Why Instagram's going beyond square photos

Instagram users can now post images in portrait and landscape layouts, the photo-sharing app said in a blog post Thursday.

The company, which is owned by Facebook, is expanding both photo formats and in-app ad options, changing the experience for users and advertisers alike.

In the post, Instagram said it's "thinking outside the square."

Instragram to offer "carousel" feature to scroll photos.
Source: Instagram
Instragram to offer "carousel" feature to scroll photos.

The company said most images uploaded are not in the square format, anyway.

Read More Could ad blockers be the next Tivo?

"It turns out that nearly 1 in 5 photos or videos people post aren't in the square format, and we know that it hasn't been easy to share this type of content on Instagram: friends get cut out of group shots, the subject of your video feels cramped and you can't capture the Golden Gate Bridge from end to end," the company wrote in its blog post.

The acceptance of rectangular posts from its users comes after an expansion of the styles that advertisers can use, including photos, videos and slideshows.

Read MoreThe social media start-up for the little guys

Instagram has been working on targeting their ads to its users more effectively.