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This is the Best Performing Instagram Picture Size

Hélène Heath
February 2, 2023
Last Updated On
February 26, 2024
three different types of visual instagram image sizes

If you think photo sizes on Instagram do not impact your performance, you may be wrong. Notions for social media can be formatted for optimal engagement — below, you'll find out which makes audiences interact the most.

Ideal Instagram Profile Picture Size (320 x 320 px)

The ideal Instagram profile picture size is 320 x 320 pixels, but it appears on your account as 110 x 110 pixels (and in a circle), so choose a photo that’s sized appropriately and works in a circular frame.  

Selecting the best profile picture isn't just about finding the perfect Instagram profile picture size or what is the most visually appealing. There are other elements to consider. 

As an incorporated entity, you are both the authority and at the mercy of your market. This means that you inevitably will have to make certain calls based on corporate objectives backed by data, much to the chagrin of less analytically inclined people. This is a cause for much debate over your best Instagram photos.

If your goal with Instagram is to support your business objectives through social marketing, grow an audience and increase your engagement, then you should optimize your resources. Staying on-brand is vital, as is strategic planning informed by statistics and following best practices. Keep your storytelling strong, and take advantage of growth opportunities, too.

When creative and goal-driven decisions aren't in cahoots, you've got to ask yourself:

  • Can this action either benefit or hurt my brand?
  • Is it worth going to bat for an issue if the other side has a valid argument?
  • Will this action contribute to business growth?

What Are the Dimensions of an Instagram Post?

Now that we've touched on what to consider when picking a profile photo for Instagram, we can move on to the specifics of Instagram photo sizes. Social media images (and, therefore social media image sizes) are the heart of your operations because they are what your followers see daily and associate with your brand. A business's visual identity is fundamental, and the three main Instagram resolution formats are as follows:

Best Instagram Aspect Ratio

These are the best photo sizes, dimensions and aspect ratios to use to optimize your Instagram visuals. 

Instagram Square Image Size (1080 x 1080px)‍

The maximum Instagram standard square photo size is 1:1 ratio (1080 x 1080px)

Instagram Landscape or Horizontal Image Size (1080 x 608px)

The maximum Instagram landscape photo size is a 1.91:1 ratio (1080 x 608px).

Instagram Portrait or Vertical Image (1080 x 1350px)‍

The maximum Instagram portrait dimensions are 4:5 ratio (1080 x 1350px).

That's not to say that there aren't other creative ways to get around those standards. Different brands have different aesthetics, which is great for keeping Instagram a less homogenous place. 

Best Video Size for Instagram (1080 x 1350px) 

For Reels, an aspect ratio of 1.91:1 and 9:16 is necessary. The best size for an in-feed Instagram video is 1080 x 1350 px, while the best size for an Instagram Carousel video is 1080 x 1920 px.

That's not to say there aren't other creative ways to get around those standards. Different brands have different aesthetics, which is great for keeping Instagram a less homogenous place. 

Why the Size of an Image Impacts Instagram Performance

To go deep into unlocking the code to reach peak engagement levels, we analyzed each Instagram image size to understand once and for all which one yields the best results. For this, we took out the big guns, Dash Hudson's Predictive Vision AI.

Vision not only looks at the colors featured and objects used within an image but also considers the sizing of Instagram pictures. We analyzed over 200,000 images from 400 plus brands from January to December 2022. The Images were broken down into three main categories:  portrait 4:5 (1080 x 1350px), square 1:1 (1080 x 1080px), and landscape 1.91:1 (1080 x 608px).

size chart of the best Instagram Image Sizes

Here's what we found:

  • The square Instagram post format is the most commonly posted image size, making up over half of the images analyzed (56%) followed by landscape format (40%). In comparison, the portrait format is less common (4%). 
  • Of the three image sizes, the square format continues to outperform the portrait and landscape formats. Square photo format receives the highest Engagement and Effectiveness rates, while Landscape has the lowest Engagement and Effectiveness Rates, but is the second most common format to post
  • While the square image format performs best overall, results can vary from industry to industry. For example, the portrait format performs slightly better for Beauty brands (based on Engagement Rate), and Landscape performs slightly better for CPG and Publishing brands (based on Engagement Rate). 

In conclusion, the square image format is posted most often, and that’s not surprising because it outperforms the landscape and portrait format in terms of Engagement Rate and Effectiveness. However, depending on your brand’s industry you may notice success with other formats.

What Are the Ideal Instagram Story Sizes and Dimensions?

The optimal size for an Instagram Story, as widely agreed upon by experts, is 1080 pixels in width by 1920 pixels in height. This dimension, with a 9:16 aspect ratio, ensures your photos and Instagram videos appear in the highest quality possible, offering a crisp and engaging viewing experience on the platform.

