You know what’s the most annoying thing about Instagram? Actually, two things: vacation pictures and having the best part of your photo cropped. As Instagram diversifies types of content you can showcase on your profile, there’s more you should keep in mind to make it look good. How to adjust horizontal photos for Instagram stories? How to avoid quality loss? How to optimize size for vertical, square, and horizontal photos? In this article, we’ll answer these questions and guide you through all the best Instagram dimensions.
What are Instagram dimensions?
Let’s clarify the terms. Instagram dimensions include two concepts: an aspect ratio and size. An aspect ratio is the width and height of a photo/video represented with digits. For instance, an ideal aspect ration for square photos is 1:1, and for vertical photos — 4:5.
In contrast, size relates to the number of pixels in a picture/video, also known as resolution. Simply put, Instagram dimensions are aspect ratio and size that make an optimal length and width of the content you post to Instagram. It’s important to stick to them if you want to keep the full picture/video visible, without losing quality.
Find all the Instagram dimensions here:
- Instagram story image size
- Instagram image size for posts
- Instagram video size
- IGTV Instagram image & video size
- Instagram profile picture dimensions
- How to optimize photo and video for Instagram dimensions
Instagram story image size
In the first year, Instagram stories hit a milestone of 250 million daily users — which is about a quarter of all Instagram users. So yes, stories are crazily popular. The most appealing thing about them is that you can get your content out there in a flash, and not worry too much about retouching, photo editing, and filters — the things you usually pay attention to while posting to Instagram feed. The only thing you should think about is image/video size.
The best Instagram story dimensions are 1080x1920 pixels and an aspect ratio of 9:16. This means, to post a high-quality image or video as a story, you should ensure it’s 1080 pixels wide and 1920 pixels high. Otherwise, Instagram will mess with your visuals by cropping them or lowering the quality.
Here’s how you can ensure that your content matches dimensions for Instagram stories:
- Take portrait photos and videos with your phone. If you know that you’ll post a photo/video to Instagram stories before taking it, choose portrait mode.
- Use photo/video editors for quick size changes. Sometimes, you want to post a landscape photo, and the other time you want to keep only a part of a portrait photo visible. This is where you’ll need the assistance of photo and video editors. We’ll mention a lot of them throughout the article, but if you want a quick answer, we recommend PhotoBulk for photo editing and Capto for adjusting video size.
- Remove unwanted objects. If zooming in on an Insta story makes the quality go down, go with an original size — but remove unwanted objects with Touch Retouch. This easy photo correction tool helps quickly erase anything that shouldn’t be visible in your story. It also has a basic photo editing tool for adjusting tone and color, cropping, and more.
Instagram image size for posts
Here’s the thing: Even if you choose perfect dimensions, Instagram will compress your content anyway. So if you upload a 1080x1080 photo (as recommended for square photos), Instagram will automatically compress it to 600x600. It doesn’t mean you should upload photos with the highest resolution, though. Because if you do, this might affect the quality in a negative way. In other words, cater to the recommended resolution, and let Instagram do its thing.
The recommended Instagram picture size is 1080x1080 pixels for square photos. Be prepared Instagram will lower it, but don’t go above 1080. The important thing with square photos is you should try to achieve the 1:1 aspect ratio to ensure Instagram won’t crop them.
For horizontal photos, the 1080x1080 pixels formula works great, too. However, you get more flexibility with aspect ratio. According to Instagram, an aspect ratio of 1.91:1 is perfect for horizontal photos. However, as practice shows, anything up to 16:9 will work okay.
The thing with vertical photos for Instagram stories is you can reuse them for your feed if they are worth sticking around longer than 24 hours. The ideal vertical photo size for Instagram is 1080x1350 pixels. As for the aspect ratio, you should go with 4:5 to avoid cropping.
Square, horizontal, or vertical, PhotoBulk can help you adjust Instagram picture size to fit any requirements. What’s more, it will apply adjustments to as many photos as you like. This tool is a huge life-saver for anyone who posts many photos on Instagram and wants to have the best choice. Because let’s be honest, behind every posted picture there are 100+ photos you’re choosing from. PhotoBulk automates size adjustment, helping you pick the best image with the right dimensions.
Here’s how to adjust image size with PhotoBulk:
- Install PhotoBulk from Setapp and launch it on Mac
- Add photos with the plus button in the bottom left corner
- Select Resize and specify dimensions
- Once you’re ready, hit Start to bulk resize images
- Save presets for different Instagram dimensions to reuse them in the future.
Does Instagram lower image quality?
No, if you follow the rules. One case in which Instagram will lower the quality is when you upload content that is larger than 1080 pixels in width. This will trigger extreme conversion and decrease quality. So if you want to avoid distorted view, you should take Instagram photo size recommendations seriously.
There’s a nice tool called Squash that will help you compress photos if their resolution is significantly above what’s recommended. The app doesn’t lower quality and has a built-in converter — which is a huge perk if you need to quickly switch from PNG to JPEG without messing with the dimensions.
