Still photos and moving video are the darlings of the 2018 digital landscape – the heart and soul of social and a dominating force in your marketing efforts. Bottom line: It would be nearly impossible to grow your brand, interact with your audience, or establish a market presence without eye-catching photo and video content.
Enter Instagram, a major force behind the popularity of photo and video. With more than 1 billion monthly active users (and growing every day), this is the platform for visually stunning marketing and social interaction.
It goes without saying, then, that you want to do it right. And there are a lot of ways to do it right – deploy great quotations or run an Instagram giveaway, for example – but you’ll only achieve the highest impact if you adhere to precise Instagram image standards: required pixel dimensions and aspect ratios.
So, what are the current restrictions and allowances, as of late 2018? We have the perfectly sized details.
Instagram photo dimensions
Screenshot via Instagram by @merchantmaverick
The first thing you should know: Instagram resizes your photos to their current standards, both of the pixel and ratio varieties. In other words, if you upload a 3:2 landscape image, Instagram will display that image at their standard 16:9 ratio. In practical terms, this also means that current dimensions are a minimum, not a maximum.
If you want to future-proof your Instagram images, never upload an image that does not meet minimum dimension standards. Even better, make it your goal to publish Instagram images that conform to standard ratios (ex. 16:9 for landscape images) and also exceed current standard dimensions.
The current minimums for Instagram dimensions:
Profile Photo Dimensions: 110 x 110 pixels (1:1 aspect ratio)
Landscape Photo Dimensions: 1080 x 607 pixels (= the standard 16:9 aspect ratio, but can go as shallow as 1.91:1)
Portrait Photo Dimensions: 1080 x 1350 pixels (4:5 aspect ratio)
Square Photo Dimensions: 1080 x 1080 pixels (1:1 aspect ratio)
Stories Photo Dimensions: 1080 x 1920 pixels (9:16 aspect ratio)
Pixel by pixel: Instagram profile photos
Screenshot via Instagram by @seniormovemanagers
Your profile photo is the most important image on your Instagram. Agree or disagree?
Either way, we can all agree that your profile photo is very, very important. And that’s because your profile image is your online identity – the photo by which your Instagram profile will be measured, judged and, hopefully, followed. That’s right: A great profile photo can mark the difference between a casual browser and a future follower.
Go big. Make it spectacular. And always remember to restrict it to the standard 1:1 aspect ratio, currently displaying at 110 x 110 pixels. However, your profile photo will actually display as a circle on both desktop and mobile. So, when you’re planning your next profile photo, keep in mind that you’ll want to avoid important elements in the corners, as they won’t be visible.
Pixel by pixel: Instagram landscape photos
Screenshot via Instagram by @artemislandarch
Landscape images refer to your standard horizontal images – the perfect, aptly named choice for all those stunning scenery images, often of the sort that rely on bokeh backgrounds and/or ample white space.
For landscape images, the current Instagram standard is a 16:9 aspect ratio and minimum 1080 x 607 pixels. You can also upload larger images at 3:2 and 4:3 aspect ratios; they will be resized and formatted to Instagram standards.
Pixel by pixel: Instagram portrait photos
Screenshot via Instagram by @christinedarnellgardens
The world rejoiced in 2015, when Instagram added portrait photos – aka vertical images – to their news feeds. The great news is that Instagram portrait photos are alive and flourishing. They’re the perfect format for portraits (no surprise), vertical scenery (e.g. waterfalls, skyscrapers), and other vertically aligned subjects.
Current Instagram standards allow for 1080 x 1350 pixels at an official aspect ratio anywhere between 1:1.91 and 4:5. That said, standard Instagram ratios are 3:2, 4:3, and 16:9. Deviate only on special occasions, with reason and when you want to really to draw the eye and stand out.
Pixel by pixel: Square Instagram photos
Screenshot via Instagram by @maryland_alumni
Instagram’s original square image format is still alive and loved, especially for eye-catching quotes, close-ups and single-subject foci. Of course, most cell phones and editing programs allow for easy snapping and cropping in square format (1:1 aspect ratio), which will offer a maximum display size of 1080 x 1080 pixels, but will display in the news feed at 612 x 612 pixels.
Pixel by pixel: Instagram Story photos
Screenshot via Instagram by @tueindhoven
To call Instagram Stories popular is like calling fire hot: Over the last few years, the format has exploded into one of Instagram’s most beloved. The bottom line on Story photo values is that they depend on the device on which they are viewed; currently, there are no standard image dimensions or aspect ratios for Instagram Stories.
For now, we recommend you stick to standard image formats using portrait-oriented photos with a 9:16 aspect ratio, or 1080 x 1920 pixels.
Want to grow your Instagram followers effortlessly?
Now you know: In order to maximize your dimensional impact on Instagram, you have to stick to the standards. Or, at least, minimum standards. But don’t stop there! After you create beautiful content, you also have to promote it.
We share even more ideas on how to grow your Instagram following on our blog, we’ve also created a series of free Instagram resources, including: our guide to the Instagram text limits, our guide on sharing Instagram posts, and our guide to creating Instagram profile pics.
The ShareThis Instagram follow button is a perfect tool to boost Instagram engagement, and it’s also mobile optimized, lightweight, and easy to configure and install. Check it out!