Instagram opens up to more than just square images and videos! Here’s everything you need to know.
Well after years of only square images and videos, Instagram has finally opened up to allowing portrait and landscape orientations. This is a huge deal!
While most users won’t think it’s earth-shattering, for those of us using Social Media to grow our business or brand, this makes repurposing content a lot easier. On top of that, the added variety will make Instagram a lot more interesting.
So like usual, as soon as this Instagram change was live, I went to work dissecting it to make sure I understand all the angles. Here’s what I found…
The New Instagram Sizes
Just like my social media image templates, Instagram now has 3 image orientations:
- Landscape (horizontal)
- Portrait (vertical)
This allows for greater versatility in your image creation. That’s always a good thing. But it also means that you have to understand the constraints that are given.
The square image on Instagram remains to be shown at a maximum of 600×600 (pixels). No change in this whatsoever.
It should be noted though that Instagram will store a version as large as 1080×1080 but even on the largest of screens it seems they still display a maximum of 600×600.
For landscape images the maximum display size will be 600×450. In other words, a ratio of 4:3 which is the old cinematic standard for film and television.
Landscape videos, however, have a maximum display size of 600×336.5 (or 1200×673 in full view or retina display). This is very close to a typical 16:9 ratio that we see as the current cinematic standard in film & television.
Vertical (or portrait) images will display at a maximum of 480×600 (or 920×1200 for retina display). However it looks like Instagram is storing the photos at a maximum of 1080×1350 on it’s servers.
Vertical videos are, well… complicated. They will display at a maximum of 481×599.484, making this a nightmare for graphic designers to mock-up (you can’t do fractions of pixels).
Now, why in the world does Instagram want to make such odd calculations? I have no idea. But, it’s what we’ve got to work with.
What does this mean for Instagram?
Personally I think you’re going to see two kinds of users: the traditional and the people who like new things.
The traditional users will stick to their squares and be fine with that. They have gotten used to it and want to maintain their purist culture.
The people who like new things will embrace these new dimensions and create a more diverse stream of visual content. Things will definitely be a bit more interesting.
If I were to bet, I would say that much like Pinterest we will see the taller images (portrait) getting much more love than the square or (especially) landscape photos. The reason for this is that Instagram is still a mobile network, by a long shot.
Being a mobile dominated network this means that people’s habit of holding their phone in portrait will give the portrait images/videos a much better viewing experience. They will naturally cover more screen real estate garnering more attention.
So don’t be surprised if you see me update my Social Media Image Templates soon to include a new template or two. Be sure you’re subscribed to my Insiders list to make sure you’re notified when they’re updated.
Bonus: Instagram Sizes Infographic
For reading all the way to the end of the post, I wanted to thank you by giving you this easy reference infographic of all the Instagram sizes. Use it as a guide for when you’re creating images for Instagram from outside of Instagram so you can pull them in without worrying about cropping.
And FYI, you can easily save this in Pinterest by hitting the Pin button floating on this page. 😉
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<a href="https://dustn.tv/instagram-sizes/"><img src="https://dustn.tv/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/instagram-sizes.jpg" alt="Instagram Images Sizes" width="600px" border="0" /></a><br />Image courtesy of <a href="https://dustn.tv" title="dustn.tv | Social Media and Creativity Collide">dustn.tv</a>
So what are your thoughts about Instagram breaking out of the box? You can leave a comment by clicking here.