Instagram Image Size & Dimensions

When we talk about Instagram post dimensions, we instantly think about the perfectly fitted square capable of earning hundreds, if not thousands of clicks with the right size, that accommodates the post’s visual and text elements. The image on Instagram is one of the most important things that would help you succeed on this platform. As one of the leading social media channels out there, Instagram has grown by leaps and bounds, overtaking Facebook and others as the social media platform of choice for many!

If you have been looking to make an impression with your Instagram page, you would know by now that the only way to do this efficiently is with pictures that are your posts. These posts would have to follow a certain Instagram post size to tell your story in the most optimum way in keeping with the platform’s standards and guidelines. So, this article is dedicated to exactly that! Here is what you will get with this article:

  • Various people who use Instagram and how the dimensions for the Instagram post can affect them.
  • How can you size your post in terms of aspect ratio and resolution so that your post or picture truly stands out on Instagram?
  • Knowing how to choose the right kind of post size for your picture and what these types of post sizes are.
  • The fonts would look best on various pictures for various uses.
  • How much text and what text should go on to your various sizes of Instagram posts and types of posts?
  • How can you catch the eye of your audience with the right elements in the right-sized Instagram post?

But,

What is Instagram?

To put it quite simply, Instagram is a photo-sharing social media platform that makes the Instagram post size so very important. On this platform – which was taken over by Facebook once it gained more and more popularity – you would be able to share images and write a caption to go with it. As a result, you would get to grab the attention of your friends, family, and even audience. With the right posts that come with a visual play in terms of storytelling.

In fact, we would not be very far off the mark to say that Instagram is all about visual storytelling with the right hint of content. That is why the pictures you see on Instagram by way of posts are known as content. 

Launched in 2010 by Kevin Systrom, this platform was developed to help you tell your story with photos. The platform gives you a certain size which is also known as the Instagram post size now. Before the app’s launch in October that year, the prototype was called Burbn since it was based on the founder’s love for whiskey and bourbon. It’s quite interesting that prompted him to think of a platform with a one-size-fits-all theory for posts. In these posts, Systrom wanted the pictures to do all the talking, which is why Instagram dimensions matter so much!

The Instagram post dimensions were inspired by the Polaroid cameras from the days gone by when one would click a picture, and a standard square with a white frame would pop out for you to gently shake until the image emerges. This would be the modern-day equivalent of downloading an image, to say the very least! As a matter of fact, the frame was a constant branding element of the initial versions of Instagram where, on special occasions, you will have options to play around with the same.

This made uploading photos quite an interesting and fun way to stay in touch with your circle of influence, and it helped the platform keep a certain standard in place. The frame contributed to keeping the post size constant and standardized for everyone as well. 

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One of the main reasons behind Instagram and its evolution was the fact that people needed to be able to upload photos and videos straight from their mobile devices. So, if you can see, people tend to take a picture either in portrait, or square or landscape. Accordingly, Instagram enables the most optimum standards so that the pictures can be uploaded with most of its visibility within the frame. This is what makes the Instagram post dimensions flexible, but very particular at the same time!

Video Courtesy by – Five Minute Social Media – Jerry Potter

Who Needs to Know Instagram Dimensions?

Instagram started out purely as a social media channel where people could keep in touch and have some fun via the pictures that they shared as posts. But, over time the importance of Instagram has grown thanks to the different kinds of people who are now busy capitalizing on it and making the platform their very own blog-based page. This is an interesting development that has pulled many content creators and brands onto Instagram to make it more and more popular. Yet, the Instagram post size still keeps things in check!

Here are the various people who need to know the Instagram dimensions:

Content Creators:

The Instagram platform has grown substantially to be recognized as one with much pull. Content creators are constantly on Instagram with various forms of visual and graphic content from posts to stories so that they can catch the eye of their audience and keep them engaged.

A large percentage of these content creators have a monetized practice on Instagram, which makes it very important for them to have an engaging presence. With this presence and this kind of audience, they are able to show how beneficial their content can be for someone’s business. These are people who need to play around with various sizes of Instagram posts and add a number of styling elements to stand out from the crowd. 

