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Instagram Photo Size: Create the Best Image Posts in 2023

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Does your picture lose quality when you share it on Instagram?

It might be because you aren’t getting the photo size right. Most Instagrammers like me have suffered from this issue once in a while.

Instagram has different photo size requirements for specific sections of its social media platform. In addition, the platform occasionally changes its image guidelines as if it wasn’t hard enough.

So in this post, I will discuss all aspects of the Instagram photo size requirements, making it your anchoring guide to shine on the social network.

What Is the New Aspect Ratio in Instagram?

In addition to the square image in 1:1 aspect ratio, Instagram now allows various other picture orientations, including portrait and landscape.

If your Instagram photo dimension is between 1.91:1 and 4:5, the social media platform will keep the image intact. You can even upload your 16:9 vertical or portrait picture, which will then be converted into a 1.91:1 Instagram post.

If your picture doesn’t have an aspect ratio supported by Instagram, the social media platform will crop it into a suitable photo dimension. It does make the job of a content creator slightly more tricky, bedding to remember some specific Instagram photo sizes and ratios.  

While the social network offers significant flexibility regarding aspect ratios and sizes, your Instagram image width must be 1080 pixels, including vertical images. In addition, a vertical photo with up to a 9:16 aspect ratio can have a 1920 pixels height measurement.

If you want to share an Instagram image with a higher or lower resolution, the social media platform will enlarge or shrink it to match the 1080-pixel width guideline.

Remember that your feed posts also appear in your Instagram account’s profile feed. This is because the profile feed images are cropped into the 1:1 dimension regardless of which aspect ratio you choose.

What Is the Standard Picture Size on Instagram?

Different sections of the Instagram platform require different sizing for your images to fit perfectly with its interface.

For example, the Instagram Stories feature encourages a 9:16 vertical aspect ratio to fill out most modern smartphone screens. It creates an aesthetic viewing experience with no ugly borders around the picture.

The same applies to the cover photo of your Instagram Reel video. However, the tiny bubble that displays your Instagram profile picture has a much smaller size requirement.

There are also some differences between which resolution Instagram stores and what the social media displays, creating another dimension for the ideal image size.

While learning about photo size requirements is an important part of using Instagram, you shouldn’t condone yourself within its parameters. Instead, play with varied aspect ratios and sizing to create a unique Instagram post.

After all, a good-quality post only requires ensuring your Instagram image is free of stretching or shrinking. You can also post a full-size picture on Instagram with the instructions in the following YouTube video:

Instagram Photo Size for Profile Picture

Uploading a profile picture is one of the first things all Instagram users should do. Of course, you should also write a great bio, but that must have a face to show.  

Instagram displays a profile picture with a  110 x 100 pixels resolution in the Instagram app. So you must upload an image with a similar size or more. If you upload a smaller picture, it will be blurry and stretched even in that tiny bubble.

The social media platform stores an Instagram profile photo at 320 x 320 pixels. Therefore, it is best to upload an image of that size at the minimum. It will safeguard the quality of your Instagram profile picture even if the interface changes slightly in the future.

Instagram Photo Size for Feed Posts

One of the standard features of Instagram is its Feed Posts, where you can upload pictures and videos simultaneously in a carousel. An Instagram post carousel can have up to 10 photos and videos with different sizes and aspect ratios.

The most conventional Instagram Image size for a feed post is 1080 x 1080 pixels with a 1:1 aspect ratio.

This square photo aspect ratio is synonymous with an Instagram post, as it has been the photo size of choice during the inception of the social media network.

Instagram also allows users to create an Instagram post in landscape or portrait orientation, with a vertical image and a horizontal photo displaying one after another.

The recommended size for a portrait and landscape photo is 1080 x 1350 pixels (4:5) and 1080 x 566 pixels (1.91:1), respectively.

You can also fit a vertical image in landscape orientation with a 16:9 aspect ratio if the picture height is no more than 1080 pixels.

As long as you upload a picture within Instagram dimension, it should remain like the original, given that the photo’s aspect ratio is supported.

Your picture size’s lower and upper range should be 566 pixels and 1350 pixels.

Otherwise, you can zoom in or out to fill the entire Instagram post without a border or let the social media app’s editor tools do it automatically.

Instagram Photo Sizes for Carousel Posts

Instagram carousel posts are excellent for including multiple content types into a single post. In addition, it helps Instagram account holders to share about a significant event or occasion in greater detail.

Like traditional Instagram feed posts, an Instagram carousel post supports all Instagram video and photo sizes, including square, vertical, and horizontal aspect ratios. While this is great news for social media content creators, there is a caveat.

Your Instagram carousel post will take up the dimension of the first content that you add. All other images and Instagram videos will be cropped into the same aspect ratio.

So, for instance, if you want to share a 4:5 carousel post, your first picture or video must be of that dimension.

Instagram Photo Size for Instagram Reels

The social media network scrapped the IGTV video feature in 2021 and merged it into Instagram videos, a space opened up for introducing Instagram reels.

The reels are more entertaining to create and watch, where you can use pictures and videos to create video content. It can also have a cover photo with text and effects.

Instagram recommends a 9:16 vertical aspect ratio for Instagram reels, which should have a similarly sized cover photo to make it more appealing.

The thumbnail images suggested under the reels tab are 1080 x 1920 pixels, the exact recommended resolution for shooting and uploading an Instagram video.

You should also maintain this Instagram dimension for uploading a separate cover photo to your Instagram reels video.  

