Instagram Size Guide: How To Create Beautiful Instagram Posts
Instagram is the global leader in visual storytelling. This is far more than a social network; Instagram is a place to share art, to teach and learn, do business, get inspired, and collaborate. Instagram is a virtual economy that runs on visual communication, so it’s important that the images you upload are formatted correctly because every pixel impacts how you tell your story and engage with users.
Square Post;1080 x 1080 pixels;1:1
Vertical Post;1080 x 1350 pixels;4:5
Landscape Post;1080 x 566 pixels;1.91: 1
Profile Icon;161 x 161 pixels;1:1
Stories;1080 x 1920 pixels;9:16
Story Highlights Icon;110 x 110 pixels;1:1
IGTV Thumbnail Cover Image;420 x 654 and 1080 x 1920 pixels;1:1 for square 9:16 full size
Instagram Guides Cover Image;1080 x 1350 pixels;4:5
Reels;1080 x 1920 pixels;9:16
Instagram’s myriad of features has given creators and regular folks the opportunity to share information and inspiration across a variety of visual mediums.
This feature-rich platform supports freedom and creativity in how we express visually and engage with others. The thing about all these features, however, is that there isn't just one standard image size on Instagram- there are a few different formats and dimensions, and it's a lot to remember!
Although the platform has come a long way since the days of strictly square posts and evolved to be more accommodating of landscape and portrait images, they are still strict about dimensions. If you’re not precise about fitting the full image into their specific sizes, you’re at the mercy of awkwardly cut-off images, which is certainly one way to kill a visual.
Don’t be perturbed by Instagram’s size requirements, though. Rather see them as a creative challenge.
Learning how to master the “rules” of Instagram and optimizing your visual communication to fit them can be very satisfying. It’s kind of like a creative game!
In the following Instagram size guide, we’ll take you through the optimal sizes for each post type and offer some pro-tips to maximize creativity and quality in each post. We won't be focusing on video requirements in this piece as that's a whole other ball game.
We'll simply clarify the dimensions so you can get the perfect-sized image. Whether you’re an influencer, a professional photographer, graphic designer, business owner, artist, or an average Joe sharing your life, the more you know about the platform, the better your experience of it can be.
Instagram Aspect Ratios
Okay, let’s talk about aspect ratio for a moment. This one’s a biggie on Instagram. You’ll see it used a lot to communicate whether something is a square post a horizontal image, or a landscape image.
Before we dive into the post sizes, especially for those of you who might not be graphic designers, photographers, or filmmakers, let’s clarify:
Aspect ratio is the relationship between the width and the height of an image. An aspect ratio of 1:1 refers to a square because the width and the height are both the same measurement (1 unit). An aspect ratio of 4:5 means that the height is one unit higher than the width.
The width comes first and then the height, for example, if we use placeholders x:y; X represents the width and Y represents the height.
You might be used to seeing 9:16 on Instagram- this is the aspect ratio of a standard smartphone screen and refers to a vertical view that takes up the entire screen. Instagram is the land of vertical viewing, so it’s best to think in terms of vertical images and vertical video to get the most out of your visuals for Instagram.
Before we start talking about dimensions and aspect ratio, it might be helpful to know that the maximum file size for a video post as well as an image on Instagram is 4 GB. The minimum size for a video is about 1.37 MB.
The minimum resolution for a single image on Instagram is 600 pixels wide x 600 pixels tall. You'll want to maximize image quality, though, in which case you should upload at the maximum resolution, which is what we have advised for each given image size below.
Instagram Post Size
Remember when you could only upload a square photo to Instagram?
And you had to have a special app to make that landscape image fit inside a 1:1 aspect ratio? Or you had to go for that thick white border look to make the vertical photo look good?
Thankfully, we’ve progressed since those limiting times, and we can now upload a full portrait photo or landscape photo as well, which is particularly helpful for professional photography.
Although you can upload in square, portrait, and landscape, and they will appear as such in the main feed for users who are scrolling, when it comes to your profile grid they will still be displayed as a square so you must be mindful that Instagram will automatically crop them for your grid.
When it comes to a carousel post, you can use square, portrait or landscape.
Recommended Instagram Post Image Dimensions
- Instagram square photo size: 1080x 1080 pixels; 1:1 aspect ratio
- Instagram vertical photo size: 1080 × 1350 pixels; 4:5 aspect ratio
- Instagram landscape photo size: 1080x 566 16:0; aspect ratio
- Instagram Carousel Post Size: 1080x 1080 pixels; 1080 × 1350 pixels; 1080x 566
- If you’re uploading a landscape photo or a portrait image, make sure to check how it will look when cropped as a square for the grid before posting.
