Best Image Sizes for Social Media – The Ultimate Guide for Marketers

Our Guide to Best Image Sizes for Social Media

Whether you are preparing a quick Facebook update for your business, releasing some news with a tweet, making your product look sumptuous in an Instagram post, or making a LinkedIn status to provide knowledge to potential B2B customers, you will want your social posts to look good. Nowadays, that means including an image or video in your post. According to Social Media Examiner’s 2018 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, 80% of marketers use visual images and 63% use video. You need to upload visual content with your posts, and it needs to be high quality and the right image size for the medium you are using.

The problem is that changing image sizes for different platforms can be fiddly, particularly if you are design-challenged. Every platform seems to want different sized images. Some prefer horizontal images, others vertical, and some even prefer square images.

To help you with your posting, we present our guide to the best image sizes for social media. We cover all the leading social media networks in this guide.

Our Guide to Best Image Sizes for Social Media:

Best Image Sizes for Facebook

Facebook is by far the world’s largest and most active social network. It may no longer be “cool” for teenagers, but it has followers ranging the full gamut of social users. It is also well set up, with a sophisticated advertising system.

When you create posts on Facebook, make sure you check how they will look at a user’s feed. You want all your images looking clear and at an appropriate specification for the feed. We’ve all probably seen somebody upload a wrongly sized photo, and the results car often not pretty.

Facebook has released official guidelines for the most important images you’ll upload.

Facebook Profile Picture

Your profile picture is your most essential image. You don’t want to be left as the default silhouette – the person seen as too lazy to upload a profile picture.

Your profile image displays as square, so you should upload a 1:1 square photograph that represents your brand. This should be a photo of yourself for a personal account, but for a business, you want something that clearly represents your business – perhaps your business logo. However, remember that Facebook doesn’t like text to take up more than 20% of an image, so you must be careful if you intend uploading a large text logo.

The profile image for business pages now sits at the top left of the page – which helps Business Pages stand out from normal personal account profiles.

The formal sizes and specifications for Facebook profile pictures are:

  • Minimum image size: 180 x 180 pixels
  • Actual size used depends on device and usage: 170 x 170 (desktop), 128 x 128 (smartphones), 36 x 36 (feature phones), 32 x 32 (thumbnail)
  • Your profile picture is located 16 pixels from the left and 176 pixels from the top of your cover photo (on desktop). This is important if you want to create an integrated profile picture/cover photo

Cover Photos

A blank cover page is another sign of a Facebook amateur. Another common mistake is trying to shoehorn a photo of the wrong dimensions into acting as your cover page, which either distorts the contents of the image or requires you to crop it undesirably.

This is the large image that appears at the top of your timeline. Its size gives you creative opportunities. You should use this space to depict something that gives an idea of what you’re like as a person or brand.

The formal sizes and specifications for Facebook cover photos are:

  • Minimum size of 400 x 150 pixels, but anything less than 820 x 312 pixels will appear stretched
  • Display size: 820 x 312 pixels (desktop), 640 x 360 pixels (smartphones)
  • Doesn’t show at all on feature phones
  • Loads fastest as an sRGB JPG file that's 851 pixels wide, 315 pixels tall and less than 100 kilobytes
  • For profile pictures and cover photos with your logo or text, you may get a better result by using a PNG file
  • Sizes and specifications are identical for both business pages and personal profiles

Shared Facebook Image

We all share images on Facebook at some time. These appear on your timeline, and depending on Facebook’s algorithm, they also appear in a selection of your followers’ News Feeds.

Obviously, if somebody has already uploaded an image that you want to share you won’t have much control over its essential size and specifications (although you may be able to edit it in photo editing software if it is significantly different from the recommended sizes).

If you choose to upload the photo yourself, then you should first try and ensure that it meets Facebook’s image guidelines.

The formal sizes and specifications for shared Facebook images are:

  • Recommended upload size of 1,200 x 630 pixels
  • Will appear in feed at a maximum width of 470 pixels (and scale to a max of 1:1)
  • Will appear on page at a maximum width of 504 pixels (and scale to a max of 1:1)

Shared Facebook Link

This is like the Shared Facebook Image, except the image relates to whatever you are linking to. You can either create a post with a small image square on the left and text on the right, or a large rectangular image on top and text underneath.

