Do you know the ideal Instagram photo size?
Don’t panic if the answer to that question is “No.” You’re not alone.
It seems as though the leaders behind Instagram are continually changing the algorithms and rules of our favorite social network, searching for the best way to serve their 500 million daily users. While this commitment to constant improvement means that your IG feed gets a little better all the time, it also means that influencers and brands have a tough time keeping up with things like how to choose the best Instagram photo size.
Whether you’re snapping a picture that makes you feel #InstaGood for your new profile image, or you’re creating content for IGTV, you’re going to need some guidance on things like aspect ratio and dimensions if you’re going to avoid blurry, pixelated content.
The good news?
We’ve got everything you need to know about Instagram photo size right here.
Instagram Image Size
Instagram recently made a major change to its service by updating the size of images/videos you’re able to post. But why should you care about Instagram sizes in the first place?
If you use Instagram to promote your brand, these changes will have a big impact on the kind of content you can post. In this article, we’ll take an in-depth look at Instagram photo size, how it’s changed, and what it means for your business.
What’s the new IG Image Size?
There are currently 3 different sizes you can use to post images and videos to the Gram:
Until now, Instagram only allowed for posting square photos, which was extremely limiting. These new Instagram sizes make the platform much more versatile, allowing you to post larger, more captivating content.
Take this profile as an example (great stuff by @fraenkly) – check out the difference it on his profile makes when mixing up the image size of each Instagram post:
What are Instagram’s photo and video dimensions?
Given these changes, you’re probably wondering what ratio and resolution to use for your upcoming photo/video posts. Luckily, we’ve done some testing and research to find the best Instagram resolutions.
Square Instagram Photos
Standard square images on Instagram are shown at a maximum of 600×600 pixels (px). However, Instagram may store versions of square images with resolutions up to 1080×1080. Hence, we generally recommend making all your square images 1080×1080 to ensure they’re the highest possible quality.
Landscape Instagram Posts
Instagram currently resizes landscape images to a maximum width of 1080px. However, the images are displayed 3-times smaller at 600×337. Instagram’s landscape video dimensions are similar, displaying on average at 600×336.5. However, videos will display at 1200×673 on full-screen or retina displays. Stick to this resolution (which is close to a standard 16:9 ratio) to ensure your video content gets shown at the highest quality.
Portrait Instagram Pics
Instagram’s portrait images are displayed at a maximum of 960×1200 on retina displays or 480×600 on regular displays. Again, always aim for the highest resolution possible. Portrait videos, on the other hand, are displayed at a pesky 481×599.484. If you’re working with a professional video team, treat them nicely. Producing work for this bizarre resolution is ridiculous, seeing as pixels can’t be split.
IG Photo Size for Profile Pictures
The profile picture is one of the most important images on your Instagram account.
With the right profile pic, you can instantly grab the attention of your target audience, and let them know that they’ve come to the right place. However, if you haven’t changed your profile image in a while, it’s probably a good idea to update it for 2019.
While people will only see a small circle of your profile photo either at 180 x 180 resolution on the web, or 110 x 110 pixels on mobile, you should be uploading images that are much larger. Try not to go any lower than 320 x 320 pixels.
Choosing a slightly bigger image for Instagram to chop down on your behalf ensures that you end up with a rich, high-quality image. Just make sure that nothing’s going to be cut out by the circular frame that IG places on your snap.
Take a leaf out of Oreo’s book and create an image with a circular focal point.
Instagram Photo Size for Your Content Strategy
After years of only allowing standard square videos and images, Instagram finally got an update that allowed for portrait and landscape orientations as part of your content strategy too.
While being able to post horizontal and vertical images might not seem like a big deal at first, it could have a serious impact on your profile and follower count, as we’ll discuss further below.
1. Square Photos and Videos
The square image option on Instagram is generally the most popular. In fact, square video often gets the most success too.
Square photos and videos appear at an average of 600 x 600 pixels. This Instagram photo size has stayed the same practically since day one when Instagram first began changing the world of social media as we knew it.
However, as we noted with your profile pictures, it pays to overcompensate with your images. Instagram will reduce your photo sizes automatically, and the social site recommends that you post pictures no smaller than 1080 x 1080 when you’re aiming for the square shape. However, we’d suggest that you get as close to the max resolution as you can – that’s 2048 x 2048.
Go as high as possible with your square photo and video sizes, and you’ll be able to future-proof your Instagram strategy. After all, as smartphone screens become more intelligent, every pixel will count.
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2. Landscape Photos and Videos
Landscape images are an option for your content strategy – but there, not something that most professional Instagrammers use very often.
Ultimately, when you decide to use the landscape ratio, you’re committing to taking up substantially less space on your visitor’s screen. This means that you’re less likely to grab your audience’s attention, even if you’re using the best hashtags you can find for your niche.
