The Best Instagram Image Size to Use in 2020 – The Definitive Guide by Uniclix

We all love the Instagram, don’t we? We spend our time observing and admiring images and videos of our friends, celebrities, and even products. The introduction of new features such as IGTV videos, Instagram Stories, and Instagram Live has provided better options for engaging your followers and building stronger relationships with them. 

Knowing how to optimize your photos and videos to retain their attractiveness can be difficult, especially for the rookie Instagram User. There are different types of Instagram image sizes and dimensions for each example of content you post on Instagram. That is why we have created this comprehensive guide to help you upload images and videos in the right dimensions and resolutions that will engage your audience. 

What are the Instagram image sizes?

Instagram photos have various sizes depending on the orientation of the photo and the tool it’s being posted with. Here is an in-depth guide on Instagram image sizes.

Instagram image sizes

Size refers to the number of pixels that make up your image or video’s width and height. Size is expressed in two numbers, with the first representing the width and the second one, the height. 

For example, 

1080px by 1350px 

1:! 1080 px instagram image


Generally, Instagram supports images and videos with a width between 320px and 1080px. This means that if your image is less than 320px in width, Instagram will automatically expand it 320px. And if your image is larger than 1080px in width, then Instagram will automatically reduce it 1080px. 

But wait, let me tell you something. 

When you upload your image or video, Instagram stores different sizes of that image or video. So the image your audience sees will be smaller than the one you uploaded. Even if you upload a photo with a 1080px width size, it will be compressed by between 1.81 to 2.24 times. 

You may be wondering if image size matters since Instagram will automatically reduce the size. Yes, it is always good to share your images in an optimal resolution so that when Instagram reduces the size, the image quality will not be affected. 

This does not mean that you have to submit an image with a width size as large as 4000px. Instagram will drastically reduce the image quality of your photo while trying to make it fit in the 1080px dimension. Upload photos that are of good resolution, not ultra-high resolution. 

What is the aspect ratio on Instagram?

Aspect ratio is simply the ratio of width to the height of your images and videos. Here is an example of an aspect ratio, 9: 16. The first digit represents the width of your image, and the second digit represents its height. 

Instagram video aspect ratio 9:16

With all that said, let’s learn the types of Instagram Image sizes for your photos.    

Instagram square image size

All Instagram photos were once limited to the square shape. However, after taking feedback from users, they introduced the portrait and landscape dimensions for images. 

Despite the move to portrait and landscape dimensions, the square remains a popular choice, especially for the Instagram profile grid. It remains the easiest photo dimension to optimize because of the auto-cropping and editing features of Instagram. Did you know that you can shoot a square photo directly from your IOS camera? No offense to the Android users, please upgrade.  

The aspect ratio of the square image size is 1:1, and the ideal size is usually 1080px by 1080px. So to optimize your images for the square dimension, you should ensure the aspect ratio is 1:1 or parts of your image will get cropped. 

1:1 square instagram image

We at Uniclix also recommend that your image size should be within the range of 1080px by 1080px and 320px by 320px. It is better if it is in the 1080px by 1080px size to cover for the compression that Instagram does to every photo uploaded.  

Instagram portrait image size

Portrait image size gives you the option to post a full image on Instagram without cropping. Portrait (Vertical) photos are easier to upload compared to other orientation types, but sometimes you may have to crop the oversizes to fit into its Instagram dimension. 

The ideal aspect ratio of portrait image size is 4:5. Any ratio higher than 4:5 will be cropped. For example, if you try uploading a Snapchat photo (4:6), you will be asked to crop a section to fit the Instagram standard. 

Uniclix recommends going for the 1080px by 1350px as the ideal size for your portrait photo. This way, Instagram will compress your image size to 480px by 600px when it is displayed. And the quality of your image will not be affected in any way. 

portrait image instagram ratio 4:5 - instagram image size

If you are wondering how to upload your full picture onto Instagram without cropping it, we can help you. Simply use the full-size hand button when uploading your photo to adjust to the most significant aspect ratio available automatically. Use the expand rows at the bottom left corner of your image to fit the entire photo on Instagram. 

Instagram landscape image size (Horizontal)

Let’s face it: getting the right landscape image size for your picture can be tricky. This is because the ideal aspect ratio for landscape photos is 1.91:1. Do you now see why? But we are here to help you upload your horizontal photos by showing you the best ways. 

landscape photo instagram 1.91:1 - instagram image size

You can also upload your horizontal photos in the 16:9 ratio. You can get this ratio by taking a pic in the horizontal orientation using your iPhone camera. 

Instagram Image size

Here is something to note. 

When you use the 1.91:1 ratio, your image will display nicely on Instagram without a border. However, when you apply the 16:9 ratio, Instagram will automatically add a border around the image. 

To upload your image in the landscape orientation, follow these simple steps: 

  • Click on the Add Post button.
  • Select the photo you want to upload
  • Use the full-size button at the bottom left corner of the photo display. Your photo will automatically adjust to the available landscape ratios.
  • You can crop the image to your standards. 
  • Then click on the Next button to upload the image. 