The formal sizes and specifications for shared Facebook links are:

  • Recommended upload size: 1,200 x 628 pixels
  • Square Photo: Minimum 154 x 154 pixels in feed
  • Square Photo: Minimum 116 x 116 on page
  • Rectangular Photo: Minimum 470 x 246 pixels in feed
  • Rectangular Photo: Minimum 484 x 252 on page

Highlighted Facebook Image

Although these simply appear in your own feed, they are excellent for highlighting something special affecting your business or organization.

  • Recommended upload size: 1,200 x 717 pixels
  • Will appear on your page at 843 x 504 pixels

Facebook Event Image

Facebook Events are great for encouraging multiple people to come together for some activity. As this is highlighted, the event image is larger than normal images.

  • Recommended upload size: 1,920 x 1,080 pixels
  • Facebook will scale down to minimum dimensions: 470 × 174.
  • Shows in feed: 470 × 174.

Best Image Sizes for Instagram

Instagram is rapidly becoming the social network of choice for those with visual tastes. It is particularly popular in niches such as fashion and beauty, home décor, and design. Instagram is probably the favorite platform currently for influencer marketing.

Instagram can be trickier to use than some of the more traditional platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. It is only recently that most of the social media management platforms have added Instagram to their supported social networks (apart from Instagram-specialist, Later), and they all suffer from Instagram-imposed limitations.

You can upload both images and videos to Instagram, or even combine them over 24 hours into an Instagram Story.

Instagram Profile Picture

Like most social networks, you use your profile picture on Instagram as an avatar for yourself. It is vital that you use a high-quality image that clearly identifies you, whether as an individual or a business if you have a Business Profile.

The formal sizes and specifications for Instagram profile pictures are:

  • Recommended upload size: 110 x 110 pixels
  • It’s a square photograph, so it is best to upload an image with an aspect ratio of 1:1

Instagram Photo Thumbnails

When somebody goes to your profile page, they will see all your content in rows of thumbnails. They then click on these thumbnails to access larger versions of your images or videos.

Regardless of the size of your large-scale images/videos, these thumbnail images will be square.

The formal sizes and specifications for Instagram profile pictures are:

  • Thumbnail size: 161 x 161 pixels
  • It’s a square photograph, so maintain an aspect ratio of 1:1

Instagram Photos

Instagram images (and videos) are the heart of Instagram. You can upload these from a variety of sources, and as such, will probably originate at a wide mix of sizes.

The formal sizes and specifications for Instagram Photos are:

  • Maximum upload size: 1080 x 1080 pixels (square, horizontal); 1080 x 1350 pixels (vertical)
  • Scaled downsize: 612 x 612 pixels
  • Size in feed: 510 x 510 pixels
  • Aspect ratios between 1.19:1 and 4:5
  • Smaller featured header images appear as 204 x 204 pixels
  • Larger featured header images appear as 409 x 409 pixels

Instagram Stories

Instagram Stories are now incredibly popular. These are generally vertical. You can add additional images and video clips to your Story during its 24-hour life. While most people add new pictures to their Stories, you can add existing content if you prefer.

The formal sizes and specifications for Instagram Stories Photos are:

  • Recommended resolution: 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Minimum resolution: 600 x 1067 pixels
  • Aspect Ratio: 9:16
  • Maximum file size: 4GB

Best Image Sizes for Twitter

Twitter is US President, Donald Trump’s social media account of choice. While its growth has been limited in recent years, being overtaken by Instagram and even TikTok for users numbers and downloads, it is still highly popular worldwide, with 330 million active users.

As with Facebook, you need to have the appropriately sized Twitter Profile Photo and a Header Photo for your Profile page.

Twitter Profile Picture

You don’t want to end up a Twitter “egg” – somebody who relies on the Twitter default image. Indeed, many users will delete followers on Twitter without a profile picture – it’s an obvious sign on a spam account.

Your profile picture represents you – it is the first thing that people see about you, and it appears beside each tweet you make. An individual should show a picture of him or herself (or something that strongly represents him/her). A business should use its logo (or again a highly representative image).

The Picture appears at different sizes in different places, so you need to upload an image that works at a range of (square) sizes.

The formal sizes and specifications for Twitter profile pictures are:

  • Recommended upload size: 400 x 400 pixels
  • Displays: 200 x 200
  • Maximum file size: 2MB
  • Permitted image types include .JPG, .GIF, or .PNG

Twitter Header Photo

Your Twitter Header photo is another place where you can show your individuality. It takes up the top section of your Profile Page. It takes up much more space than your profile image, so you should upload a much larger file. It should capture the eye of visitors to your Profile Page. It is three times as long as it is high.

