Instagram Image Dimensions & Sizes: Are my images too small?

Instagram is one of the most popular social media networks in the world, with over 1 billion users and growing rapidly. Being a visual platform, Instagram image dimensions & sizes can play a critical role in any success and failures you may achieve on the platform.

In this article, we’re going to cover everything you need to know about image dimensions & ratios, finally answering a niggling question you may be having: Are my images too small?

We’ll be updating this article regularly when changes are made by the Instagram developers. That way you can rest assured that the information we’re providing you with is up-to-date & accurate.

Instagram Image Dimensions & Sizes - Are my images too small? Outofthe925.com

Instagram started off quite simply as an image sharing platform, and square images haven’t seen such popularity since back in the ’70s with Polaroids! The social media network has come along way since 2010 however, with a wide variety of extra functionality and features.

Now you can post images & videos in the typical square format, but also in portrait (vertical) or landscape (horizontal) orientation.

Instagram Stories have reached us, and with smartphones screens increasing in size and having ever-longer aspect ratios, Stories are capitalizing on the extra screen real estate by filling it up!

That’s not all though, back in June 2018, IGTV was launched. IGTV is Instagram’s home to longer-form video, but with a twist, it’s meant to be watched vertically… No more looking on with confusion as people record something on their phone in portrait mode, let’s just assume it’ll be uploaded to IGTV. 😉

With all these features and functions, it can be a little bit confusing knowing what dimensions and aspect ratios are the best for the various options. That’s why we’ve simplified things with a brief run below.

Instagram Image Dimensions & Sizes

Profile Pictures

Your profile picture is quite small on Instagram, but it is vital to have a clear picture that represents your account well.

The optimum image sizes for your profile picture should be 160 x 160 px. This gives it a square aspect ratio of 1:1.

Instagram Image & Video Posts

These are your regular Instagram posts and can be uploaded in 3 different formats.

  • Square – 1080 x 1080 px – 1:1 aspect ratio.

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

A post shared by Daniel Ernst (@daniel_ernst) on

  • Portrait/vertical – 1080 x 1350 px – 4:5 aspect ratio.

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

A post shared by Zuri & Mischa | Adventure Dogs (@zuriandmischa) on

  • Landscape/horizontal – 1080 x 566 px – 1.91:1 aspect ratio.

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

A post shared by Rachel Barkman, Vancouver, BC (@rachelbarkman) on

If your images are larger than this, no worries. Instagram compresses uploaded images down to size and you can crop it into these dimensions within the app.

Are your images smaller than this? If so, your posts won’t appear as crisp and clear as a high-quality alternative would.

Pro tip: Use the square and vertical images/videos as much as possible. These take up much more space on smartphone screens and will get your content noticed easier.

What about Video?

The same rules apply. 😉

When posting a video, you do need to pay some attention to the length of the video.

For videos posted to your feed, you’ll be able to upload content for up to 60 seconds.

Instagram Story videos can be up to 15 seconds in length.

IGTV allows you to upload videos up to 10 minutes in length. Some large accounts are able to upload videos that can be up to an hour in length, however.

Related: The ultimate guide to IGTV!

Instagram Stories

One of Instagram’s most engaging features is stories. Allowing users to have a look behind the curtain of their favorite brands and influencers. Follow along on their adventures and just get a little bit closer to those Instagrammers that make this platform so much fun.

Instagram Stories take up your entire screen, but with smartphones having some varying aspect ratios recently, some users may see stories being cut off on the sides.

I’ve run into this problem myself with Samsung’s Galaxy S8, having an aspect ratio of 18.5:9, it can cut off some of the content along the sides. You can help your audience by keeping things roughly towards the center of your screen when posting your Instagram Stories.

Instagram Stories optimum dimensions – 1080 x 1920 px – 9:16 aspect ratio.

Instagram Image Dimensions & Sizes - Outofthe925.com
From my Samsung S8, the image is 1080 x 2220 px, but the tops will be cropped on the majority of other smartphones, so keep your content central.

IGTV

The biggest update Instagram brought about in 2018 was IGTV. Vertical video longer than 60 seconds!

IGTV is still working its way into creators’ lives, but if the early signs are anything to go by, it looks like it is going to be sticking around for good.

The optimum video dimensions for IGTV are 1080 x 1920 px with an aspect ratio of 9:16.

5 Best practices for creating high-quality images for Instagram.

As we’ve covered what dimensions you should be sticking to, let’s look at some tips for capturing and creating the best possible images and videos for your Instagram account.

  1. Make sure your camera or smartphone is capturing images or video in the highest possible resolution.
  2. Avoid digital zoom, get closer to the subject whenever you can. Digital zoom blurs the image and reduces the quality dramatically.
  3. If you’re going to crop the image, only crop to within the dimensions outlined above.
  4. Use Canva to design your posts and stories, the templates are already the optimum size & it’s free!
  5. Take photos in landscape and portrait orientation. You’ll have a better variety for different social platforms, and you won’t have to crop into your images as much.

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