Instagram Photo Size and Dimensions to Know for 2019

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 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.

Why?

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.

Screenshot of the Oreo Instagram profile

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 Instagram 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:

Screenshot of the Beyond Yoga Instagram page highlight reel

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!

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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By Rebekah Carter

Hi! I'm Rebekah, a full-time writer specializing in the spaces of digital content, business, social media and tech.

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