What size do my images need to be for Facebook? Twitter? Google+…
There are countless blog posts and infographics telling you the social media image sizes you need to know. You know the biggest problem with all of them? They’re too stinking complicated!
There are only three dimensions you need to know. That’s it. And I’m not only going to tell you what they are, I’m going to give you free templates to start with every time you create a new social media image or graphic.
Consider these your minimum viable visual blueprints— for those who want to stop wasting time and get things done.
This is part of the Essential Guide to Sharing Images Online series. Be sure to read the rest of the posts in the series!
Too Many Social Media Image Sizes
You don’t need to know what size something is when it’s viewed on every possible screen. You don’t need to know what size the thumbnail preview is. You don’t need to know the exact dimensions of a Facebook profile photo when it’s being seen on a desktop or smart phone.
You just need to get it done.Don't waste time creating images for every possible social network size. Use these 4 templates:Click To Tweet
All you need to know is what sizes work best and what networks they work best on. So here is your dead-simple guide to social media image sizes.
And P.S. if you’re looking for social media cover photo dimensions, you’ll want to view the post I have dedicated to that specifically. It’s even got it’s own downloadable templates!
Download the templates instantly by adding your email address below. By doing so, you’ll not only be able to download them immediately but you’ll also get notified whenever I update these templates.
Social Media Image Sizes
Landscape, portrait, and square. These are the only three sizes that you need to know. I have added one bonus size though, specifically for facebook link-previews, but more on that in a minute.
Here a quick reference cheat sheet for visual image sizing:
- 1920x1080px (Landscape)
- 735x1080px (Portrait)
- 1080×1080 (Square)
- 1200×630 (Facebook specific)
To make it even easier for you, I’ve created the following downloadable blueprints for you to use as starting points for your images. Simply add your email below and click the Download button.
You’ll notice that each template has social icons on it. I’ve done this so that you can instantly know which social networks these dimensions look best on.
But that’s not all. Read on for a special bonus at the end.
After going through each social network and testing out which image size looks the best, I came to a few conclusions about each.
The landscape orientation (1920×1080) is a perfect HD quality 16:9 aspect ratio. This size works great on Google+, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn for image uploads.
This is the first and most important social media image size. Why? Because it covers all the biggest social networks in one swoop. If you have limited time and want to be super efficient with your image creation just create this version of your image.
On Google+ if your image is high quality and landscape ratio then you have a chance of being seen “full stream” (when a post covers multiple columns in a user’s Google+ stream). This will gain you significantly more exposure since it takes up the full potential real estate in someone’s social stream. They can’t possibly miss your post when it’s full stream, especially when you follow my Anatomy of A Perfect Google+ Post.
On Facebook the landscape orientation appears in the full width of the post area covering as much horizontal space as possible.
Now, you’ll notice I’ve included a fourth template that is 1200×630. This is because Facebook has a very specific image size ratio that populates for link previews. In order to keep from getting your images cropped in an undesirable way, and minimize the degradation of the image quality (because Facebook sucks at resizing images and maintaining quality) you’ll want to use the 1200×630 for all images destined for Facebook link previews.
On Twitter image previews are shown in landscape with the top and bottom cropped out, so using a landscape image just makes sense.
On LinkedIn images only cover the full horizontal area when they are landscape. Otherwise you get a big gap of space to the right of the image, making it look less significant.
Bonus tip: If you keep all your points of focus (text or primary image subject) in the square area of the template you can easily use it on Instagram as well, killing two birds with one stone. Instagram will force you to crop it into a square so if all your vital components are in the square in the center, you’re golden.
Pinterest users have known for quite some time that tall images work best on Pinterest. You get more real estate in the Pinterest stream, making it more visible to those scrolling through.
But why 735×1080? Good question. Basically, Peg Fitzpatrick said that the best Pinterest images size was 735×1102. The 735 is the maximum width that Pinterest will ever display images at, and 1102 keeps it tall enough to cover most people’s browser windows without having to scroll.
When I started creating tall images specifically for Pinterest, my Pinterest traffic went through the roof! It really works!
So why did I cut my template’s height by 22px? Good question. You’ll see that in my bonus at the bottom. 😉
This style also seems to do relatively well on Google+, but obviously will never have the chance to go full-stream. From my personal experience this style doesn’t yield as many views on Google+ but can be a nice variant from time to time.
For square images the only network that I recommend using this on is Instagram. The reason? They only allow square images.
Why 1080? Well in today’s visually evolving digital space, higher quality images will always stand out. So I’ve intentionally created this to be bigger than needed because it’s always better to create something that is bigger than needed and have it scaled down rather than have it be too small and try to scale up (losing visual quality).
Additionally, as part of Instagram’s recent image size changes, despite the fact that they will only ever show a 600×600 version of your image they do store a maximum size of 1080×1080.
You can use square images on Google+ or Facebook but you won’t get the maximum visual exposure on Google+. On Facebook it doesn’t seem to matter quite as much, but I still recommend the landscape over the square.
I also recommend using this size for creating profile pictures (or avatars) for your social networks as most of them use squares and the higher the quality the better.
Bonus: One visual content template to rule them all
So if you’re like me and you’re as much about excellence as you are about efficiency– this is the one template you’ve been waiting for. I’m making this exclusively available to my Insiders list though.
All you need to do is add your email below and you’ll get immediate access to it along with all my other Insider Exclusive resources.
Now go create!
So take these templates and use them in your favorite image editing software as a starting point for your next set of sharable social images.
Oh, what’s that you say? You would like a recommendation of the best free image creation software available? Well that’s awfully convenient, because I’ve covered all you could possibly need in The Best Mobile Apps for Creating Visual Content as well as The Best Free Tools for Creating Visual Content.
Originally published on October 13, 2014. Updated October 25, 2015.