Instagram has finally allowed landscape and portrait orientations after we spent years stuck with the usual square images and videos. Surprised? Yes, so was I. The new Instagram photo sizes are actually a big deal as life actually got a lot easier for us Instagrammers!
While many of the users do not really care about the ideal Instagram photo size, for the ones like us who use Instagram for growing a brand or business, it makes repurposing our content a lot easier than before. Besides, this added variety makes the app so much more appealing than ever, so interesting, and more competitive compared to the other platforms in use.
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First of all, I am really excited about these latest developments. Earlier I felt limited by that standard square template, and this change will bring in a big change in the way we use Instagram.
#1 what are the correct photo sizes on Instagram
There are 3 Instagram photo sizes available right now, as I mentioned earlier:
- Portrait (vertical)
- Landscape (horizontal)
These three orientations of images offer great versatility in the creation of all the images, including your profile photo, other uploaded images, and videos. Choosing the best image size for Instagram also comes with several advantages and constraints, both of which are mentioned below.
1.1 Instagram profile picture size
The Instagram profile photo size stands at 110 x 110 pixels exactly. This is the size that you get on the mobile app. However, this resolution might change a tad bit when you use Instagram from a web browser.
This is the reason why it is best to get bigger image sizes for the Instagram profile photo size. If you want to ensure that you have high-quality images for your profile photo, it is best to take the resolution around 180 x 180 pixels.
It is important to pay attention to Instagram profile photo requirements because it is one of the first things that any visitor to your profile sees. It sits right next to your page name, username, and biography and you do not want it to appear insignificant or just look just too plain Jane!
1.2 Published Photos on Instagram
You can upload photos on Instagram in three sizes, and each one of it comes with its own set of specifications. The following ideas should resolve your query of what is the size of an Instagram photo.
The right Instagram photo size for 2019 is a minimum of 1,080 pixels. This is the shortest side for ensuring the best quality. Having said that fact, you can still upload pictures with the maximum resolution of 2,048 pixels. The aspect ratio stands at 1:1.
For vertical or portrait images, the recommended resolution on Instagram is 1,080 x 1,350 pixels with an aspect ratio of 5:4. However, Instagram will show these images as 600 x 749 pixels. The portrait images on Instagram stories need to have a resolution of 1,080 x 1,920 pixels with an aspect ratio of 16:9.
For horizontal or landscape images, the recommended resolution on Instagram is 1,080 x 608 pixels, and the aspect ratio is 16:9. A smaller size of 600 x 400 pixels is also permissible under the landscape images.
1.3 Posted Videos
In case of the videos that you post, the right size is determined by the place where you publish that.
Videos posted on the timeline: The resolution for the videos you post on Instagram must be 640 x 640 pixels, and its duration should not be more than sixty seconds and not less than three seconds.
Videos posted on Instagram stories: The resolution for the videos posted on stories must be 750 x 1,334 pixels, and they need to have a maximum duration of fifteen seconds. The recommended size for pictures that you post on Instagram stories is 1080×1920 pixels, which is an aspect ratio of 9:16. It is better to use this size when you are creating a cover photo for your story highlights.
Video cover image size for Instagram: You do not get the thumbnail or the cover image automatically when you upload videos on Instagram. You will have to select one. And once you have uploaded the video, there is no way you can change it.
- Select the video you want to upload and click on “select.”
- Look at the bottom of the screen; you will find options like “Filter,” “Trim” and “Cover.” You have to tap on “Cover.”
- When you click on Cover, you will see a bar under your video. Scroll across the video and choose the best still image.
- Click on “Next,” write a caption of your choice and share the video. That’s it. This video will be uploaded with the cover image you chose.
Videos posted on IGTV: Most of you might not be aware of what IGTV is since it is a recent feature that Instagram has brought into change. These are built in the same format as you use your phone- vertical and full screen. Videos on IGTV can be anywhere between 15 seconds and 10 minutes. Accounts that have a huge audience and are verified can even upload videos that are up to 60 minutes long, though it has to be done from the computer.
- The videos have to be in MP4 file format.
- Videos should not be landscaped; it should be vertical with an aspect ratio of 9:16.
- Videos that are of 10 minutes or less can be of 650MB, whereas, the maximum size for videos that are 60 minutes long can be 3.6GB.