If you are going to use the landscape orientation for your images on Instagram, then retain one aspect ratio for all of them. Lack of consistency in aspect ratios makes your followers distracted as they scroll through your images. 

We recommend that you upload landscape photos with the width size of 1080px to maintain the quality of your images after compression by Instagram. And the ideal landscape image size is 1080px by 608px. 

Now that you learned about the different Instagram Image sizes for your photos let’s dive into Instagram stories. 

What is the Instagram Image size for Stories?

Instagram Stories is an impressive feature that allows you to connect with your audience profoundly. You share numerous pictures, and videos about yourself, which are presented in a slideshow format that resembles WhatsApp statuses and Snapchat. These stories disappear after 24 hours. 

Instagram stories are meant to appear in the portrait dimension. So it doesn’t matter if you have landscape videos and photos; they will be displayed in portrait orientation.  

The best size for Instagram stories 

The ideal image size for Instagram Stories is 1080px by 1920px, and the aspect ratio we recommend is the 9:16. This Image dimension will fill up your Instagram Stories screen perfectly so that there will be no border around your photos. 

What is image size for Instagram Stories?

The ideal image size for Instagram Stories is 1080px by 1920px, and the aspect ratio we recommend is the 9:16

instagram image size

While you can also use the 1.91: 1 ratio, the image won’t cover the entire screen. So there will be a border around your images, which makes them less appealing to your audience. 

What are the dimensions for Instagram videos?

If videos are your favorite way of connecting with followers, you need to learn the available dimensions. Just like Instagram photos, videos are also shared using square, portrait, and horizontal orientations. Let’s talk about the requirements for posting an excellent video, including aspect ratios and lengths.    

Instagram Vertical videos

The ideal dimensions for portrait videos are 1080px by 1350px and the aspect ratio is 4:5. If you submit videos with a larger aspect ratio, they will be cropped to fit into the standard size of a portrait video. 

Instagram Horizontal video (Landscape) 

Horizontal videos have an ideal dimension of 1080px by 608px and the aspect ratio can either be 1.91:1 or 16:9. At Uniclix, we recommend that you go for the 16:9 aspect ratio because it takes a lot of time to edit videos into the 1.91:1 aspect ratio. Better still, Instagram users prefer videos in the 16:9 aspect ratio. So why should you waste all that time and energy to transform a 16:9 video into 1.91:1? 

Instagram vertical and horizontal videos - instagram image size

Instagram square videos 

Just like square photos, square videos have the 1:1 aspect ratio, and the ideal dimension is 1080px by 1080px. So you should try uploading videos with or near these dimensions. 

Instagram Image size - instagram square video 1:1

Raise your hand if you love carousel posts! That act of swiping to the left to see more pics or videos is exciting, especially if the images are beautiful. 

While normal people enjoy the carousel feature, it is businesses that have leveraged it to showcase their products appealingly. The carousel feature has proven to be a cost-effective yet engaging way to generate new leads and remarket to existing clients. 

Carousel posts include up to 10 photos or videos that your audience can swipe through. These posts can either be horizontal, vertical, or square in terms of orientation. 

Note that all of the following images and videos will be cropped in the same aspect ratio as the image or video you upload first. If you choose the first image dimension as square, then all the remaining 9 videos and images will be cropped in the 1:1 aspect ratio. 

Before we move to the next subtitle, let me show you the requirements for all Instagram Videos, including the file size and the length. 

  • The maximum file size is 4GB. 
  • The maximum duration of a video is 60 seconds. 
  • The maximum caption length is 2200 characters. 
Instagram Image Size - Instagram carousel videos post

Here we go. 

IGTV Posts Sizes

IGTV is the acronym for Instagram TV. It is a free app that allows you to share long videos with your audience on Instagram. 

Whereas Instagram allows you to post videos with a maximum of 60 seconds, IGTV allows a maximum length of 1 hour. 

Even though it started with a portrait-only dimension in 2018, IGTV nowadays has the Landscape option too. 

Here are the points to take home on IGTV posts dimensions: 

Vertical IGTV posts 

The portrait posts have a minimum aspect ratio of 4:5 and a maximum of 9:16. 

Instagram Image Size - Vertical IGTV posts

Horizontal IGTV posts 

They have a minimum aspect ratio of 5:4 and a maximum of 16:9. We at Uniclix recommend that you go with the 16:9 aspect ratio. It is a good option for your IGTV posts because the videos fit correctly without the need for Instagram to add a border.  

Instagram Image Size

IGTV Previews

These are the 1-minute teasers of your IGTV Videos that you can share on your user feed. After the minute, there will be an option for the viewers to watch the full video on IGTV. These previews allow you to capture the attention of your audience and compel them to continue watching your video. 

On dimensions, the IGTV Previews are cropped into the 4:5 aspect ratio for the user feed. And in your 9-grid, the IGTV Preview will be cropped into the 1:1 square dimension. 

Then for your cover photo, we recommend the 1: 1.55 aspect ratio, which translates into a dimension of 450px by 654px.  

