Different social media platforms have different UIs and different users: this means that each platform needs different image sizes if you want to ensure optimal sizing and quality. Today at CodeClouds, we’re talking ratios, dimensions, and the perfect image.
Each social network has its own way of displaying and publishing visual content. Sometimes there are restrictions or specific dimensions and/or orientations that you need to follow, either because the platform only accepts certain sizes, or because images outside of a certain size range will just look plain ugly. The other key factor is user-base and how the platform is used: different viewing habits change what a ‘good image’ looks like. Below we’ve listed the social media image sizes and ratios for popular platforms.
Optimization for Pinterest
Tall images work best for Pinterest, with the optimal size of each one being 600x900px (pixels). You want tall images for Pinterest, generally with a 2:3 aspect ratio. Landscape images just plain don’t work: the whole platform is built around Portrait images. Pinterest is the platform that usually requires the most re-chopping before uploading because of this: you’re going to have to pick a slice of a broader image and do something fun with it.
Text is also much less powerful on Pinterest: it’s only going to appear if a user clicks on your image out of their feed, so it’s reaching a lot less eyes than text integrated directly into the image itself. You ideally want word art that’s going to be legible when shrunk down and viewed on mobile screens.
Optimization for Instagram
he minimum size for images on Instagram is 320×320, and the max is 1080×1080—anything larger or smaller than that is going to get automatically resized, and potentially warped. Instagram is designed with square images in mind, though it supports rectangles so long as they’re within those dimensions.
Ad images have slightly different specifications: higher minimum and maximum sizes. You’ll be given the option of square, portrait or landscape images. Their dimensions are as follows:
- min: 600×600
- max: 1936×1936
- ratio: 1:1
- min: 600×750
- max: 1936×1936
- ratio: 4:5
- min: 600×315
- max: 1936×1936
- ratio: 1.91:1
As with regular feed images, these are going to get warped if they stray outside the lines. Many marketers strongly prefer portrait ads: they’ll be onscreen longer for users scrolling down, and they’re better-suited for mobile screens. Instagram is definitely the platform where mobile optimization needs the greatest consideration: IG’s audience tend to be younger, and more tech-savvy, and use mobile devices with much greater frequency.
A trick you can use if your image doesn’t fit any of the aspect ratios provided is to, well, do what movies do: use a border. The classic letterbox black bars are one option, though trying to mimic movies too closely can look tacky and is a bit played out at this point. What we’ve seen clever Instagram marketers do is use other images, or bars of complementary colors—make the borders a design element in and of themselves so you can upload nonstandard image resolutions while keeping things looking crisp.
Optimization for Facebook and Google+
Facebook provides a helpful guide for correct aspect ratios but, in case you want the short version: a 9:16 will get you the most screen space without having to do any border shenanigans. The max size is 2048×2048, but you probably don’t want to go that high: large parts of it are going to get cut off on most devices. The ideal size for most images is 1200×675—you’re getting the same portrait effect from the Instagram posts, but in a more FB-friendly resolution.
Facebook is a lot more text-friendly than other competing platforms: users will see text by default, and so it’s a lot easier to use links and other text-hooks to get users into your conversion funnel.
And as for Google+, wider images will have the tendency to fill the full stream. This means you will find them spread out across several columns, which then gives you ample screen real estate. Let’s call it a multi-column effect such as placing a gigantic billboard right smack in the middle of other people’s streams. On Google+, you can consider this as your best possible and most effective form of exposure.
These wide images will also be perfect for videos thumbnails on YouTube, thus making them a very versatile type of social images. This single image dimension alone effectively allows you to recycle a lone visual across numerous social media networks.
So there you have it – great social media image size tips that will have you crafting and adjusting better images that will deliver the results you need and want! The more frequently you practice these, the easier and more automatic it will be for you, enabling you to create more momentum for the success that goes with your visual content.
If you want to read more about sprucing up your visual design, check out our blog on why you should care about font rendering. Here at CodeClouds, we’re dedicated to making great websites. If you want to kick your web design, packaging or branding up a gear, see our creative design services.