Niche Pages:

These are also akin to content creators, yet they are more niche and group-based rather than the individual. While the content creator feed would focus on the individual who is the content creator, this kind of feed or account would focus on a niche. These could be news-based feeds, meme feeds, travel feeds, car feeds, food feeds, and other industry-related or even motivational feeds. These could also be accounts that promote a project or a book or even an event. Here, the images need to reflect the general mood of the people who would be viewing these posts. Hence, they are a little more on the text-heavy side. 

Businesses and Brands:

These are some of the most important feeds and accounts on Instagram since the revenue comes from here. These accounts power the experience of Instagram and even help content creators monetize even as they need niche pages and feed to feature them in some new making, a groundbreaking capacity that would help that audience too.

This completes the closely-knit ecosystem of Instagram. The brand or business page needs images that are absolutely top of the line since they have to constantly impress their audience. These images have to choose in keeping with a theme and a particular size classification – all of which we have explained below. 

Why do you have to get the Dimensions for Instagram Post Right?

Instagram Post Size matters – and how! Before we understand what the size classifications are on Instagram, we need to understand why we need to choose the right size at all times:

1. For better visual storytelling:

The storytelling on Instagram happens with the picture, or rather the best image size on Instagram. This is something that we need to be mindful of since we would be able to tell our story with one image. The size of the image has to be just right so that you are able to tell this story in the best way without losing out on the message. 

2. Cropping Out:

Many times, you would have experienced that when you are trying to upload an image, it gets severely cropped, and sometimes, this can be highly detrimental to your story and what you want to tell. A part of the image that gives the true message or completes it, can get cropped out in order to meet the standards of the platform. This can leave you in a lurch. 

3. Text and More:

When you put in text with your image, you would want all of it to be seen. Yet, if the overall image is not the right size for Instagram, then this can get lost in translation – meaning, you can lose a few words or a few letters, or you may even be forced to pinch the picture and make it too small so that it fits without losing any letters or words. This can also nullify and greatly dilute the effect of your story that the picture is trying to tell. 

4. Logos and other Brand Elements:

These are some of the most important things in the Instagram post. When a business or a niche page or even a content creator puts out a message with a picture, the post has to clearly show the logo since brand building and brand awareness are the key here. You would need to ensure that the size of the logo does not overtake the image, but the logo should not be too small in the image either. For this, you should ensure that you have chosen the best image size on Instagram.

The Types of Instagram Image Sizes

As we have discussed above, there are three major classifications of Instagram post sizes:

  1. Square
  2. Portrait
  3. Landscape

The Instagram photo size is one that has evolved thanks to the mobile phone. The photo and video sharing app wanted to create an interface and an experience where people would be able to click a picture or shoot a video and instantly upload it to their Instagram feed. The sheer convenience of it also meant that Instagram would be left grappling with the sizing of each and every picture or video that came from various mobile devices. In order to combat this issue, the platform created a very simple solution – three image sizes. 

With these three image sizes, you have plenty of flexibility even as you are asked to generally stay within the lines. In fact, it may be seen that more and more mobile phone manufacturers and companies are adhering to these rules by enabling their cameras to take pictures for that aspect ratio and resolution in particular so that it can easily be uploaded on to Instagram. This is how the platform is also having an effect on devices of the future for all kinds of users since it is becoming increasingly popular with anyone and everyone who owns a phone. 

The main thing to remember here is that we do not have to wonder what to do with all our pictures any longer. Earlier, when cameras were first invented, we used to go through the painful process of getting the pictures developed so that we could then create and paste them into albums. This was then replaced by the new inflexion point – the digital camera from where one could upload pictures onto the computer and then share a link to the album via a Gmail or Google account.

Even then, this was a cumbersome process since no one opens a Google account to look at pictures. This led to a new inflexion point of sorts where the mobile phone and platforms like Facebook and Instagram, in particular, ‘were able to enable a whole new way of photo sharing with the smartphone and even smarter social media tactics

Now, you have an entire feed where you can put the best pictures on display for people to see repeatedly. And what’s more – you can write a caption for it, much like you could in the white space below the polaroid picture that would come in the white frame. Further, Instagram now also allows you to click pictures and video directly with its own camera, which means you would have a fully optimized picture without having to open your phone camera or exit the app. This also makes for good sizing since you are using the Instagram camera. 

