Are you wondering what size your posts should be on Instagram? Have all your animated text posts turned full screen and you’re not sure what to do with them?!
It’s no wonder if you feel a bit confused, there’s been a lot of chat about post sizes and some changes made to the app recently. So here’s a breakdown of what you need to know.
Instagram Video Size
Let’s start with those animated graphics that now look weird as they’ve been turned into Reels.
In July Instagram made a change that all videos, under 15 minutes, are shared as Reels. So this includes graphics with animated text or stickers on, and posts with gifs (as in the example!). You can still share these but you need to update your template sizes to fit with video.
Currently you do still appear to be able to share videos as part of a carousel post so if you add as multiple slides they will be shared as a post rather than a Reel. This makes it more important to plan how you’re going to share content to ensure you get the sizing right.
For video the optimum size is (including cover images):
- 1080 x 1920 px (9:16 ratio)
You can still add video in other ratios. TIP: to avoid getting black space around your video use an app like Canva to create your Reel in a 9:16 ratio and fill the dead space with your brand colours.
Important: your grid still displays squares so when selecting a cover for your Reel ensure it has the important details in the centre square for when people are visiting your profile.
Instagram Static Post Sizes
So what about posts?
Instagram have been trialling different feed sizes which led to varied and conflicting advice over what size your posts should be. After recent backlash Instagram have rolled back on these tests. That’s not to say things won’t change in the future but for the moment things are staying as is.
But what does ‘as is’ mean?
The standard Instagram width is 1080 px for all posts so if you’re posting a photo straight from your camera roll Instagram will resize it to fit this width and depending on the height it will fit to be a square, landscape or portrait.
To make your content look the best it can, plan your graphics / resize your images to fit the optimal ratios for the type of post you want.
These are the dimensions for each type of static post:
- Square post – 1080 x 1080 px (1:1 ratio)
- Portrait post – 1080 x 1350 px (4:5 ratio)
- Landscape post – 1080 x 608 px (1.91:1 ratio)
(As an aside for those saying they just want Instagram to be square again, it hasn’t been only square since 2015!)
But which one is the best size?
Well the answer to this partly depends on the type of content you want to share.
If you’re a photographer or artist, the work you wish to share may obviously fit into one of the three orientations to show it at its best, so go with that.
If you’re planning photos (eg: product shots) or creating graphics specifically for your Instagram feed I recommend using the portrait orientation (4:5 ratio). The main reason for this is because this size takes up more space on the home screen.
When people are scrolling through their home feed a portrait image almost completely fills the screen and so is more likely to draw their attention into the image and into the centre of your image (where the good stuff is!). With a square image there is more ‘white space’, text and distractions around the image meaning they *may* scroll past quicker.
There is another bonus for sharing portrait images – if you get into the habit of taking photos / creating graphics in portrait it’s easier to repurpose into video!
As with anything there is no “one size fits all”, so I strongly encourage you to try out different sizes – test things and see how they perform.
Important: As with video, whatever size you choose, make sure the key focus of your image / graphic fits in the centre square so it displays well on your grid.
Instagram Content (Post and Video) Dimensions
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Last week it felt like all the changes and tests that Instagram have been going through over the past 2 years came to a head. Petitions were shared and even the Kardashians waded in.
Since the rise of Reels there has been a growing community of people who want Instagram to go back to a “photo sharing app”. From a small business perspective Instagram has definitely changed over recent years – with algorithm updates, focus on ad spend and shift toward video being the biggest factors – which has meant that some businesses are struggling more to gain engagement and drive sales. (Only some though, others have thrived.)
The recent feed change tests (full screen, 4:5 ratio etc) have been a particular point of contention and has felt like a TikTok copy. While this has only been a test it’s clear some people truly disliked it.
After a lot of noise last week Adam Mosseri, Head of Instagram, then released some statements about pulling back on certain things, so let’s break it down on what is actually going on…
There have been a few tests ongoing for the last few months – one around a 16:9 full screen feed, another with a 4:5 grid layout and 4:5 ratio feed.
Mosseri confirmed last week that Instagram are pulling back on these, stopping the tests and won’t be making any changes at this time.
This is a common complaint from many people that they see too many recommendations in their feed and they want to see content from the people that they follow. Instagram have been clear they will continue to push recommendations but temporarily will be reducing the number of recommendations “as it works to improve its personalization tools” (source: Platformer).
Personally I’m not against recommendations – I have found many new businesses & accounts to follow (and even buy from) through recommendations & ads. Remember if you do see something you don’t like to click ‘not interested’ this will help the algorithm know what you do (& don’t) want to engage with.
Ok not a specific update on this but it comes up frequently and I did see lots of mentions about wanting it back last week.
Earlier this year Instagram introduced 2 new feeds: Favourites & Following.
If you only want to see content from those you follow in chronological order then ‘Following’ is for you.
Again personally I’m not interested in this. I like seeing the curated home feed where the algorithm is serving me what it thinks I will engage with most. It doesn’t always get it right but then who does!
A Photo Sharing App
Instagram are committed to video, and video is nothing new on Instagram. It started long before Reels, in fact I would argue they were at the beginning of short form “snackable” video with Stories.
I’ve always enjoyed Stories, particularly talking Stories where you get a little insight into someone’s day, where they are and what they’re doing. Sharing updates on their business, sneak peeks, the highs & lows. So, no surprise, I also enjoy watching Reels and getting lost in a few rabbit holes.
It remains to be seen what further actions Instagram will take following all the backlash last week but one thing is for sure video will be sticking around.
I hope this helps clarify some of the recent things that have been discussed and shared. If you want to read more about Mosseri’s recent announcements then have a read of this article on Platformer and/or check out the Creators feed. What else are you confused about? DM me on Instagram and I’ll get things uncomplicated.
I want you to enjoy using Instagram to build your community and grow your business; to find out more about how I can help you do this check out my Instagram services.
Or if you’re not sure where to start or have some questions, then let’s grab a virtual cuppa and we can chat it through.