Wondering about social media aspect ratio?
And why you should care?
Understanding this concept will make your image creation so much easier!
You will no longer have to stress over every pixel in your social media image sizes.
And, you’ll be able to use the same images on several social channels.
Because it’s not about the pixel size. It’s about the aspect ratio!
Aspect ratio confusion
I often hear readers complain, “My cover photo is too big!”
And hope I can decipher (and solve) their problem.
I get it. Facebook cover photos are confusing.
Yes, your image is cropped differently on desktop and mobile. That’s why I wrote a series of posts that have helped thousands of image creators.
Problems that may arise aren’t about the pixel size, but the aspect ratio (or shape, or proportions).
On each of these Facebook cover photos, the aspect ratio differs for desktop or mobile view.
The easiest way to deal with the Facebook cover photo size dilemma is to start with a 16:9 aspect ratio horizontal image and be prepared for plenty of cropping at the top and bottom once uploaded to Facebook.
As long as you keep text overlay or important features away from the top and bottom, you’ll be fine.
What is image aspect ratio?
The aspect ratio of an image is the ratio of its width to its height. It is commonly expressed as two numbers separated by a colon, as in 16:9. For an x:y aspect ratio, the image is x units wide and y units high.
The width is always expressed first. So a 16:9 image is wider than it is tall, but a 9:16 image is taller than wide.
Similar concepts are proportion and shape. For example, an image in 1:1 aspect ratio is a square shape, and the width is in direct proportion to the height.
How does image aspect ratio help me?
Most social media platforms express their preferred image sizes in pixels. There’s usually a minimum and maximum pixel dimension specified.
But, the exact pixel size isn’t really important! What is important is the aspect ratio, because on many networks, you’ll be cropped into that shape regardless of the pixel size image uploaded.
Plus, once you understand the aspect ratio, you can see where the same image can be used on multiple social media platforms.
Social media aspect ratio, simplified
From most horizontal to most vertical, here are the aspect ratios and suggested sizes that work across social media.
Some shapes work across several platforms: asterisked* means it’s the preferred shape on that platform.
- Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter links shares*: 1200 x 628 pixels
- Instagram and Twitter photo posts: 1200 x 628 works here as well
- Twitter photos*, Facebook photos: 1200 x 675 pixels
- Facebook cover photos (allow for cropping top and bottom!): 1200 x 675 pixels or larger
- YouTube channel art*: 2560 x 1440
- YouTube video thumbnails*: 1280 x 720
1:1 ratio (square)
- Instagram photos*, Facebook photos: 1200 x 1200 pixels
- Pinterest Pins (repurpose from Instagram)
- All profile pictures* (allow cropping to circle): 500 x 500
- YouTube channel icon*: 800 x 800
4:5 ratio (portrait)
- Instagram posts (tallest allowed): 1080 x 1350
- Pinterest Pins (repurpose from Instagram)
- Pinterest Pins*: 1000 x 1500, or width that fits your blog x 1.5
- Facebook and Instagram Story images*, Snapchat*, TikTok: 1080 x 1920
- Pinterest Pins: 1000 x 1776, or width that fits your blog x 1.7777
- Long Pinterest Pins: 1000 x 2100, or width that fits your blog x 2.1
Pinterest no longer recommends these “tall pins” but they’re still successful!
Special note about infographics
There isn’t a set aspect ratio for infographics, BUT I strongly recommend you stay in a 1:2 to 1:6 proportion. Much taller than that and your infographic becomes annoying to scroll, especially on mobile.
Images for the web should be exported at 72dpi in the sRGB color space. (Keep reading)
Pinterest Pins aspect ratio
Pinterest has often emphasized that the optimal shape is 2:3, or 1 1/2 times taller than wide.
From square (1:1) to 2.1 times taller than wide. Pinterest no longer recommends anything other than 2:3, but myself and many others have found anything in this range of proportions to be effective.
Recommended width: 600 pixels, up to the width of your blog content area. For high resolution, use 1,000 pixels wide and upload to Pinterest or Tailwind to avoid slowing down your site with large images.
Multiply your width times 1, 1.5, or up to 2.1 to get a Pinterest-optimal image shape.
Instagram photo posts aspect ratio
From 1.91:1 (horizontal) to 4:5 (portrait). All will be center-cropped to square in your gallery.
Social media video aspect ratio: Facebook and Instagram
When you create a video asset for Facebook or Instagram, design for mobile first. Vertical video (formats 4:5, 2:3, and 9:16) can be most engaging, since most people hold their phone upright.
Facebook, Instagram and Audience Network support a range of aspect ratios from 16:9 to 9:16. The depictions below give a feeling for the different shapes. Note how much more impactful the taller shapes are!
Facebook ratio recommendations
For video ads on Facebook without links, full portrait (9:16) is best. When using this format, ensure the most important parts of your video also display within the vertical (2:3) aspect ratio for optimal rendering in News Feed.
For video carousel, use square (1:1) and consistent ratios for all videos in a carousel.
For in-stream ads, use full landscape 16:9 to match video inventory.
Instagram ratio recommendations
Instagram supports 1:91 – 4:5 for all feed videos across all objectives.
Instagram Stories only accepts and displays in full portrait (9:16).
Facebook and Instagram ratio recommendations
To optimize the placement of your vertical video campaigns across both Facebook and Instagram, use vertical (4:5) videos. source
Download the video aspect ratio guide (PDF).
Social media aspect ratio: conclusion
I hope the illustrations I’ve provided have helped you understand what aspect ratio means!
My goal is to alleviate your confusion and simplify visual content creation.
Scroll back up to find the links for the articles specific to Facebook cover photos, Pinterest Pins, and Instagram images.
Please Pin, share, or tweet this post about social media aspect ratio. Thanks!