- The minimum resolution should be 720 pixels and a minimum frame rate of 30 frames per second.
IGTV cover image size- The recommended size for cover images is 420×654 pixel or 1:1.55. JPEG is the only format that is supported now, and the maximum file size is 4MB. Earlier, you were not given the option to edit the cover photo after uploading it, but now you can edit it.
1.4 Ads on Instagram
Instagram is basically all about scrolling down your feed one thing at a time, and you, as a user, will only stop at an ad when you find it interesting enough. So, you need to make sure that the ad comes with all the right specifications to help it become more eye-catching.
Instagram offers both images and videos as ads, and so, let’s take a look at both of these individually.
The Image Ads
In terms of Instagram image ads, the best thing is to use that entire space given on the app to showcase the product or service effectively. Let me help you in that by providing you the details on the Instagram image ad sizes.
The landscape image ads on Instagram have the resolution of 1200 x 628 pixels, and these are usually wider. These do not occupy the typical full square of Instagram posts. The appropriate aspect ratio is 1:9:1 and the image files should be a maximum of 30MB.
Almost like the previous option, the Instagram square image ads have their focus on width. It takes up a bit more space in the overall layout of the post. It does not take up all the space that is provided for the post, and its use is usually limited to portrait images. The image resolution is 1080 x 1080 pixels, and the aspect ratio is 1:1.
Organically, the most popular size of an image for ads is the vertical image. This happens due to the fact that it is the preset size when you click an image through the app or you upload one. The minimum resolution for the vertical ad images are 600 x 750 pixels, and the aspect ratio is 4:5.
Keep it in mind that when you are creating an ad for Instagram, you can use the feature of ‘Crop Image.’ It will help the ad to come out exactly the way you want it.
Did you know that almost a quarter of all the Instagram ads are just single videos? This simply proves that video ads have just as much popularity on Instagram as they enjoy on the rest of the platforms or search engines. But to ensure that you remain ahead on your video ads strategy, you should use the right specifications and sizes.
2. Why is it important to comply with the requirements for Instagram photos?
Now, I am sure that most of the people out there use their mobile phones to click pictures and without putting much thought into it, they straightaway upload the pictures. Instagram gives you two options- either to crop the image in a ratio of 1.91:1 or 4:5. As long as the Instagram photo size has a width between 320 and 1080 pixels, you are fine to go. Instagram will keep the ratio as it is if the height of the image is between 566 and 1350 pixels and the width is of 1080 pixels. The problem arises when Instagram does not support the aspect ratio of the image. They will crop the image as per their requirement, and you will have to continue with it.
This is why it is crucial you understand the rules and regulations before so that when you are uploading a post, you don’t feel lost. Being new to Instagram, you might feel a little overwhelmed with the extra and advanced features, but you will soon learn ways to tackle them.
Now, if you are someone who is very particular about the resolution, dimensions, sharpening of the images and things like that, then it can be challenging for you to maintain a balance between your wishes and Instagram’s requirements. Many a time, when you are editing images on your desktop in Photoshop or Lightroom, you apply filters and features to make the image look perfect, or add texts and logos. Of course, when you are adding these little things you would want that the clarity and precision of the images remain the same. And this is why; Instagram upgraded the pixel requirement from 640 to 1080.
There is no restriction in uploading images which are of higher resolution; it’s just that they will automatically be downsized to 1080p. Earlier, Instagram only allowed images and videos that were square, but in its recent update, it has ditched this requirement as well. Now they support rectangular images as well.
When it comes to the content that you are posting, Instagram has a set of community guidelines to make the space safe and secure for everyone around the world. These are:
Copyright is a significant issue people face these days. Make sure that whatever you are posting is your own content and you have clicked it. Do not post anything that does not belong to you and things you do not have the copyright for. This can lead to copyright infringement.
When I say appropriate, what I mean to say is avoid nudity. I know a lot of times, people would want to post things that have an artistic reference, but since Instagram has a large and diverse audience, they do not allow nudity. This includes photos and videos that show sexual intercourse, genitals or close up looks of fully naked buttocks. However, nudity in images of paintings and sculptures are allowed.
Politically correct content
Instagram is a platform that allows you to post everything, but when you post images or videos that are not politically correct, it can hurt the sentiments of people. Instagram caters to a broad audience, and you never know in what ways your content might affect them. This also includes images and videos that portray graphic violence.
