Instagram image sizes can be a bit of a minefield. With 2022 just around the corner, brands and marketers are starting to focus on their Instagram strategy for the new year.
Wondering what the best image sizes and dimensions are for Instagram in 2022? You’re in luck – we’ve got you covered!
Keep reading for a comprehensive guide to all things Instagram images. Happy planning!
Instagram Image Size & Aspect Ratio
The two things you need to remember when sharing photos or creating videos for Instagram: aspect ratio and size.
Aspect Ratio (Dimension)
Aspect ratio refers to the width of a picture in relation to its height.
It’s expressed as a ratio, like 4:5 or 9:16, where the first digit represents the width and the second digit represents height.
It’s important to make sure your photos and videos fall within Instagram’s guidelines, otherwise, they’ll be cropped to fit a supported ratio.
This is important as you could lose part of your image.
Image Size (Resolution)
Size or resolution refers to the number of pixels that make up the width and height of your photo or video.
Like aspect ratio, size is expressed by two numbers.
The first represents the width and the second representing height.
For example, a picture size of 1080px by 1080px is much larger than one sized 50px by 50px.
Even though Instagram compresses your photos and videos, it’s always better to share at an optimal resolution. That way, when Instagram compresses your photo size, it won’t affect the image quality.
Instagram Image Sizes – Post Size Guide #1: Instagram Feed Posts
When Instagram first launched, and for quite a while after. You were limited to a simple square post.
At the time of writing this post, it seems Instagram isn’t as fussy as it used to be about your image size.
Dimensions of Instagram posts now range from 16:9 all the way to 4:5!
Horizontal Posts (16:9)
Instagram recommends a post ratio of 1.91:1, you can actually go as far as 16:9.
We recommend you make the height of your horizontal photo at least 1080px. That way, when Instagram compresses the file, the quality should remain pretty high.
Square Posts (1:1)
Even though you can create horizontal and vertical photos nowadays. Square post still seems to give you the best bang for your buck.
Mainly down to the fact that the Instagram profile grid crops content to a 1:1 ratio.
So how do you optimize for square?
We recommend making your square photos 1080px by 1080px in size. That way, when Instagram compresses the file, the version will still be high quality.
Vertical Posts (4:5)
Your vertical photos should have an aspect ratio of 4:5. Anything longer (like 4:6 or 4:7), and Instagram will crop your content.
Vertical posts take up more real estate as someone scrolls through their home feed, so they’re more optimized than horizontal posts.
It’s a good idea to keep in mind how they’ll look once they’re cropped square in the Instagram profile grid.
As for size, we recommend going with 1080px by 1350px. That way, when Instagram compresses the photo, it should be displayed at around 480px by 600px.
Instagram Image Sizes – Post Size Guide #2: Instagram Carousel Posts
Personally, I love these types of posts. You can be so creative and take people on a mini journey. I’ve seen so many niches execute these types of posts brilliantly. From a branding expert all the way to a guy that loves to go fishing.
These types of posts can be square, horizontal, or vertical in format, and can include both photos and videos.
Once you’ve selected your first photo or video, all of the following photos or videos you select will be cropped to the same aspect ratio.
If the first photo you select is square all of your following content will be cropped to a 1:1 format.
Instagram Image Sizes – Post Size Guide #3: Instagram Stories
Instagram stories offer flexibility that other parts of Instagram don’t. You can share almost anything using an Instagram Story.
To be on the safe side I recommend your story has minimum dimensions of 1.91:1 and maximum dimensions of 9:16.
Because most people prefer their stories to take up the whole screen (no borders), we recommend using an aspect ratio of 9:16 with a size of 1080px by 1920px.
Instagram Image Sizes – Post Size Guide #4: Instagram Videos
By merging IGTV with Feed videos, Instagram now has a single destination for longer-form video content.
To support this change, Instagram’s introduced several new features for Instagram Video:
- A new Video tab on Profile
- Ability to upload video captions
- People and location tagging
- 60 second Feed Previews
Instagram supports Feed Video Previews with aspect ratios spanning from 16:9 to 4:5. Videos should have a frame rate of 30 frames per second, and maximum file size of 4GB.
Instagram Image Sizes – Post Size Guide #5: Instagram Reels
Instagram has had huge success with its Reels.
Reels are very similar to stories that it’s been designed to be viewed vertically, using the full screen of a mobile.
We recommend using an aspect ratio of 9:16. Shooting and editing directly on mobile is a good way to stick to the optimal dimensions.
The bottom fifth of a Reel is where the video caption is displayed. Avoid having important visual elements in this section if possible.
Instagram Image Sizes – Post Size Guide #6: Live Videos
Instagram Live videos are meant to be shot vertically, as they are designed to be broadcast directly from your mobile device.
This means the aspect ratio will always be the full width and height of your screen (which is usually 9:16).
As you can’t manually change the size or aspect ratio of your Instagram Live videos, you don’t have to worry too much about it.
Instagram Image Sizes – Conclusion
We’re living in a world where we can’t just post anything and expect to see results.
The good news is that there’s never been more information available for optimizing your Instagram feed than there is right now.
You don’t have to be an expert marketer or graphic designer, you just need the right tools and knowledge of what works best – which is why we created this guide!
If you want to track the performance of your posts on social media so you know how well they are doing (and what type of content gets better engagement), try Elementary Analytics FOR FREE.
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