Instagram live videos 

Instagram Live Videos are usually in the vertical format because they are meant to be viewed from your phone. This means that the aspect ratio will be 9: 16, which is typically the full width and height of your screen. And because there is no option for changing the aspect ratio of your Instagram live videos, you should not worry about it.  

Which are the best Instagram image sizes?

Exciting! So you want to know the best Instagram dimensions for images and videos? Admittedly, there are many Instagram sizes that your audience will find attractive and engaging. Here are the dimensions we recommend that you use for your Instagram images and videos:

  • Instagram image for square orientation – 1080px by 1080px
  • Instagram image for vertical orientation – 1080px by 1350px 
  • Instagram image for horizontal orientation – 1080px by 608px 
  • Instagram video for square – 1080px by 1080px 
  • Instagram video for vertical – 1080px by 1350px 
  • Instagram video for horizontal – 1080px by 608px 
  • Instagram carousel posts – 1080px by 1080px 

Don’t worry if the portrait or horizontal will do better with your audience. As long as you use the highest aspect ratio available, then you will eliminate any chances of having a border around your images and videos. Moreover, the image quality will be greatly affected if your dimensions are closer to the standard ones, such as 1080px for width. 

One more thing. 

Your content will get cropped in the 1:1 ratio preview when followers view your photos and videos in the 9-grid. However, after clicking, the pieces of content return to the original orientation in which they were posted. So don’t worry if your photos appear cropped in the 9-grid.  

Does Instagram lower image quality?

Yeah ! I feel your pain because it has also happened to me. You upload a beautiful photo only for Instagram to degrade its quality. 

Instagram indeed compresses images and videos to smaller bundles. This is because smaller packets are suitable for its servers, reduces load times, and results in better user experience. Simply put, Instagram will continue compressing images because it is in their best interest.  

If you don’t want your images to appear fuzzy, you should avoid uploading images larger than 1080px in the width dimension. If you upload images bigger than 1080px, then Instagram will compress it, thereby impacting quality. 

The same thing will happen when you upload images smaller than 320px by 320px. Because that is the standard size for Instagram images, Instagram algorithms will expand your small image, thereby distorting the details and causing pixelation.  

To get the best image quality, prefer square photos with dimensions of 1080px by 1080px. After Instagram compression, these image dimensions are usually reduced to 600px by 600px, which are still beautiful. 

If it still doesn’t work, then you can try uploading through the desktop. People claim that the Instagram web application does less compression compared to mobile versions. It preserves image quality. 

What resolution does Instagram use?

Instagram allows for resolutions within the range of 320px and 1080px. Its algorithms will not interfere with your image’s resolutions if they fall within that range. However, if you don’t use the standard aspect ratios, then your images will automatically get cropped, and their resolutions will also be affected. 

So every time you are uploading photos to ensure that their ratios match orientation standards for Instagram. We recommend that your dimensions for the width be at the maximum 1080 pixels regardless of the type of Instagram Image size you choose.  

How to resize photos for Instagram

Instagram has a maximum aspect ratio of 4:5 for vertical photos. So all of your videos and pictures taller than this ratio will be cropped automatically when you upload them. 

If you intend to post vertical photos that are taller than the maximum Instagram height, you will have to modify them first. 

I recommend using the  Kawping resizer. It enables you to manipulate the height of an image without interfering with its quality. This process only takes three steps: you upload the picture, then resize to 4:5, then download to post on Instagram. Try it out and see if it works for you. 

You can also use other photo editors like Adobe Photoshop, and Lightroom. They are reliable for resizing photos.  

Fit the whole Intagram Images with Kapwing

What are the aspect ratios for Instagram?

Even though I have already touched on aspect ratios, I decided to expand on it. Aspect ratio refers to the ratio of the width and height of images and videos on Instagram. The first digit usually represents the width. 

Here are the aspect ratios for Instagram images and videos: 

  • Instagram image square – 1:1 
  • Instagram image portrait – 4:5 
  • Instagram image landscape – 1.91: 1
  • Instagram video square – 1:1 
  • Instagram video portrait – 4:5 
  • Instagram video landscape – 16:9 

The aspect ratio for the carousel feature can be for any of the above standard dimensions. Remember that the remaining nine photos and videos will follow the same aspect ratio as the original content you upload in the carousel. 

Overall, photo size matters on Instagram just like in any other social network. A good photo size will attract the attention of your followers, make striking ads that get clicks and create your brand. 

Which Instagram image sizes will you use for your marketing?

Now that you have learned the various dimensions for Instagram images and videos, including the aspect ratios, what are you going to next? We are social media marketing experts ourselves and can help you increase your engagement rate on Instagram. This will help you achieve your business goals faster and develop a stronger relationship with your followers. 

At Uniclix, our experts devote their skills to ensure you get ahead of your competition by making the most out of your social media marketing. The Uniclix app is a social media management app that provides services such as scheduling of posts, a content calendar, and guidance on the right hashtags and keywords to use. Even better, you can also discover the content that your audience actually needs using our app. It curates content from thousands of articles that your followers will find engaging. We are here to help you grow your audience and develop a strong relationship with your existing followers. Get in touch with us!  

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