The optimal Instagram image size is 1080 pixels wide. If your photo is larger, it’ll be sized down. If it’s smaller, it’ll be sized up.
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Table of contents
Aspect ratio and dimensions
When you’re sharing images and videos on Instagram, the two most important factors to keep in mind are aspect ratio and dimensions. The two control how your image looks and the quality that appears.
The aspect ratio describes the image based on its proportions. It’s the relationship between width and height.
The dimensions are the exact size. For Instagram, this is measured in pixels.
Related: How to give photo credit
Save the following Instagram photo and video size infographic to use as a reference:
There are two Instagram photo size requirements for square images. The first is 180 x 180 pixels, which is used for profile photos. If your profile photo is blurry, it may be due to a low-resolution image.
The second is 1080 x 1080 pixels, which is used for posts on your Instagram feed.
All square images are at a 1:1 aspect ratio. This means that the height and width are the same size and length.
Horizontal and landscape
Horizontal images take up the least amount of space on a screen, which means they can be easily skipped when someone is scrolling.
Instagram recommends a 1.91:1 aspect ratio, which equates to 1080 x 608 pixels. Although 1.91:1 is the recommended aspect ratio, you can upload images that are 16:9.
Vertical and portrait
Vertical photos are great for grabbing the attention of a viewer because it takes up the most space on the screen.
When you upload a photo in portrait orientation, use the 4:5 aspect ratio and make sure the dimensions are 1080 x 1350.
If you try to upload anything longer than 4:5, Instagram will automatically crop your photo to a 4:5 aspect ratio.
Instagram Stories size
Instagram stories are slightly different when it comes to portrait orientation but the landscape orientation is the same.
For vertical stories, the aspect ratio is 9:16 and 1080 x 1920 pixels. Horizontal stories are 1.91:1 and 1080 x 608 pixels.
Instagram Live and IGTV
Instagram Live is recorded vertically. Therefore the aspect ratio and dimensions are the same as an Instagram Story which is 9:16 and 1080 x 1920 pixels.
The cover photo needs to have an aspect ratio of 1:1.55 and the size is 420 x 654 pixels.
Note: IGTV videos are cropped to a 4:5 size when they appear on the feed.
Instagram ad specs
Here are the official specs according to Facebook, who owns Instagram.
File type: JPG or PNG
Resolution: No maximum resolution as long as you fit the aspect ratio requirements.
Text: 2 rows of text will be visible.
Minimum width: 500 pixels
IG Stories ad
When you’re creating Instagram Story ads, it’s recommended that you leave 14% or 250 pixels of the top and bottom clear because of the profile icon and call-to-action.
Related: Marketing ideas for photographers
The maximum length is 120 seconds and the size is 30MB.
Facebook also recommends H.264 compression, square pixels, fixed frame rate, progressive scan, and stereo AAC audio compression at 128kbps+.
How to resize an image
If you haven’t resized an image before, don’t worry. There are many options when it comes to resizing a photo for free.
Use any of the following methods to resize a photo:
Method 1: Mac
- Double-click the image.
- Click Tools.
- Click Adjust Size.
- Enter the new dimensions.
- Click File.
- Click Save.
Method 2: Windows
- Open the Paint application.
- Click File.
- Click Open to select your image.
- Use the resize tool to make adjustments.
- Click File.
- Click Save.
Method 3: Canva
Canva (opens in a new tab) is a design platform that makes it easy to create graphics, illustrations, and presentations.
In Canva, you can create a document using custom dimensions and upload your image to fit the size you’re aiming for.
Websites and software:
- Image Size app
Frequently asked questions
When you upload an image to Instagram, it naturally crops the picture to a square. You can click the expand arrows in the lower left to fit the full picture on Instagram.
No, the photos you upload can be square, horizontal, or vertical.
Photos online don’t maintain a number of pixels per inch. Therefore, make sure you get the right width in pixels.
Using the right image and video sizes on Instagram will ensure that you post high-quality content. Understanding the guidelines and best-practices is essential.
Featured photo by Unsplash.
About David Em
David Em is the founder of Portraits Refined. He’s a published portrait photographer dedicated to helping photographers develop skills, capture incredible photos, and build successful businesses.