questions about that and we will reach you back.
HOW DO MARKETING AGENCIES SOLVE THIS ISSUE?
It is worth noting that some digital advertising agencies are not even aware of this problem. Sometimes we see that they have no problems just “by chance” and sometimes we can see visual and text losses even in the social media accounts of large-scale businesses. The latest example we’ve seen and warned was Cisco by Partners ad on Turkey.
The consultants who are aware of the problem, meticulous and careful, have many different methods such as device / image optimization for such problems. For this reason, even if you want to manage your own social accounts yourself, it is important to get consultancy services at least about core aspects.
As Future Searches, we make sure that you have access to all current solutions when you work with us and we bring you together with all special solutions if you only request consultancy from us.