Instagram is a platform that provides many content options from posts to Stories to IGTV video and Live videos. For each type of content, there are different image guidelines that you need to adhere to.
In this post, you will find out everything that you need to know about Instagram image size guidelines. We will discuss the resolutions and aspect ratios required for different types of Instagram content and how you can resize your images without any hassles.
Your Complete Guide to Instagram Image Sizes:
Size Guide for Different Types of Instagram Images
Instagram accepts images between 320px and 1080px, but there are specific guidelines for images added to Stories, posts, and IGTV. If your image is lower than 320px, then Instagram will enlarge it. And if it is higher than the upper limit, it will get resized to 1080px or lower. So, you don’t need to worry too much about image size as Instagram automatically takes care of it.
However, you should be aware of image size guidelines for different types of Instagram content. Here are the specific guidelines.
Every social media image needs to have the proper file size and resolution for posts. As marketers, social media image specs matter because they impact content quality, account appeal and credibility, and post engagement. Unfortunately, if you resize images on Instagram without following proper file specs, you may end up diminishing the visual impact of your post.
Traditional Instagram posts consisted of square images with a 1:1 aspect ratio. Users had to crop larger images in order for them to fit into the prescribed image size. This hindered the quality of image compression and resulted in pixelated images.
Instagram has since evolved, and the platform now allows you to upload portraits and landscapes. The aspect ratio you choose for your posts may vary. You may choose between 1:1 (square), 1.91:1 (landscape), or 4:5 (portrait).
Here are more details one each of these options.
1:1 - Square Images
Ideal image size - 1080px by 1080px
These are the traditional square images that are characteristic of Instagram. If you want to use this option, Instagram has an auto-cropping functionality that makes it super-easy.
Uploading square pictures were previously difficult because most cameras only took landscape or portrait shots. With today's devices and photo apps, you can take a square picture directly from your iPhone or Android phone.
Here’s an example of an Instagram post with a square (1:1) image.
1.91:1 - Landscape
Ideal image size - 1080px by 608px
These are the horizontal photos that you might have seen on some Instagram posts. Adding these types of images is a bit tricky as most landscape images are of 16:9 aspect ratio as opposed to 1.91:1. You will see a black border around your uploaded picture once it has been added to the gallery.
Generally speaking, a black border around a post is not aesthetically pleasing. This can make the post inconsistent with other posts on a person's Instagram profile or brand's account, making it appear out of place. Here’s an example of an Instagram post with a landscape image size.
Here’s an example of a horizontal Instagram image post with black borders at the top and bottom, because of an imperfect aspect ratio.
This is another horizontal post from the same Instagram page, but this time they’ve got the image size and aspect ratio right.
4:5 - Portrait
Ideal image size - 1080px by 1350px
Posts with 4:5 aspect ratio images have portrait format images. They are easy to upload since you can take them with your mobile camera. In addition, even if you have a portrait image that is not of the same aspect ratio as the Instagram post, you’d still be able to crop it for Instagram.
Here’s an example of an Instagram post with a vertical, portrait-style image.
The beauty of Instagram is that you can create different types of content like posts, Stories, and IGTV videos. And, all these have the option of uploading images and different image size guidelines for each.
Now that we have discussed the different image sizes allowed for Instagram posts, let’s have a look at the guidelines for Instagram Stories.
The ideal Instagram Stories image size is 1080px by 1920px and the aspect ratio should be 9:16. This is the perfect image size to ensure that there is no black border and the image fits the Story perfectly.
However, Instagram Stories allows you to add any image between 1.91:1 to 9:16. You can simply crop the image to fit the Story or it will automatically add a black border to fill the remaining space.
Ideally, you should upload portrait-style images for your Stories as Stories are basically vertical and are meant to be viewed as such. While you are able to upload landscape images to Stories, the visual appeal is not as good as it could be. As much as possible, it is always better to use a ratio of 9:16 for the aspect ratio of your content. Should you be unable to upload an image with a 9:16 aspect ratio for some reason, you may try uploading a vertical image in any other dimension.
Additionally, an Instagram vertical video of images can help draw more followers and engagement, as this type of content allows viewers to see everything at once. The maximum file size of videos with 10 minutes or less should be 650 MB. Alternatively, video files up to 60 minutes in length can have a maximum file size of 3.6 GB.
An Instagram Reels is similar to a reel on YouTube. It is essentially a video that has been chopped up into shorter stories (between 30 and 90 seconds) with the aim of getting people "hooked" on a product, brand, or event.
Instagram Reels can be created using either uploaded videos or newly recorded videos that are recorded directly within the application, which is how they are usually created. Here's the thing: many Instagram users may not know that they can use IG Reels to make a slideshow out of one or more photos in their account. In fact, you can even mix videos and images, if you wish.
The size of your reel will depend on how long it is, whether or not you want to include still images as part of the package, and the kind of audio or filters you choose to include. Once you have chosen a cover portrait photo, upload the video file and accompany it with a brief text description.
