Instagram was a much different app when it first launched in 2010: There were no videos, no stories, no brand integrations, and no influencers. Today, there are a wealth of posting and sharing options, including the size and shape of images and videos.
Ideal Instagram ratios and sizes for photo posts
Gone are the days when all posts on Instagram had to be square-shaped static images. Back in the day you’d take a blurry picture of your dog, slap a high-contrast filter on it, and post it so your 5 friends would see it. Now, Instagram is a whole new world for photographers, video creators, small businesses, artists, and more.
Knowing the ideal ratios and image sizes for the popular photo- and video-sharing app can help you engage with your followers and deliver content that grabs their attention. Whether you’re posting photos or videos, these ideal aspect ratios can help you create incredible content that looks great on mobile devices as well as desktop computers.
Square photos on Instagram
The aspect ratio of a square picture is 1:1, which means it’s one unit wide by one unit tall. For the highest resolution possible, make sure the photo you’re uploading is 1080 pixels wide and 1080 pixels tall. Square photos on Instagram are easy to get right because the app will automatically crop your image for you when you upload it. Most smartphones also have the ability to adjust the aspect ratio to shoot a 1:1 photo, so you won’t have to do any cropping before you post your image.
If you want to ensure that you’re posting a high-quality image, they should be within the range of 320x320 pixels and 1080x1080 pixels. Anything lower than a 320-pixel square will negatively affect the quality of your image.
Landscape and portrait photos on Instagram
In 2015, Instagram started allowing users to start posting landscape and portrait photography, instead of limiting things to just squares. For both orientations, the app recommends keeping the images at 1080px wide to ensure a high-quality image.
Instagram recommend that portrait photos are posted at an aspect ratio of 4:5, with dimensions of 1080px x 1350px. Landscape photos look best with dimensions of 1080x566 pixels or a ratio of 1.91:1. While you do have the option to post pictures at different ratios and still have them be aligned portrait and landscape, these are simply the app’s recommendations for what looks best on their platform. If you attempt to upload an oversized image from another app, Instagram will crop it so that it fits within its dimensions.
Instagram stories and reels
Instagram stories are a great way to share content and connect directly with your followers. These stories disappear after 24 hours unless you save them in a highlight reel. Instagram stories are always displayed in portrait orientation with an aspect ratio of 9:16. The best size for display is the high-resolution 1080 x 1920px, but you can scale it down if necessary to 900x1600px or 720x1280px. You may notice that the quality suffers with these lower resolutions, but your options may depend on the equipment you have available.
Instagram reels and stories have the same requirements for resolution and aspect ratio. The difference is that reels are a more permanent part of your profile and a larger suite of editing options, making them a great tool for creators, artists, and small business owners.
Instagram stories max out at 15 seconds long, but Instagram reels and videos can seem pretty similar at first. But where reels have a time limit of 60 seconds, videos are intended to be more long-form content, and have a time limit of 60 minutes, Instagram video, previously known as the standalone app IGTV, also differs from stories in that users can upload videos in either portrait or landscape layouts, or even in square layouts.
So long as the aspect ratio is between 1.91:1 and 4:5, you should be good to go. The best dimensions for these ratios on Instagram are 1080x608 pixels and 1018x1350 pixels.
However, content creators should note that while you can upload a horizontal video, you can’t rotate the Instagram app on a smartphone. Instead, the video will appear small, albeit high-resolution.
Instagram account profile picture
Your Instagram profile picture is displayed at dimensions of 110x110 pixels. However, the app will store an image of up to 320x320 pixels, so make sure the image you’re uploading is at least that big. You’ll also want to ensure that the most important elements of the image are centered, since Instagram profile pictures are cropped into circles.
There are lots of downloadable Instagram profile picture templates out there that can help users and businesses create an image to represent them on the app. Even if the image you upload isn’t a square, the app will allow you to do a little resizing and cropping, ultimately resulting in a circle.
It’s always important to check directly with Instagram. The platform has the right to change its image size guidelines at it sees fit and as updates allow; it can be a smart idea to double check with the app before posting your latest photo or video creation.