What is the Best Size For Instagram Posts and Stories? Complete Guide to Instagram Image Sizes

Humans adapt and evolve quickly. Social media is the proof. Earlier, being social meant reading newspapers together, discussing the climate and dissing the government in power. Now, it’s nowhere near its real meaning. The only thing that we discuss nowadays is about a particular profile or photos, all thanks to social media. It has brought a revolution the way we perceive things around us, and the globe of course. Social media has become a platform to connect with our beloved folks or the celebrities whom we adore.

Now, I mention social media as it’s a medium but with different psyches. For those who love chit-chatting on a photo’s comment section on just the status, Facebook is the way to go; YouTube is the AV medium that sends a message depending on the channel’s stance, while Twitter lets you speak your thoughts with the restriction of words. All of the mentioned platforms have the ability to share media in the form of pictures and or videos. Yet, one platform particularly stands out. If you had your bets on Instagram, you’ve won it!

Instagram, which was acquired by Facebook back in 2012, is the second most preferred social media and for a reason. It’s a simple platform that takes cues from Facebook and some which it does better. As of writing this article, the features are on the verge of being a bit overwhelming as the Californian social media giant has added a slew of features recently, and there’s no stopping them now. Thanks to a lot of engagement, people have made Instagram their 9-5 job where some even earn millions by promoting a brand.

If this is the case with us normal beings then surely celebrities are having a bang-on time. Jennifer’s Aniston’s case can prove my point. The app has now become more user-friendly, especially when it comes to features and versatility.

Instagram is a great medium and all that jazz. Let’s get real! It’s truly frustrating that the app still hasn’t listened to the plight of the millions regarding their default aspect ratio. It has almost become mandatory for users to download any third-party apps that do the trick. But I don’t know why one must retort to it.

So, I decided to do a bit of research to know why Instagram’s default methods are such a pain in the neck (you know what I meant!) This article will be your one-stop webpage to know all that you need to know about the big numbers concerning dimensions, sizes, aspect ratio, and the must-know. This will help your posts get amazing engagement so make sure you bookmark this page.

What is the best size for Instagram Posts and Stories?

This will be a detailed guide. If you want to be an influencer or want to up the game, you can refer to this page anytime. But before we dive into this convoluted pit, let me explain the basics so that you never have a problem at the root level.

Pixels, Aspect Ratio, Dimensions, Resolution

Technology is constantly evolving so keeping up with terms that tred on a similar path can be confusing. Let’s tear down the basic. You have heard words like pixels, aspect ratio, dimensions, resolution, etc. But can you tell the exact definition of each of these words? If not, I’ll explain it to you in simple words.

PIXELS

What is the best size for Instagram Posts and Stories?
Image Source: IMGonline

Whatever we see on our television, computer, and smartphone screens – they display pixels. These are needed to build the image that we see on the screens. For instance, take a piece of squared-graph paper and color random squares in different colors. Each of these squares can be referred to as pixels. Keep in mind that pixels are not constantly the same size from device to device. In short, a pixel is a dot that can be manipulated.

How are pixels measured?

Pixels are measured by Pixel count and Pixel density. Pixel count is the number of pixels that form your photo. For instance, if you have a photo that has 2,500 pixels on the horizontal side, and 1,500 on the vertical size it gives you a total of 37,50,000. Because this number is very unsuitable to use, you can just divide it by a million to convert it into megapixels. So 37,50,000 / 1,000000 = 3.75 Megapixels.

Pixel density is how you distribute the total amount of pixels that you have. It is expressed in DPI, i.e. dot per inches, or PPI, i.e. pixels per inches. PPI represents the resolution in pixels of a digital image whereas DPI specifies the number of ink-dots on a printed image. In simple terms, if you see 75 dpi, it means that the image will have 75 pixels per inch and if you read 400 dpi, it means 400 pixels per inch, and so on and so forth.

The ultimate size of your image depends on the resolution that you choose. If a picture is 4500 x 3000 pixels it indicates that it will print at 15 x 10 inches if you set the resolution to 300 dpi, but it will be 62.5 x 41.6 inches at 72 dpi. Remember that the size of your print changes, the image isn’t resized; you are just reorganizing the current pixels.

