Choosing the Perfect Instagram Profile Picture Size

How do you get your Instagram profile picture size just right?

For that matter – how can you ensure that the image you choose really pops?

With around 1 billion users flooding onto IG every day, you’re going to need a top-notch strategy to stand out from the crowd.

Obviously, it takes more than a great profile picture to generate serious #InstaFame. However, your pic is the first thing your audience will see, which means that it’s also how you leave a lasting impression on the right people.

Your Instagram profile picture is more than just another snapshot in your portfolio. It’s your badge of honor, and how you convince your followers that they’re in the right place.

So, how do you get it right?

Picture of the Instagram app on a phone

Instagram Profile Picture Size: What You Need To Know

People on social media draw conclusions about a person or brand from their photo.

It sounds shallow, but we still judge books by their covers.

Within 40 milliseconds, your audience knows if they’re going to follow you, and support your social media strategy. That means you’ve got a shockingly short amount of time to make the right impression.

The first thing you need to know to create your profile is the ideal Instagram profile picture size.

The visible size of an Instagram profile photo (when people see it in the corner of your profile) is 110 x 110 pixels on mobile, or 180 x 180 pixels on the web. When your profile picture shows up in the news feed, it’s even smaller – at just 40 x 40 pixels.

If all that wasn’t complicated enough for you, Instagram profile pictures are also displayed as circles, not squares. That means that you can’t have any critical details in the corners that might be missed out.

What a #CropOut: Adjusting Your Instagram Profile Picture Size

If you’re worried about cropping your picture to the perfect proportions as soon as you take it – relax.

You can upload pictures much larger than the Instagram profile picture size allows. The key to success is making sure that the pic you choose is square, and has an aspect ratio of 1:1. This basically makes sure you don’t get a stretched or awkward-looking image.

If your picture isn’t a perfect square, just crop it to eliminate the excess, and remember to maintain your focus on the visible area. Make sure you leave enough empty space in the four corners so that everything looks aligned correctly in the circle.

Top change, add or edit the alignment of your Instagram profile picture, click on “Edit Profile” inside the app. Then, tap on the little “Edit” button underneath your picture on the right-hand side:

Screenshot of the Profile edit page on Instagram

You can import your photos from Facebook or Twitter if you want to maintain the same branded appearance across every social channel. Alternatively, you can choose an image from your library. For a professional look, avoid taking a selfie on the spot.

Going Beyond Instagram Profile Picture Size: Top Tips For Success

Here’s the thing with Instagram profile pics.

It’s going take more than a cropping tool and an eye for size to make you into a superstar.

Around 75% of Instagram users act (i.e., buy a product, download something or visit your website) after seeing an Instagram post. However, they don’t just convert because they like the cut of your photo. You also need to know how to take the perfect shots to delight your audience and boost your reputation.

Whether you’re using a brand logo or a shot of your own beautiful smiling face, there are a few things you should get right beside Instagram Profile picture size. Here are the best tips and tricks to spruce up your photos in no time.

1.     Choose The Right Kind Of Instagram Profile Picture

The first decision you’ll need to make is whether you’re going to use a logo or a photo for your profile picture. The answer will depend on the kind of profile you’re building for IG.

If you’re a solopreneur, freelancer, or influencer, then a picture of your stunning face makes a lot of sense for your profile image. After all, people are investing in you, not some logo or company name.

On the other hand, if you’re building a profile for a company, like Oreo, it makes sense to either use a logo, or of course, a picture of your awesome product. Bonus points if the product is round, so it fits perfectly with the Instagram profile picture size guides:

Oreo Instagram Screenshot

Whichever option you go for, make sure that the picture is clear and high quality. The last thing you want is a fuzzy picture of your face representing your IG presence or a stretched logo. The more professional your image is, the more credible your profile becomes.

2.     Get The Background And Lighting Right

If you aren’t just using a logo for your Instagram pic, then there are a few other aesthetic considerations you’ll need to consider. For instance, what’s going to be happening in the background of your shot? The best option is usually a plain block-color background.

The right shade can flatter you (make those eyes sparkle), without drawing attention away from the money maker. Banish all clutter and choose a shade that’s not going to drown out your image. For instance, if you’ve got dark hair, you probably should go for a dark background.

Check out Emma Roberts’ gorgeous profile pic, for instance. Notice how she’s got the colors, the background, and the Instagram profile picture size just right.

Emma Roberts Instagram Screenshot

It’s also worth dedicating some time to getting the lighting right on your picture. This can be tough if you’re not a professional photographer. That’s one of the reasons why influencers and professionals opt to get pro headshots taken.

Avoid direct sunlight that will bleach out your skin and stay away from shadows – unless you want to go for the sexy and mysterious look. A good tip is to experiment with numerous different angles and lighting effects until you find something that really conveys the look you’re going for.

3.     Be Consistent

Although you can use different profile picture on your Instagram page to the ones you use on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other channels – it’s best to be consistent. First up, if your followers see you on Facebook and decide they also want to follow you on Instagram, they’ll be looking for the same pic to make sure they’ve clicked on the right person.

Consistency eliminates confusion.

What’s more, using the same image across all your channels will help to build recognition for you and your brand. It gives you a more cohesive online presence, and a way to connect with your audience on a deeper level. Just check out Mac Cosmetics for instance:

Mac Cosmetics Instagram Screenshot

That’s not to say you can’t change your picture every few weeks. In fact, doing that might be a great way to keep your audience engaged. However, when you are making changes, just try to ensure that you also update your pictures on your other profiles too.

If you don’t want to use the same image on every channel, consider using different angles of the same shot for the same consistent experience.

4.     Show Some Personality!

Finally, making an impact on social media isn’t just about getting your Instagram profile picture size perfect. You also need to find a way of conveying what makes you unique in that tiny image. Of course, this can be quite a tough thing to do. The small sizing of Instagram photos means that you only have a limited number of profiles to show your personality in.

Think about how you can go beyond the headshot to deliver something truly incredible. A few tips:

  • Be welcoming: Make eye contact with the camera and remember to smile
  • Use props: If you’re a writer, try posing with a quill. If you’re a photographer, snap a picture with your camera. Anything that demonstrates what makes you, you is excellent.
  • Play with unique ideas: Experiment, see what pops out for your audience and what doesn’t. You can always change a photo that doesn’t work.

The Perfect Instagram Profile Picture Size

There are countless steps involved in creating a fantastic Instagram profile. You need to get your bio right, post plenty of great content, and engage with your following. However, it’s important not to overlook the little things, like Instagram profile picture size.

Get the size of your image right, and follow the enhancement tips we mentioned above, and you’ll have the following you deserve in no time! Of course, if you want some extra help, you can always reach out to Upleap…




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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