When you’re stepping into the world of social media, Instagram seems to be the new stud in town that has caught everyone’s attention. It’s made precisely for mobile users who love sharing pictures, and that’s almost all of us.
The interface is aesthetically pleasing; to the extent that even a bad picture looks good when uploaded to Instagram.
The Perfect Photo Size for Instagram and why it Matters?
I have an aunt who recently started using Instagram.
Guess what? Every day I wake up to dozens of pictures of her, her dog, her empty backyard, her neighbor watering his plants, a big bird eating those plants, and finally her neighbor wriggling fists at the flying bird.
Did I need to see that?
No, absolutely not.
It was boring, unrelated and the pictures were taken from all the wrong angles, zoomed in and zoomed out relentlessly.
I didn’t figure out what she was trying to tell either. Maybe she regretted not getting married in her prime time.
Anyway, coming to the point; there is no moral to this story apart from the message that takes BETTER PICTURES, MY DEAR FRIENDS!
Uploading a picture on Instagram can be tricky because Instagram accepts only certain dimensions which used to be only square sizes, but now it has opened up to uploading rectangular images.
What happens when you don’t follow the image dimension guidelines?
It gets cropped out. Sad but true.
Fortunately, there is a new option on Instagram that allows you to resize the photo because finally we have the option to upload bot horizontal (landscape) and vertical (portrait) images.
When you choose a picture to upload in your newsfeed, there is a symbol on the bottom left corner of the image that can resize the picture.
The image will still be square, but at least your picture will not be cropped out. Instagram adds white borders on the sides which doesn’t look that bad, to be honest.
Instagram image size was originally 612px by 612pxm which changed to 640px by 640px and switched to 1080px by 1080px in July, 2015.
Instagram tries its best to keep up with high-resolution display screens of smartphones, tablets, and laptops that manufacturers keep throwing in our faces for a hefty price.
The perfect Instagram Picture Size for Posts, Stories, and Videos
The three options available for users are:
Square sized pictures are still the most popular choice on Instagram. You know the original 1:1 image. They are best for focusing on a single object as well as for posting big flashy quotes.
Landscape images go well for sceneries, vast or microscopic shots of the galaxy, or any horizontally oriented image.
Portraits are great for uploading vertically oriented pictures such as buildings, towers, or waterfalls.
The image upload size and image display size are two different things. It’s because any image would appear different on different sized mobile screens. That is why Instagram resizes pictures according to their standards for making it mobile friendly for as many users as possible.
The picture must be a perfect 1:1 ratio. Don’t worry; you can upload rectangular images as well, you will have to crop it out into a perfect square. So, take precaution that the cropped out parts don’t contain a part of the logo or image.
Image Source: https://www.imore.com/instagram
The main object should be centered so that it appears perfectly in the circle. In the case of logos, it’s better to choose contrasting colors and neutral tones. The display size of an Instagram profile photo is 110 x 110 pixels on cell phones, and 180 x 180 pixels on the web. In the news feed, it’s scaled down to 40 x 40 pixels.
How to Make Your Picture Fit Accordingly
Instagram itself offers different tools at the time of upload that allows you to crop or resize your photos when you’re on the go. But, if you invest a few more minutes into resizing your photos, they will stand out from the rest.
Mobile apps like Cymera have an option that says “instan fit” where you can take a rectangular image and add blurred, colored or customized frames (that will appear in place of the standard white space on regular Instagram photos).
But we are smart people; we know it’s all about survival of the fittest. So, we continuously work around the ideas of creating perfect snapshots of our food, loved ones and most importantly; ourselves.
Man’s Visual Journey
Manmade the first painting around 42,000 years ago. Since then, humans have been perfecting the art of storytelling through pictures. An important milestone was the invention of the first ever the camera of the world in 1816, by Nicéphore Niépce.
And we never looked back.
If you’ve seen the animated movie The Croods, I bet you loved the scene where the whole family takes the first ever selfie together. Apart from being hilarious, it rightly pointed out the extent to which man can go for preserving his mark on earth, in the form of pictures.
(Psst. Watch it here, if you haven’t seen the clip!)
That is why pictures are so important. It is not about looking good and telling the world what a great life you’re living (when instead you’re sleeping your ass off at 11 AM in the morning!). Instead, it’s about sharing your story, preserving memories and building a global social society.
There are some other easy tools you can use to resize your pictures. We will discuss them later in this article.
Let’s move on to the why it matters part.
Instagram has approximately 1 Billion users worldwide. Thousands of users join yearly. It makes Instagram the best platform to market your brand or business. Brand marketing strategists recommend building your online presence starting from here.
Pictures have a lot to do with how your brand appears in front of the audience. Apart from there being perfect timings and days for sharing your posts (yep, it’s true), there are perfect dimensions and sizes as well. The most popular Instagram bloggers are rich, thin and beautiful because they have cracked the code for all of the above.
Instagram Guidelines for Dimensions and Resolution
Read ‘em for yourself.
The best way to maximize your engagement on Instagram is to choose different dimensions and mix in all sorts of sizes according to the suitability of your posts.
A lot of users stick to the basic 1:1 size for posting quotes throughout the day and use portrait or landscape images when there is a lot of stuff going on in the photos like posting pictures of family and friends, putting up a training video or an interview clip.
The Perfect Instagram Profile Picture Size
First impressions last. Instagram users judge the brand and person by their name or profile photo. To ensure that you have the perfect Instagram profile photo, you need to keep in mind that Instagram displays its profile pictures in the form of a circle.
When you’re a brand, you’d want to be distinct and stick to a theme. Photos are what make an Instagram account distinct. If you’re a brand that has less room for experiment with colors; not all of us are makeup bloggers here, I’ve seen some roof plumbers have Instagram accounts too!
For the later, adding colorful frames and personalized backgrounds will bring life to your Instagram page.
Additional Tips to Make Your Photos Stand Out
Finally, presenting some tips that will sum up the whole article and give you pro tips on what to look for in your next profile photo.
1. Use a professional high definition image.
Whether you’re a solopreneur, influencer or an organization, you will need a clear shot of what you’re representing or selling. Your picture can be a headshot, a logo or the object that you are retailing. An example of a bad profile picture includes a stretched logo, a blurry picture, or an unprofessional selfie. Upload your Instagram profile photo in high definition.
2. Background Matters
It’s good to experiment with different backgrounds and colors, but keep in mind that many celebrities and big companies stick to basics. For example, a plain black or dark colored background never fails to impress as it draws more focus to the main object in the picture. Avoid direct sunlight and seamless shadows that may distort your features.
At the end of the day, keep in mind that users can only view thumbnail versions of the profile pictures.So, keep the focus on a single object and keep distractions at a minimum.
3. Consistency is the Key
Don’t just go about changing your profile picture every week. The key here is to let your audience develop an association with the profile picture and your Instagram account. Major brands are consistent with their profile pictures,and they keep them around for a long time. Take the example of brands like MAC, and Coca-Cola. If you’re an influencer or a freelancer, it will help more people recognize and connect with you if all your social media profile pictures are the same at a single point.
4. Add in the “Wow” Factor
How to wow your audience? Bring something new to the table. Add some personality to the photos by adding props to your photo. A pen or a notebook will look great if you’re a writer. For an author, the hardcopy of their latest book will look distinct. Makeup bloggers make an excellent point of what we’re trying to say when they create and upload novel makeup looks like their profile photos.
Now that you have all the information you need to know about the perfect Instagram image size, you can go ahead and rock your profiles! Let us know in the comments if you have some handy tips to resize your images.