Before we move on and discuss every single type of Instagram post size, we need to understand the things that make the best Instagram image size. There are some elements that make a proportionate-looking photo with the focus on what the photographer or the content creator is trying to portray. These are as follows:

  • Aspect Ratio:

The aspect ratio is the proportion of the height to the width or breadth of the picture. Whether you choose a square size photo, or you choose to portray your picture in landscape or portrait, you should know that the aspect ratio is what will make it look proportionate.

The sides should not be stretched inordinately otherwise the details will be either look flat or too tall and this would be too jarring for the eye as well. This is also the reason why Instagram has a specific photo size so that the aspect ratio is the perfect one for that chosen size and shape, or rather – perspective. The Instagram post ratio should also be followed while clicking and editing pictures so that when you upload the image, the exact details you want to draw attention to, should be well portrayed and presented.

  • Resolution:

This is the next element that is of vital importance in the Instagram photo size. The Instagram post resolution is one that also dictates what size the picture will show up as. We all know that larger images have higher resolution. Yet, did you know that small and focused pictures also have a high resolution? You would have to shoot and click your pictures in a mid-sized resolution so that it does not take too long to download and show up when someone wants to see them on Instagram.

This would also help since Instagram would not crop it unnecessarily in order to curb the resolution. Also, the resolution should be perfect for viewing on the phone. Yet, it should not be too low that the colours looked jaded and faded! A mid-sized resolution would be perfect for any kind of photo on Instagram and for any kind of Instagram post size. The Instagram post-resolution will also decide the look and feel of your feed in general, so it would be a good idea to pick and choose very carefully when you are sizing and uploading your picture. 

  • Overall Skill:

The skill of the photographer or the content creator when it comes to putting the right details in perspective would be the main thing on Instagram. This applies to all sizes of pictures due to the fact that you are trying to tell a story with the image first. Only if the story is clear, someone will stop and read the caption and maybe save your post or even give it a like or leave a comment.

While the use of the relevant hashtags on a consistent basis will help you become visible, you would need to earn a click or at least make a person stop scrolling and give you more attention. This is how you would also build a following.

You can easily see in this screenshot from a well-known content creator and poet’s page, that she has used a picture depicting an exotic location since she talks about travel. But see how the picture has been clicked and sized. There are less mud and more sky. And the doorway is right in the center of the scenic mountains while there are broken walls on either side. She talks about hope and travel and the power of emotions in this post. And the image definitely makes you stop and look and then you want to know what the story is – so you give the caption a click to read more. This is what a proportionate picture with skilful storytelling looks like. 

devanginimahapatra

Picture courtesy @devanginimahapatra on Instagram

Now that we have understood the various elements that go into making a good story and a good post with the best Instagram image size, let us understand what kind of aspect ratio and resolution are required for each and every kind of Instagram size post. These three Instagram photo sizes will easily fit in all your display and visual storytelling needs. 

1. Square Instagram Post Size

This is the most commonly used post size that one usually sees on Instagram. If we are to define the square size post in the simplest of terms, we would say that the post that fills all corners of the frame on Instagram is a square post size. This means that it is a perfect fit, or at least, it has been made to fit into the screen by cropping and moving the image and down to focus on what one wants to depict through the image. 

The above post that we have shown is a square Instagram post size. This image has been cropped. However, you can use a number of software and platforms like Over or Canva in order to edit and even choose the square template so that you create the square post in the best possible way. When you create it from scratch, you would not need to pinch and resize or shift it up and down while you upload – by default, this kind of post would fit in perfectly with the complete frame.

The square post is the most commonly seen one that also looks good on the feed if you have all posts in the same size. Then, the colours merge and your feed looks like a continuous story in motion. Here, you would have to be mindful of the kind of images and basic theme that you are using so that there is a flow of ideas and a flow of the things that you are trying to portray. This would make your feed look more interesting.