ASPECT RATIO

What is the best size for Instagram Posts and Stories?
Image Source: Metova.com

The aspect ratio calculates the width to the height which then reduces it like you would a fraction. A screen with 4 x 8 or 20 x 40 dimensions would have resolutions of 1:2. So, if an image is 2:3, it won’t perfectly fit on a 1:2 screen. What will happen is the edges would each extend beyond what is visible on the screen, have parts of the screen that aren’t covered by the image, or worst, a stretched image.

The aspect ratio is significant when images/videos are resized so that this avoids their distortion. A conventional television and computer display has an aspect ratio of 1.33:1, so if you watch the content meant for it on newer display technologies with a 16:9 aspect ratio, it compromising the size or completeness of the A/V.

DIMENSIONS

What is the best size for Instagram Posts and Stories?
GIF Source: Medium

Dimension is a measurement of length in one direction. So, a line can be measured in one dimension (1D), a square has two dimensions (2D), and a cube has three dimensions (3D). So a dimension comprises width, depth, and height.

What is the best size for Instagram Posts and Stories?

RESOLUTION

What is the best size for Instagram Posts and Stories?
Image Source: Metova.com

Resolution is the number of pixels presented or displayed on the screen. It is often measured as width x height or pixels per inch. As pixels aren’t continually the same size, it is feasible to have two different devices with the same screen size and different resolutions.

This means higher the resolution, the higher the image quality and thus more detail included in the image. Resolution is crucial when you want to print high-quality images and/or graphics. Generally, more resolution indicates more data and information.

Now that we are on the same page when basics are concerned, let’s move on to the real deal.

The best size for Instagram Profile Picture

A profile image is a doorway into your profile. So instead of cropping it and adjusting it clumsily, why don’t you follow Instagram’s aspect ratio for a great looking profile picture. The aspect ratio of your display picture should be 1:1 and the size of 110 by 110 pixels. Keep in mind that the web version is a bit notorious as it uses a higher resolution, So, always use a larger photo in terms of size so that the picture looks good if viewed on multiple devices.

Moreover, the profile image is round so the corner of your photo will be cropped out. Make sure you choose a profile picture keeping in mind all of these aspects.

The best size for Instagram Posts

What is the best size for Instagram Posts and Stories?

Even with the plethora of features that Instagram has introduced over the years, most users prefer to post a photo or a video. So, if you amongst them, I have listed below everything you need to know about the size, dimensions, etc.

Instagram images

  • Formats: JPG or PNG.
  • Square photo: Resolution of 1080 by 1080 pixels, an aspect ratio of 1:1.
  • Landscape photo: Resolution of 1080 by 608 pixels, an aspect ratio of 1.91:1 or even 16:9.
  • Portrait photo: Resolution of 1080 by 1350 pixels, an aspect ratio of 4:5.
  • Maximum 10 photos in 1 post.

Instagram videos

  • Aspect ratio: 4:5 (1080 X 1350 pixels) to 1:91:1 (1080 X 1920 pixels).
  • Maximum resolution: 1080 X 1920 pixels.
  • Maximum video size: 4GB.
  • H.264 Codec, AAC Audio
  • Video length: 3 seconds to 60 seconds.
  • Maximum frames: 30fps.

You can post square, landscape, and portrait videos on your Instagram feed. These are the resolution you need to keep in mind:

  • Square video: Minimum resolution is 600 x 600, max is 1080 x 1080.
  • Landscape video: Minimum resolution is 600 x 315, max is 1080 x 608.
  • Portrait video: Minimum resolution is 600 x 750, max is 1080 x 1350.

The best size for Instagram Stories

What is the best size for Instagram Posts and Stories?
Image Source: Impact

Users can experiment with Instagram Stories as there’s more room for different sizes. Even though this lasts for 24 hours, people use it for fun. Moreover, the features offered in this section knocks normal Instagram posts out of the park.

Stories images

  • Formats: JPG or PNG.
  • Resolution: 1080 X 1920 pixels.
  • Minimum aspect ratio: 1.91:1.
  • Maximum aspect ratio: 9:16
  • Maximum file size: 30MB.

Stories videos

  • Resolution: 1080 X 1920 pixels.
  • Recommended aspect ratio: 4:5, 9:16, and 16:9.
  • Length: 15 seconds, unlimited stories.

The best size for Instagram Ads

What is the best size for Instagram Posts and Stories?
Image Source: Sprout Social

Creating Instagram ads isn’t an easy task as many things have to be worked out in a flow. While you manage the creative and content part, we’ll guide you on the dimensions part.

