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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When it comes to reels one of the top pieces of advice to boost views is to use trending audio, but does this leave you confused? Do you know what people mean by this term? And most importantly, once you find some trending audio do you know what to do with it?
Instagram Reels will be 2 years old this summer and their main purpose is to ‘entertain’.
Audio (the sounds or songs that go along with the short video) forms a key element of this entertainment. Instagram want you to enjoy the content (so you’ll watch more), and also to inspire others (so they’ll create more); this is where trending audio comes in.
Trending audio (songs or sounds) refers to audio that is gaining popularity.
It is not so much about numbers, in fact there are many audios that have been used thousands of times but are not trending. It is more about the momentum; indicators like it being viewed more frequently and more & more people using it, or saving it, to create their own original content.
Here’s a few common questions about trending audios to help get you confident and having fun with using trending audio.
So firstly, how do you know what is trending?
When you’re scrolling through reels, you can identify a trending audio by the small arrow next to the audio title.
The manual way to find trending audios is to simply look out for them whilst you’re scrolling and watch for the arrow – if you see one, which you enjoy, then save itIf you don’t want to scroll, or just want more inspiration, then there are a few accounts that publish regular trend reports. Two to check out are the @creators account and this blog from Later that is updated regularly.
So how should you use Trending Audios?
Trending audios can be used in a variety of ways, and don’t worry they’re definitely not all dance routines or pointing – I know you don’t enjoy those!
For some it will be obvious; there will be a trend around what to film or show to go with the audio.
For others you may need to get more creative, and try out some different ideas to go along with the audio. Check out other reels that have been created using that audio for inspiration; but remember to keep it for inspiration don’t copy someone else’s content.
If you like an audio but not sure how you would use it then you can:
- Save it for later when you have time to plan how to utilise it for your niche
- Film the reel anyway and worry about what context to put with it later on. This is a great way to batch create reels; using short audios to film a few at a time – you can then save them as draft to edit later.
Should you use the trends with a set ‘template’ or are they too popular?
Following the ‘template’ of the trend is fine and will help inspire others (likely why it has gained the momentum to be trending). If it is a very popular reel in your niche, then some may feel they’ve already seen it many times and start to lose interest. This though is very much personal choice.
Even when following a template, always make it your own & add your own personality wherever you can. This will help keep people engaged.
Is there a time you should not use trending audio?
As with any content the key is to ensure what you are sharing is consistent and relevant.
- Consistent with the rest of your content; ensure it aligns with what your account is about and what your audience expect to see from you
- Relevant to you, your business & your audience
Some trending audios can be fun but if they’re totally random compared to what your business is about and the audience you want to build then just keep them for your personal account.
Trending audios are more likely to be seen by more non-followers so it is an opportunity to attract new people into your audience; keep the content relevant to what will appeal to your ideal audience.
Does the trending audio need to align to your niche?
Many trending audios start off in one niche but then will quickly expand out to others. The fact that the momentum builds around them to make them trending often means that they cross different niches.
As before, if you can ensure that the content you’re sharing is consistent & relevant then you don’t need to worry about which niche it started off in.
What about captions & hashtags?
Audio is only one element of your reel. When creating your reel you need to consider all other aspects – the visuals & edits (text etc) you make are the other key element.
But that’s not to say the caption and hashtags aren’t important too. As with all content it is important to include a caption – you can add more explanation & context to your reel and prompt discussion.
For hashtags, you don’t need to use any specific hashtags that go along with the trend (unless they’re relevant). Stick to adding hashtags that are relevant to your niche.
Hopefully this helps answer some questions you may have around trending audio. When it comes to reels my key advice is to just have a go!
Some will work and some won’t, but its through this process that you’ll discover what you enjoy creating and what your audience enjoy consuming.
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 click here to view my Instagram services.
Or if you’re not sure where to start or have some questions, then get in touch to book a free 30 minute clarity call, we can chat it all through and work out how I can best support you. Book a call here.