The Correct Dimensions for Images and Video for Instagram Stories
Instagram Stories are the best thing to come to Instagram since the app was released way back when. It is by far the most popular part of the app and used millions of times per day. Stories do have specific dimension requirements for images and video though.
Instagram really want you to enjoy Instagram Stories so have mandated a specific 1080 x 1920 or 9:16 aspect ratio for both. This is standard HD flipped on its side to work best with how we use our phones. For images, this isn’t much of an issue as you can take them in portrait mode and be done with it. For videos, a little more thought and planning is required.
Required dimensions for images in Instagram Stories
The correct dimensions for images in Instagram stories is 1080px by 1920px or the aspect ratio of 9:16. If you try to upload an image of a different size, Instagram will attempt to resize it to fit these dimensions. It is much easier to do it yourself.
Depending on what apps and devices you’re using, you have a couple of options.
Canva is an online tool that can resize images for any purpose. You’ll need to register but you can then upload an image and have it resized for you within the app if you select the correct dimensions. You can adjust so it best fits the window so it will always look its best.
iPhone users could try Resize for Story, an app that can resize your images or videos ready for Instagram. The app costs $4.99 but it works well. Android users might like to try No Crop & Square for Instagram which does the same thing. This app is free but ad supported. There are lots of others to choose from if you don’t like these two.
Required dimensions for videos in Instagram Stories
The correct dimensions for videos for Instagram stories is also 1080px by 1920px or the aspect ratio of 9:16. This means trying to avoid shooting in landscape mode and keeping the camera lens in portrait. If you always shoot in portrait mode, you shouldn’t have to resize your video when uploading to your Story.
If you need to resize, you can use a square frame with a border which works well enough. iPhone users can try Afterlight 2 as it’s a very good video resizing app. It costs $2.99 but gets the job done well. Android users can try InShot, a photo and video resizer for Instagram. It is free and ad supported but also contains in-app purchases.
As an aside, videos on IGTV use the same 1080px by 1920px dimensions.
Best dimensions for Instagram images
Outside of Stories, Instagram works with three main image sizes, square, landscape and portrait. You can use any of these to frame your image in the best way possible.
Typically, square images are either 600px x 600px or 1080px x 1080px. If you have a good camera, the latter is by far the best. It includes more detail and will look much better to the viewer if they have a decent phone. However, Instagram does have a tendency to downscale them to 600px x 600px so you may want to experiment and see what happens.
Landscape images should ideally be 1920px x 1080px. This offers maximum detail and resolution with a slightly larger file size. Instagram will then likely resize these to 600px x 337px or 1080px x 566px. Either way, you can squeeze in as much detail as possible and Instagram will select the maximum it can cope with.
Portrait images can be 1080px x 1350px but will likely be displayed at either 480px x 600px or 960px x 1200px. Again, shooting at 1080 allows you to squeeze as much detail in as possible before Instagram changes them.
If you’re planning a carousel post, you can use these standard image sizes but each image much be an identical size. So all must be portrait or landscape and all must be identically 1080px x 1350px or 1920px x 1080px. Otherwise Instagram will crop the others for you to match. It is the first image that determines the rest so resize your own images beforehand to make sure you get the effect you’re looking for.
Getting image size right is a little thing that can have a huge influence over how good your Instagram Story or post looks. You may not consider this important, or you may. Either way, now you know the optimum image sizes for Instagram, you can either prepare your images beforehand or let the app handle it all. It’s entirely up to you!