The major social networks are a little picky about the posts they give more visibility. Since most networks use algorithms that decide what to show to their users, it has become a struggle to optimize posts for more reach. Social media image sizes are one of the major factors that decide whether your post gets the attention you hoped for. So please, pay a little more attention to the right social media image sizes and formats for your post images.
For social media marketing success, you will have to know about the ideal image sizes for each network that you are using.
Here is what you have to know about social media image sizes for the most important social networks for marketing: Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.
(This post is NOT about social media image sizes, ratios, and dimensions for ads! The requirements and best practices for ads may vary)
Before you read on - we have various resources that show you exactly how to use social networks to gain massive traffic and leads. For instance, check out the following:FREE Step-by-Step Twitter Marketing Guide
FREE Pinterest Marketing Ebook
This post is going to be a little dry with lots of numbers. Sorry about that.
1. Twitter Image Size Guide:
Let us start with our favorite social network: Twitter.
Twitter avatar images used to be square – a couple of years ago. If you are like me, you probably uploaded a Twitter avatar years ago and then forgot all about it. And that could still work, but…
Twitter changed the avatar image to a round image.
The square avatar image used 400px x 400px – which the now round image still is. But if you have an image that was optimized for a square, the round image will now simply cut off all the corners.
That might not be too bad with a headshot. But for some logos, this could make the avatar image unrecognizable. For instance, logos that are wider than they are high will be displayed in a truncated way.
If your old avatar image does not fit the circle, what you want to do is this: Create a larger square in which you place your logo so that it will not fill up the full square. If you now place this square inside the circle your image will show without the corners cut off.
Twitter Header image
If you are familiar with the Facebook Cover photo – the Twitter header image is similar.
The header image for Twitter should have a 3:1 ratio which means that it should be three times as wide as it is high. For instance a 1500 px x 500 px image works fine.
If you created your header image ages ago, like I did, you still need to know that something changed. And that is the way the avatar is placed on top of the header image covering a considerable area on it. If you are using text overlay on your header image or a logo, you need to check if this still works or if your avatar.
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The area covered by your avatar image depends on the device on which you are using Twitter. On Desktop this area is considerably larger than on mobile.
LouiseM created a graphic that is showing you how the avatar sits on the cover image on various devices.
Twitter Post Image
When Twitter first introduced images for the tweets there was a lot of discussion as to the optimal image size. I have seen standard (almost) square social media images as well as the 2:1 landscape version.
The crowd settled for 2:1 landscape or 1024 px x 512 px as the most recommended image size for Twitter posts. And that still works – on desktop.
Since most Twitter users visit their Twitter feed from mobile – according to Wall Street Journal that is 85% of Twitter users), we need to consider how the tweet and the image look on mobile. And the problem here is that the most commonly used 2:1 image gets truncated on mobile devices.
Image Source LouisM
In 2020 the best image size for your tweets has a 16:9 image ratio. That means that 660 px x 335 px or larger images like 1200 px x 675 px work best.
Images should not be taller than the 16:9 ratio – or they will be cropped!
An exception is videos or gifs. Videos or Gifs can also be square.
The file size should not be more than 15 MB.
Twitter Cards images:
If you have found this article via Twitter, you will probably have notices, that our images on Twitter are still 2:1. The reason is that we use Twitter Cards.
Twitter Cards are still happy with the 2: 1 ratio – or rather a 1.91 : 1 ratio.
Pinterest Image Size Guide:
When I started out with Pinterest, I had no clue about the ideal image sizes. In fact, I had no clue about what to post on Pinterest at all and ended up pinning all the images from an article to Pinterest.
I have come a long way since that long time ago in 2012.
Pinterest cover or header and avatar
Before I give you the best images sizes for your pins, just a small remark, why I do not write about a header/cover image or an avatar for Pinterest.
The header or cover zone on your Pinterest profile is automatically made up by Pinterest from the pins that you have pinned in the past. You do not need to worry about the size or what’s on it. If you pin the good stuff, your header will look good.
The avatar on Pinterest is a circle and you can follow the same best practices, that I already stated for Twitter.
If your picture looks good in a circle that is perfect. If you are using a logo or another Picture that would look better in a square, you should use an image editing tool like Canva or something similar to put your square image into a larger square. This way your square image is going o show without truncated corers.
Pinterest Pin sizes
The first thing you need to understand about Pinterest images is that Pinterest favors vertical images that are taller than they are wide.
Pinterest recommends that you use an aspect ratio of 2:3.
That means all pins that have a size like 1000 px x 1500 px or 600 px x 900 px are good.
Image source: Pinterest
Don’t go any smaller than 600px : 900px.
Some time ago when people realized that Pinterest favored tall images, they started to create taller and taller images.
