Instagram is an incredibly visually-based medium, so it’s super important to really dial in on best practices when posting images to the platform. Most Instagram users know how to filter and otherwise tweak their posts to be aesthetically appealing, but there’s more to Instagram’s visual curation than meets the eye. Instagram photo size matters across the board.
Your Instagram profile photo is 110 by 110 pixels on mobile, although the resolution is slightly larger on the desktop. There are differing schools of thoughts when it comes to Instagram profile picture size. Some people believe that since people primarily use Instagram on mobile, you only need to worry about hewing to that 110 by 110 pixel guideline: however, others think Instagram users should plan to have their Instagram profile picture size at 180 by 180 pixels so that it’s high-quality on both desktop and mobile. This is one of those cases where you kind of need to experiment and see what works best for the image you select for your profile. You can also utilize an Instagram template to help bring some cohesion to your imaging needs.
One more note: your Instagram profile picture is closer in size to a Facebook profile photo, but it’s round like a YouTube channel icon. That consideration may also have an impact on your design decisions.
Unlike many other social media platforms, Instagram photo size doesn’t have to be consistent across all posts. Instagram dimensions can be square, landscape, and portrait images now, although it originally only displayed square images. All images now show up as square thumbnails: however, clicking on photos will reveal them at their full aspect ratio. Using square images for all your posts is certainly an option so you don’t have to worry about how the image changes between the preview and the full photo. It’s also a neat throwback to the platform’s early days. If you do opt for square images, the Instagram image size you need to work with is 1080 by 1080 pixels.
As with all social media platforms, Instagram has had to adapt to maintain relevance. They have implemented Instagram Stories, which is a feature in the app that allows users to post images and short videos in a slideshow format for a short time (24 hours). Users can also add text and emoticons to these videos and images in addition to the usual filters the platform offers. Instagram story dimensions are a strict 1080 by 1920 pixels: it’s especially important that you stick to this guideline, as Instagram will crop or zoom into your video which will cause a loss of quality and may lead to important aspects of your story being cropped out.
Because the platform is all about images, it’s crucial to pay attention to Instagram image size and Instagram dimensions. Visually stunning Instagram accounts can stand head and shoulders above the rest of the field, while subpar ones will easily fall by the wayside.