An Instagram Carousel is a post that consists of up to ten images or videos that are displayed in a row. Swiping left on your smartphone will show you carousel posts, while your desktop will show you arrow buttons on the right.
Adding captions, alt texts, geotags, account tags, and product tags to your carousel is as easy as creating an Instagram post as you normally would. Therefore, referring back to the guide for image and video sizes will be helpful. Carousel content is interactive and engages users in various ways.
How to Upload the Right-Sized Images on Instagram Without Hassle
After reading about all the different image sizes and Instagram image guidelines, you might be a little worried. There’s no need to worry though because uploading the right-sized images is not as big of a deal as it may look.
No one really has the time to modify their pictures and change the size and aspect ratio every time they upload a picture to Instagram. There are several ways in which you can achieve this without making too much effort.
You can either use a photo editing tool that allows you to edit a picture to make it Instagram-friendly or simply let Instagram do it for you.
Here’s how you can upload images to Instagram while meeting the size guidelines.
Photo Editing Tools
Instagram is all about capturing and sharing memories with friends and followers. But to do that, you need quality images that look great onscreen. That is why it is important to know the best photo editing tools for Instagram image size optimization.
There are several no-crop photo editors that allow you to make your images Insta-friendly without cropping those.
This is one of the best and highest-rated Instagram-friendly photo editors that you can use to resize your images without cropping. This is especially good at creating square-sized Instagram images without cropping your original picture. And, it also comes with other design features like emojis, filters, etc. that you can use to enhance your images.
This is another great photo editor that can convert any image into a square-sized, Instagram-friendly image. It comes with different background options like blur, black, and white backgrounds to create aesthetically-pleasing, Instagram-friendly images.
No Crop & Square for Instagram
This is another no-crop photo editor that you can use to resize images for Instagram. It is simple to use and comes packed with a variety of useful features to enhance your images. Apart from resizing images, this tool also lets you create photo collages and add filters and other effects to your images. And, it has over 300 background patterns for you to choose from.
If you don’t care much if your pictures appear with a black border, then you don’t need to resize images before uploading as Instagram will do it for you. Whenever you upload an image that is of an incompatible size, Instagram will automatically crop and resize it to fit its dimensions.
A lot of people don’t bother about editing images and just let Instagram do it for them. However, it might make your Instagram feed look less visually appealing. The trick to avoid that is to follow a consistent pattern for all your image posts.
For example, you can consistently use only portrait-style images with the auto-cropped black borders and make it look like your theme. This way, your Instagram feed will look consistent and you won’t have to put in any extra effort into resizing and editing your images.
Does Your Choice of Image Size Impact Your Feed?
A lot of people worry that if they will use a mix of landscape, portrait, and square images then that might make their Instagram feed look inconsistent and haphazard. However, that’s not the case because all your images automatically appear as square images on your feed.
This means that if someone opens a post, they will see the landscape or portrait style images. But, your entire feed as a whole will appear consistent because the preview image will automatically be a square one for all posts.
So, no matter your choice of image, your Instagram grid will appear perfect.
How Do Your IG Image Sizes Affect Your Feed on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest?
As a social media platform, Pinterest is all about “pinning” images and stories. This means that the image size you use on Pinterest will be used as your profile thumbnail, which can lead to a lot of people thinking that your image sizes have an impact on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.
However, this is not actually the case. Most of the time, all social media platforms default to using square-sized images for posts. So, whether you post portrait or landscape-style images on Facebook or Twitter, they will still appear in a square form on those sites without any extra editing required.
So, when it comes to your Instagram image size specifications, keep this in mind. They will apply to all social media platforms, but you won't need to worry about them impacting any other aspect of your social media presence. In fact, your chosen IG image size will have no effect on your Facebook profile thumbnail size or Twitter Bio. Whether it be a square video, landscape photo, or profile picture, Instagram will always display your content in its original square pixel form.
Wrapping it Up
Instagram automatically crops images and fits them in the right dimensions for any type of content. However, you need to be mindful of the image sizes to avoid that and ensure that your images fit perfectly without cropping.
Cropped images often are shown with black borders, which ruins the visual appeal. To avoid that, you should upload your images in the right size to fit your post or story dimensions perfectly.
You can use this guide and create amazing Instagram image content.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where can I get images for Instagram?
These are 6 of the best free photo sites to fill your Instagram feed with professional-looking photos.
What is Instagram full image size?
Instagram full size images are a standard width of 1080 pixels. Instagram will keep your photo in its original size as long as the height is between 566 and 1350 pixels. If the photo is less than 320 pixels wide, Instagram will stretch your images. If your image is more than 1080 pixels wide, it will be reduced.
What images work best on Instagram?
Certain types of images perform better on Instagram. These are the 5 types of images that perform well on Instagram:
- Motivational images
- Influencer images
- Contests and giveaways
- Seasonal and trendy images
- Inspirational quotes
What is Instagram image ratio?
Instagram has 3 possible aspect ratios for photos and videos. First, the 1:1 aspect ratio, or the square crop, was the only available Instagram image size. However, Instagram now allows portraits (4:5) and landscape photos (1.91:1).