Until Pinterest put a stop to that. Pinterest gave these overly tall images a nickname: Giraffe pins 🙂
Taller images are now truncated in the feed which is not optimal as people will not fully see what is on the pin until they click on it.
However, there is still an exception where taller images are not only acceptable but will in some cases even work better than 2:3 images: Infographics (see below.)
But what about square images?
For ages, Pinterest was all about tall images. But in 2017 they announced that square images would also be acceptable.
User experience seems to show that square images are still not the best-performing pins on Pinterest. But if you have some images on your blog that are square and you think some of them would respond well with your Pinterest audience, feel free to pin them. Check how square pins are doing for you!
If you want to learn how to design pins that get repins and clicks, check out this guide to designing Pinterest images for blog posts.
Infographics can be taller than the recommended 2:3 ratio. But make sure that you have information to fill that long pin. Don’t create long pins just for the fun of it.
And don’t go overboard with how tall you make your infographics pin. A ratio of 1:3 or 1:4 should do the trick.
Pinterest Video pins
Pinterest video pins are still relatively new. That means there is still a lot of potential in video pins that so far is rather unused. Not many content creators have jumped the Pinterest video pin train.
If you want to learn more about Pinterest video pins, check out Jonathan’s article!
Pinterest recommends to make your video pins short: 6 – 15 seconds should work best.
The optimal size for a Pinterest video follows the 2:3 aspect ratio. Pinterest also recommends an aspect ratio of 9:16. Don’t make your videos any taller or they will be cropped in the feed.
Facebook Image Size Guide
To gain any kind of exposure for your posts on Facebook without paying for it is getting harder by the day. It gets even harder if you fail to use images in the required image sizes.
To make it more complicated, Facebook as all the other major social networks keep changing some of the requirements for image sizes from time to time.
Here is what you need to know about the best size for the most important images on your Facebook account.
Facebook Cover image:
The new dimension for the Facebook page cover image is 820 px x 312 px on desktop. On mobile this is different. Only the middle part of your (desktop) cover image will be displayed on mobile as cover images on mobile are displayed with 640 px x 360 px.
Since the cover images for desktop and mobile are different, you will need to consider this when you design your cover image. Everything crucial that you want to ALWAYS show on desktop and mobile should be placed in the “safe” zone that will show on desktop AND mobile.
Image source: Snappa blog
Keep in mind that cover images for events and groups use a different image size!
Cover image for events: 1920 px x 1005 px
Cover image for groups: 1640 px x 856 px
If you want to use basically the same cover image for various purposes that needs different sizes, you can try the resize option of your graphics tool (if it offers one.) Canva and Snappa offer a resize option that usually gives you fairly good results. Just check the image in the new dimension and make sure that everything still displays as intended.
Facebook page profile image
The profile pic used to overlap the cover image on your Facebook page. That is no longer the case. The profile image now has a prominent place on the left side of your Facebook page.
Image Source: LouiseM
The Facebook profile image used to be a square – it is now a circle. Similar to the Twitter avatar image, you need to consider the circle in your profile picture. If you are using a (square) logo that you don’t want to get cropped due to the circle, you need to place the image in a larger square before you upload it. This way the corners will not be cropped.
The profile pic will be displayed in a circle of 170px x 170px on desktop.
For tablets and mobile this is smaller at 128px x 128px (tablet) and 36px x 36px for most mobile phones. When you create your profile image use at least 170px x 170px or larger – this will be scaled down. If your profile image is smaller, it may look ok on your phone but look ugly on desktop.
Facebook image post dimensions
If you “just” want to post images on Facebook, you have a broad variety of choices.
Basically, you can choose any image size from landscape to portrait. You are free to post your Instagram images to Facebook – or even your Pinterest pins.
For square images you should go for at least the size you should use for Instagram: 1080px x 1080px or even 1200px x 1200px.
For portrait images with a ratio of 4:5 images with a size of 1200px x 1500px or the Instagram size 1080px x 1350 px will look good.
Facebook link share posts
If you want to share your blog posts to Facebook, you want to use a landscape sized image with a ratio of 1.91: 1 for your post. The minimal image size is 600px x 330px. For the best results an image size of 1200px x 660px is recommended.
If the dimensions of your uploaded image are not right for a link share post, Facebook will crop the image and only use the center of the image. This will often result in ugly looking images.
If the uploaded image is too small, Facebook will display it as a thumbnail.
If you want to share links on Facebook, make sure you provide an image with the optimal dimensions.
Facebook Video post
Video posts allow landscape and portrait format. As for Instagram aspect ratios for landscape videos is 16:9 and for portrait 9:16. Mobile will render both video types to 2:3.
Aim for an image size of 1280px x 720px or 720px x 1280px.
The maximum video length is 120min. You can use .mp4 or .mov files. The max file size is 4GB.
The video max frame is 30 fps.
Facebook 360 Video
360 videos allow you to place yourself at the center of the video experience. This way the users get a complete 360 view by scrolling with the cursor.
