Instagram now lets you share high-res photos you can be proud of

The company had limited picture resolutions to 640 pixels by 640 pixels. That's now changing to match the images captured on Android and iOS devices.

Instagram picture sizes are about to get substantially bigger. Screenshot by Sarah Mitroff/CNET

Facebook-owned photo-sharing app Instagram is rolling out a much-needed boost to image size.

The iOS and Android apps are adding support for pictures 1,080 pixels by 1,080 pixels in size, an Instagram spokesman confirmed Monday. The feature is "gradually rolling out," but the spokesman did not confirm when all users would receive the update.

Instagram is one of the most popular image-sharing services in the world with over 300 million monthly active users. The application allows users to snap photos and share them with friends, as well as apply filters to add artistic flare. The service, which launched in 2010, quickly caught fire and in 2012, Facebook paid $1 billion to acquire the service.

The one feature Instagram has stubbornly held onto, however, has been the size of images it will allow to be uploaded and displayed. Since its founding, the company has limited its image size to 640 pixels by 640 pixels, which, at the time, was sufficient, since many mobile devices couldn't produce larger images. As times has gone on, however, that has changed and many users see limiting image size to 640 pixels as archaic.

Bumping up the size limit to 1,080 pixels means users' images -- at least those taken by the latest cameras in mobile devices -- won't get crunched down, which results in a loss of detail.

Hints of a changeover to 1,080 pixels was first discovered on Friday and tipped off to The Verge. The discovery was made by analyzing Instagram's source code, or behind-the-scenes code that drives the look and feel of the front-end of a website, and seeing a reference to "1080px."

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