Guide to Instagram post formats

The article has been updated. First published: May 23, 2017

Let’s consider a technical question. What formats does Instagram eat. And how to make files of these formats. How to post a photo to Instagram from your computer.


Does anyone else remember the Instagram apps that helped post a rectangular photo? Who actually created the giant white border?

The time for square publishing is long gone. Now Instagram eats rectangular and square frames. There are three options for frames:

  • Square – By default, Instagram offers to crop the photo to a square. Looks great in your account. All photos are square, nothing is cropped, everything is important in the photo.
  • A landscape with 1.91: 1 aspect ratios is the best aspect ratio, in my opinion, photos, a description of the photo and comments are visible in the feed. For ad formats, this is almost perfect. The same proportions are relevant for video as well.
  • A vertical photo with sides 4: 5

Leah Canary, SMM specialist:

I like the 4: 5 format in publications more than the boring square. It allows you to place text with a signature, while leaving a full-fledged photo. As an example:

Winning Instagram visuals give bloggers a big advantage

Resolution for photos is 1080 px. You can upload better quality content, but Instagram will cut it anyway.

Maximum size – 30 MB, file formats: png, jpg, gif.

Let’s see options for different aspect ratios.

In landscape photographs, all three lines of captions and comments are visible. In the square, only 2 lines of the signature are visible. In vertical photos, only the photo is visible.
In landscape photographs, all three lines of captions and comments are visible. In the square, only 2 lines of the signature are visible. In vertical photos, only the photo is visible.

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Pay attention to a little trick. Photos where there is a lot of text on the photos themselves, text logos, plates, as a rule, receive less coverage than pure photos. Text on photos – helps control attention, helps with navigation, but reduces reach.

Live broadcasts

From a technical point of view, the most basic content. Go to Instagram stories, swipe to live and start broadcasting.

Use a tripod when broadcasting
Use a tripod when broadcasting

From the requirements – you must have a good Internet, well, good content that can be offered to subscribers.


Instagram will not be able to take an animated file in * gif and make it move after publication. It will look like a static picture. To make the photo move, you will have to convert the GIF to mp4 or avi, or to another supported video format.


Video: H.264 video compression standard, high profile preferred, wide frame pixels, fixed frame rate, progressive scan.

Audio: Stereo, AAC compression format, 128 kbps + preferred. Instagram has its own algorithms for recognizing copyright for audio. Therefore, it is better to use free music, creative commons for background music. Otherwise, there is a chance of losing your account for copyright infringement.

Video file format supported by Instagram:

  • 3g2 (mobile video)
  • 3gp (mobile video)
  • 3gpp (mobile video)
  • asf (Windows Media video)
  • avi (video in AVI format)
  • dat (MPEG video)
  • divx (DIVX video)
  • dv (DV video)
  • f4v (Flash video)
  • flv (Flash video)
  • m2ts (video in M2TS format)
  • m4v (MPEG-4 video)
  • mkv (video in Matroska format)
  • mod (video in MOD format)
  • mov (QuickTime Movie)
  • mp4 (video in MPEG-4 format)
  • mpe (MPEG video)
  • mpeg (MPEG video)
  • mpeg4 (MPEG-4 video)
  • mpg (MPEG video)
  • mts (AVCHD video)
  • nsv (Nullsoft video)
  • ogm (Ogg media format)
  • ogv (Ogg video format)
  • qt (QuickTime video)
  • tod (video in TOD format)
  • ts (MPEG Transport Stream)
  • vob (video to DVD)
  • wmv (Windows Media Video)
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In fact, the file that comes from your phone’s video camera will get into Instagram.

Maximum video duration: 60 seconds.

Video codecs: H.264, VP8

Almost any video editors that you download from the app store know how to make videos that Instagram eats. Pay attention to the compression of the file, some applications reduce the quality of the picture.

The aspect ratio of the video can be square, landscape or vertical. But if you want to put it in the gallery, then crop the video to a square.


Capacity: 10 photos and videos. On the very first day, I cut a five-bit video into 6 clips from 30 to 55 seconds and uploaded everything sequentially to the gallery.

Format: Square. Only a square. So far it is only a square. I don’t know if this format will change or not, but now if you want to use rectangular photos and videos, they will have to be cropped. In SMMplanner you can choose whether to crop your photo / video or add colored fields.

publish a post on the SMMplanner service


Format: photos, videos, boomerangs, collage. The user in collage mode is offered 6 different formats – you can place from 2 to 6 photos in vertical and horizontal position.


Full format and vertical with aspect ratio 9:16

Picture quality: 1080 px × 1920 px

A new tool is available in SMMplanner – Story Editor, where you can easily design beautiful Instagram Stories. With it, you don’t have to think about image formats and styles. The editor’s functionality is constantly updated.

Let’s summarize

Instagram eats:

Read also:   Instagram has animated text in Stories

Photos, videos, boomerangs: png, jpg, gif, mov, mp4 and a bunch of other video files. Up to 1080 px resolution and 1920 px resolution for stories. Up to 30 MB for photos and up to 1 GB for videos.

Instagram formats

You can learn how to make cool visuals on the course “Design in Social Networks with Crello”. Read more about it at the link above.

Rather register in SMMplanner and schedule posts with photos, videos and Instagram carousels!

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