What’s the best Instagram image size?
This article will cover:
- Photo, graphic, and video posts on Instagram.
- Photo, graphic, and video posts to Instagram Stories, including Highlights covers.
- IGTV video specs and sizes, plus IGTV cover images.
- NEW for 2019! “The Savvy Marketer’s Guide to IGTV” infographic
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What Are the Instagram Image Sizes for 2019?
In addition to upgrading the paltry 640 pixel square to a more robust 1080 on July 6, 2015, Instagram also added support for non-square images on August 26, 2015.
The optimal sizes are 1080 pixels wide by 566 pixels to 1350 pixels high.
The un-square shapes were added for Instagram ads. You can post a landscape image in a 1.91 to 1 proportion, which is exactly the same as a Facebook link preview image. So there’s cross-platform compatibility with IG and FB ads.
But I don’t recommend the landscape for marketers, as it takes up less than half the space you could snag with a portrait image!
If you have a landscape photo or graphic that you don’t want to crop to a square, consider using one of the many apps that add a border top and bottom to take up more space in the feed.
If you do post a wide (or tall) image, be aware that it will be cropped to a square on your image gallery (profile page).
The portrait image gives you the most bang for your buck in the Instagram stream. Stick with the 1080 pixel width, and go up to 1350 pixels tall. If your photo is larger, no worries – Instagram will reduce it when you post. Try not to post smaller, though.
The proportion is the same as an 8 x 10 portrait photo! You’ll find the aspect ratio 4:5 or 8:10 offered as a cropping option is your photo editing app – or you can crop right in the IG app.
Why Is My Instagram Photo Post NOT 1080 Pixels Wide?
When you share a photo on Instagram, whether you’re using Instagram for iOS or Android, it posts at the best quality resolution possible (up to 1080 pixels wide). There are a few reasons you may be seeing lower resolution photos on Instagram:
- Photos between 320 x 320 and 1080 x 1080 pixels will post at their original resolution.
- You may need to update to the most recent version of the Instagram mobile app.
- The desktop version of Instagram only displays up to 640 px images.
- Your phone might not take and/or support high resolution photos.
NOTE: If you share a photo at a lower resolution than 320 pixels wide, it’ll be enlarged to 320. (Please don’t even think of posting such a low rez photo!) If you share a photo at a higher resolution, it’ll be sized down to 1080. Sizing down is always better than sizing up!
Why You Might Want an Even Larger Instagram Photo Size
I love the Instagram editing tools. Even when I do photo edits in Photoshop, I might add Lux or Saturation in Instagram. Awesome tools!
If you have Save Original Photos set to ON in your Instagram settings, your edited photo is saved at its full resolution to your device’s photo library.
If you want to use the photo to make prints, a picture book, or something else where you need a high resolution… post your Instagram images as large as needed for the later use.
Social media photos are constantly enlarging. Post 1080px square if possible – even larger if you want to ensure you can reuse the image at top quality next year! Who knows, the size may increase again by then.
How Do I Upload a Portrait or Landscape Photo to Instagram?
After selecting a photo or video from your phone or tablet’s photo library, to share it as a portrait or landscape instead of a square:
- Tap at the photo’s lower left to switch from a square to a portrait or landscape.
- You can touch the screen to move the photo and adjust how it fits within the frame.
- Tap Next to apply effects or a filter.
If you want to change the proportion, you must do so before tapping Next. You can change the cropping with the Adjust tool, but the overall shape (or aspect ratio) of the photo will remain the same.
Also note that the white bars you see down the sides of a portrait photo while you’re editing it will NOT remain after it’s posted. This is just to fit the image into the editing area. It will actually post even larger – to the full width of the feed.
NOTE: You must have Instagram app version 7.5 or later to post unsquare photos as well as see them. Users with older versions of the app will see your image cropped to a square.
Additionally, unsquare images will appear as a center-cropped square in your profile grid (see image at left).
Many people are sticking with the square, and it’s still a powerful shape.
The taller image gives you a better Pinterest presence (where tall mages rule) without having to create a separate graphic. In fact, Pinterest has experimented with showing ALL Pins at the same 8×10 aspect ratio in the home feed!
Pinterest now seems to be more accepting of less-tall images that make cross-posting content from IG to Pinterest easier.