Once shared, an Instagram reel appears in 1:1 and 4:5 aspect ratios in your Instagram profile and home feed, respectively. So visualize how the cover would look before adding it to your reels.

Instagram Photo Size for Instagram Stories

As your Instagram story, you can upload pretty much any picture between 1.91:1 to 9:16 aspect ratios.

However, like Instagram reels, most people prefer the vertical, 9:16 sizing within Instagram stories.

It helps fill up the vertical screens prevalent in modern smartphones. The maximum resolutions for Instagram images in stories are 1080 x 1920 pixels.

Your Instagram story size doesn’t change when you save one in the story highlights. However, the thumbnail cover displays a resolution of 161 x 161 pixels.

The in-built editing tool for the Instagram story is powerful enough to crop your image according to a supported aspect ratio, with borders filling the empty spaces for a smaller picture.

Nevertheless, while your story deck may load faster with a lower-resolution photo, you risk a low-quality post by uploading images with unsupported Instagram dimensions.  

You can post smaller images in the Instagram story by pasting them to a background. The social media network usually creates a gradient image background matching the dominating hues in your picture, which you can customize by applying different effects.

Instagram Photo Size for Instagram Ads

Running Instagram Ads is immensely practical for engaging a massive audience, but they also have specific Instagram image size requirements.

As you can create ads for the Instagram feed and Stories, the sizing guidelines depend on the particular type of ad posts.

All the supported Instagram dimensions (aspect ratios) remain accessible for creating ads, but the recommended size varies.

These are:

  • Instagram Posts Ads: You can use a landscape, portrait, or square image for creating an Instagram ad post. The recommended sizes for each type of picture are similar to Instagram feed posts, measuring 1080 x 566 pixels for a horizontal photo. You must not use a shot less than 320 pixels wide or more than 1080 pixels long.
  • Instagram Stories Ads: Instagram stories ads can have the exact sizing as a regular Instagram story post at 1080 x 1920 pixels. However, you should keep 14% of the image at the top and the bottom free from any text or other additions to avoid being covered in some smaller devices.

How Do You Post High-Quality Pictures on Instagram?

Instagram users share numerous photos and videos on their social media feed every moment. Storing all these large multimedia files, Instagram has no option but to compress your pictures, graphics, and videos to a smaller size.

Still, you can create and protect the image quality despite the automatic compression with some essential tips and guidelines.

1. Use a Third-Party Photo Editing Tool

While the Instagram photo editor has various basic and advanced features, you will enjoy a more sophisticated cropping function using a dedicated photo editing tool. Some of the best photo-editing tools for Instagram images are:

  1. Canva
  2. Snapseed
  3. Adobe Express
  4. VSCO
  5. PicsArt

Most of these tools can be used for free on your mobile device. Moreover, depending on your chosen instrument, you can add templates, color effects, GIFs, and stickers to your picture.

It will add a unique flair to your post and help it stand out on the Instagram feed. You can even create an appealing Instagram feed with Canva, as discussed in the YouTube tutorial below:

2. Resize Your Picture to Perfection

You no longer have to memorize the recommended Instagram image size for a particular social media post. Instead, you can simply edit an image and save it in several Instagram dimensions appropriate for your posts.

Some photo-editing tools like Canva and Adobe Express have preset canvas sizes for creating different Instagram posts with the most appropriate Instagram dimensions. You just need to select the correct post type before editing or downloading your picture.

Shrinking or enlarging a picture without losing quality is also possible using some photo-editing tools.

You can also enhance and enlarge an image by adding an aesthetic background. It is particularly beneficial for posting landscape images into the vertical Instagram story deck.

3. Save and Share Your Instagram Post

Some online photo editing software like Canva has an in-built feature to upload a picture directly on Instagram. It includes image sharing for Instagram Posts or the Instagram Story deck.

You must choose the ideal resolution for your post. Otherwise, you can download the image before uploading it to Instagram.

However, if you don’t know the correct picture size for a particular Instagram post type, you should save or share the photo in its maximum resolution. It will ensure the highest Instagram photo quality even after the social media channel compresses it.  

More customization options will be available while creating your Instagram story or post to enhance your image further.

However, you should avoid applying too many filters in one picture to protect it from distortion. Too many effects can also ruin the authenticity of your content, which is horrible for engagement.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the Best Aspect Ratio for Instagram Photos?

The best aspect ratio for Instagram photos is 16:9 in portrait and landscape orientation. This is a slight variation of the Instagram recommended 1.91:1 dimension.

Besides creating a seamless Instagram story or reels, a vertical photo provides the maximum real estate as a feed post.

Is 1920 x 1080 Resolution Good for Instagram?

An Instagram image can have a maximum width of 1080 pixels, so a 1920 x 1080 resolution photo is not so good for the social media network and must be cropped.

However, you can use the vertical 1080 x 1920 pixel resolution (9:16) for creating high-quality Instagram posts.

Wrapping Up

Instagram is fundamentally a photo-sharing social media platform with various features enabling users to create aesthetic content.

Consequently, it provides photo sizing recommendations and guidelines to create content without losing image quality.

You don’t necessarily have to take photos considering the Instagram dimensions.

Instead, you can crop your pictures or resize them to fit perfectly with different Instagram content requirements. If you can’t meet the size requirements, the platform tries to enlarge or shrink the image.

Hopefully, this post will be your most comprehensive guide to Instagram image size in 2023. Please share your experience in the comments.

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