Enter your search term

Search by title or post keyword

Appropriate Instagram Story Size: The Ultimate 2023 Guide

Level up your digital marketing skills with our free courses, expert insights, forums, and social groups!

Check it Out

Have you ever tried to post an Instagram story, but it turned out blurry or upside down? You may have used the wrong IG story size.

Not to worry. Most people are unaware that only a specific content size works for Instagram stories. This specification is the same, whether you’re posting photos or videos.

The good news is that it’s straightforward. Tools like Canva make creating an Instagram story in the appropriate size easy.

In the following sections, we’ll shed more light on Instagram story size and provide additional information to set you up for success. 

Instagram Story Size: The Basics

Before diving deep into Instagram dimensions, let’s understand what Insta stories and vertical images or videos are.

What is an Instagram Story?

Instagram Story enables you to create and post vertical images and videos. Every story disappears 24 hours after you post them. It’s a good way to keep your audience up-to-date on what’s happening with your brand, personal or professional life.

See Instagram Story as an alternative timeline. Rather than scrolling vertically on your regular timeline, you scroll horizontally. It only shows stories from the accounts you follow.

You can skip stories by tapping the left side of your screen while tapping the left part of your screen takes you to previous stories.

If you have an active IG story, you’ll see a colorful ring on your profile photo alongside similar rings on the accounts you follow.

What is a vertical image or video?

A vertical image or video is one whose height dimension is longer than its width dimension. It’s like the opposite of landscape orientation.

You can get a vertical orientation on your mobile phone by taking pictures or videos with your phone in a vertical position.

What Are the Instagram Story Dimensions

Videos and images should ideally have a height dimension of 1920 pixels and a width dimension of 1080 pixels. That’s an aspect ratio of 9:16; for every 9 inches in width, there must be 16 inches in height.

So an image of 900 px by 1600 px will work well too. The minimum resolution allowed using this aspect ratio is 600px by 1067px.

The aspect ratio is a simpler way of representing the width and height dimensions. For example, an aspect ratio of 1:1 represents a square. One pixel in width for every one pixel of height.

It is best practice to create a “safe zone” or buffer with no creative element, especially at the top and bottom of the image or video.

So if an image or video has a dimension of 1080px by 1920px, you can confine the creative and informative elements into the 880px by 1720px zone.

You don’t want native IG elements like the “Send Message” box and the like and share icons obstructing important details on your content.

Other Instagram Story Specifications

There are also other limitations you must keep in mind when creating or uploading Instagram stories.

  • All videos cannot exceed 15 seconds, although you can shoot four videos per time. Stories promoted via Instagram ads are the exception. They can reach up to 120 seconds. Instagram story ads made with images last five seconds.
  • All videos can only be in MP4, MOV, or GIF formats.
  • The size of all videos cannot exceed 4GB.
  • All Instagram photos can only be in PNG or JPG and cannot exceed 30MB.

Why’s it Important to Use the Appropriate Instagram Story Size?

So, here’s what happens when you use the wrong Instagram story. If the image or video is in landscape format, Instagram has to stretch the content to fit the right specification.

This stretch causes the image or video to become blurry and pixelated. It may also crop out important information. Trust people to skip over such videos or photos.

Therefore, using the right Instagram story dimension will:

  • Help you create high-quality stories
  • Attract more eyes to your stories
  • Help your audience to get the full information from the story.

What’s the difference between Instagram Story and Instagram Reel?

There are three main differences between stories and reels; discoverability, availability, and content features.

Your Instagram stories will appear on your followers’ story timelines. Non-followers will have to visit your Instagram profile before they can view your stories.

Non-followers can see your reels on the Explore page without following you or visiting your public profile.

Reels are permanent, but stories are not, except you convert the story to an Instagram highlight.

Speaking of available features, reels can be up to 15 minutes, while the length of stories is capped at 15 seconds. Reels also provide more editing features to merge and align multiple videos into one.

There’s no such thing when creating stories. That said, you can make Instagram stories more engaging by adding a link to the story. You can also create questions for Instagram stories by adding a poll. 

How to create an Instagram story with the perfect dimensions

There are many ways to ensure the content you post to Instagram stories meets the right specifications. If you’re creating new content, we advise using editing apps.

Canva is perfect for creating images, although you can also create videos. When you open Canva, type “Instagram Story” into the search bar.

Click “Instagram story” if you’re creating images to bring up multiple time-saving story templates for Instagram. You can also click “Instagram story video” to display video templates. All templates default to the vertical (1080×1920) aspect ratio.

If you’re doing serious video editing, you can use Animoto. You can create videos in landscape, square, or vertical aspect ratios. 

Uploading videos from iPhone’s Photos

If you want to post a video from your device to the Instagram app, ensure it is vertical before proceeding. Thankfully, you can easily see which videos are vertical or landscape on the iPhone.

Here’s how:

How to determine if your video is vertical?

On iPhone, you can navigate to your “Photos” app and follow the steps below.

STEP 1: Open the videos folder.

STEP 2: At the top of the screen, tap the three dots at the top right corner.

Untitled 7

STEP 3: Click “Aspect Ratio Grid” to switch the view from all videos being square.

Untitled 9

STEP 4: You’ll see some videos vertical and others horizontal. In the image below, you cannot use the last video as an Instagram story because it has a horizontal aspect ratio. It will be blurry.

Untitled 12

What Type of Content to Post on Stories?

There’s no limit to what you can post on stories. Instagram created Stories to enable users to make and post a different type of content than they would on their Instagram feed.

Popular story ideas to post include but not limited to:

  1. Conducting a poll or asking your audience questions about your brand.
  2. Showcasing some of your customers.
  3. Reposting content that you were tagged in by your customers.
  4. Sharing behind the scenes at work or on set.
  5. Hosting Instagram takeover.  

Frequently Asked Questions

Below, you’ll find answers to some commonly asked questions regarding Instagram story size.

How do I fix an Instagram story where the photo gets automatically stretched after upload?

Instagram had to stretch the image to turn it into a vertical image because the photo does not have a high resolution or vertical aspect ratio of 9:16.

The best solution is to remake the photo to an aspect ratio of 9:16 or 1080px by 1920px dimension.

How long can a video be for an Instagram story?

An Insta story can be as long as 15 seconds. However, if you run a story as an ad, the maximum length can reach 120 seconds. Instagram story ads with images are shown for five seconds.

Wrapping up

Instagram stories can help you engage your audience better. The starting point is to create stories that are clear, professional, and of high quality.

If your social media followers cannot clearly see what you posted, they’ll quickly skip past it. You can avoid this by using the correct vertical aspect ratio of 9:16 for all your stories.

Do you have other questions that we did not cover in this post? Let’s hear them in the comments section.

Leave a Comment