When you’re posting your own photos to Instagram it’s very likely that you’re just using the photos that you captured with your smartphone.
This is the easiest method for getting the photos onto the app, I mean that’s what it was designed for right?
I used to be guilty of this myself, though eventually I realized that I wanted more control over how the photos looked and sometimes I even noticed they were too compressed or stretched out for my liking.
Straight from the phone Instagram allows you to crop the photo (choose which area of your photos you actually wanted uploaded) and also allows you to add a filter or do some small edits.
This is fine for most people, and when I first started out I didn’t have a problem with this at all.
However, after browsing through my favorite Insta accounts I realized that I wanted to start editing my photos on my own and even adding text and other interesting features to them to make them more unique and interesting for my followers.
In this post I want to share with you guys the best dimensions for Instagram photos that you should be using so that your photos look the best that they can on the high-resolution smartphone and mobile displays that people are using these days.
The Best Sizing and Dimensions for Instagram Photos in 2017
There are actually a few different things that you’re going to want to keep in mind when you’re posting photos to Instagram.
A few years ago the app started allowing high resolution images and it went from the possibility to only being able to upload a photo of 640px square to now where it’s possible to upload square photos with 1080px sides.
You can still get away with using smaller images but they’re going to look stretched out with noticeable pixel distortion.
Just recently Instagram completely did away with using just square photos and although you can still upload squared images you can also upload photos of any size.
However, when you’re going to be uploading photos you still want them to follow ideal dimensions so that they’re not too distorted or bigger than they have to be.
What Is the Ideal Instagram Photo Size?
These days there are still a lot of people wondering what size photo for Instagram should be used.
At the moment there really isn’t any specific dimensions that you’re going to want to be following although if you want your photos to come out looking the best I recommend uploading images that are a minimum of 1080px on the side that’s the shortest.
It’s still possible to crop photos into a square if that’s what you prefer or if you’re using the Instagram app for capturing you can simply take the photo as a square before you edit it and upload it.
Thankfully there is now support available for more rectangle images and whether you using a Samsung smartphone, iPhone, or any other device it’s possible to upload your photos in portrait or landscape mode.
Anyone taking photos with just their smartphone isn’t going to run into too many issues with uploading the images to Instagram but you might experience some problems if you’re downloading the images from somewhere else, such as Flickr, and then uploading them to the app.
Whenever you upload a photo from your phone or other device to Instagram it’s going to get immediately converted into a size where the longest side is just 1080px.
Of course there is some compression applied to make it even smaller overall to place less of a load on Instagrams servers but overall the photo is going to come out looking pretty good as long as you’re using the right dimensions.
Anybody using a smartphone is going to be able to see photos displayed at a maximum width of 1080px and on most modern high-resolution displays this is going to look pretty good on a smaller device.
Things get a little bit different when you’re using Instagram online through the web app and here pictures are going to be displayed in a square format (600px by 600px).
This is really negligible since most people are using the app to browse photos but you will see a difference if you happen to be using the online version.
I still recommend uploading photos with a minimum longest side dimension of 1080px just to avoid any issues regardless of how people are viewing your images.
In the long run as devices become better equipped with higher resolution displays and better screens you’re going to want continue uploading photos in the best quality that you can and I expect in the future that the dimensions will continue to increase.
Instagram Profile and Photo Grid
The app used to be a lot different but these days whenever someone visits your page they are presented with your small profile photo, your bio, and then a collection of photos depending on the device and how they’re visiting your page.
Using the smartphone app there are two solid rows of 3 images across being displayed and on the direct website there is just one row of 3 images that’s display.
The layout on both of the applications makes it really easy for people to quickly get a feel for what the type of photos that you’re uploading and to see if they’re interested in following you or if they’re going to keep looking for someone else that better suits their tastes.
On both applications your photos are displayed as squares and they’re actually downsized from their original dimensions.
This downsizing actually allows for the photos to look pretty good regardless of how they’re being displayed, although you’ll definitely notice a decline in quality if you enlarge it and you aren’t uploading photos with the right dimensions.
Any time that you click a photo it’s going to expand into its default dimensions so it will either open up as a square or a rectangle depending on how you uploaded it.
Personally, I don’t even bother uploading square photos anymore because they’re not able to capture as much of the surrounding details as I would like but some people still find them practical for their uses so it’s up to you to decide whether or not you want to use the square ones, the rectangle photos, or just both.
It even possible to upload vertical photos but I don’t find that these look too good in the Instagram feed and I would avoid doing so unless you have a specific reason why you want to upload it vertically.
Profile Picture and Instagram Smartphone App
When you’re using the smartphone app any photos that you select for a profile picture are going to be displayed as a round circle so if you’re planning on using a logo or any specific image you’re going to want to make sure that it’s properly centered and not out of place in the circle.
The profile picture for Instagram is also displayed as a circle if you’re using the web app so make sure to select a high-quality image when you’re deciding on a profile picture to use.
How to Change Instagram Profile Picture
Changing your profile picture on Instagram it’s very easy but you could only do it using the smartphone app instead of being able to do it online with the web app.
To change your profile photo:
- Click on the small icon of your profile photo on the bottom right of your Instagram app
- With your profile displayed tap on “Edit your profile” add the top under your followers count
- At the top you’ll see a round image and right underneath you’ll want to tap on “Change photo”
- You’ll now be able to select a photo to use for your profile from your smartphone
- Once you selected one click on done and then click the checkmark at the top right of the “Edit Profile” page
What is the Largest Photo Size You Can Upload to Instagram?
From my understanding there used to be a limit when it came to the maximum image size that Instagram would accept but these days I don’t think that there is a limit at all.
If there is a limit it will be very high and well beyond what your average Instagram user is going to be uploading.
Photos that people take using their smartphones and other camera devices continue to grow in size so Instagram will also continue to update their app so that larger photos can be uploaded without any issues.
Someone Stole My Instagram Photo
Unfortunately, while it’s not as straightforward as just downloading your photos to a computer, people are still stealing Instagram photos and using them for their own benefit.
With a little bit of effort it’s possible to find out how to download an Instagram photo and if this is something that you’re worried about then you can ultimately choose to add a watermark to make your photo more distinguishable and harder to steal.
Keep in mind that all someone really needs to do is just capture a screenshot of their phone screen and then they can use your photo wherever they want.
Thankfully, most people are quite honest, and it’s unlikely, unless you have a very popular Instagram account, that your photos are going to get stolen and reused.