This is the Best Performing Instagram Picture Size

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

If you think photo sizes on Instagram have no impact on your performance, you may be wrong. Images for social media can be formatted for optimal engagement — below you'll find out which one makes audiences interact the most.

Ideal Instagram Profile Picture Size

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.  

That being said, picking 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 those who are less analytically inclined. This is a cause for much debate over what your best Instagram photos potentially are.

If your goal with Instagram is to support your business objectives through social marketing, grow an audience and increase your engagement, then you should be optimizing all of your resources. Staying on-brand is vital, but so 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're touched on what to consider when picking profile photos for Instagram, we can move on to the specifics of the sizes and shapes of Instagram posts. 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 Aspect Ratio for Instagram 

  1. The standard square image - maximum Instagram standard square photo size is 1:1 ratio (1080 x 1080px)
  2. The landscape, or horizontal image - maximum Instagram landscape photo size is 1.91:1 ratio (1080 x 608px)
  3. The portrait, or vertical image - 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. 

Understanding How the Size of an Image Impacts Performance on Instagram

To really go deep on cracking 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, aka our AI-powered tool Vision.

Vision not only looks at the colors featured and objects used within an image but also takes into account 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 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?

We agree with most of the experts out there, the unanimous perfect Instagram Story size for photos and videos should be 1080 pixels wide by 1920 pixels tall, with a ratio of 9:16 (1080 resolution).

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


What size is an Instagram post?

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 to 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.

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