What size are Instagram Stories?
Whether you’re posting a photo, graphic, or video to your Story, it’ll take up the full mobile screen.
The recommended size is 1080 x 1920 pixels, or any 9:16 proportion.
If you’re making graphics, the 1080 x 1920 pixel size is ideal. Use this size if you’re creating a cover image for your Story Highlights. When you go to customize your cover you’ll be able to zoom in on the area of your photo that you want highlighted in the circle.
If you’re uploading a photo, almost any size or shape will work BUT it’s going to be cropped in the Instagram app to a long skinny rectangle smack dab in the middle.
If that chops off half your face or some other important feature, simply use the 9:16 crop template in any photo editing app (even iPhone Photos) before adding it to your Story. The exact pixel size isn’t critical, but the shape or aspect ratio is.
If you’re planning to add a video to your Instagram Story, you’ll make your life a lot easier if you shoot it in a vertical format, holding your phone upright. Then it should look just right when you add it to your Story.
Note that videos added to Stories are limited to 15 second clips! But now we have IGTV…
How to use IGTV for Marketing
This IGTV infographic, “The Savvy Marketer’s Guide to IGTV,” was just released by M2 On Hold.
Launched in June 2018, IGTV is the latest offering from Instagram. This infographic shows you everything you need to know in order to get the most out of this brand-new feature for your brand’s content marketing strategy.
Five years after the launch of video on Instagram, we are excited to introduce IGTV which brings audiences closer to the creators they love.
We are re-envisioning mobile video with a new standalone surface that features longer videos and easy discoverability through channels, all in a vertical format that sits upright, in the palm of your hand.
We’re evolving with the times; these days, people are watching less TV and more digital video. By 2021, mobile video will account for 78% of total mobile data traffic. And we’ve learned that younger audiences are spending more time with amateur content creators and less time with professionals.
Mobile first: IGTV is built for how you actually use your phone: vertical and full screen.
Simple and intuitive: It starts playing as soon as you open the app. You don’t have to search or browse to get started, and it’s easy to multitask.
Curated: IGTV is focused on the creators you love most and already follow on Instagram.
Anyone can be a creator on IGTV and upload videos in the app or on the web.
What IGTV means for businesses
Longer vertical video on Instagram makes it even easier to get closer to your audience and be discovered by new people.
Be first: Be among the first to lead the future of video.
Get closer: Use longer, permanent video for deeper storytelling. Build stronger connections with potential customers as you showcase other dimensions of your business without being limited to one type of content, length or format.
Leverage your community: As with Instagram stories, IGTV is built on Instagram leveraging a global community of more than 800M people. When your followers open IGTV, they will instantly see original content from you, and new people can also discover your brand.
In conclusion, Instagram says: We believe this is the future of video. People continue to spend more time with entertainment on their mobile devices, and we’re making it easier for them to get closer to the creators and original content they love.
Your next step with IGTV? Learn how to maximize your marketing on the infographic at the end of this article!
What are the video requirements for IGTV?
Videos must be between 15 seconds and 10 minutes long.
Note: Larger accounts and verified accounts can upload videos up to 60 minutes long, but they must be uploaded from a computer.
Videos must be in MP4 file format.
- Videos should be vertical (not landscape) with an aspect ratio of 9:16.
- Videos should have a minimum frame rate of 30 FPS (frames per second) and minimum resolution of 720 pixels.
- The maximum file size for videos that are 10 minutes or less is 650MB. The maximum file size for videos up to 60 minutes is 3.6GB.
IGTV Cover Photo Size
The recommended size for cover photos is 420px by 654px (or 1:1.55 ratio). Right now, you can’t edit your cover photo after you’ve uploaded it.
I have no clue how they came up with this size, but it says so right here on Instagram help.
Which Instagram image size will you use?
Note: This post was originally published September 2015 and updated December 2017, August 2018, and December 2018.
I’ve been posting both tall and square on my photo account and my biz account. Call me inconsistent, but I don’t think the slight difference is jarring. (Portraits are a 4:5 proportion – hardly towering).
Check my other posts for more info about upgrades to Instagram’s image size, and the latest, multiple images:
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Help others learn what’s the best Instagram image size!