The square post size on Instagram has the following dimensions:

  • Aspect Ratio: 1:1
  • Resolution: 1080 px X 1080 px (pixels)

These are the two main measures of the square sized post. As you can see, out of all the Instagram size posts, this one is the most proportionate and the easiest to figure out. You have to make sure that both sides are exactly the same and they fit into a square since, by definition, a square is a shape that has two equal sides. Hence, you would have to choose to resize your image as per nine imaginary grids or in the made for Instagram templates that you can find on Photoshop or Canva, as mentioned above. 

When you are using a square sized post, you can also choose to give it a frame or an outline so that you are able to get a uniform look throughout your feed. This would make sure that your feed does not have a confusing look and your audience would know exactly what to expect when they see your picture and visit your feed. This would also help in ensuring that your frame becomes your signature or your branding on this social media channel. With this Instagram post size, you will be able to achieve this effect with much ease!

cantowndigital

In this image courtesy of @cantowndigital you can easily see that the following has been very seamlessly and easily achieved for maximum user attention with the square-shaped and sized post on Instagram:

  1. A uniform look throughout the feed has been accomplished. Thanks to this, a person can easily recognize that the post belongs to this company or brand, which makes brand recall that much easier.
  2. Definition with the help of a frame always helps with the square post since it draws the eye towards the sheer beauty of the proportions and the Instagram post ratio that has been so beautifully displayed. 
  3. The messaging becomes that much more clear. This shows that the square post with the frame is the best Instagram post size for businesses and brands as well as niche pages since it ensures that your eye is instantly captured the box and kept there until your read the simple message. 
  4. Research shows that the use of the color green for the frame and other elements soothes but captures the attention in the best possible way when used for a proportionate size like the square. This has been done by the brand for all these images on the feed. 
  5. There are a definite flow and continuity in the look and the audience knows what to expect, yet they look forward to the new message in the same frame. This is something you can achieve with the square shaped Instagram post. This is best for providing a call for action or a promise of some product or service that would be further described in the caption. 
  6. The resolution is also the same pixels on both sides, which makes all the details crystal clear even while providing enough space for all elements of the image within this Instagram post resolution

Square Post Resolution Notes

The above pointers show that one can always achieve a streamlined look with the square shaped Instagram image size when describing a core message that needs to capture the attention of prospective customers or audiences. The disclaimer here is that if your picture resolution is higher than 1080 pixels, then Instagram would automatically reduce the resolution to make it fit and this would make it look fuzzy and blurry.

So you might want to avoid uploading a picture that has not been edited down in terms of resolution! If you have submitted a picture that is between 320 and 1080 pixels, Instagram will keep the resolution intact. But this is provided you get the aspect ratio right and it is a 1 by 1! So, if you have managed to fit in a resolution less than 1080 in a 1:1 picture, then Instagram will not bring down the resolution or ask you to crop before it uploads the said image. 

Also, fun fact: When Instagram was first launched way back in 2012, it only had this post size for all its users! Isn’t it interesting to see how well the platform has now evolved?

2. The Portrait Instagram Image Size

When we think of a portrait, we usually envision a painting of someone who has rendered a serious pose that has been captured by an artist over days and days of mastery – if not weeks and months. A portrait was a historic way of capturing a milestone in a person’s life and Instagram lets you do just that by also allowing you to put in the story of the milestone in some carefully chosen words for that life event!

This need has been recognized by Instagram and added to the Instagram image sizes. The simple thing to remember is that a portrait size picture or post will have white blank spaces on the two sides – left and right. Here is an example of what a portrait Instagram post looks like:

portrait models

Picture Courtesy: portrait_models

Here are the elements that you would need to adhere to for a portrait size post for Instagram:

Aspect Ratio: 4:5

Resolution: 1080 px X 1350 px

In the above image and the elements, one can easily see that the Instagram post resolution and Instagram post ratio are both optimum. This is one of the best styles of posts that can do the following as we can see in the image above:

  1. The white spaces on either side give a uniform feel to the entire feed when you scroll up and down.
  2. The next thing that you can see here is that this a length-wise post for a feed that typically features long-legged models to show off their height and the range of professionalism while they are posing. For this, the portrait style is the best Instagram image size
  3. If your resolution is higher than 1080 X 1350 pixels, then Instagram will automatically reduce it so that the aspect ratio is kept intact even as the sheer length of the picture is also shown. 

