Instagram among the most popular social networks today. It has over 200 million active users and is growing rapidly. It is specialized social network in image and short video sharing and recently moved towards instant messaging.

Instagram grow so rapidly in photo sharing sphere and mobile that Facebook decided to acquire it for $1 billion to expand their roots in mobile and photo sharing. At the time most people believed that it was overvalued but seeing a whooping 200 million active monthly users, billions of shared images, it is now valued even higher than that.

While Instagram is around for a while, people keep asking me what is the size of Instagram pictures. Instagram image size used to be 612px in width X 612px in height but recently image size was slightly increased to keep up with phablets, tablets and other smartphones with high screen resolution.

Instagram Image Size
640px in width X 640px in height

Current image size is 640px in width X 640px in height. We expect that Instagram will keep this image size for an expended period of time, otherwise they would have bumped image size even more. While the image size is bumped to 640px by 640px, it is still scaled down to 612px by 612px using CSS. Which means that these images will look better on high-resolution displays such as Retina (HiDPI). You don’t need to get into these technical details and remember to keep your image size 640px by 640px.

Below you can see sample Instagram image and its dimensions:

Sample instagram image

Uncropped Instagram image with size in pixels. This is how big is your instagram image as viewed by your followers

To create the best looking Instagram images you should keep your camera settings to higher resolution than the one recommended by Instagram because images are being cropped and you don’t want to make them look pixelated.

This year is expected to be year of 4K resolution in TV, Monitors and probably even laptops and tablets, so we can expect that Instagram will have to increase image size to 1280 px by 1280 px but we are still fara way from this and I will keep you updated on this.

Frontend web developer and web designer specialized in free and premium WordPress theme development. Started to learn to code in early 2013 and now I am familiar with CSS/HTML/JavaScript (jQuery). Obsessed with application performance, user experience and simplicity.

This Post Has 32 Comments

  1. Casey

    I am on the Communications Committee for an organization. I take photos at events and then post them to Instagram; someone else manages our Facebook and Twitter accounts. Do you have any tips for composing a photo to be posted to IG or recommend an app that interacts with IG? I have been using Cropic to post full size photos, however I received negative feedback because of the “negative space”.

    1. Aigars

      Never, ever use Cropic or anything of its kind fo Instagram. Like you already mentioned that you get loads of complains about negative space and that’s why you should never crop these images. Instagram is all about 640px by 640px images and you will have to live with that. Event when Instagram will increase image size it will still be about square images.

      TL;DR There is no other way to post uncropped images on Instagram without getting a negative space and you should stick with Instagram format to please Instagram users.

  2. Emmanuel Canaan

    When exporting my image at 640×640 for Instagram, does it matter what DPI value I use or what max file size in kilobytes? I’ve seen that images seem to be 96 DPI, but the file size seems to vary a bit. I’ve seen it suggested that I should use 120KB but I’ve exported some images from Instagram’s website and see that some are 120, some are slightly higher at 142. Does it matter?

    1. Aigars

      Please Google what is PPI and DPI and both of these metrics doesn’t matter because images size is always set to 640px by 640px and your images will be viewed on displays with larger and smaller resolutions and different screen releastates. The main thing here is to stick with 640px by 640px resolution and leave DPI for print shops, printers and scanners and PPI for device manufacturers to show what their devices are capable of.

      The best option is to use as high resolution / high quality image as possible and leave the rest for Instagram to turn your image into one that are the best suited for their platform.

      1. Emmanuel Canaan

        Thank you. I understand that, but perhaps I should have worded my question differently (and yes I did mean to say PPI). My main point is, as a photographer, I don’t want to be surprised by how the image looks after uploading, so I want to feed Instagram whatever it is expecting so that it doesn’t have to change my image. No matter what I upload for an original resolution, PPI, and file size. They end up as 640×640, 96 PPI, and about 120KB when I download them back out of Instagram. Normally I wouldn’t care, but the images are never quite the same when I compare what I uploaded to what comes back from Instagram. Instagram appears to be applying additional sharpening to the image, but I’m not completely certain.

        1. Aigars

          I am not sure if they do some extra sharpening but they are definitely doing lossless image compression to remove any unnecessary meta information as well as some extra optimization to reduce image size while keeping the original image quality.

          Would be interesting to know if they do some extra modification to images such as your mentioned sharpening or some other optimization. I don’t think that there is some heavy intentional modification like Google+ does because changes are very noticeable but it is almost never the case with Instagram. Changes are very minor at least for images I have uploaded.

