The Best Instagram Image Size For Brand Marketing

Instagram is a highly visual platform. Photos and videos need to be crisp and aesthetically appealing.

With the newest features, changes must be made. Today, you need to optimize your Instagram image size to keep up with the trend.

In the past, you can only post square, 612px by 612px photos. Today, vertical and horizontal images are widely popular among users.

The right image dimensions can drive engagement. But which Instagram image size is best for brand marketing?

We prepared a simple guide for using image size to boost your Instagram marketing game.

A Guide To Aspect Ratio and Instagram Image Size

Before we dive into specific details, let’s learn the basics. You need to remember two keywords: size and aspect ratio

What Is Aspect Ratio?

It’s the width of the photo or video in relation to its height. Like the size, it is expressed in two numbers. The first digit is the width and the next one represents the height.

Before, Instagram only supports an aspect ratio of 1:1. This limits content to square photos and videos. In 2018, the platform now caters to a variety of aspect ratios.

Instagram image size

So, what about Instagram Image Size?

When we talk about Instagram image size, we mean the width and height of your photo or video. The size is usually in pixels. Expressed in two numbers, the first one being the width and the next is the height.

For instance, a square photo can have a size of 720px by 720px.

Note: Instagram stores your content in multiple sizes. More often, the one displayed on your feed will be smaller than the original file.

Tip: The smallest size for Instagram posts is 320px. The optimum width size is 1080px.

When you upload a photo smaller than 320px, the app will enlarge it to 320px. If it’s bigger than 1080px, it will size it down.

If Instagram Compress Photos And Videos, Does Size Even Matter?

The answer is a resounding YES!

Instagram size is the essential factor to:

  • Catch your audience’ attention
  • Establish your brand
  • Boost engagement and build a community
  • Create striking promotions and ads

Tip #1: Upload high-resolution photos. So when IG compresses your post, it won’t negatively damage the quality.

Tip #2: Avoid uploading photos with very high resolutions- like 5400px x 5400px.

Note: Take into account Instagram’s aspect ratio. This will lower the risk of your content getting cropped.

How do I optimize the size of my photos?

Square Image

It must have an aspect ratio of 1:1.

For square photos, Instagram shows a maximum of 600px x 600px. We recommend uploading photos 1080px by 1080px in size.

Landscape Image

For landscape images, your target ratio should be 1.91:1. You can also use photos with a 16:9 ratio for wide content.

In terms of Instagram image size, landscape photos have at least 1080px in height.

Vertical or Portrait Image

Portraits must have a ratio of 4:5. Go beyond that and you’ll risk cropping your content.

As for size, the best option is to upload a 1080px x 1350px photo. Once compressed, it’ll be displayed at a maximum of 480px x 600px.

What’s The Best Instagram Image Size For Brand Marketing?

When establishing your brand in social media, invest in high-quality photos. It is crucial to choose the right photos size but how?

Dash Hudson, a visual intelligence platform, analyzed the connection between image size and engagement rate.

Here’s the average engagement rate for each of the 3 Instagram image sizes:

  • Square Photos: 1.39%
  • Landscape Photos: 1.26%
  • Portrait Photos: 1.43%

Note: Dash Hudson warns that ave. engagement rate between accounts vary.

With these results, we can assume that vertical or portrait photos do better than the others.


Portrait Photos Make The Most Of Screen Real Estate

In a platform where users are served a variety of visual treats, photos need to stand out. Vertical content takes up more screen space. This gives portrait photos a higher chance of being noticed, boosting chances of engagement.

You only have a few seconds to catch people’s attention. Get them interested in your product the moment they see your content.

Tip: Utilize the maximum space allowed to reach out to your audience. Users scroll past smaller images and that’s the last thing you want.

Take a look at For Love and Lemon‘s latest post. It takes up most of the screen. For the moment, they have all of the user’s attention.

For Love and Lemon's Portrait instagram image size

Here’s a landscape post from Fully Booked. Look at how it shares screen space with others on the user’s feed. The user’s attention is divided, lowering possible engagement.

Fully Booked landscape instagram image size

Vertical Image Size Are More Detailed

Let’s face it, a landscape photo is more difficult to see. It doesn’t matter whether it’s of high quality. In Instagram, image size and aspect ratio are crucial.

Landscape and portrait photos uploaded on Instagram have the same width. So the former will always have a lower quality.

For example, Try uploading the same photo vertically instead of horizontally. The vertical photo will still be more eye-catching.

Landscape Instagram image size sample

Portrait Instagram image size sample

Tip: If you have a landscape shot, try cropping it to portrait. Focus on a focal point.

Portraits Are More Likely To Go Viral on Instagram

Each brand has their own aesthetic. This allows them to be easily recognized by their followers. With that said, they are more drawn to an Instagram image size that gets more engagement.

This means more portrait photos.

Take a look at Interior Globe. They curate user-generated content. The featured photos often have an Instagram image size of 600px x 755px.

What about the Instagram Image Size for Ads?

An eye-catching Instagram Ad can lead to sales. Whether it’s a video or a photo ad, the goal is the same.

In fact, it’s even harder to grab the audience’ attention with a still image. So, you need to make the most of it. Here are a few key points:

  • Landscapes are less effective. With its smaller size, your audience will scroll right past it.
  • Your Instagram ad should fill up the whole screen. In doing so, you will command the attention of your audience.

An entertaining concept plus a large Instagram image size will result in more impact.

What are the recommended photo sizes for the most common Instagram ads?

Single Image Ad

This consists of an image, caption, and a CTA. This type of format is perfect for a variety of products. This includes blog article promotion.

The recommended image size is 1080px x 1080px or 628px x 1200px

Square Instagram ad

Carousel Ads

With the carousel feature, you can post up to 10 images in one content. You can get creative with this ad format:

  • Showcase a step-by-step guide on how to use a product
  • Provide more details regarding a product
  • Raise brand awareness

Additionally, you can also save on ads cost.

Carousel Instagram Ad

Tip: Use one Instagram image size or aspect ratio for all photos in the carousel.

Post photos with a minimum of 600px x 600px or maximum of 1080px x 1080px resolution. Portrait photos with an Instagram image size of 1080px x 1350px is also highly recommended.

IG Stories Image Ad

Stories launched in early 2017. It has grown significantly since then. With this feature, brands now have a wider reach.

This ad format utilizes the full screen. A highly effective approach to boosting engagement rates.

Levis Instagram Story Ad

Tip: With Stories, you only have 5 seconds or less to catch your audience’ attention. So make those seconds count!

It is recommended to post photos with a minimum resolution of 600px x 1067px and a maximum of 1080px x 1920px.

So Which Instagram Image Size Is The Best?

“Tall” photos take up a lot of screen space. The portrait Instagram image size or 4:5 aspect ratio are more likely to gain user’s attention.

That should be your main goal with all your Instagram posts.

With the wide selection of image sizes, you’re given space for creativity. However, be smart about choosing which one to use.

As a brand, know how your audience reacts to different size photos. Use this knowledge to determine how you will gain their interest.

By Rei

Writer by day, reader by night. Daydreamer for the rest of her life.

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