The formal sizes and specifications for Twitter header photos are:

  • Recommended upload size: 1,500 x 500 pixels
  • Maximum file size: 5MB
  • Permitted image types include .JPG, .GIF, or .PNG

Twitter In-Stream Photos

These are the standard photos you upload for your tweets. These are also are the images in any retweets you make. You can attach photos to any of your tweets. Recent Twitter updates mean that you don’t lose allowable characters by including an image.

Twitter users set up their streams in different ways, depending on the devices they are using. This means that photo sizes will differ depending on an individual’s device and settings. If you want to ensure that everybody sees the most essential parts of your image, horizontally center your content.

When you share a link on Twitter, you can set things so that Twitter display’s a Twitter Card (there are quite a few different varieties). Unless you’ve altered the settings, the image on a Twitter Card is smaller than a standard in-stream photo.

The formal sizes and specifications for Twitter In-Stream Photos are:

  • Minimum to appear expanded: 440 x 220 pixels (a 2:1 ratio)
  • Can tweet up to 4 images at one time.
  • Can edit images if tweeting from Twitter iOS or Android app.
  • Maximum to appear expanded: 1024 x 512 pixels.
  • Appears in stream collapsed at 506 x 253 pixels on desktop.
  • Maximum file size of 5 MB for photos, and 5 MB for animated GIFs on mobile and 15 MB on the web.

LinkedIn Image Sizes

Although LinkedIn is not so image focused as Instagram or Pinterest, it still pays to upload quality images to LinkedIn.

LinkedIn is particularly vital for B2B firms. LinkedIn is a professional network for industry leaders, so you are less likely to find images of funny cats or pranks.

LinkedIn Personal Profile Image

LinkedIn also serves a role as a centralized resume for the world’s workers, so profile pictures are more important here than any of the other networks. It is essential that you get the size and aspect of your personal profile image right.

Note that the profile image will usually appear as a circle, so you will want to ensure that the important parts of the image appear in the central region.

The formal sizes and specifications for LinkedIn profile pictures are:

  • Recommended upload size: Between 400 x 400 and 20,000 x 20,000 pixels
  • Minimum upload size: 200 x 200 pixels
  • Aspect Ratio: 1:1
  • Maximum file size: 10MB
  • File types: .JPG, .GIF, .PNG

LinkedIn Personal Background Image

The LinkedIn Personal Background image covers a long skinny area. It can sometimes be difficult to find a suitable image for this area. Look for something that clearly depicts you and your interests.

The formal sizes and specifications for LinkedIn Personal Background Images are:

  • Recommended upload size: 1584 x 396 pixels
  • Maximum file size: 4MB
  • File types: .JPG, .GIF, .PNG

LinkedIn Company Logo Image

Just as an individual has a personal profile picture, a company will have its logo. The two types of mages appear in similar places (although the logo is square on the Company’s Profile Page).

You should upload two versions of your logo. The larger one is your standard company logo that appears in the header of your company profile page, and in the “Companies You May Want to Follow” section. The smaller logo is the brand image that shows up when your company is searched.

The formal sizes and specifications for LinkedIn company logos are:

  • Recommended upload size: 300 x 300 pixels (large logo), 60 x 60 pixels (small logo)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1:1
  • Maximum file size: 4MB (large logo), 2MB (small logo)
  • File types: .JPG, .GIF, .PNG

LinkedIn Company Cover Images

The LinkedIn Company Cover image covers an even longer skinnier area than that of a personal profile – it covers the full width of the page. It can sometimes be difficult to find a suitable image for this area. Look for something that clearly depicts your business. (not your logo)

The formal sizes and specifications for LinkedIn Company Cover Images are:

  • Recommended upload size: 1536 x 768 pixels
  • Minimum upload size: 1192 x 220 pixels
  • Appears as 1400 x 425 pixels
  • Maximum file size: 4MB
  • File types: .JPG, .GIF, .PNG

LinkedIn Shared Images or Links

You can share an image or a link to somewhere (like a blog post) that features an image.

The formal sizes and specifications for LinkedIn Shared Images or Links are:

  • Recommended upload size for images or links: 1104 x 736 pixels. Appears at 552 x 289 pixels.
  • Maximum upload size for shared images: 1104 x 736 pixels
  • File types: .JPG, .GIF, .PNG

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