Instagram Stories is broken… again.
In April, Facebook gave Instagram Stories a makeover that makes it more like Facebook. With the new update, Stories no longer need to be photo- or video-based. Instead, you can do things like ask questions, and create polls, quizzes, countdowns, and text-based posts.
I’m all for these new additions. I like the tweaks to the Instagram Stories camera that make it easier to quickly swipe to create things like Boomerangs, Superzooms, and apply camera filters.
But there’s one glaring problem with the Instagram Stories camera: the viewfinder is busted and it needs to be fixed, like ASAP.
Look, I’m no app designer, but as the first person to “break” Instagram Stories by posting too many clips in 24 hours, I know the format pretty well. As a power user, I can’t stay silent on the crappy new Instagram Stories camera anymore.
See, a camera viewfinder has a single purpose, and that’s to help you frame a photo or video. It shows you what is and isn’t in the frame. That’s it.
A good viewfinder captures exactly what you want framed — no more, no less. However, a bad viewfinder, like the new Instagram Stories camera, captures more than you intend to.
Am I the only one who hates the new Instagram Stories camera? Why is there all this black space at the bottom? I can’t properly frame my Story shot/video anymore because I can’t see what *is* in frame or *not in* frame down there (I’m on iPhone XS). Fix this @instagram pic.twitter.com/g3bNcVKSYy
— Raymond Wong📱💾📼 (@raywongy) May 17, 2019
Prior to the new update, the Instagram Stories camera opened up into a viewfinder with a clear, visible window with a 16:9 aspect ratio. You could see exactly what was in the frame.
But on the new Stories camera, the viewfinder obscures a large chunk of the bottom with a black, concave-shaped carousel for all the various camera modes and filters. The problem is that it blocks a significant portion of what the camera’s capturing.
What you see is not what you get. Take a look at these screenshots. Here, I’m thinking I’m gonna take a cool selfie covering everything below my nose. What I actually get after pressing the shutter button is a selfie with my mouth. That’s not what should happen and not what I wanted.
In the below images, the screenshot on the left shows the new Instagram Stories camera viewfinder as seen on my iPhone XS. I was hoping to capture a pic of only my sneakers on the edge of the staircase. Instead, the camera snapped a photo with my legs in it.
I really don’t want to get graphic, but this is how accidental dick pics happen. You think you’re taking a photo of your muscular legs to show off on Instagram Stories and don’t bother to double-check. And then — boom — next thing you know, all your followers have seen your junk because the Instagram camera over-captured. (This didn’t really happen to me, but I’m using it as an extreme example of what could happen in a nightmare scenario.)
The fix to this problem is really simple: define the bottom edge of the viewfinder again like it was on the old version of the Instagram Stories camera.
Instagram can still keep the carousel, but just make it clear where the edges of the viewfinder are again. Reduce the opacity of the black carousel the same way it is on devices with 16:9 aspect ratio displays.
I realize this is a first-world complaint. Go ahead and @ me for bitching about the new Instagram Stories viewfinder, but as any photographer or video producer will tell you, precision is important.
No, really, I dare you to go and tell someone like a foodie Instagrammer that an overhead photo of their meal with an unintentional view of their feet standing on top of a chair isn’t a big deal. It’s a big effing deal that what you see in the camera viewfinder isn’t what you get.
Maybe it’s not an issue for amateurs who are used to farting out any ol’ photo or video, but for people who do care about pixel-perfect content, Instagram needs to fix this problem.