If you’re uploading a vertical or landscape image in its full size, play around with a design software tool to get an idea of how it will show up in the grid. Remember that it will still be full size in the feed.
- Don’t edit on Instagram. Look, Instagram’s editing tools are great, but your images turn out better quality and more consistent when you take the time to use professional editing software beforehand to resize and enhance your images before you even enter the Instagram app.
There’s also more opportunity for creating an authentic look inside professional editing apps because you can make your own unique filters and save precise editing styles to be used across all images, resulting in a consistent look.
- For vertical images, crop to the aspect ratio first and then size to 1080 pixels wide x 1350 pixels tall. Check out this video for a tutorial.
Instagram Profile Photo Size
Ah, the Instagram profile picture- the one that makes everyone look good because it’s teeny tiny, right?
This one can be tricky because of its small size, and circular shape; it’s basically a dot in the main feed and not much bigger on your profile landing page but a well-positioned headshot and good background can work.
The dimensions of your profile icon size are different on the mobile app than on a desktop. Seeing as some users might still be browsing on their desktop, it’s good to know the sizes for both.
We recommend going with the desktop size to ensure high-quality photos on both mobile and desktop.
Recommended Instagram Profile Photo Dimensions:
Instagram profile photo size mobile: 110 x 110
Instagram profile photo size desktop: 180 x 180
- For a personal profile, you want people to actually see your face, choose an image of just your head and shoulders.
The more users are able to see your face, the better they will connect with you, and the more likely they are to engage and follow.
- A clean and simple background with a pop of color brings your profile icon to life.
There is a lot of noise to cut through on The Gram, so anything that makes you stand out is worth trying. You can use design software tools like Vectornator to change the background color in your profile pic.
- For a business profile, while many businesses use their logo, you might want to consider using a picture of your product for the profile icon, especially if the text in the logo can't be read on the main feed or search bar.
Instagram Stories Size
The Instagram story feature is your opportunity to take over the screen. They are the largest piece of real estate on Instagram, so it’s important that you maximize the use of this sweet, sweet 9:16 screen space!
There are tons of features giving you the chance to get really creative with an Instagram story- from uploading videos to using stickers, asking your followers questions, and much more.
Because you’re encouraged to add text and other assets into your stories, Instagram gives you the option to resize images and videos when you’re uploading them to make space for added elements.
While Instagram's resizing feature is super helpful, remember that to maximize the quality and impact of any image or video, it’s good to use the original size recommendations.
The standard size for story posts on Instagram is an aspect ratio of 9:16. This gives you a few options to work with when it comes to the dimensions in pixels.
You could work with 720 wide x 1280 pixels tall or 900 pixels wide x 1600 tall, which both fall into the 9:16 aspect ratio, but remember you want maximum size for maximum quality.
Recommended Instagram Stories Dimensions:
Instagram story dimension: 1080 x 1920.
Instagram stories maximum file size: 4GB
When uploading or recording a video for stories, remember that it will be broken down into 15-second frames.
- You can make static photos more engaging on Instagram stories by turning live photos into boomerangs. Simply tap and hold down your live photo and Instagram will automatically turn it into a boomerang.
- Did you know that if you tap and hold any of the text colors in the given palette it pops up with an entire gradient?
So you can actually make your text on stories ANY color!
- You can create a collage of multiple images on one story frame by selecting a blank background and then choosing the sticker tool, which gives you the option to select images from your camera roll.
You are at liberty to size these images however you want.
Instagram Story Highlight Icon Size
Instagram Highlights is an awesome feature that allows you to save your stories, so the good ones don’t disappear after 24 hours!
Story highlight icons can look really cool on your profile page and offer yet another opportunity to tell an engaging visual story about your life or business.
The round icon is tiny, so you’ve got to be smart and keep it minimal. Never let size affect quality, though. There’s no getting away with low-quality images on Instagram!
When initially designing, you can create the icon in a square that will then be cropped into a circle by Instagram when you’re uploading it. But remember to never be fooled by the idea that you can get away with low quality because it’s small.
Recommended Instagram Story Highlight Icon Dimensions
Instagram story icon size: 110 x 110 pixels.
- Instagram highlights Icons are the perfect feature for creating brand consistency or a cohesive aesthetic on your page.
Using backgrounds of similar shades or textures, or simply a range of colors that match really well looks good on your page.
There are some cool software tools that can help you with this- check out Coolors- an online tool that generates color palettes automatically.
- Create a square image in a software design program first and then put a circle on top to guide you.
- Don't want to make highlights icons yourself? You can actually buy them online!
