Within one short year after its launch, Instagram Stories has managed to bypass the number of Snapchat stories among active users. An impressive feat yet one that we saw coming.
With Instagram stories, Instagrammers can share their updates using an array of fun and engaging filters and stickers, or go live in order to be more interactive with their followers. These stories are often perceived as more “personal”, helping creators, influencers, brands and individuals create a real and lasting relationship with their existing followers while increasing their reach to a broader audience.
But as more people begin to explore and use Instagram stories, getting noticed by an increasing number of people can be a challenge. In order to create successful and highly engaging Instagram stories, you first need to develop and publish creative and interesting content.
Once you have the content angle handled, the second component to successfully leverage IG stories involves using the right Instagram story dimensions.
In this guide, we’ll help you learn how to create highly effective and engaging Instagram stories, using the right Instagram story size, that will result in making you stand out in the crowd and make a real impact.
Follow the advice below and be well on your way to leveraging the power of IG stories today. With over 1 billion people using IG each and every month, can you really afford to miss out on this opportunity? We didn’t think so.
Let’s get started!
Instagram Story Dimensions: The Basics
Presuming you’re already familiar with the basics of the Instagram story feature, you know first-hand just how addictive it can be. It’s always a good feeling to know that people – whether they’re followers or non-followers – are looking at and engaging with your content, unless you set your account to private that is.
Stories represent a great marketing opportunity for those that already have their own business to promote, as well as those just starting out or looking to participate on the platform as an influencer. Perhaps you’re a blogger or a vlogger looking to gain more viewers and subscribers. Or maybe you’re an artist looking to promote your music. No matter your audience or goal, effectively leveraging stories may be the fuel you need to pour on your marketing fire in order to get the word out on your offers, organization or cause.
In today’s digitally driven world, the impact of visual media, be it photos or video, is strong. This, in part, is what makes IG so attractive to both its users and those individuals and businesses looking to leverage that power to help them grow and prosper.
But before you can take advantage of an Instagram story and use it to self-promote yourself or your brand, you’ll need to ensure that your stories are properly displayed and optimized.
The last thing you want to do is post blurry, or poorly cropped images, for your followers. Not only are they unpleasant to look at, they don’t capture the essence or message you wanted to communicate in the first place, while also making you look like an amateur. In an age when even smartphones boast double-digit pixels with their cameras, there is little excuse or tolerance for grainy unfocused images.
While most images will be displayed nicely on an Instagram story, they may not be displayed in the way you may want them to be.
For example, when you post a portrait photo, the image will occupy the whole screen. In order to display the full image, you’ll need to pinch the screen of your phone, at which point the image will automatically be fitted into the center of the screen.
The resulting image will look something like this:
Ideally, Instagram story dimensions should be 1080 (width) x 1920 (height) pixels. That means you need to make sure that your image or video is 1080 x 1920, or 9:16 in aspect ratio before publishing.
Why You Need The Right Instagram Stories Dimensions
By using the right stories dimensions, you can rest assured that your content will be displayed in a way that impresses, without having any of the important aspects of the image cropped out.
While dealing with image optimization isn’t much of a problem if you’re taking a portrait photo or video using your smartphone, it can be if you’re looking to create a more professional and creative Instagram photo or video via Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator.
In those instances, you’ll need to take note of the right Instagram stories dimensions to use. Otherwise, you’ll risk cutting out part of the image from view, negatively impacting the totality of the visual you wanted to share.
Here’s an example of a photo I’ve recently shared to my Instagram story:
Let’s take a look at what happened to my friends who sat at the front seats. Optionally, I could pinch the screen and have the image displayed in the middle of the screen. But that’s not what I wanted — and it’s too small.
This is why you need the right Instagram story size. If you use images with low resolutions, they won’t look nearly as good your Instagram story.
Here’s an example of what I mean:
The above photo is a beautiful spot in Marseilles, France. Initially, I wanted the photo to fully occupy the screen. But it was awfully blurry.
Here’s how it looked like before I pinched it to the center of the screen:
Would you post something like that to your Instagram story? I know I wouldn’t.