The portrait style is great for photographing people and posting nuggets of information when it comes to milestones. This would be a great style and size for clothing brands as well since it will display the models and the clothes in the best way with all the details intact. 

3. The Landscape Instagram Post Size

This is the perfect Instagram post size when it comes to scenic views and travel posts as well as other scenes that need some form of storytelling. It has also been seen that a number of Instagram content creators tend to use the landscape style of post as an alternate one between two portrait style posts. This gives many dimensions and an abstract sense of proportion to your feed. You can easily play with borders and pictures to create quite an impact. 

The actual editing with this kind of Instagram image size is less since it fits neatly into the two sides on the left and right. Unlike the portrait-style image on Instagram, here you will find the white spaces on the top and the bottom. This makes the image look like a panoramic one that can go from corner to corner and have some brilliant white spaces to break your stories and rows if you stick to landscape posts throughout your entire feed.

This would also create an interesting look that draws the eye to the actual picture with the white spaces cascading above and below. You can easily tap on the full picture mode when you upload a picture so that it automatically fits into the landscape size. 

Here are the elements that you would have to keep in mind when you want to achieve the landscape effect for the Instagram post:

Aspect Ratio: 1.91:1

Resolution: 1080 px X 1350 px

ryno

The above post courtesy of @r_y_n_o is a great example of portrait imagery on Instagram. While you can show travel and equipment like bikes and cars in the best possible way thanks to this kind of Instagram image size, you would also be able to use this for trays of food like this. This would highlight what is at the center of the table. 

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Here is what this post shows in terms of ratio and resolution:

  1. It lessens the unused space on tables and other such surfaces so that the focus is on the food and the colour of the surface goes from beige to white to create an interesting mix and combination of hues. 
  2. Using many landscaped photos one after the other will help you create a story that you can easily tell. For example, in a single row, you can show raw ingredients, then you can show the next picture where the cooking happens and the third one can show the completed product or dish. 
  3. This would show the steps easily and it would make people share and save all three pictures which would also increase your traction quite easily and fast. 

In Conclusion

There are some of the most widely used images on Instagram and the best way to understand the Instagram post dimensions in the best way possible. For more questions and resources, do have a look at the FAQs that we have listed below!

Let us Look at the some of FAQs for Instagram Image Size:

1. What is the image size for Instagram pictures?

There are three distinct sizes for an Instagram post. These would be square (which is the normal post we see, from corner to corner, on all four sides), landscape (with white spaces on the top and bottom), as well as portrait (with white spaces on the left and right sides of the image). You can choose from any of these three types so as to create an impactful post on Instagram. You should be mindful of the dimensions so that you can upload a picture accordingly.

2. How does one fit in a full picture on Instagram?

This would be quite easy to do. The best way to fit in a full picture on Instagram would be to first click on the plus sign that allows you to upload a picture or a video. Then, you would have to select the picture you want from your picture gallery or any other folder in which the image may be stored. The format button at this stage would allow you to crop, toggle and zoom in or out for the full picture to fill the frame of your Instagram post. 

3. Is the Instagram post size and Instagram video size the same?

No, the sizes for the portrait, square, and landscape images are very different from the same kind of videos on Instagram. You should do plenty of research so that the video does not get cropped when you upload it. Do not crop your video to a 4:5 ratio. Instead, you would need to edit the video onto a large white square and then save it. This should then be selected so that you can upload the same on to Instagram without losing the resolution or the length from the original video. 

4. How can you post pictures of various and differing sizes on Instagram?

On Instagram, when you want to post a single post with multiple pictures or you want to post various pictures in individual posts of the same size, you would have to select the size and resize the image individually for your feed. This can be done with the formatting tool on Instagram (which is quite basic). However, if the pictures are of different sizes, then you should change them on a professional tool or platform like Canva or Over. 

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