Updated Instagram Image Sizes and Aspect Ratio for 2021

Diana

Diana

CONTENT WRITER

Instagram Images

  • Square Images: Image size: 1080px x 1080px, Aspect ratio: 1:1
  • Landscape Images: Image size: 1080 x 608px, Aspect ratio: 1.91:1
  • Portrait Images: Image size: 1080 x 1350 px, Aspect ratio: 4:5

Instagram Videos

  • Square Videos (One Video or Carousel): Video size: 1080px x 1080px, Aspect ratio: 1:1, Minimum and maximum resolution: 600 x 600; 1080 x 1080
  • Landscape Videos: Video size: 1080px x 608px, Aspect ratio: 16:9, Minimum and maximum resolution: 600 x 315; 1080 x 608
  • Portrait Videos: Video size: 1080px x 1350px, Aspect ratio: 4:5, Minimum and maximum resolution: 600 x 750; 1080 x 1350

Instagram Stories

  • Image size: 1080px x 1920px, Aspect ratio: 9:16

Instagram Reels

  • Image size: 1080px x 1920px, Aspect ratio: 9:16

What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you think about Instagram? Is your first thought related to Instagram images or Instagram videos? Or is it directed towards Instagram Reels or Instagram stories?

There is no right or wrong answer here, but there are a few twists to any of the answers you might have had. And those twists are the Instagram aspect ratio and image sizes.

Instagram has been on the market since 2010, and things have changed throughout the years. And most of these changes are related to the Instagram aspect ratio and image sizes, among other elements. That’s also closely related to how technology has evolved and the features that have been introduced throughout the time. 

You must’ve wondered what are the best strategies for Instagram throughout the years. But have you ever wondered what’s the perfect Instagram aspect ratio almost 11 years later? Or what’s the perfect image size for all the Instagram features?

We will look in this article into the updated Instagram image sizes and aspect ratio for 2021. Are you ready to learn the secrets of those perfect Instagram posts?

Instagram Aspect Ratio and Image Size Explained

Instagram is all about the visual component. And the better the content, the better the exposure. Despite this, sharing a balanced image or video is not enough. And this is where you need to take into consideration the Instagram aspect ratio and image sizes.

We’ll tackle the Instagram aspect ratio first and what it refers to. 

An aspect ratio is a proportional relationship between the width and height of an image. You must have seen 1:1 or 16:9 in some contexts, and wondered what they’re all about. These are one of the most common examples of aspect ratio formats. 

Looking at the first example, a 1:1 ratio translates into equal width and height. In the case of the 16:9 ratio, the first number will refer to the width, while the second number will be the height.

Image size also refers to the width and height of an image. In this case, though, these two compose the image resolution. One of the most common image size formats is the following: 1024×981. This places 1024 as the image width and 981 as the image height.

It’s important to mention that there is no one-size-fits-all rule in the case of image sizes. What works for Instagram Stories will not work for images or videos. The same goes for the Instagram aspect ratio. Thus, what’s a great aspect ratio for an image will most likely not work for Reels.

The good news is, we’ve put together a cheat sheet for you to use and adapt your Instagram posts to the 2021 rules. Or, if you don’t want to call it a cheat sheet, an Instagram aspect ratio and image size guide will do as well. 

Instagram Images

What’s that one feature from the past that you can attribute to Instagram images? Throughout the previous years, Instagram has a notoriety for square images. Having a square image also meant having a 1:1 aspect ratio. 

Going down memory lane, there used to be a time when all pictures had to go through a cropping process. All this, to fit the Instagram square image. And most of the time, this meant losing a lot of important elements and sometimes, even image quality. Not to mention, your branding might’ve looked a bit different than expected because of it. 

The good news is that Instagram Images are no longer limited to square images. You have the freedom to upload landscape and portrait images as well, to generate interest. Of course, we need to take into consideration all the aspect ratios attached to images. But we will cover those below:

Square Images

The Instagram square image isn’t going anywhere, as traditional as it is. At the end of the day, it’s the one element users have always associated with Instagram. In the case of square images, these are the recommended numbers:

  • Image size: 1080px x 1080px
  • Aspect ratio: 1:1

The best part is that you don’t need much to take a good square photo. For example, iOS provides you with the “Square” option when taking a picture. Different apps can vertically allow you to take square photos.

