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Design, Instagram, Photography

Instagram Image Size & Dimensions for 2021 (+ Free Infographic!)

From feed posts to IGTV and Reels, knowing the best size and dimension for every Instagram post is no mean feat.

In this handy guide, you’ll find all the dimensions you need to create perfectly sized images and videos for Instagram.

We’ve also created a free infographic for easy reference! Check it out below:

Instagram Image size and dimensions

Understanding Instagram Image Size & Aspect Ratio

When sharing photos and videos on Instagram, there are two main things to keep in mind: aspect ratio and size.

Aspect Ratio

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.

The best instagram image size and dimensions

It’s important to make sure your photos and videos fall within Instagram’s aspect ratio guidelines, otherwise, they’ll be cropped to fit a supported ratio — which could result in part of your image being lost.

Size 

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 representing width and the second representing height.

For example, an image size of 1080px x 1080px is much larger than one sized 50px x 50px.

When you share a photo or video on Instagram, the image that gets displayed (on both the app and the web) will usually be much smaller than the original you uploaded.

So even if you upload a photo with a width of 1080px, the image that gets displayed on Instagram will be compressed to a smaller size.

So does image size on Instagram even matter?

It sure does! 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, it won’t really affect the image quality.

Note: You should still try to avoid posting photos with an ultra-high-resolution, like 5400px by 5400px. Doing so could actually impact your image quality in a negative way.

Ready to improve your Instagram marketing strategy? Plan, preview, and schedule a full week of Instagram posts in one go with Later — for free!

 

Instagram Size Guide #1: Instagram Feed Posts

Once upon a time, Instagram feed posts were limited to the simple square, but now (almost) anything goes.

Square Posts (1:1)

Although Instagram supports horizontal and vertical photos, square posts continue to be a popular choice on Instagram – especially as 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.

Horizontal Posts (16:9)

While Instagram recommends an aspect ratio of 1.91:1, you can actually go as far as 16:9.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Mumgry (@mumgry)

In any case, 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.

Vertical Posts (4:5)

Generally speaking, 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.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Paynter (@paynterjacket)

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.

Video Posts (16:9-4:5)

Instagram supports in-feed videos with aspect ratios spanning from 16:9 to 4:5. Videos should have a frame rate of 30 frames per second, and the maximum file size is 4GB.

DID YOU KNOW: You can also use Later’s in-app editor to easily crop your photos to the perfect aspect ratio.

best ratio to use on Pinterest

It’s easier to think outside of the square box with Later’s editing tools! Available on all Later plans.

 

Instagram Image Size #2: Instagram Carousel Posts

Instagram carousel posts can be square, horizontal, or vertical in format — and can include both photos and videos.

However, 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 (like the example above) all of your following content will be cropped to a 1:1 format.

Instagram Size Guide #3: Instagram Stories

You can share pretty much anything on Instagram Stories, as long as it has a minimum aspect ratio of 1.91:1 and a maximum aspect ratio of 9:16.

the best image size for instagram stories

So what’s the best size for stories?

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.

Need some help editing your Instagram Stories? Check out our top apps for creating Instagram Stories.  

Instagram Size Guide #4: IGTV Videos

You can now upload IGTV videos with a vertical aspect ratio of 9:16, or a horizontal video with an aspect ratio of 16:9.

For vertical video (9:16), the ideal size is 1080px by 1920px. For horizontal video (16:9), the ideal size is 1920px by 1080px.

Something else to keep in mind is the aspect ratio of your IGTV cover photo.

The cover photo is what will show up on your channel page and in the IGTV categories, so it’s worth making it the right size. Instagram recommends an aspect ratio of 1:1.55 and a size of 420px by 654px.

If you plan on sharing a preview of your IGTV to your Instagram feed (a great way to get more views) it’s important to consider how your cover photo will look both in the Instagram feed (1.91:1-4:5) and in the Instagram profile grid (cropped to 1:1).

To stay safe, it’s best to keep any title graphics in the center square of the cover image, like @glowrecipe does. This will make sure your IGTV content looks just as good on your grid:

And remember, you can’t edit an IGTV cover photo after you’ve published — so it’s worth giving this some extra attention.

Unsure where to start with IGTV? Check out our Ultimate Guide to IGTV to kickstart your strategy.

Instagram Size Guide #5: Instagram Reels

Much like stories, Instagram Reels are designed to be viewed vertically, full-screen, and on mobile.

With this in mind, 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.

use Instagram Reels to get instagram followers

Reels can be any length up to 30 seconds.

TIP: The bottom fifth of a Reel is where the video caption is displayed. Avoid having important visual elements in this section if possible.

Instagram Size Guide #6: Instagram 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.

That’s it! You’re now up-to-speed on how to optimize your feed posts, stories, IGTV videos, Reels, and more.

And if you’re ever unsure, just use our infographic as a quick and easy reference.

Want to make sure your Instagram feed always looks its best? Join Later to plan, preview and schedule your posts — for free!

 

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Written By

Jillian Warren

Jillian is a content marketer at Later based in the UK. She is an aficionado of London brunch spots and an avid listener of true crime podcasts. You can connect with her on Instagram @jillwrren.

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