    1. mr. Hornet

      “Current image size is 640px in width X 640px in height. We expect that Instagram will keep this image size for an expended period of time, otherwise they would have bumped image size even more. While the image size is bumped to 640px by 640px, it is still scaled down to 612px by 612px using CSS. Which means that these images will look better on high-resolution displays such as Retina (HiDPI). You don’t need to get into these technical details and remember to keep your image size 640px by 640px.” – Just realized.

  3. Arnold

    Instagram serves several resolutions of the same image, which are created on-the-fly. There’s 150×150, 300×300, etc. and the best available – as far as I know – is the 640×640. However, BEFORE you could get the originals you have uploaded yourself, in case you uploaded with the app directly and just wanted to keep the photo for yourself, put it on your blog or something… So hopefully the better images are still stored somewhere out there, it is just instragram who is blocking access to them and limiting to 0.4 Mpixels. I wonder who is using such a camera nowadays?

    1. Aigars

      Arnold,

      Thank you for your input!

      Images taken with the Instagram camera (not your default camera app) are stored as 2048×2048 size images (depending on smartphone) and can be always accessible in full size. However, they are not stored on Instagram servers, so Instagram can’t just come up with a tiny update and switch to a larger images. It is going to be long and painful process but I guess it is going to happen eventually. Maybe even later this year if Apple will come up with a higher resolution display for iPhone 6 because Instagram image size is adjusted specially for iPhone by ignoring any other manufacturer.

  4. La Curieuse

    Hello,
    I’d like to print Instagram pictures and I think the picture size varies depending on what mobile phone you use. Do you have any idea if there is a list of pictures sizes generated by Instagram by phone model?

    Thanks for your help

      1. La Curieuse

        I know but it is in order to print them so I would have love to know if it is just about phone camera “size” or if instagram somehow as an impact on pictures sizes taken through the app.

        1. Aigars

          Images taken with Instagram camera app (not with your phone) are up to 2048px by 2048px in size. Resolution is lower for older phones as they just can’t handle that size. All modern phones takes those large images and stores on your phone. You can access them later, edit and print but they aren’t stored on Instagram’s servers.

          Images that are not taken with Instagram camera are resized once you import them and they basically becomes useless afterwards for use outside Instagram.

          1. La Curieuse

            Yes I managed to find this https://help.instagram.com/help/instagram/276722745781769 but it gives the maximum size but not the smallest and as I want to offer to print some pictures for people I need to know what is the biggest print I can offer in centimeters without loosing quality. If by any chance you know what is the minimum pixel size I could encounter by working from instagram pictures, that would help me a lot!

          2. Aigars

            Its slightly outdated information as 640px by 640px is the current standard. If you don’t have direct access to their smartphones then you can’t offer better resolution than 640px by 640px. Most people don’t use Instagram camera, so even if you have access to their phones you still won’t be able to get bigger images than 640px by 640px. There is no way you can guarantee a better resolution unless you know how they used Instagram and you have access to their smartphone.

          3. La Curieuse

            Are you sure about that? Do you mean that Instagram can’t be used if your phone is not able to take pictures of 640 x 640 px at least? Don’t you think that no smartphone has such a low quality picture? I’m looking for a kind of database listing all the camera sizes here http://developer.android.com/index.html maybe they have that kind of information there #fingerscrossed

          4. Aigars

            You can use Instagram if you have even lower resolution camera or you have used Camera settings that are below 640px by 640px. Usually VGA (640px by 480px) but these images are still resized to 640px by 640px and they look really bad but that’s how Instagram does it. Image is basically ruined and won’t be good for print in any size.

          5. La Curieuse

            Ok I see that tricky. Maybe I should warn or ask for the phone model before allowing to order a print. Thank you very much for your help. I’ll keep looking for a list of camera size for android hoping that it exists :)

          6. Aigars

            A quick update. There are 18,796 (!) different android devices out there as of today. Last year alone 7,000 different Android devices were released.

          7. La Curieuse

            Oh WOW for sure I won’t be able to list all the model, but I’m trying to know infos about picture dimensions in pixels for a few “top Android models” in France ^^

  5. Michael

    I’m generally producing images for Instagram (as opposed to taking them with a phone camera). Any downside to creating them at 1280 x 1280 and uploading them to Insta that way? That would allow me to use the same images at higher resolution, say on my Web site.

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