360 videos also use .mp4 or .move files and allow a file size of up to 10GB. The file size should be up to 5120 x 2560 or 5120 x 5120.
360 videos can have a length of up to 4 hours. The bitrate should be between 12 and 15 Mbit/s.
Facebook live video
Live videos on Facebook can be horizontal or vertical – but you need to make this decision before you start your live video.
Similar to Instagram stories, Facebook stories usually fill the screen of your mobile phone. The best sizes is 1080px x 1920px. That is an aspect ratio of 9:16.
However, when designing your stories, you need to take into account that most of the time, a profile image and some buttons will display at the top of your screen on the story image. If you are using text, this should not be placed at the top where the profile and the buttons are.
Instagram image size guide
Instagram photo posts:
Instagram in 2020 offers more than the good old square post option. You can also use portrait or landscape images – or switch between the three while editing your images.
For the standard square image of 1080px x 1080 px are ideal. For the other two formats, the width should stay at 1080 px but the hight will then be 608 px for landscape and 1350 px for portrait images. These image sizes use the following ratios:
- Landscape: 1.91 : 1
- Square: 1 : 1
- Portrait: 4 : 5
If your original photos have a different ratio, Instagram will crop them.
Image source Later
Even if your images look great with the chosen aspect ratio, don’t go for smaller images than 1080px. You can use larger images – Instagram will reduce them as you upload them. If your images are smaller they may not look too well on some devices.
Instagram video posts
For videos posted in your Instagram feed Instagram accepts aspect ratios between 1.91 : 1 and 4: 5 that you can use to create landscape, square, and portrait video posts.
Landscape posts can have a ratio between 1.91 : 1 and 16:9. Most of the time, you will probably use the 16:9 option because that is the ratio of videos that you shoot with your phone turned to landscape.
If you use the 16:9 option, your video should have close to 1080px by 607px.
Portrait video posts can have an aspect ratio of 4:5. Don’t try to make your videos any taller than that or the video will get cropped on Instagram. As 1080px is still optimal for any post on Instagram, try to get your portrait video close to 1080px by 1350px.
Instagram Carousel posts:
This type of post is basically a series of images and videos.
The carousel posts can be landscape, square or portrait. But you cannot combine photos in different sizes – the aspect ratio that you choose for the first photo or video will be used for all the other photos or videos that you add.
What you can combine in one carousel post are videos and photos.
While Instagram posts usually contain rather “perfect” content, stories are a different story. Instagram stories vanish after 24 hours. While you can save them to story highlights stories don’t need to be perfect.
Anything from 1.91 : 1 to 9:16 as an aspect ratio is acceptable for Instagram stories.
Instagram stories usually take up the full screen of your mobile phone. That means if you post anything in a different size, Instagram will fill in the blanks.
An aspect ratio of 9:16 will fill the full screen of your mobile.
Use image sizes of 1080px by 1920px – this will give you the best results.
Image Source: Later
Instagram IGTV videos:
When they were first launched, IGTV videos o Instagram asked for vertical videos but that is no longer the case.
You can now use video with an aspect ratio between 9:16 and 16:9.
As always for Instagram, a size of 1080px by 1920px to 1920 px x 1080px will usually work best for Instagram IGTV.
IGTV cover photo:
The IGTV cover photo will show on your channel page and the IGTV categories.
If you want your IGTV to spread further than your followers, you need to consider the cover photo – and once it is published, you cannot change it!
For the IGTV cover photo, you should choose a ratio of 1:1.55 and a size of 420px x 654px.
Instagram live videos:
On Instagram, the live videos are meant to always use the full screen. That means the optimal ratio for your live videos is 9 : 16.
You will not be able to manually change the size or ratio of your live videos. Just shoot and don’t worry too much about the image size!
Final words on social media image sizes
Wow, that was a lot of numbers and for some of you, this will read a little confusing. But if you need assistance with choosing the best format for any type of social media post, scroll to the right numbers and follow the suggestions.
You will probably not need all of the above social media image sizes but just handle a few for your most common posts.
You can often use a similar image in different social media channels – but you have to make sure that the image has the best size for each social network.
To save you time with image creation there are content creation tools out there that offer you a feature to resize images that you already created to other social media image sizes.
The tool Canva that we usually use for content creation, only offers the image resize feature in their paid account.
But there are free tools you can use:
Biteable offers a free image resizer. You can easily upload an existing image or an image that you created for one social network, set the focus area for the new social media image, choose the image size you need and download the new image.
If you use text overlay, you should be careful to not use the complete area of the original image or your text will be truncated. Also, some very different image sizes are hard to convert into. For example, vertical images like Pinterest pins, are hard to resize into horizontal images like Twitter pots.
Once you figured out what it means, following the image size best practices will become part of your routine!
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