The more things change, the more things stay the same—except when it comes to optimal photo sizes for social media. But no worries friends, here at PicMonkey we do the pixel figurin’ so you can focus on blowing up your friends’ Instagram feeds with groovilicious pictures.
Best Instagram photo sizes:
- For profile photos, make your images 180 x 180 pixels.
- For photo posts, make your images at least 1080 pixels wide.
Got it? Good. But there’s more stuff you should know about making your Instagram pictures as fabulous as you are. Here’s what this article will cover:
- Why the new Instagram photo size options are a reason to celebrate wildly.
- How to save your PicMonkey images at the perfect size for Instagram.
- When and why you might want to use a watermark.
New size and dimension options for Instagram
So first, the great news is that you are no longer confined to just a square. Which makes a huge amount of sense—one out of five photos posted to Instagram started out in landscape or portrait mode, and cropping everything to a square meant people were cut out of photos, or those lovely distance shots just didn’t feel quite as grand. Now when you post a photo in Instagram, you can crop in both square and rectangular aspect ratios.
But wait, there’s even more great news (pass the bubbly). Before Instagram’s recent update, the 640 pixel images looked blurry on higher resolution devices. So they now recommend you post images that are 1080 pixels wide, at a minimum. If you really, really, really want to load smaller images you still can—no law against it—but for clear, snappy pictures on today’s higher resolution displays you’re going to want to post images with that 1080 pixel width.
How to size Instagram photos in PicMonkey
Start off with the highest resolution image you’ve got. To check the pixel dimensions of your photo, click Crop in the Basic Edits tab, and you’ll see the dimensions in the Actual size boxes. Type the pixel dimensions you want into the boxes and then drag the grid to a crop you like. Or you can just drag the corner handles on the grid and watch the dimension numbers change. Feel free to make a square if that’s your thing, or choose dimensions for a portrait or landscape photo. Just keep your eye on the actual size boxes—width needs to be at least 1080 pixels. Click Apply when done.
Once you’ve added all the effects to your masterpiece and are ready to launch that puppy, click Save in the top toolbar. If your image is a photo, use the .jpg file format (the default setting) and choose the image quality. Go as high as you can (Sean? Yaaaas.) while keeping an eye on file size.
If you’re angling for that perfectly square post, you can also use our Blank Instagram Post template to get your photo sized. Click Customize to launch the template into the Editor and then just right-click it to replace our image with an image from your computer, Hub, or other storage options. It’ll be perfectly sized to 1080 x 1080 pixels.
Now you’re ready to upload your fab photo to Instagram!
To watermark, or not to watermark. That is the question.
In ye days of olde, when Instagram images were 640 pixels max, you didn’t have to worry too much about people downloading and ‘borrowing’ your images since they weren’t high enough quality for printing, but with the newer, larger image size it’s something to consider. Watermarking isn’t a complete guarantee since images can still be cropped, but that extra step might make it less appealing to potential borrowers. And we’ve got a handy watermarking tutorial to show you the ropes.
Want to make your Instagram photos so crazy-good that your friends might think you’ve got a team of magic photo elves at your beck and call? Get a free trial of our premium Premium subscription!