Online marketplaces like Etsy sell beautiful highlights icons packages. Otherwise, support a graphic designer you know and pay a professional to make some for you!
Instagram Reels Size
When Instagram was like, “Hey TikTok, we see you.”
Instagram always has a response to other social media platforms, and when they launch it, they go all out. Instagram reels has taken off.
Instagram Reels is an awesome feature you can get really creative with and either share directly from Tik or filmed directly from the Instagram app. You are always allowed to upload a pre-recorded video from your gallery.
Reels are short 15 to 30-second video clips watched vertically full screen in the standard 9:16 aspect ratio, but when pushed to the main feed it’s cropped to a 4:5 aspect ratio.
Recommended Dimensions For Instagram Reels:
Instagram Reels size (full size): 1920 × 1080 pixels; 9:16
Instagram Reels size (for feed): 1080 × 1350; 4:5
Instagram Reels maximum video file size: 4 GB
- Use text- Most reels are scrolled through with the sound off, so to create the best experience for viewers, add text and subtitles, so they can experience the video without sound as well.
- If you don’t want a reel posted to your main grid but do want it to show up in the main timeline, click “post to feed” when posting.
Then, go to the real, click the menu at the top right-hand side of it and select “remove from grid.” This will not delete the reel, you’ll still maximize the view but it won’t mess up the look of your grid.
- Make sure the text you use is within the safe zone of 1080 × 1350 for the feed cropping, so nothing is awkwardly cut off when users are seeing your reel in the timeline.
IGTV Cover Photo Size
The IGTV cover photo or thumbnail is a very important part of your video because it appears as a static post on your main grid.
Any Instagram cover image has to go with the look and feel of your profile because it’s what people see first.
While IGTV is intended for 9:16 viewing, the same as stories and reels, an IGTV thumbnail has to work both as a square post for your grid and as a vertical post when IGTV is opened.
IGTV video thumbnails show up in the feed as vertical 4:5 aspect ratio, 1060 × 1350 dimensions similarly to reels, and also show up in the grid as a square. Your thumbnail needs to work for both aspect ratios.
Recommended Dimensions For IGTV Cover Photos
IGTV thumbnail size (square): 1080 × 1080; 1:1 aspect ratio
IGTV thumbnail size (vertical): 1080 × 1350; 4:5 aspect ratio
IGTV video file size: 4 GB maximum file size
- Share your IGTV post as a regular Instagram post to maximize views (this is where your square thumbnail is going to come in handy).
- You can optimize your video thumbnail by using text. Text on thumbnails lets users know what the video is about and increases the amount of views. Impactful text works really well on thumbnails.
- Make sure all text, as well as the full image you might be using for your thumbnail, is all in the “safe zone,” so nothing is cut off in the square format
Instagram Guides were launched in 2020 as a way of curating your best Instagram content into separate themes and offering users an opportunity to get educated around a certain topic.
Guides are a compilation of image content and text. They provide users with useful information or step-by-step tips.
Each guide needs a cover image that will appear in your guide's grid. You can use an image of any size for an Instagram guide's cover, but portrait images work best.
Once you enter the guide, this image appears as a banner at the top. However, when you start scrolling through the guide, images appear as square. Square posts work nicely inside guides that are text-heavy
Recommended Dimensions For Instagram Guides
Instagram Guides cover size: 1080 × 1350; 4:5 aspect ratio
- Create collections with a clear theme, with the intention of educating a user. “Most Insta Worthy Locations In New York” or “Best Restaurants In London” are themes that make good guides.
Product collections also work well in guides (@beatsbydre is utilizing this feature for products well).
- Use your text well. This might be the feature where we really see text used in the perfect way on Instagram. Think of a guide as a blog post or magazine.
- Use a vertical image for the cover. Instagram will, of course, crop a square image to be vertical for the cover but rather optimize the visual appeal and create the vertical, or portrait, image in the right dimensions beforehand to avoid Instagram doing it for you
Getting Started With An Instagram Design Template
As you can see, Instagram is a wormhole of visual content elements and it’s easy to feel a bit lost in the many, many specific size requirements at times.
But just know that this tech company has some of the best people in the world working on creating the most pleasing interface possible in terms of consumption and creation, so every requirement is carefully created to enable the best experience possible.
While your 1080 × 1080 square and 1920 × 1350 vertical images are the most common on Instagram, it helps to have a guide to refer to, and most importantly, the right tools to maximize the quality and impact of your images!
There are tons of awesome graphic design software tools available to help you design Instagram images in the right dimensions.
Vectornator has ready-to-use templates for all your Instagram assets, helping you easily bring visuals to life, and making the design process enjoyable. Check out the app!