Instagram Image Ads:

Considered to be an advertising goldmine, Instagram’s image ads are known to engage with the audiences.

Landscape image ads

  • Formats: JPG or PNG.
  • Image ad size: 1200 x 628 pixels.
  • Minimum resolution: 600 x 315 pixels.
  • Recommended aspect ratio: 1.9:1.
  • Maximum file size: 30MB.
  • Caption length: 2,200 characters, 125 recommended.

Square image ads

  • Image ad size: 1080 x 1080 pixels.
  • Minimum resolution: 600 x 600 pixels.
  • Recommended aspect ratio: 1:1.

Vertical image ads

  • Image ad size: 1080 x 1350 pixels.
  • Minimum resolution: 600 x 750 pixels.
  • Recommended aspect ratio: 4:5.

Instagram Video Ads:

Even though ads in the form of images do connect well, there’s nothing like a video that instantly grabs users’ attention.

Landscape video ads

  • Minimum resolution: 600 x 315 pixels.
  • Aspect ratio: 1:91:1.
  • Maximum video size: 4GB.
  • Maximum video length: 120 seconds.
  • Maximum frames: 30fps.

Square video ads

  • Minimum resolution: 600 x 600 pixels.
  • Aspect ratio: 1:1.

Vertical video ads

  • Minimum resolution: 600 x 750 pixels.
  • Aspect ratio: 4:5.

Instagram Stories Ads:

It’s reported that with the addition of Stories, the time given on Instagram by users rose up nearly 28 minutes. So it’s a given that brands would want to promote them through this popular feature. Stories is a lot more versatile as compared to features on Instagram as users can add GIFs, stickers, and marker tools.

Stories image ads

  • Recommended resolution: 1080 x 1920 pixels.
  • Minimum resolution: 600 x 1067 pixels.
  • Aspect ratio: 9:16.
  • Maximum image size: 30MB.

Stories video ads

  • Recommended resolution: 1080 x 1920 pixels.
  • Minimum resolution: 1280 x 720 pixels.
  • Aspect ratio: 9:16.
  • Maximum image size: 4GB.

Instagram Carousel Ads:

Carousel images showcase multiple images or videos in one single ad. It’s the most preferred method of promoting one’s brand.

Carousel image ads

  • Recommended resolution: 1080 x 1080 pixels.
  • Aspect ratio: 1.9:1.
  • Instagram allows for 2-10 images/cards per ad.
  • File size: 30MB maximum per image/card.
  • Caption length: 2,200 characters, 125 recommended.

Carousel video ads

  • Minimum resolution: 600 x 600 pixels.
  • Maximum resolution: 1080 x 1080 pixels.
  • Aspect ratio: 1:1.
  • ONLY MP4.
  • Maximum video size: 4GB per video/card.
  • Maximum video length: 60 seconds.

The best size for IGTV Cover Photos & Videos

What is the best size for Instagram Posts and Stories?
Image Source: Animoto

With IGTV, you can upload vertical and full-screen videos. Apart from the videos, the cover photo is also important. Keep in mind that you can’t edit your cover photo after you’ve uploaded it.

IGTV Videos

  • Vertical/horizontal videos only.
  • Minimum frame rate: 30 FPS.
  • Maximum resolution: 720p. Supports 4K.
  • Aspect ratio: For portrait video, 9:16 (1080px by 1920px). For horizontal videos, 16:9 (1920px by 1080p)
  • Custom thumbnail – JPG.
  • ONLY MP4.
  • Maximum video size: 3.6GB.
  • Maximum video length: 15 seconds to 10 minutes. 1 hour for verified accounts.

IGTV cover photo

  • Recommended resolution: 420 x 654 pixels.
  • Aspect ratio: 1:1.55.

The different types of formats

What is the best size for Instagram Posts and Stories?
Image Source: Wondershare Filmora

75% of the time, photos/videos posted to Instagram are clicked/shot on a smartphone, which is quick and easy. Herein lies the problem. Not all smartphones can shoot in the same aspect ratio, resolution, or a particular format. So, follow these guidelines to upload the right file on Instagram.

Photos

  • JPEG, PNG, BMP, and non-animated GIFs.
  • Up to 8 MB.

