How to Upload the Best Looking Instagram Images


Instagram is probably our favorite social network here at How-To Geek. We always want our photos to look their best, so I did the research. Here’s how to make your images look as good as possible on Instagram.

RELATED: Why Your Facebook Photos Look So Bad (And What You Can Do About It)

Instagram, like Facebook, resizes and compresses your images to match their guidelines. While the algorithms seem less aggressive than with Facebook (which makes sense because Instagram is primarily a photo sharing network), it’s still better to do as much resizing and cropping as possible yourself—blunt algorithms tend to be a bit heavy handed.

Instagram supports images that are up to 1080px wide and between 566px and 1350px tall. That is, crop ratios between 1.91:1 (a wide landscape crop) and 4:5 (a square-ish portrait crop).

Instagram landscape image
Instagram portrait image

Anything between these two ratios is good too—they’re just the maximum values. If your image is wider, it will be resized to fit 1080px wide. Similarly, if the crop falls outside the accepted ratios, like say, a 2:3 portrait image, you are forced to crop it to 4:5.

Instagram doesn’t publish any file size guidelines but, after playing around, I found that most of my photos were compressed to JPEGs between 150 kb and 190 kb. Again, this kind of makes sense: under 200 kb is a pretty standard file size for web use.

File size

With that in mind, let’s talk about making your Instagram images look their best.

Edit Your Photos

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Sasha Harriet

Sasha Harriet

As content editor, I get to do what I love everyday. Tweet, share and promote the best content our tools find on a daily basis.

I have a crazy passion for #music, #celebrity #news & #fashion! I'm always out and about on Twitter.
Sasha Harriet

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