The Right Instagram Stories Picture Size

Adhering to Instagram Story picture size requirements is paramount because if you don’t, you’ll end up with blurry and poorly cropped posts. These are not the kind of stories that drives visual engagement and keep your followers returning for more. But do you know the right Instagram Story size specifications?

The Right Instagram Stories Picture Size

This article will discuss all the crucial details of sizing Instagram stories.

Sticking to the Right Instagram Stories Picture Size

Most Instagram users access the platform using the mobile app. As a result, most Instagram designs optimize the user experience on mobile devices. For instance, Instagram stories pictures have a size requirement of 1080 x 1920 pixels. These dimensions have an aspect ratio of 9:16, suitable for viewing content in a vertical format and exactly the inverse of the FullHD format. The file size should be lower than 30 MB for photos and 4 GB for videos.

How do these dimensions affect the quality of your picture? First, a resolution of 1080 x 1920 pixels has a high definition, enhancing picture clarity and details. As such, your content will look sharp and well-defined regardless of the device screen you’re viewing it from. Also, vertical mages occupy a large portion of the screen than horizontal ones, making them visually dominant. The full-screen emersion captures viewers’ attention, encouraging them to engage more with your content.

Staying Within the Dimensions Safe Zone

The worst thing that could happen to your story picture is having some parts cut out. To prevent this, Instagram requires you to leave a margin of 250 pixels at the bottom and the top. So technically, the safe zone lies within 1080 W x 1420 L pixels. The space left is for other elements, such as your username and swipe button at the top and bottom, respectively.

But staying within the safe zone should not worry you because Instagram has it figured out for you. If you move too close to the safe zone borders, two blue grid lines appear to show you the area you shouldn’t go beyond.

What Are the Effects of Not Using Instagram Stories Size Specifications?

If you upload a picture that isn’t exactly 1080 x 1920p, Instagram automatically resizes it to meet its dimensions. The effects might be visible and unpleasant. They include:

  • Loss of content due to improper cropping: If you upload a larger picture, Instagram will imperfectly crop it. This might lead to losing essential content details, giving an incomplete or distorted view. Your audience might fail to understand the contents of your story.
  • Stretching without keeping the aspect ratio in mind: Instagram will stretch smaller images into fullscreen 9:16 without maintaining their original aspect ratio. As a result, your image will appear distorted and of poor quality.
  • Reduced or no engagement on your content: Visual appearance on Instagram is the key driver of engagement. Viewers will lose interest and avoid engaging if your stories are always incomplete and distorted. Lower engagement rates can affect your reach and impact on the platform.
  • It shows a lack of attention to detail: Viewers will judge you depending on the quality of your pictures. Posting unappealing pictures will portray you as an unprofessional person who ignores details.

How to Get Perfect Instagram Stories Picture Size

To avoid posting Instagram stories pictures that don’t meet the size requirements, here are a few tips to try:

Adjust Your Phone Camera Capture Settings

This process aims to ensure your camera is recording at the highest quality. Here’s how you do it:

  1. Launch your device camera app.
  2. Locate the “Resolution” icon at the top of the screen.
  3. Simply tap to choose the highest recording resolution: 1080p at 30 frames per second (FPS) or 1080p at 60 FPS.

Reset Your Camera’s Aspect Ratio

By default, most Android and iPhone cameras have an aspect ratio of 4:3. This might give you lots of scaling and cropping work for your Instagram stories picture. But you can avoid this by retting the aspect ratio to 9:16 as follows:

  1. Open your “Camera” app on your Android or iPhone.
  2. For Android devices, locate the aspect ratio at the top of the screen and tap it. This will display the aspect ratios. Tap the “9:16” ratio to apply it.
  3. If you’re using an iPhone, tap the “Drop-down menu” at the camera’s top to open more options. Navigate to the bottom and select the “Aspect ratio” button to display more options. Choose the “9:16” ratio to apply.

Apps That Can Help You Size Instagram Stories Pictures

When you use a smartphone camera to capture your Instagram stories pictures, it won’t be challenging to maintain an aspect ratio of 9:16. However, if you’re using a non-smartphone camera such as a digital camera, the resulting images might have an aspect ratio far from what Instagram recommends. If you’re not well-versed in photo editing, you might struggle to achieve the desired size.

Fortunately, you can use third-party tools to resize your images to the accurate size. Here is a list of the best third-party resizing tools you can use:


Inshot is a mobile app for editing photos and videos. It’s available for Android and iOS devices, so you can’t use it on laptops. With it, you can crop your content to the desired size and modify the aspect ratio. Though it has a paid version, you can access most of the editing features in the free version. However, ads might distract your editing process in the free version.


StoryArt is specifically an Instagram editor app for iOS and Android devices. It’s free and avails over 2,000 templates and 400 animated templates for Instagram stories and reels. Besides, it lets you edit your photos and videos to the desired specifications. However, the ads might be frustrating.


Canva is a design platform that you can access freely without having to deal with annoying ads. But it also has a premium version if you want unlimited features. It features thousands of templates for Instagram stories, so you won’t have to worry about the dimensions. The template designs are impressive, too, resulting in aesthetically pleasing stories.


Easil is another design website for quality and perfectly sized Instagram stories pictures. Its free and paid version does the hard work for you by availing Instagram story templates for multi-card stories and single images. You’ll only need to drag and drop your photos and crop them into the template.

Adobe Express

Adobe Express is an upgraded model of Adobe Spark with a limited free and unlimited premium plan. You can access its customizable templates from desktop, iOS, and Android devices. Also, it allows you to remove background from images and videos.


Can I retain the aspect ratio and use another vertical dimension?

As long as you retain an aspect size of 9:16, you can use another vertical dimension, such as 720 x 1280 pixels, without distorting the image. However, it might look blurry.

Do I have to stick to a specific file format for Instagram Stories?

You should use JPEG or PNG file formats for the best vividness and sharpness for images. For video, Instagram also supports MOV and MP4, with GIFs available for in-feed videos.

Size Your Instagram Stories Pictures Like a Pro

Instagram stories are short and last 24 hours, making them convenient for sharing your day’s highlights. However, remember that size matters if you want to create engagement with them. Deviating from 1080 x 1920 pixels or an aspect ratio of 9:16 will have Instagram resize your content without minding its quality.

Have you been using the right size for your Instagram stories pictures? If not, how has this affected your content quality and engagement? Tell us in the comment section below.

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