In order to prevent your image from losing its quality, follow the recommended Instagram stories dimensions and use the right Instagram story resolution. When you create your content using these Instagram dimensions, you can rest assured that the content you produce is high quality.
How to Use the Instagram Story Dimensions
Now that you understand why using the right Instagram story dimensions is important, you also need to remember that while using high-definition photos and videos will make your content look sharp and clear, it may also take longer time to upload in comparison to uploading files with lower definition. Furthermore, it will take a lot of storage space on your device.
But this is a very solvable problem and one that you can tackle by taking a few easy steps. First up, change the number of pixels for your Instagram image or video. Don’t worry; this will not change the shape of the video. Your Instagram story size aspect ratio is 9:16 after all.
Using this ratio, smaller Instagram Story dimensions will also work.
Again, the ideal Instagram story resolution is 1080 x 1920 pixels. But if you want to create something with smaller resolutions, such as 720 x 1280 pixels or 450 x 800 pixels, feel free to do so. Of course, smaller pixels mean lesser definition.
By creating an image or a video using the recommended dimensions, you don’t have to worry about slow upload speeds or large files storage.
Use Design Apps and the Right Instagram Story Size to Create Your Content
There are many design tools out there to help you create Instagram stories in the right stories dimensions. One of them is Canva. Canva is a free online tool for creating stunning graphics. Choose from any of templates offered on their site and start creating your Instagram image.
Use custom dimensions so you’ll be able to set your Instagram stories dimensions to 1080 x 1920 pixels. Once you’ve chosen the dimensions for your story, click on ‘Design’ and start creating!
Canva is an excellent programme to use when creating eye-catching images for advertising posts or quotes. Alternatively, you can also use programmes like Image Quote, Text on Photo Square or Textgram for creating quotes.
How to Take Advantage of The Instagram Story
Now that you know how to create Instagram stories in the proper dimensions, it’s time for you to take action and use your content strategically in order to grow your number of likes and followers.
While a myriad of strategies exist, below we’ll cover some tried and true basic tactics you can put into action today to grow your account:
1. Share Inspirational Quotes
Quotes are so popular on Instagram. There is no reason not to use them on Instagram. If your page is mainly about travelling, share travel quotes on your news feed and Instagram story. Inspire people.
If you don’t want to post too many quotes in a day (as they will appear too often on your followers’ news feeds) to your photo gallery, then you could post them on Instagram stories instead. These photos will disappear in 24 hours.
2. Use Long-form Content
If you’re a blogger, writer or an agency needing to promote your latest stories, Instagram story is the best place to share your content. Perhaps you could share the title of each of your new stories in a sequence. For example:
- The Top 5 Waterfalls in Indonesia
You can add a link on your story if you have at least 10,000 followers. But if you don’t, you can always tell your audience to visit your bio to find the link to your post. For this method, you will only be able to direct them to one link.
While this is a great method to promote your content, try to limit the number of posts you put on your Instagram story as it t could lead to “audience fatigue”. Mix things up to keep it interesting.
3. Tell A Story
Since you’re on Instagram story, why not use it to tell a story?
Audiences today are eager to make a real connection with individuals and brands. And there is no better literary tool to do this with than through story. Most of all, be authentic and honest no matter what.
Think of what you want to talk about and choose your image appropriately. Make sure you have it designed in the recommended dimensions. Unless you have a special text design in mind, you don’t have to add your texts yet if you don’t want to. You can add them later before uploading your images to your Instagram stories.
Feel free to make use of Instagram stickers for your stories, too. What about an emoji reaction sticker?
4. Make an Announcement About a New Product
Got a new product?
Let’s say you’re a musician and you’ve just released a new song. You likely want to tell the world all about it. But don’t just share the good news to your news feed. Make sure you make it available on your Instagram story as well.
If you have already established a strong fan base and good relationships with fans and collaborators, then they will likely be excited to see your announcement.
Many Instagrammers find IG stories to be more personal than the Instagram news feed. If you feel the same way, take advantage of the Instagram story to promote yourself and establish better engagement with your audience.
When done properly, the results can be quite rewarding.