Recently, Instagram announced another interesting (and long-awaited) feature: the ability to zoom in on photos and videos.
Instagram users can now pinch photos and videos to zoom in and take a closer look. This update has been released for iPhone users and Instagram says this update will be rolling out to Android over the coming weeks, too.
As with any new feature, this opens up a ton of opportunity and some more flexibility with the types of content we can create on Instagram.
We decided to dive in at the deep end and take a look at how this feature works, what brands are already doing with zoom, and how you can use it as well.
Let’s get started.
How to Zoom on Instagram
To zoom on Instagram you simply need to pinch the screen.
The pinch to zoom expression has been a feature on Facebook, Twitter, and many other apps for a while now, and it’s also a common practice within the iPhone camera roll, so it feels like a natural expression for Instagram’s users to adopt.
Here’s a quick example of Instagram zoom in action from PetaPixel:
When you pinch to zoom, the photo or video expands in a lightbox and moves out of the original frame to take over the rest of your screen.
Instagram images are still uploaded at around 1080px in width, so if you zoom in too far the content may look a little grainy. Here’s a quick breakdown of the sizes Instagram uploads photos at:
- Square Image: 1080px in width by 1080px in height
- Vertical Image: 1080px in width by 1350px in height
- Horizontal Image: 1080px in width by 566px in height
Why zoom opens up new content opportunities
As marketers, we’re always on the lookout for new ways to create and share engaging content with our audience, and Instagram’s zoom feature provides a great opportunity to do just that.
Zoom allows us to get a little creative with our content and also makes Instagram posts a little more interactive. Instead of simply viewing an image or watching a video, users can now zoom around and choose to focus in on certain aspects of our posts.
Some content will naturally entice users to zoom; a beautiful beach scene or a shot of a well-known landmark may pique curiosity, for example. But in most cases, we’ll need to give users a reason to take a closer look at our content. Zooming can be a way to enhance your Instagram content, create fun competitions and games and also encourage Instagrammers to pause and take a moment to engage with your posts.
Here’s a quick look at how 10 brands have already started to use Instagram’s zoom feature within their content.
10 Examples of brands using Zoom
Note: We’ve tried to illustrate how the zoom feature looks with each example. If you’d like to check them out on Instagram, we’ve linked to each post in the accompanying descriptions. Click on each link from a mobile device, open it in the Instagram app and then pinch and zoom across the screen.
1. British Airways
British Airways shared this lovely photo of Berlin as a way to start a discussion around city breaks in the German city. By zooming in, users can check out some of Berlin’s most popular sights and landmarks.
The airline also made good use of the caption to encourage zooming:
2. Bud Light
Bud Light turned to Instagram to reveal the flavor of one of their new beverages. Using clever copywriting in the caption “Our new flavor is just a pinch away,” the brand encouraged users to zoom in and discover their new flavor.
Primark used Instagram’s zoom feature to showcase its latest product releases. By zooming in, Instagram users can scan through the products and take a closer look. This was a fun and unique way to let followers check out their latest stock and made great use of Instagram’s newest feature.
4. BMW España
I’m a huge fan of FedEx’s Instagram feed. They use the platform to show FedEx’s delivery drivers, vans, and planes out delivering parcels and giving followers a behind the scenes glimpse of how their parcels arrive. In this example, FedEx gave followers a view out of a plane window and allowed them to zoom in on the sunset and a view of another FedEx plane.
6. General Electric
General Electric shared this photo from Pulitzer prize-winning photographer, Vincent Laforet. It features a bird’s-eye view of GE’s Tier 4 locomotive as it snakes along the Transit Test Track at the Transportation Technology Center.
In the caption, GE asks Instagrammer’s to take a closer look and asks: “How many rail cars can you spot?”
7. Reyka Vodka
Icelandic brand, Reyka Vodka, used zoom to celebrate some of its country’s most famous landmarks. The beautifully put-together illustration features a small map of Iceland, which when zoomed, reveals the landmarks and one of Reyka’s branded bottles.
To encourage users to zoom, Reyka turned to the <img src="http://s.w.org/images/core/emoji/72×72/1f50d.png" alt="