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Instagram bumps up photo resolution to 1080 pixels

Instagram is increasing the size of pictures users of its mobile app are allowed to post, finally opening the door of the photo sharing service to much more detailed images.

The iOS and Android apps are gradually being updated to store and display photos that are 1080 pixels by 1080 pixels in size, an Instagram spokeswoman said Monday, adding that most users should already have this update. She declined to comment on when Instagram began rolling out the update and when it expects to finish.

The spokeswoman also declined to comment if the resolution improvement will also be available in the version of the service accessed via desktop browsers.

Instagram had capped image sizes to 640 pixels by 640 pixels since its launch in 2010, a time when most mobile devices couldn't snap nor render larger images. However, the restriction became increasingly noticeable as more and more people acquired smartphones equipped with better cameras that could capture higher-resolution images.

The new size limit was first spotted on Friday by people reviewing Instagram's source code.

Instagram, which was bought by Facebook in 2012 for $1 billion, claims to have around 300 million active monthly users.

Fred O'Connor writes about IT careers and health IT for The IDG News Service. Follow Fred on Twitter at @fredjoconnor. Fred's e-mail address is fred_o'connor@idg.com

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