Why Do Portrait Size Instagram Posts Perform Better?

The reason why Instagram portrait photos do better than the other two is actually not as scientific as one might think. It's simple logic: vertical posts take up more real estate on the screen, which makes them more eye-catching. It's literally more physical space for your brand to take up.

A bigger surface gives your content a better chance of being noticed by followers, increasing the opportunities for interactions. From a business standpoint, it makes complete sense to utilize the maximum space you're allotted to connect with your consumers. And now there's data to prove that it's more beneficial.

What About Image Borders?

Based on this data, it goes without saying that a full-bleed shot will consistently outperform one that isn't at full capacity. Instagram is a visual place for your brand to make an impact — users want to be wowed.

If your brand's visual statement is to have a gallery with borders around its images, then you're choosing to override the data with a creative decision. Which is one hundred percent your prerogative. Aesthetic choices are super important, they're what sets accounts apart from one another. Without them, the world would be a bland, uniform place. But to sustain a business, rational marketing decisions are equally critical.

The key to social success is to strike that elusive balance between the two. And with the information we just dropped on you, you're one step closer to achieving it.

Nespresso Instagram image of coffee cup on table
@nespresso

Instagram Photo Tips 

Want to make the most of your Instagram presence and capture your audience’s attention with stunning visuals? Use these tips to enhance your Instagram photos: 

  • Film content with the right aspect ratio in mind: Filming content vertically or horizontally, depending on the best aspect ratio for the post, will make the editing process easier.
  • Upload videos in a mp4 format: Instagram will convert .mov files to .mp4, but a bit of quality is lost in the process. To keep visuals as high-quality as possible, upload video files as .mp4s. 
  • Use the right filming equipment: Using the right filming equipment — a portable ring light if you’re filming on-the-go, a tripod or a digital camera, for example — will streamline your editing process and reduce the need to enhance brightness, exposure and other visual effects. 

Optimize Instagram Photos With Dash Hudson

Brands can use AI-powered Vision to predict visual performance — social teams can quickly see which photos and videos from their Content Library have the best chance of performing, while the tool can also be used for UGC to help you gauge which influencer partnerships hold the most potential. This is a great way to ensure you're sharing your most impactful visuals with your audience.

FAQs

What size is an Instagram post?

The size of an Instagram post is 1:1 or 1080x1080px. While there are a few different photo size options on Instagram, this is the standard size used across most posts. 

Can I post 1920x1080 to Instagram?

The only ratios that currently work within Instagram right now are 1080x1080 (standard square), 1080x608 (landscape), and 1080x1350 (portrait). That being said, there are editing techniques you can use to fit larger image sizes within these aspects like borders.

How do I resize photos for Instagram?

Instagram makes it easy to resize images within the photo posting process. Users can pinch the screen to either enlarge or make the photo smaller within the typical aspect ratios. If you need more substantial resizing options for your photo, you can always crop and reshape images within your phone and computer, or through photo editing software like Canva or Photoshop

How do you fit a full-size picture on Instagram?

Is your photo still not fitting the way you want it to? Similar to resizing, there is a little bit of legwork that goes into posting a photo that is outside of the typical post sizes on Instagram. The answer? Borders. Most software that you would typically use for resizing can also be used to add borders around your photo. Not only will borders allow you to showcase the entire image on your feed, but they will also add a touch of visual interest that can separate your photos from the pack of standard 1:1.

How do I post multiple photos on Instagram with different sizes?

While Instagram allows users to upload multiple photos within a singular post, there are some limitations. The formatting of the photoset is entirely dependent on the dimensions you set for the first photo in the set. So, if your first photo falls into the standard 1:1, the rest of your photos will adjust to follow suit. The same goes for when the first photo is a landscape or portrait layout too.

Why is getting photo size right important?

Getting the photo size right for wherever Instagram feature you want to post to — Stories, Reels or Carousel posts — is important because it’s the first step to optimizing your content and making the most of the space you’re given. Why dedicate time, budget and strategy to creating visuals that speak to your brand and audience if they’re not properly displayed? What’s more, visuals that appear cut-off or out-of-focus can make your brand appear out-of-touch with modern social platforms or worse — sloppy. 

How do I adjust the size of an image on Instagram?

Unfortunately, you can’t adjust the size of an Instagram photo when it’s already uploaded. However, you can slightly adjust the size of an image during the uploading process. To adjust the size of your image on Instagram during the uploading process: 

  • Click the ‘plus’ and select the photo(s) or video(s) you wish to upload. 
  • Select the two corners in the bottom left corner to zoom in or out of your photo.

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