Videos

  • MPEG-4, popularly known as MP4, best video format. MOV is also supported but not recommended if you have an MP4 file.
  • H.264 codec.
  • AAC audio.
  • 3500 kbps bitrate.
  • Maximum 100MB file size.
  • Frame rate of 30 fps.
  • Maximum of 60 seconds for Instagram Feed Video, up to 15 seconds per Story, 15 seconds and 10 minutes for IGTV, and up to 60 minutes long for Live video.

The most common – Aspect Ratio and Resolution

Since you’re mostly gonna be using your phone to upload posts to Instagram, I’ve curated a small list of popular phones with different aspect ratios and resolutions.

Aspect Ratio:

  • 16:9 on Motorola Moto X4, iPhone 8, Google Pixel 2, Razer Phone, etc.
  • 18:9 on Samsung Note 8, LG V30+, Vivo V9, Redmi Note 5 Pro, iPhone X, etc.
  • 19:9 on Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus, Huawei Honor Play 8, iPhone 11 Pro, OnePlus 6, etc.
  • 20:9 on Samsung Galaxy A80-A70, Vivo S5, etc.

Resolution:

What is the best size for Instagram Posts and Stories?
Image Source: Geek Cosmos
  • HD (1280 x 720 pixels) – Vivo V5, Sony Xperia R1 Plus, Nokia 3
  • Full HD+ (1920 x 1080 pixels) – Samsung Galaxy Note 10, Apple iPhone 8 Plus, OnePlus 5,
  • Quad HD+ (2560 × 1440 pixels) – Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus, Galaxy S10 Plus, OnePlus 7T Pro, etc.
  • Ultra HD, 4K (3,840 x 2,160 pixels) – Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium, Xperia 1, etc.

FAQs

What is the best size for the Instagram story?

The Instagram story dimensions are 1080px by 1920px. So your images or videos should be 1080 pixels wide and 1920 pixels in height.

What size should photos be for Instagram?

To post images at their original resolution, the photos must be between 320 x 320 and 1080 x 1080 pixels. Keep in mind that the desktop version of Instagram only displays up to 640 px images.

How do I make my Instagram picture fit?

To make the picture fit Instagram’s aspect ratio, open the Instagram app and upload your picture. Instagram crop the picture to a square but once you click on the expand arrows or simply pinch the image to the lower left, it will fit the whole picture on Instagram.

What is the ratio of Instagram stories?

The ratio of Instagram stories is 1080px by 1920px, so the aspect ratio is 9:16.

Summary

Let’s summarize all the sizes you need to know.

Instagram Photo Posts:

  • For Landscape posts – 1.91:1, 1080 X 608PX
  • For Square posts – 1:1,1080 x 1080PX
  • For Portrait posts – 4:5, 1080 x 1350PX

Instagram Video Posts:

Instagram easily supports an aspect ratio of 1.91:10 to 4:5.

  • For Landscape video posts – 1.91:1, 1080 X 608PX
  • For Portrait video posts – 4:5, 1080 x 1350PX

Instagram Stories:

1.91:1, 1080 X 608PX to 9:16, 1080 x 1920PX.

IGTV:

IGTV vertical videos can have an aspect ratio of a maximum of 9:16 and a minimum of 4:5, while horizontal videos support an aspect ratio of a maximum of 16:9 and a minimum of  5:4.

  • For Landscape video posts – 16:9, 1920 X 1080PX
  • For Portrait videos – 9:16, 1080 x 1920PX
  • For IGTV cover photos – 1:1.55, 420 X 654PX
  • For IGTV videos: Instagram Feed – 4:5, 1080 X 1350PX; Instagram Grid – 1:1

Instagram Live:

Instagram Live is always shot vertically, so the aspect ratio should be 9:16.

Conclusion

Humans have had a love-hate relationship with Facebook-owned Instagram but that hasn’t stopped millions of people using it globally. Even though I reckon there isn’t a chance that Facebook might alter this “flaw,” the above-outlined measures and apps could help you get the best size for Instagram posts and stories. You can always refer to this guide whenever you are in confusion. To get more interaction, you must follow these rules.

Now I know, numbers can get a bit confusing. Put a habit to follow the above-mentioned guidelines so that you don’t mess up the size and posts look wonderful. However, if you are too lazy to just try everything according to the guidelines, websites like Canva can help you figure out the exact resolution you would want. Hope you found this article useful. Let me know in the comments below.


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I am a tech-savvy who's an avid reader, a Hollywood movie buff, and a through and through Priyanka Chopra fan. I like to give my insights through words, which helps me to express myriads of emotions I go through.

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