You can also choose to edit your picture fair and square inside the Instagram app. Or so to say, you can have Instagram crop your picture automatically.

Landscape Images

Do you have a brilliant landscape photo that you want to share on Instagram? Back in the days, uploading a landscape to your Instagram feed was a bit of a hassle, as they weren’t quite the norm. Uploading a landscape image usually meant cropping it into a square. 

The good news is that you don’t have to do that anymore, as there are recommended image sizes for landscape as well.

Landscape images have the following recommendations:

  • Image size: 1080 x 608px
  • Aspect ratio: 1.91:1

But, things tend to get a bit tricky in the case of landscape, or horizontal images. As easy as it sounds to get the perfect 1.91:1 ratio, in theory, it gets a bit complicated in practice. And that is because landscape images have a different aspect ratio, in this case, 16:9. 

Uploading the landscape image with this ratio adds a border around your picture. And you might want to avoid it. A border will change the aesthetics of your picture, as well as the consistency of your feed. Needless to say, you can choose to keep that, if your page is all about that kind of aesthetics.

Never miss an update from us!

Join thousands of business owners who get social media resources, tips & tricks delivered directly to their inbox.

Portrait Images

In our last point, we have the portrait images to cover. Usually, portraits have the most impact on an Instagram feed, as a vertical image is easier to follow. Make sure that you respect the following guidelines:

  • Image size: 1080 x 1350 px
  • Aspect ratio: 4:5

There is no need to worry in case your image size is a bit larger. This is because Instagram automatically reduces it when posting. Be mindful not to go on the other side of the spectrum, though. A smaller image size could cause quality issues due to the resizing process.

Instagram Videos

Video killed the radio (or image) star and it’s still not planning to go anywhere, even in 2021. Instagram Videos are a great way to connect to people and attract their attention. Like in the case of images, though, Instagram videos follow a specific size and aspect ratio to look good. 

You can choose to upload Square and Carousel videos, as well as portrait and landscape ones. We’ll go through each of them one by one below. But before that, we’ll mention a few details about uploading videos on Instagram:

  • 60 seconds might not be enough to tell a full story, but in Instagram’s case, that’s the maximum length. Try to capture the best moments in 60 seconds for the best videos.
  • There’s a file size limit almost everywhere, and Instagram is no stranger to that. Try to keep your file size under 4GB
  • The video frames should not exceed 30fps

What’s also new in the case of videos is that they all have a minimum and maximum resolution. The minimum and maximum resolution will depend on the orientation of the video.

Square Videos (One Video or Carousel) 

Square videos are not that different from square images. With a few exceptions, of course. Here are the ideal dimensions for the perfect square video:

  • Video size: 1080px x 1080px
  • Aspect ratio: 1:1
  • Minimum and maximum resolution: 600 x 600; 1080 x 1080

Landscape Videos

Moving forward, landscape videos keep the same recommendations as images. There is a small observation in their case that needs to be mentioned, though.

  • Video size: 1080px x 608px
  • Aspect ratio: 16:9
  • Minimum and maximum resolution: 600 x 315; 1080 x 608

We mentioned the fact that landscape images shouldn’t have a 16:9 aspect ratio, to avoid adding a border to them. In the case of videos, you can keep the aspect ratio to 16:9. It’s easier for users to view the videos in this ratio, so there is no need to make any changes.

Portrait Videos

If you have portrait images, you also have portrait videos. And some recommendations apply in their case, as well. 

  • Video size: 1080px x 1350px
  • Aspect ratio: 4:5
  • Minimum and maximum resolution: 600 x 750; 1080 x 1350

Now that we’ve gone through all the types of videos, there is one more worth mentioning. And the last type of videos we’re going to discuss will be the Instagram Live Videos. One of the latest additions to the Instagram world, Live Videos can get very creative.