3. How to upload a portrait or landscape photo on Instagram?
From the very beginning, Instagram was all about square images. As much as it was distinctive and unique, people were facing difficulty in visualizing a shot in a square frame. It might have inspired people to take this creative challenge, but a square aspect ratio does not work every time. It is one thing to click a picture in a square frame and to post it directly. But to click images in horizontal/vertical aspect only to see it being cropped is annoying to the next level. Sometimes this also means that you might have to crop people out of the image.
Thanks to the new update that now people can post landscape and portrait images as well. Though you will still find that Instagram uses square thumbnails on the grid and when you are clicking pictures from the app, it shoots photos in a square frame. The only difference now is that you can choose whether you want to reserve the landscape or portrait aspect ratio. This can be done by selecting a button that is present on the edit screen.
- The first step is to import an image from your gallery to the app, specifically an image that is not square.
- When you do this, you will find that Instagram shows the conventional square crop first.
- You will notice that there is a small icon on the bottom left corner of the image. Using this you can switch between square and non-square photos.
- Clicking on the icon, your image will be transferred to portrait or landscape, depending on the height and width of the photo. (Note that the white space you see on either side of the image while editing will not remain the same after it is posted. It is just to fit the image into the editing area. When you actually post the photo, it will post to the full width of the feed.)
- Tap next to apply filters or effects to the image.
- Voila, you are done. Now go ahead and share the image.
Earlier, Instagram allowed you to share multiple posts but only in its traditional square format. The new update has allowed its users to share multiple photos in different aspect ratios, including portrait and landscape mode. However, you cannot mix portrait and landscape photos in a single post. Instagram makes sure that the aspect ratios of all the images are the same. This is to ensure that the viewers have a smooth and consistent experience. But, if you still want to upload a post that has mixed and match pictures, you can take the help of third-party apps:
- Choose the image in portrait mode by clicking on “select new image.”
- After doing this, you will be asked to change the background color. You can slide the color bar and match this background color with the primary color of your picture.
- And then, just save the picture.
What are the non-square aspect ratios or size for an Instagram image?
Instagram might have removed the square aspect ratio and got rid of its crazy obsession with square images, but it still does not allow you to go all out with aspect ratios. It even has limitations as to what non-square aspect ratio you can use.
Horizontal (landscape) pictures- 1.91:1
Vertical (portrait) pictures- 4:5
Horizontal (wide) pictures- 16:9 or 1.81:1
4. Using smartphone smartly
You will find that your smartphone camera will take photos in 4:3 aspect ratios and Instagram does not support this. And this is the reason when you upload pictures on Instagram clicked from your phone; it automatically gets cropped to a 1:1 ratio. To avoid unnecessary cropping, you can do two things-
Edit the aspect ratio of your smartphone camera
Before clicking pictures from your camera, make sure you have made changes in the aspect ratio and set it to a ratio that Instagram allows. When you do this, you will not have to worry about the picture getting cropped.
Download a third party camera or editing app
It can get annoying having to upload images and videos in a particular size every time, and that is why there are third-party apps where you do not have to crop your images before uploading them.
InstaSize is an android app which allows you to upload videos and images to Instagram without having to crop them first. It does not matter the type of picture you have clicked, whether it is horizontal or vertical, using InstaSize you can retain these pictures the way they are. All they do is add white borders to the images, so when you upload the picture on Instagram, it will not be visible against the background of the app. By doing this, it saves you from resizing the images, and you can upload it in whatever aspect ratio you want to.
This one is another app that has several editing features in it, but most importantly it also allows you to click pictures. As the name suggests, it helps in resizing the picture so that you can upload it on Instagram without any hassle.
Another very famous photo-editing tool that lets you post images on Instagram without cropping them into squares. You can crop the image and fill in the empty spaces with color and directly upload the image to Instagram.
These were a few features and updates that Instagram has come up with; do you think they are of great help? Or shall they come up with more modifications? I think ditching the square aspect ratio and allowing posting multiple photos is an excellent step that Instagram has taken to ensure a user-friendly interface, but there are a few things that still require changes. Right now, there are only four aspect ratios for the images, but according to me, they should increase this number and allow people to post in whichever format they want to. What is your say in it?