The ultimate Instagram dimensions guideline for 2018 + free infographics and templates
You’ve probably pulled out your phone, snapped a photo, and then wondered…“will this look good on Instagram?”
I know I have – a lot. Especially since I work in digital marketing at Flywheel, which sells fully managed WordPress hosting solutions for creatives (a very visual target market), I find myself asking this question repeatedly.
I love social media and design – so naturally my favorite platform of all is Instagram.
Even though the massive photo platform has been around for ages, and has amassed more than 170 million daily active users, there are still many people that ask one simple question: “what is the best Instagram photo size to use when posting a picture?”
The Instagram app does a great job of automatically cropping pictures, but in situations where you need to know certain dimensions (shout-out to all of my fellow agency and freelance designers!) getting the correct Instagram photo resolution is key.
- Square Instagram image size
- Vertical Instagram image size
- Horizontal Instagram image size
- Story Instagram image size
- Instagram resolution tips
- Bonus: Free PSD downloads + Instagram feed mockup!
Instagram Image size
Over the past few years, Instagram has rolled out a ton of new features, and as a result, the resolution size on Instagram photos has continued to change. Currently, the Instagram image dimension by default is 1080px by 1080px.
However, there are still a few other, new image resolutions available to help shake up your feed!
Instagram dimensions fall into three categories: square photos, vertical photos, and horizontal photos. Let’s dive into each one and their perfect dimensions.
Square Instagram image size
The square size is the OG of Instagram dimensions. Personally, this dimension is always my default that I use because I know exactly what it’ll look like in my profile feed. When you use the horizontal or vertical image, which definitely have their place in an Instagram strategy, it’ll be temporarily cropped to fit to a square image in your profile.
With that, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty of the square image dimensions.
A square Instagram photo dimension is 1080px by 1080px.
Free download: Flywheel Instagram template: 2018 – Square
To help you out, we created a free Photoshop template for you to download to make sure you nail the perfect Instagram dimension for not only the square size, but the other two as well.
Vertical Instagram image size
Next up is the long, un-square vertical image. This size is perfect if you want to take up more real-estate in the feed, which can be super eye-catching when done right! Personally, I love the way a vertical image looks while scrolling through my feed.
A vertical Instagram dimension is 1080px by 1350px.
Free download: Flywheel Instagram template: 2018 – Vertical
Horizontal Instagram image size
Fun fact: this landscape dimension was first inspired by Facebook ads so advertisers could have a sleek cross-platform compatibility with Instagram and Facebook ads. The more you know! If you’re featuring beautiful landscape photography, this dimension is a must to show off all of your image’s beauty.
A horizontal Instagram dimension is 1080px by 566px.
Free download: Flywheel Instagram template: 2018 – Horizontal
Instagram story image size
And last, but definitely not least, let’s talk about Instagram stories! This not-so-new-but-kind-of-new feature has been taking over the platform since its release in late 2016. Stories is also a really cool way to experiment on the platform – whether it’s behind-the-scenes snapshots that you don’t want to live on your beautifully-curated feed aesthetic, or just another way to grab attention and direct viewers to your feed. (I love watching how bloggers use this feature to direct more feed or website traffic.)
Something also super snazzy about stories is that they don’t have to be “live.” You can create stories and upload them with a quick swipe at a later date. My favorite Instagram scheduling app, Onlypult, allows you to even schedule your stories along with your posts to automatically post (no push notifications). Talk about streamlined!
Designing the perfect dimensions for stories can be tricky with all of the different-sized mobile phones out there. But don’t fear, here’s a great dimension guideline to follow to ensure flawless stories.
An Instagram story dimension is 1080px by 1920px.
Free download: Flywheel Instagram template: 2018 – Story
Instagram resolution tips
Now that we have the dimensions down, let’s quickly chat about the best image resolutions for Instagram photos. You’ve spent all of this time making sure your post is the perfect size, you’re dreaming up the perfect copy and hashtags to include, and now comes the exporting stage. Here are a couple of tips to ensure your photos are sharp and high-quality, and far away from fuzzy and pixelated. (Plus, poor quality means less brand trust, fewer followers, and lower traffic to your website!
Instagram’s compression algorithm kicks into gear if your file is too large – a.k.a. exceeding 1.6MB and 1080px width. This typically isn’t an issue if you’re using a mobile device to capture your photos, but if you’re using a DSLR or professional camera with photo editing software, these tips are especially important to remember.
Whether you’re looking for the best Lightroom export settings for Instagram, Photoshop, or any other photo editing softwares, here are a couple of best practices to follow:
- Make sure the image format is exported as a JPEG.
- Export at 75-85% quality. If you export at 100%, your photo could be compressed due to Instagram’s algorithm.
- Shoot for also exporting at 72 pixels per inch.
- The color space should be sRBG.
- When exporting, resize to fit long edge at 1080px.
Bonus: Quick reference guide
Remembering dimensions off the top of your head can get hard – especially when there are so many to remember outside of just Instagram imagery. To help you out, we created a quick guide for you to reference on-the-go. So download, save, pin, tweet, and/or bookmark this so you can quickly look at it to remember the best sizes for your beautiful Instagram posts!
Double bonus: A free Instagram feed mockup
If you want to push your Instagram game even further, having a consistent feed aesthetic is key! It really helps your profile look even more branded and professional. Trying to plan your posts with this in mind can get tricky. So, to help you out we whipped up a free feed mockup just for you! Switch out everything from your logo to the individual images to see what your next week or even next campaign will look like once everything is published!
With these dimension and resolution tips, templates, and an infographic to use, you’re well on your way to having your best Instagram profile yet!
What are your favorite Instagram sizes to use? Let us know in the comments below. Even better yet, comment your favorite Instagram post that uses one of these dimensions!