Optimizing your Instagram image size and dimensions used to be very simple.
Since Instagram only allowed one orientation for photos and videos, all you had to do was pop your content into Instagram, add a couple hashtags, and click publish.
But with the addition of Instagram Stories, IGTV, Instagram Live, and more, knowing how to optimize your photos and videos for each format can be tough.
To help you out, we put together this Instagram image size and dimensions guide, updated for 2018. In it you’ll find everything you need to optimize the size and aspect ratio of your photos and videos.
Understanding Instagram Image Size & Aspect Ratio
When sharing photos and videos on Instagram, there are two main things keep in mind: aspect ratio and size.
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.
Size 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, a square photo on Instagram could have a size of 1080px by 1080px because its width and height are even.
In general, Instagram supports photos and videos that have a width between 320px and 1080px.
What this means is that if your photo or video is smaller than 320px, Instagram will enlarge it to a width of 320px. And if it’s wider than 1080px, Instagram will size it down to a width of 1080px.
But that’s not all.
When you share a photo or video on Instagram, Instagram actually stores multiple sizes of that photo or video. And the image that gets displayed on Instagram (both the app and the web) will usually be much smaller than the original that 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 (usually between 1.81 and 2.24 times smaller).
Here’s an example from celebrity climber @alexhonnold. He recently shared a portrait photo to Instagram with a width of 1080px and height of 1339px. However, the image that appears on Instagram was compressed to 478.02px by 597.52px.
So what does this mean for you? If Instagram automatically compresses your photos and videos, does image size even matter?
It sure does! Even though Instagram does compress your photos and videos, it’s always better to share at a high resolution. That way, when Instagram compresses your photo, it won’t really affect the image quality.
Note: That doesn’t mean you post photos with an ultra-high resolution, like 5400px by 5400px. Doing so will actually impact your image quality in a negative way!
It’s also important to make sure that your photos and videos fall within Instagram’s aspect ratio guidelines, otherwise they’ll be cropped to fit a supported ratio, which could also affect image quality.
Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s get right into the optimal Instagram image size for your photos, videos, stories, and more!
When Instagram finally opened up to landscape and portrait-oriented posts in 2015, people were understandably ecstatic.
Along with offering more flexibility, the new orientations made it a lot easier to convey information that couldn’t be captured in a square photo.
Here’s everything you need to know about optimized the Instagram image size and dimensions of your photo posts:
Instagram Square Photos
Despite Instagram’s move into portrait and landscape photos, square continues to be a popular orientation on Instagram.
So how do you optimize for square?
Well, first of all, you’ll want to make sure that your photo has an aspect ratio of 1:1 (or as close as possible!). Otherwise, parts of your photo might be cropped.
We also recommend making your square photos 1080px by 1080px in size. That way, when Instagram compresses the file, the version that’s displayed on Instagram should be close to 600px by 600px.
Instagram Landscape Photos (Horizontal)
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When @didierbenderli arrived at a charming 16th-century château in the Parisian countryside, he was expecting a quick intervention. “Originally, the client asked me to come and change the paintwork in some of the rooms and put up curtains in the bedrooms,” says the French interior designer behind Paris-based firm Kerylos Intérieurs. But what followed was a total design overhaul. “We ended up breaking down and changing almost everything—and there is not a single pair of curtains in the château.” Though a 19th-century renovation lovingly preserved its intricate boiserie, the property had fallen into disrepair—the château’s lifetime has spanned several ownership changes, religious wars, and the French Revolution—and Benderli found the house and its surrounding outbuildings in need of an update that married their history and his client’s contemporary lifestyle. Over the next seven years, he gutted the place, introducing new heating, ventilation, plumbing, and electrical systems and applying era-appropriate cosmetic fixes across the board. Benderli’s genre-bending aesthetic naturally extends to the furnishings and accessories, a mix of antique-store finds and modern-design classics. “We started by choosing pieces that matched our respective tastes but also possessed the elegance that would match the environment,” he says. In the living room, the playful lines of a Carlo de Carli sofa mirror the abstract shapes in a custom rug designed by Benderli, and the woodwork was painted gray to add depth and dimension. Take a tour of the home through the link in our profile. Photo by @didierdelmasphotographe; text by @jenfernand
Landscape photos can be a bit tricky. While Instagram recommends an aspect ratio of 1.91:1, you can actually go as far as 16:9. So there’s a bit of wiggle room.
In any case, we recommend that you make the height of your landscape photo at least 1080px. That way, when Instagram compresses the file, the quality should remain pretty high.
Take the above example from @archdigest. The original photo they shared had a height of 1636px and width of 1080px, but the version displayed on Instagram was compressed to 598px by 395px.
Instagram Portrait Photos (Vertical)
Generally speaking, your portrait photos should have an aspect ratio of 4:5. Anything more than that (like 4:6 or 4:7), and Instagram will crop it.
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.