Cheatsheet: Instagram Story Format + Image Sizes At A Glance 2021

Cheatsheet: Instagram Story Format + Image Sizes At A Glance 2021

The days when Instagram consisted of simple photo posts are long gone. There are now various formats such as Instagram Story, Instagram Live, and IGTV to communicate with the target group. Sounds wonderful – but each one comes with guidelines.

We have put together a cheat sheet so that you know exactly what dimensions each Instagram story format needs – and what design options they offer.

All important Instagram image sizes for 2021 at a glance.

Instagram is constantly expanding its range of functions: At the beginning of the app, it was only possible to publish photos in a 1: 1 ratio; today, you can choose between various communication tools. Each Instagram format has its own requirements:

In order to always be informed about the most important criteria, it is, therefore, advisable to regularly check the updates in the help area of ​​Instagram.

1) Profile picture

The profile picture on Instagram is uploaded in 1: 1 format. The dimensions 150 x 150 pixels are best – however, a higher resolution is also possible.

The profile picture is shown round and therefore cut when uploading. If you want to use a logo or lettering as a profile picture, you must therefore ensure that the visible area is positioned in the middle of the picture.

2) photo post

Meanwhile, the square photo format of Instagram has been expanded: You can now publish pictures in portrait, landscape, and square format.

Posts in 1: 1 format has the dimensions 1080 x 1080 pixelsPortraits can ideally be posted in portrait format of 1080 x 1350 pixels, landscape shots in landscape format of 1080 x 608 pixels. If your graphic does not match the exact dimensions, the drag function helps to bring the image section into the correct position.

3) video post

Video posts in the Instagram feed range from landscape format (1080 x 608 pixels) to portrait format (1080 x 1250 pixels). Here, too, you can adjust the image section by moving it.

Videos can be posted in the feed with a maximum length of 60 seconds. If you want to publish longer formats, IGTV offers an alternative.

4) story

The Instagram story was initially introduced in 9:16 format (1080 x 608 pixels) – these are still the ideal dimensions for a full story post.

However, if you want to post other formats, you can adjust the image or video section with two fingers. If you move the story to a smaller format, the background automatically takes on a gradient color that matches the image section.

5) Live

The live format is a function within the Instagram story. It is also posted at a ratio of 9:16 and lasts a maximum of one hour.

With the help of Instagram Live, you can communicate with your followers in real-time, take them to exciting events or answer direct questions from viewers.


The upload of IGTV videos was initially only possible in the vertical portrait format of 9:16. In the meantime, however, clips can also be posted in landscape format.

When entering IGTV, all videos are initially played vertically: however, if the user clicks on the enlargement icon in the lower corner of the picture, he switches to horizontal mode – provided the clip was published in landscape format.

7) Instagram Ads

In the feed:

Instagram ads in the feed are only possible in landscape format (1080 x 608 pixels) or square (1080 x 1080 pixels). Another limitation is the number of text characters.

In order for the ad to be integrated into the user experience and design of Instagram, the post may contain a maximum of 20 percent text. You can use Facebook’s text overlay tool to verify that your Instagram ad meets the requirements. 

As a story:

The Instagram story also includes a 9:16 format of 1080 x 1920 pixels as an advertisement. For advertisements within the story format, the text is also limited to 125 characters.

You can use both videos and photos, but you should note that the most important information for both should be in an image section of 1080 x 1420 pixels. The account information and the call-to-action are displayed within 250 pixels in the upper and lower image area, which is why you should leave them blank.

The Carousel Ad allows you to combine up to three stories of 15 seconds each. This gives you more design leeway and allows you to convey your advertisement’s intention in a more sustainable manner.

Instagram story format and pixel information: specifications and range of functions

The story format is becoming increasingly popular in the Instagram community. However, it must be taken into account that Instagram stories are only visible for 24 hours and then disappear again – unless you save them in one of your Instagram highlights.

You can make recordings within the Instagram story or upload them from your mobile device’s gallery – both video and image recordings.

You can also choose from the following modes within the Instagram story:

  • live
  • Create
  • normal
  • boomerang
  • layout
  • Superzoom
  • Hands-free

Once you have selected a recording, the edit mode offers the following options:

  • Save story (in recordings),
  • Add face filter or effect,
  • Add swipe-up link,
  • Add special elements (e.g., location, mention, hashtag, GIF, music, polls, questions, countdown, quiz, chat),
  • Use drawing pens or
  • Add text.

Length of the clips for Instagram Stories

An Instagram story can be up to 15 seconds long. However, the seamless transition from one story to the next makes it possible to convey longer content through several sequences.

If you insert a video in edit mode that lasts longer than 15 seconds, it will be divided into individual stories. You can now edit each individual section and then add it to your story.

IGTV is available for a coherent clip: Here, you can publish videos up to an hour in length and promote them by posting a preview in your Instagram feed or within the story.

Instagram templates: these effects add value to your story.

Furthermore, Instagram provides various face filters and lenses that you can put on your recordings.

In addition to the templates from Instagram itself, users now also have the opportunity to create their own effects via Spark AR Studios.

You can find these in the profile of the respective user in the Effect Gallery, or you can access the entire repertoire under ” Browse Effects. ” Select a filter and then click ” Save effect, “save it directly in your own applications and use it immediately when creating a story.

The image and video formats on Instagram are diverse: For an optimal display, it is advisable to keep Instagram’s specifications in mind. However, if a picture or video does not match the exact dimensions, the drag function helps to select the correct section.

The Instagram story, in particular, offers you countless formats for design – also within the app itself. Create gifs, boomerangs, surveys, your own face filters, or integrate links to your website to inform your brand’s Instagram community and your content inspire.