Instagram image sizes & video formats

Hardly any other social media app is as important for visual marketing as Instagram. With more than a billion users worldwide and over a hundred million users in the US, Instagram is no longer just an app for holiday and party photos. There are many ways to address a large audience and generate reach on Instagram through images, videos, stories, and live broadcasts. When it comes to high-quality content, however, optimal sizes and formats are also important. Find out which Instagram photo sizes & video requirements there are in this overview article.

What defines Instagram

It started out in a simple yet striking way: Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger developed a photo app in 2010 that allowed users to upload square pictures in a 1:1 format and with 640 pixels. Designed to be a location sharing app called Burbn, the developers listened to demand and focused entirely on the picture-sharing function. Instead of offering a lot of mediocre features, IG focused on high-quality visual content that could be edited with filters and easily shared. Users agreed with the developers and their number exploded over the course of four years to reach 300 million. Billions of people use the app today.

More than 10 years after the first version, IG offers numerous new image and video functions that are geared towards competitors and Instagram alternatives, such as Snapchat, Pinterest, and TikTok. Due to its reach and connection with other social media channels, the app is now not only indispensable for private users, but also for social media marketing for artists and companies. In order to get Instagram followers, you need to know your own target group and the content that they demand. The clear requirements that Instagram places on images and videos are particularly important here.

These are the current Instagram photo sizes & video formats

The current range of functions in Instagram is remarkable. For optimal, uniform content quality, Instagram therefore provides clear guidelines and recommendations for different image and video sizes. First of all, it is important to know in what form you can post on Instagram:

Pictures:

  • Instagram post/square
  • Instagram landscape picture
  • Instagram portrait
  • Instagram profile picture
  • Instagram carousel post
  • Instagram story
  • IGTV cover image

Videos:

  • Instagram stories
  • Instagram reels
  • IGTV
  • Instagram Live

The most important values for content dimensions are the aspect ratio and the size or resolution.

Instagram photo sizes

The photos in an Instagram feed are the most classic of all Instagram features. With feed posts, you provide users with regular content, generate continuous interactions, increase engagement and reach, and you can also post advertisements. The optimal image size depends on which format you want to use. Instagram offers three types of images: square, landscape, and portrait.

The following recommended values for Instagram image sizes must be observed:

  • Square: 1080 x 1080 pixels as the minimum recommended size with an aspect ratio of 1:1.
  • Landscape/Horizontal: 1080 x 560 pixels as the minimum recommended size with an aspect ratio of 1.91:1. The ideal size is 1080 x 608 or 1200 x 628 pixels.
  • Portrait/Vertical: 1080 x 1350 pixels as the minimum recommended size with an aspect ratio of 4:5.

In general, it is advisable to post pictures with the highest possible resolution within the framework of the specifications. This will guarantee ideal image quality on different displays. In addition, Instagram’s aspect ratio specifications must be observed, because images will be compressed, stretched, or cropped if they are too large or too small.

Instagram profile picture: Size

Similar to Facebook picture sizes, an Instagram profile picture is displayed in a circle. Important content must therefore be as centered as possible, and an aspect ratio of 1:1 must be used. There are various recommendations for an optimal size. Instagram saves profile pictures with 320 x 320 pixels, so you should upload profile pictures with at least 320 x 320 pixels. A higher resolution of 1080 x 1080 pixels is ideal for a sharp display.

Instagram videos in a feed

You can also post videos to a feed, just like images. Depending on the format (square, landscape, or portrait), the sizes differ:

  • Square and carousel: 600 x 600 pixels as the minimum recommended resolution. Optimal resolution 1080 x 1080.
  • Portrait: 600 x 750 pixels as the minimum recommended resolution. Optimal resolution 1080 x 1350.
  • Landscape: 600 x 315 pixels as the minimum recommended resolution. Optimal resolution 1080 x 608.

The file size must not exceed 4 GB. Videos can be a maximum of 60 seconds long and display 30 frames per second.

Instagram story image size & video format

Instagram stories are among the most popular, new Instagram tools. They allow users to post as many photos and videos as they want. Stories are composed of pictures or videos that last for a short while and are then deleted from a profile after 24 hours, to then be archived for account users only. If you create stories as “highlights”, you can also make them permanently accessible.

The aspect ratios to use range from 1.91:1 to 9:16. The optimal image and video size for stories is an aspect ratio of 9:16 and an image size of 1080 x 1920 pixels. The maximum length is 15 seconds.

Instagram carousel: Size

Carousel posts are even more successful than individual images or videos in a feed. These posts are made up of several pictures or videos in a single post that users can view by swiping. Carousel posts are particularly interesting for marketing purposes because they generate reach and interaction. The image sizes and formats correspond to the specifications for photo and video posts in a feed, meaning square, landscape, and portrait.

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IGTV: Cover size & video format

IGTV was introduced by IG in 2018 and is available both as a separate app and as an Instagram function. It allows users to post videos of up to 60 minutes. In-app videos should be vertical, have a ratio between 4:5 and 9:16, and an optimal size of 1080 x 1920 pixels.

IGTV videos in an Instagram feed correspond to the aspect ratios of images and videos, but they should ideally have an aspect ratio of 4:5 and a size of 1080 x 1350 pixels. An appealing IGTV cover thumbnail is also important, ideally with a size of 420 x 654 pixels and an aspect ratio 1:1.55 or 9:16.

Instagram reels video format

Reels are the latest IG function and are based on short videos from TikTok. Reel videos can last for a maximum of 30 seconds and can be uploaded in a ratio of 4:5 to 9:16 with a resolution of 1080 x 1350 to 1080 x 1920.

Instagram Live

Instagram Live is part of IG Stories. Videos stay online for 24 hours and are displayed in 9:16 with 1080 x 1920 pixels.

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