If you have the opposite problem — your photos are too old or shot with a poor camera — you might want to enhance them. For those proficient in Adobe tools, a few manual adjustments of exposure, contrast, and light will do the magic. Otherwise, you can try a one-click photo enhancement app called Photolemur. It’s extremely straightforward: Drop your photo and the app will improve everything that can be improved. Eventually, you’ll get a more vivid picture that you can further adjust to match size dimensions.
Instagram video size
Instagram video dimensions pretty much follow the optimal size and aspect ratio recommended for photos. The thing you should pay attention to is video length. For stories, you can upload a video that is maximum 15 seconds long, for a regular Instagram post — 60 seconds, and for an IGTV or live video — 60 minutes. So apart from a tool that can adjust dimensions, you’ll need some kind of software for trimming video. Usually, good video editors like Capto have both.
No different from Instagram photo size, the dimensions for a square video are 1080x1080 pixels. Make sure they have the 1:1 aspect ratio to avoid cropping.
If you go horizontal, the optimal dimensions for a video are 1080x607 pixels. Just as with photos, Instagram recommends going with an aspect ratio of 1.91:1 for horizontal videos you upload to regular posts.
Vertical or portrait videos allow for more height, with the recommended dimensions of 1080x1350 pixels. The aspect ratio that will make the ideal vertical video view is 4:5.
If you manage an Instagram account of a brand and want to achieve a professional look, or just love keeping things consistent, choose one type of video size and stick to it. Capto can help you quickly adjust dimensions and ensure your video doesn’t lose quality.
Here’s how to use Capto to match Instagram video dimensions:
- Install Capto from Setapp and launch it
- Navigate to the video tab > Import
- Click on the scissors icon, then the cropping icon
- Specify width and height, based on Instagram’s requirements and hit Crop.
Capto will automatically replace the original video with the cropped one on your Mac.
IGTV Instagram image & video size
The so-called Instagram’s YouTube, IGTV is a great feature for sharing long-form video content. From concert live streams to online workouts to tutorials, the sky is the limit. There are two things to consider when posting IGTV video on Instagram:
- IGTV video dimensions
- Size and aspect ratio of the cover photo.
You can upload both horizontal and vertical video to IGTV. If you go with traditional vertical, the recommended aspect ratio is 9:16 and the size should be 1080x1920 pixels. For horizontal video, it’s 16:8 and 1920x1080 pixels respectively. As for the cover photo that will appear on your IGTV feed, it should be 420x654 pixels and have an aspect ratio of 1:1.55.
Instagram profile picture dimensions
Some people tend to ignore dimensions for a tiny picture appearing on top of their profile. This could be a big mistake. Even though Instagram is a mobile-first platform, many people tend to browse through Instagram on Mac — especially for work. This is why Instagram has been expanding the web version functionality in recent months.
So if you use a low-resolution profile picture that looks good on your phone, it might be a complete failure on the web. Instagram recommends a minimum of 110x110 pixels for a profile picture but the optimal size is 180x180 pixels.
By the way, if you love getting things done on Mac, there’s a dedicated Instagram app for that. It’s called Uplet. Minimalist and easy-to-use, Uplet allows to bulk upload content to Instagram right from your Mac’s desktop. Unfortunately, the web version of Instagram doesn’t let you post photos, so this app is the only solution.
This is great if you do all the photo and video editing on Mac, and don’t want to transfer content to your phone for posting. Some people miss filters and editing options, though. So if you want to stick with traditional mobile posting, get AnyTrans, an app that can sync all of your content across Mac and mobile devices — with no resolution or quality loss whatsoever.
How to optimize photo and video for Instagram dimensions
Packing it all into a simple workflow, here are all the tools you should keep at hand to always match Instagram dimensions for photo, video, stories, and anything you publish:
Save presets for different types of Instagram posts with PhotoBulk. Use it to batch resize images in a click.
Adjust video size — and easily edit video by adding voiceover, annotations, and more — with Capto video editor.
Remove unwanted objects from photos with TouchRetouch. This is a great way to get around cropping your content.
Enhance photo quality. If an image has a good resolution but you’re still not satisfied with the quality, use Photolemur enhancer.
Compress photos with Squash. This will help avoid Instagram lowering the quality of high-resolution photos.
Post to Instagram from Mac with Uplet to avoid content transferring.
Use AnyTrans to transfer photos or videos where you need them. This is useful if you have an image on your iPhone and want to edit it with a Mac app, or vice versa.
All of these great tools are available for 7 days free with the Setapp membership. Setapp is, basically, a Mac App Store done right — a curated package of 190+ apps you can access from one spot. After the trial, an all-access pass to Setapp costs $9.99 per month (which is much less than the price of the mentioned utilities combined). Give it a try — Setapp could be a great strategic toolkit for preparing high-quality Instagram content.