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.

Aigars

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 9 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.

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