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Instagram Format Guide for Pictures and Videos

Formatting your Instagram photos and videos correctly can ensure your content looks great. Learn how to properly format your Instagram content here.

Establishing a brand requires more than high-quality products or the ability to deliver top-tier services. In order to attract attention and build a reputation for your business, creating an online presence with social media is a must. If you're thinking of using Instagram to spread the word about your business and want to build your online following, it's important to understand just how Instagram works before getting started.

Like all other social media platforms available today, Instagram has its own set of standards and requirements for users when it comes to uploading images and video media. If you refrain from abiding by Instagram's formatting requirements or recommendations, you may find that your content appears blurry, grainy, or low-quality once it has been published live on your page.

Whether you prefer uploading and sharing standard graphics and photos or want to use Instagram's video features, knowing how to properly format your Instagram account is essential for optimal results.

Formatting for Instagram images

The standard format used on Instagram includes basic images and graphics. Image files that can be used on Instagram include traditional file types, such as JPG and GIF files. PNG files can also be uploaded in most instances. Before you upload your next Instagram image, familiarize yourself with the following layout types for photos: square, landscape, and vertical.

  • When users choose a square layout, the ideal Instagram image size is 1080 x 1080 pixels, or px. A 1:1 aspect ratio is recommended for square posts and the highest quality outcome.
  • The best Instagram image size for those uploading landscape posts is 1080 x 566 pixels with a 1.91:1 ratio.
  • Vertical, or Instagram portrait, images should include a 4:5 aspect ratio with max dimensions of 1080 x 1350 pixels.

Formatting for Instagram videos

Once familiar with the basic recommendations for Instagram pictures, you can learn more about the dimensions for videos. Video media on Instagram can provide you with the traction and visibility you need based on the content of your video(s) and various hashtags used throughout the community. When you're planning to upload videos to your Instagram account, keep the following formatting tips in mind:

  • Dimensions: Upload your Instagram videos with dimensions of at least 1080 x 1350 pixels.
  • Aspect ratio: Whenever you use Instagram to share video media, ensure your video's aspect ratio is between 1.91:1 to 4:5. The ideal Instagram aspect ratio for video files on the platform is 16:9.
  • File formats: Currently, Instagram allows users to upload video files in MP4, GIF, and MOV formats.
  • Length: Each video on Instagram has a current limit of 60 seconds. Keep this in mind for content strategizing and content creation purposes.
  • Size: Currently, the file size limit for videos uploaded to the Instagram platform is 4GB.

Formatting for Instagram Stories

Instagram stories allow you to use images, animations, and videos to share updates with current followers throughout your day. When using Instagram Stories, keep the following formatting guidelines in mind:

  • Dimensions: All Instagram Stories will appear as 1080 x 1920 pixels and have an aspect ratio of 9:16 for both videos and photos.
  • Image display time: Images uploaded to Instagram Stories will be displayed for up to 5 seconds.
  • Video display time: Videos used in Instagram Stories can be displayed up to 15 seconds.

Formatting for Instagram TV and Reels

Using IGTV and Reels with an Instagram business account is highly recommended for users who want to take their Instagram marketing to the next level. Instagram TV and Reels provide more ways to promote a business, brand, idea, or product. When formatting the look and feel of your IGTV or Reels, keep the following formatting recommendations in mind:

  • For those producing or streaming video content, Instagram recommends 1080 x 1920 pixels and an aspect ratio of 9:16.
  • When you use IGTV and Reels, users on mobile smartphones will view your content with a 4:5 aspect ratio when scrolling through their Instagram feed. In your IGTV or Reel grid, however, your videos will appear with a 1:1 aspect ratio.
  • Beneath the Instagram Reels tab, you'll find thumbnails with an aspect ratio of 9:16.
  • For IGTV, Instagram thumbnails will appear as 420 x 654 pixels. For those who upload an IGTV cover photo, pictures should also be 420 x 654 pixels in size with a 1:1.55 ratio to ensure optimal image quality.

Why is it important to format your Instagram content correctly?

When you want to get more followers on Instagram, adhering to Instagram's formatting guidelines will ensure that your uploaded video and photo content is as high-quality as possible. Whether you're attempting to build an online following with your social media presence or you're interested in advertising on Instagram, knowing how to format your photos and videos is extremely important.

Abiding by the recommended social media image sizes doesn't only ensure that your Instagram post size is appropriate and the best quality resolution possible, but it'll also help you to streamline the process of creating content. The more comfortable you are with formatting guidelines, the easier it'll be to appeal to those you intend to reach.

A few reasons why Instagram formatting matters while establishing a brand and building credibility include:

  • First impressions: When it comes to social media, you typically only have one opportunity to make a positive first impression on prospective followers and customers. An Instagram page that appears streamlined and professional is much more likely to attract new followers and potential customers.
  • Quality: Along the lines of making a positive impression, the quality of your images and videos can mean the difference between failure and success on social media.
  • Competition: Instagram is home to billions of active users from around the world, making it one of the most popular and competitive platforms today. Setting yourself apart from your competition is only possible with proper formatting and high-quality content.
  • Branding: Establishing and building a successful business requires more than a sought-after product or service. Using the same formatting and art style on your Instagram videos and photos can go a long way towards solidifying a professional reputation for your brand online and off.

Formatting tips for Instagram

Once you're comfortable with how Instagram works and the recommended Instagram dimensions for your posts, you can begin formatting your own photos and videos for the world to see. Before you start sharing your posts on the platform, here are a few formatting tips:

  • Aspect ratio: Keep the post size and aspect ratio of the content you intend to share in mind, whether you're using Instagram to share video media or traditional images and graphics.
  • Write caption copy elsewhere: Copy and paste the messaging you intend to share in your Instagram post, rather than using the app itself. The Instagram app has many issues when it comes to spacing and formatting, which can make your post difficult to read once you publish it live.
  • Create goals: Consider your goals for each post you intend to upload to Instagram. Are you trying to attract new followers to your account, or are you more interested in referring users to your official website or e-commerce store with your photos and videos?
  • Use bullet points and symbols: Using a bullet point or various symbols, such as check marks or relevant emoji icons, can help convey a message without bogging down your followers. Using bullets and icons can also help break up lengthier posts, making them much easier to skim and read.
  • Avoid using emoji icons in empty spaces: Don't place emoji icons in breakpoints of your post copy. Instead, use them within a sentence or as a bullet.
  • Communication style: Consider the voice and tone you'll use to build your brand on Instagram. Consistency is key when communicating with your audience directly on social media. If your page appears too corporate, robotic, or disconnected from its followers, it's less likely to perform optimally.
  • Hashtags: When using any social media platform, incorporate relevant hashtags that can generate buzz and garner more followers. If you're unsure about which hashtags are most appropriate for your business and brand, conduct research using the Instagram platform to explore more of your competitors.

Grow your Instagram with high-quality content

With high-quality, relevant, and interesting content, quickly grow your Instagram account to promote your business, brand, or services and products. Using great graphics, photos, animations, and videos with the proper dimensions can make all of the difference when generating a following of your own.

With Mailchimp, discover how to manage your Instagram posts and marketing campaigns to optimize your social media presence and maximize your online reach. Schedule your posts in advance, run targeted ads, and connect with your audience with our suite of social media marketing tools.

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