On the other hand, vertical, or portrait images take up the full length of a user’s screen when they’re browsing through Instagram on their phone. That means that you can make an instant impact and show more content in a single frame too!
If you do decide to use landscape photos and videos – perhaps because the content you’re capturing wouldn’t work with a vertical approach, then the recommended dimensions for photos are around 1080 x 566. Alternatively, for landscape videos, you’ll have a maximum display size of 600 x 336.5 or 1200 x 673 in retinal display. The effect is similar to the 16:9 ratio on your television.
3. Vertical Videos and Portrait Photos
#Vertical is one of the biggest trends on Instagram today.
As the ultimate source for smartphone-focused social sharing, Instagram is all about giving people an incredible experience on the go. That’s why their most recent content format – IGTV, offers content creators the opportunity to create long-form videos specifically in vertical mode.
If you want to thrive on Instagram and attract the best followers to your profile, then you need to get used to the presence of vertical videos and images.
Ultimately, because the width of a landscape and vertical image need to be the same on Instagram, your horizontal photos will always be
00 or 960 x 1200 for full retina display. However, Instagram can store photos at a max of 1080 x 1350 – so keep that in mind when you’re shooting. Alternatively, vertical video is a little more complicated.
The Instagram Help page tells us that IGTV videos need to be between 15 seconds and 10 minutes long (unless you have a verified account), and they must be uploaded in MP4 format. Your videos also need to have an aspect ratio of 9:16, and a minimum resolution of 720 pixels.
The recommended size for an IGTV cover photo is around 420 x 654. You won’t be able to edit your photo after you’ve uploaded it at this stage – although this may change in the future.
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Instagram Photo Size for IG Stories
Instagram Stories is easily one of the most popular content options on IG today.
As of 2018, 400 million new stories were being published to the platform every day. That’s an increase from 300 million in 2017.
Of course, if you want to make an impact with your brand narratives, then you need to get your sizes right. Instagram dimensions for stories are approximately 1080 x 1920 pixels. This gives you an aspect ratio of about 9:16.
Remember, Instagram is particular when it comes to the size and dimensions of your stories. If you don’t get your Instagram photo size right here, then the IG overlords will crop and potentially zoom into your content, possibly cutting out crucial material.
Stick with the 1080 x 1920-pixel size when you’re creating a cover image for your Story too. When you go to customize your cover, you’ll also be able to zoom in and select the part of your photo that you’ll want highlighted in your circle. Those circles will show up in your highlight section here:
Instagram Photo Size for Ads
Finally, if you’re concerned about sticking to the rules for Instagram photo size with your paid advertisements, don’t be! When it comes to creating your ads on IG, all you need to do is consider what kind of content you’re creating and follow the basic rules. For instance:
- Square ads should always be 1080 x 1080 at a minimum
- Landscape ads need to be 1080 x 566 at a minimum
- Vertical ads should be at least 960 x 1200 px
Make sure you pay attention to the text you use on your ads too. Instagram will only allow you to include text that’s no greater than 20% of the full image size. The last thing you want is for your crucial copy to be cropped out!
What’s the Best Image Size?
There’s no golden rule about the best picture format to use for Instagram. Sure, most users are familiar with seeing square images, but that shouldn’t stop you from experimenting with portrait or landscape.
Just remember to stick to the dimensions we listed above to ensure your content is always seen in the best possible resolution. Apart from that, be creative and don’t be scared to play around with the new Instagram sizes if they bring the best out of your content.
When it comes to videos, we highly recommend using the standard square format. Research by Buffer Social shows that square videos outperform landscape videos in both views and engagements.
Square Video Dimensions For Instagram Video
In some instances, square videos attracted 30–35% more views and generated up to 100% more engagement among viewers. Square videos also performed much better on paid advertising channels, meaning they’re much easier to run than landscape videos. This means you should probably shoot your Instagram videos using a 1:1 aspect ratio.
Find Out The Best Instagram Resolution For Stories & Profile Pictures
For story images and videos, we recommend sticking to 1080×1920. The actual dimensions that your content will be displayed at might change depending on the screen it’s being viewed on.
Nonetheless, sticking to 1080×1920 (or a 16:9 ratio) will ensure everything is shown in the highest possible resolution.
Profile pictures are much smaller and show up at 110×110 on your profile. For maximum resolution, use the same dimensions you would for a square photo post (at least 600×600).
Size Does Matter on Instagram
Whether you like it or not, size matters when it comes to posting great content on Instagram.
Get your Instagram photo size wrong, and you risk showing your audience pixelated, unattractive images. That’s a huge no-no on a channel that’s all about beautiful content.
The good news is that with this guide, you’ll have all the information you need to post fantastic material every time. What’s more, if you need a little extra help, you can always reach out to the team at Upleap and start your free social media management trial.
Stop worrying about aspect ratios, and let us do the hard work for you, so you can sit back, and reap the rewards. Click here to find out more.
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