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If you are using Instagram to grow your brand or business, then your Instagram image sizes matter. Instagram has grown to become one of the biggest social media platforms, with over one billion active monthly users. To reach out to this massive audience, it’s necessary for your brand to have an Instagram account.

Brands use this photo and video sharing platform to increase engagement with their audiences. In fact, 71% of businesses use it to grow their presence, according to HubSpot.

It’s also a great place to get your products discovered by consumers. And your brand’s content on Instagram can guide potential customers through the purchase process because consumers use the app to find, research, and buy products.

consumers use the app Instagram image size

Image via Facebook

However, with so many brands on the platform, you need to put consistent effort in to stand out from the crowd. As you plan your 2020 Instagram strategy, it’s essential to know the ideal Instagram image size for your content.

This will ensure that you can create high-quality images for your followers to keep them entertained and engaged.

The better an image or video is, the better your chances of getting more followers for your brand. However, without knowing the ideal Instagram image size, it can be difficult to create visuals that can catch the attention of your followers.
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In this post, I’ll elaborate on the ideal Instagram image size for all your photos. This will help you develop your Instagram marketing strategy for 2020. Let’s dive in.

Instagram Image Size Basics

Before we can get to the ideal Instagram image size, analyze your current pictures and videos. Are they all high-quality? Do you have blurry images or some with missing parts? If you do, then you are in the right place.

The two most important things that you need to consider when sharing Instagram images are size and aspect ratio.

The latter is a picture’s width to height ratio. It’s represented in the form of a ratio — for example, 1:2. The first digit is the width, while the second is the height.

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Size, on the other hand, is the number of pixels that make up your image or video’s height and width.  Like aspect ratio, the first number represents width, while the second represents height.

Instagram allows you to upload images with a width between 320 pixels and 1080 pixels. If Instagram does not support the aspect ratio of the image you post, then it’s either cropped or enlarged to fit. If your image is smaller than 320 pixels, they enlarge it, and if it’s wider than 1080 pixels, it’s cropped.

Instagram also stores different sizes of photos and videos you share. You have the option to save your original images in Instagram Settings in case you need them for another project.  However, the images they display on desktop and in the app are smaller than the original size uploaded.

Now that you know the basics, let’s get to the recommended sizes

Instagram Image Size: Posts

Instagram allows you to upload square, horizontal, or vertical images. These orientations give you the flexibility to upload a wide range of photos. This is in stark contrast to the initial days of Instagram when you could only post square pictures.

As a result, all images had to be cropped into a square shape. However, the new dimensions allow you to share information in various ways.

Here are the ideal Instagram image sizes for each of these types of pictures.

1. Square Photos

Even though users have the option to use portrait and landscape photos, square photos are still popular among Instagram users. The optimized Instagram image size for photos is 1080px by 1080px. As a result, the aspect ratio is 1:1.

For the best results, make sure that your images have this aspect ratio. Otherwise, Instagram might crop your images.

2. Horizontal Photos

The recommended horizontal Instagram image size is 1080px by 566px. The aspect ratio is 1.9:1, but you can also use 16:9.

Try to upload images that have a width of at least 1080 pixels. This ensures that even after compression, the quality of the image remains great. You can also leverage Instagram marketing tools to get better results from your posts.

3. Vertical Photos

The recommended Instagram image size for vertical photos is 1080px by 1350px while the aspect ratio is 4:5.

Dash Hudson found that portrait pictures receive more engagement than the square and landscape photos. The engagement rates are 1.43%, 1.39%, and 1.26%, respectively.

Dash Hudson Instagram image size

Image via Dash Hudson

The reason for this is that portrait photos take up more space on the mobile screen. Thus, your brand can take up more physical space if you use portrait orientation. Due to their size, portrait images are more eye-catching, and users are more likely to notice them, thus increasing your chances of getting engagement. This can play a crucial role in growing your Instagram account.

Instagram Image Size: Profile Picture

The profile picture is the way your online audience identifies your brand, and therefore, you need to ace it.

Instagram profile pictures are displayed in a 1:1 aspect ratio. The dimensions for this image are 110px by 110px.

You can upload a larger image, but make sure that the parts you want visible lie within this ratio. If your photo has different dimensions, you might lose out on some of its most important parts. Having a larger image also ensures that a high-quality photo shows up on desktops.

Instagram Image Size: Stories

The Instagram image size for Stories allows for more wiggle room. You can share images and videos with a minimum aspect ratio of 1.91:1 and a maximum of 9:16.

If you want the image to cover the entire screen, then the best Instagram image size would be 1080px by 1920px. That’s a 9:16 ratio.

Now that we’ve covered images, let’s try to understand what the best sizes are for other visual content on Instagram.

Instagram Post Size: Videos

Videos can be very handy tools for generating engagement on Instagram. Just like images, you can post them in a variety of orientations: square, vertical, and horizontal.

Here are the best dimensions and aspect ratios that you must incorporate into your video marketing strategy:

  • Square videos should have an aspect ratio of 1:1 and dimensions of 1080px by 1080px.
  • Horizontal videos should have a 1.91:1 or 16:9 aspect ratio. Their size should be 1080px by 607px.
  • Vertical videos should have a 4:5 aspect ratio, and their size should be 1080px by 1350px.

Buffer found that square videos offer better engagement and views compared to landscape videos. In some of their results, square videos got 30-35% higher video views while their engagement increased by 80-100%.

square videos engagement and views Instagram image size

Image via Buffer

Instagram Post Size: IGTV Video

IGTV supports both vertical and horizontal orientations. According to Instagram, IGTV videos must be at least one minute long.

The aspect ratio should be 16:9 and 9:16 for horizontal and vertical videos, respectively. It should also have a minimum resolution of 720 pixels and a frame rate of 30 frames per second.

Instagram also allows you to show a preview of your IGTV videos on your feed, which means it’s cropped on the feed to a 4:5 aspect ratio or 1080px by 1350px size.

The recommended Instagram image size for IGTV cover photos is 420px by 654px. That’s an aspect ratio of 1:1.55.

Instagram Post Size: Live Videos

Users can also shoot vertical Instagram live videos and broadcast directly from their devices. The aspect ratio, therefore, takes the full width and height of your screen (usually 16:9). The size will depend on the size of your screen, which is mostly 1080px by 1920px.

Instagram Post Size: Ads

You can use ads to reach a wider audience on Instagram, but do ensure that you stick to the recommended measurements given by Instagram.

Square ads have an Instagram image size of 1080px by 1080px. For horizontal ads, upload images with dimensions of 1080px by 566px.

The Buffer study also found that users engage with square video ads more than the horizontal ones. Additionally, it costs 33% less to get someone to engage with your square videos on mobiles. The cost-saving for square video increases when users watch more of your videos.

square videos engagement Instagram image size

Image via Buffer

However, on desktops, it costs less to reach users using landscape videos as compared to the letterbox and square videos.

Conclusion

When you upload your images to Instagram, the platform will automatically scale down the resolution to a size that’s smaller than the original image. However, uploading your pictures in the recommended dimensions ensures that the quality of your image remains great.

Your profile’s quality will take a hit if you upload smaller images. If you can notice the poor quality, then your followers will see it too, and this can harm your brand’s reputation.

Instagram allows you to share your brand products and services with high-quality images. Do not compromise on Instagram image sizes and take note of the recommended aspect ratios. It will help you keep your current followers engaged and attract more as well.

Do you have any tips or insights about posting images on Instagram to add? Let me know in the comments.