Live videos are usually shot in a vertical way. Of course, it will all depend on the person and their preferences. Live videos can also be shot horizontally. The only detail about the video size or aspect ratio ties to your device’s screen. Your screen will dictate the size and aspect ratio of your Live Video, and there are no changes to make in this case.

Instagram Stories

Moving on from images and videos, let’s take a look at the best image size and aspect ratio for Instagram Stories. Dimensions will indeed depend most of the time on the device, but not to worry. If you want to avoid any black border, here are the recommended image size and aspect ratio:

  • Image size: 1080px x 1920px 
  • Aspect ratio: 9:16

Keep in mind that the minimum aspect ratio for Instagram Stories is as little as 1.91:1.

There are also a few recommendations when it comes to Instagram stories and how they’re viewed. Generally speaking, stories have been designed for the vertical view. Because of this, your best approach is to concentrate on the portrait image style. 

Of course, you can also go for the landscape image style, but this is at the risk of changing the viewpoint. Landscapes will turn towards a horizontal view so that they fit. And this might cause your image or video to lose some important details.

We mentioned at the beginning that you need to respect these sizes to avoid the border effect. But there are a few more reasons behind that logic. An inadequate aspect ratio will lead to image or video cropping. Add to that the effect of unnecessary zooming, and the picture is complete.

Instagram Reels

Last, but not least, we’ll cover Instagram Reels, one of the most engaging features of the app. It’s common to believe that Instagram Reels are different from Instagram Stories. but not they’re not that much. At least if we’re talking from the perspective of image size and aspect ratio.

Instagram Reels have also been designed for upright viewing. As much as we’d like to take them out to meet the world, they’ve also been designed for mobile screens. Have we forgotten to mention the full-screen idea also?

Going back, these are the recommendations for Reels:

  • Image size: 1080px x 1920px
  • Aspect ratio: 9:16

What should also count is the way users see them on the feed. The previews follow the 4:5 Portrait Size. This means that your Reels get cropped from the top and the bottom and thus, the previewed image centers. Keep that in mind when shooting your Reels, a good preview is a good strategy!

There are a few elements you should take into consideration when it comes to Reels, though. The first element relates to the caption. The caption of your Instagram Reels will be available at the bottom of your video. As the caption can overlap with the elements from your video, you want to make sure of some things. 

First, make sure that your video doesn’t contain important elements right in that area. Second, make sure that the caption is still readable and not overshadowed by any elements. This can make it difficult for viewers to make sense of what your videos are showing. Also, keep in mind that a Reel cannot be longer than 30 seconds, so make sure you put it together in a proper way.

Bottom Line

At one point, the Instagram aspect ratio and image sizes might’ve all been a guessing game. Back in the days, we didn’t have so many available options for Instagram posts. It was all limited to posting a square picture or video. As time has passed, more and more features have appeared and along with them, some rules also.

Keeping up with these recommendations is not hard, and they come up with a lot of benefits. In the end, what’s a greater benefit than a great Instagram feed and exposure? 

This guide will keep you in the loop with all you need to know to get the best out of your Instagram page. Along with that, it’s a great way to optimize your social media strategy.   We’ve covered the image sizes and aspect ratio for Instagram images, videos, Reels, and stories. 

Are you ready to try out these recommendations for a greater social media presence? 

Key takeaways: 

  • There is no one-size-fits-all rule in terms of Instagram image sizes.
  • Images and videos can be split into the following categories: Square, Landscape, Portrait.
  • The rules that are applied to images can be applied to videos in most cases as well.
  • Instagram Live Videos are the only ones you can’t set an aspect ratio or image size for – it will all depend on your device.

Share content across all your social media profiles from one place!

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

More Leads, Less Effort

Share content across multiple social media platforms from one place. Add, share and analyze your posts with absolute freedom.

14-day free trial, no credit card required

Download all 3 guides with one click for free!

Learn how to position your brand and how to write catchy copy for different content types to reach more prospects and generate qualified leads.