Writing on Medium

Square Cover Images are the New Normal on This Writing Platform

Why you’ll see more square images at the top of stories in the future

Alex Bentley
3 min readFeb 12, 2022

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Photo by Elijah O’Donnell from Pexels

Instagram popularized square images.

That was back in 2010 when the photo-sharing app made its debut.

So you’d think a lot would’ve changed since then.

Nope. You’re wrong.

Because square cover images will soon take over Medium.

With the new launch of the new “Better Medium.com” design—the social writing platform is giving precedence to cover photos that are square shaped.

Look at the new homepage. What do you see?

Screenshot of the new Medium.com desktop design.

If you said “square images” then you answered correctly.

Yep. On the desktop layout, cover images next to the title and sneak peek text are 112x112 pixels. A small square.

This doesn’t surprise me, because in Medium’s mobile app, cover images have been displayed in a square format for a long time. Just like you see in the above screenshot of the new desktop experience.

The other notable change with Medium’s redesign is that writers can no longer adjust the size of the embedded images in their stories.

It’s one size fits all.

Although you can upload any sized photo, like 16:9 or 16:10 wide screen, you can’t make the image appear larger or span wide across the story. All images are kept neatly within the story’s column.

No coloring outside the lines.

Photo by Amit Gaur on Unsplash

Medium’s new design forces writers to behave in a specific way.

And what behavior does the Medium devs prefer?

To choose photos or graphics that best fit the new design.

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Alex Bentley

I write about crypto, personal finance, business & tech. Also, I publish a bit of humor to make you laugh.