All Current Instagram Formats 2024 at a Glance

Denise Noetzel 12/26/2023

You should use these Instagram formats for Instagram Stories, Reels & Co.

Instagram-Format
Table of contents
  1. Instagram profile picture dimensions and Instagram highlight cover
  2. Instagram story format
  3. Instagram post format
  4. Instagram video format
  5. Instagram Reels format
  6. Instagram Live format
  7. ICTV format
  8. Instagram and Facebook ads
  9. Useful tools for the creation and planning of different Instagram formats
  10. Social media tools for creating Instagram posts

Instagram has continually evolved and gained new features. It is no longer a platform where you just upload photos, edit them or interact with others or follow the lives of others.

Meanwhile, some Instagram formats and placement options have come – you can record Instagram stories, create reels and set up shopping products. This offers you a lot to extend your time in the app.

Instagram profile picture dimensions and Instagram highlight cover

So that you do not lose track of the different Instagram formats, we will now introduce you to the current image and video dimensions, explain to you which minimum sizes and size limits exist and what else you need to consider.

What is an Instagram profile picture?

The Instagram profile picture is a small photo of you, which is displayed to the other Instagram users when they are on your Instagram profile or see contributions from you. The profile picture thus shows the users who is behind the account and creates a certain closeness to you.

What is an Instagram highlight cover?

Instagram stories can be saved as Instagram highlight so that your own followers still have access to the recorded stories after 24 hours. With this feature, you can save your stories thematically, giving your followers added value.

These Instagram highlights are displayed in your profile feed above your post feed in small circles. These circles are also referred to as Instagram highlight cover.

OMR Instagram-Story-Highlights

The framed circles represent the OMR story highlights on our Instagram profile.

How big can the Instagram profile picture be?

Now you know what the Instagram profile picture and the Instagram highlight cover are. But how big can these two Instagram formats be?

The ideal format has a 1:1 aspect ratio and a recommended resolution of 1080 x 1080 pixels (px). Even though the format of the Instagram profile picture and the highlight cover are square, they are cropped and displayed round by Instagram.

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Instagram story format

The Instagram story is a very popular Instagram format, in which you can record and post small video sequences. There is a maximum story length of 60 seconds.

The Instagram story format stipulates that your Instagram stories will only be displayed on your profile for 24 hours and will not be available to your followers afterwards. If you want your followers to have longer access to your Instagram stories, you can save your stories as Instagram highlights and also sort them by topics.

There are generally many possibilities for designing the Instagram story format:

  • Text
  • Stickers
  • GIFs
  • Music
  • Survey stickers
  • Question stickers
  • Quiz stickers
  • Filter

These are the key facts about Instagram stories:

  • Length: max. 60s per story (Tip: a video can be divided into several stories)
  • Aspect ratio: 9:16
  • Format: 1080x1920 pixels (px)

The Instagram story format is always in full screen mode with an image size of 1080 x 1920 pixels. When recording and designing your Instagram story, make sure to leave some space at the top and bottom. This space is used by Instagram itself for various things – e.g. your profile picture and profile name as well as the three dots and cross for clicking away are displayed at the top of the screen.

If you are not yet familiar with the Instagram story format, but would like to learn how to do it, you should definitely check out our article Instagram story creation for beginners.

Instagram post format

In the past, there was only one format for Instagram posts – the square Instagram format. Meanwhile, other formats have been added, which we would like to briefly introduce to you. While the width is 1080 pixels for all formats, the other dimensions of the formats differ.

These are the Instagram image sizes for posts:

  • Square: 1080 x 1080 pixels (px)
  • Landscape: 1080 x 608 pixels (px)
  • Portrait: 1080 x 1350 pixels (px)

If you are in the profile overview, you will see that all Instagram posts are displayed in a square format. That does not mean that you should only create square Instagram posts and post them. On the contrary, we rather recommend using the portrait format. Because Instagram posts in portrait format take up more space in the feed than a square post and thus catch more attention.

However, what you should consider with Instagram pictures in portrait and landscape format is that the most important elements should be placed in the middle of the post. Because the top and bottom edges are no longer displayed in the profile overview.

Instagram-Post-Formate

Instagram post formats from left to right: Square, Landscape, and Portrait

Instagram video format

The Instagram video format is a rather rarely used format, because other Instagram video formats such as Stories, Reels or IGTVs are often more suitable. Nevertheless, we would like to include it here for the sake of completeness.

Instagram video posts can be between 3 seconds and 60 minutes long and should not exceed a file size of 4 GB.

These Instagram video sizes and size limits should be adhered to:

  • Square: 1080 x 1080 pixels (px)
  • Horizontal (Landscape): 1080 x 608 pixels (px)
  • Portrait (Portrait): 1080 x 1350 pixels (px)
  • Size limit for videos with 10min length or shorter: 650 MB
  • Size limit for videos of up to 60min: 3.6 GB

Square or vertical videos are recommended for both Instagram and Facebook, as this is where the user experience is highest.

Instagram Reels format

The Instagram Reels format is a fairly new Instagram format that was released in the summer of 2020 and is heavily influenced by TikTok.

Instagram reels are short video clips in vertical format that can be either 15, 30 or 60 seconds long. The aim of the Reels is to entertain the Instagram users and keep them longer in the app. The entertainment can take place in a funny or informative way.

For the creation of Reels you have four possibilities, how you can create the short video clips:

  1. You upload a already recorded video from your smartphone's media library to Instagram.
  2. You create a new video with your own sound using the Reels function.
  3. You create a new video using the Reels function and use an audio from the audio library of Instagram.
  4. You use the remix function and create your own Reel (for this, you choose a Reel, click on the three dots and then click on “Remix this Reel”).

In order for you to be able to be creative with your Reels, Instagram has provided various design options:

  • Text
  • Filter
  • Audio
  • Set timer (for hands-free filming)
  • Transitions (using Transition & Alignment)
  • Adjust speed for video & audio
Instagram-Reels-Gestaltungsmöglichkeiten

When you open the Reels function on Instagram, the Reels design options are displayed to you on the left-hand side

After we have discussed the fun part, let's get to the “technical” basics you should know about the Instagram Reels format. In general, Reels are recorded in full screen, however they are not displayed completely in the news feed. For this reason, everything important and above all all text elements should be placed in the middle also with the Instagram Reels. The same applies to the Instagram-Reels-preview image, which you can add additionally during the Reels upload.

These are the Instagram Reels video sizes and size limits you should know:

  • Full screen: 1080 x 1920 pixels (px)
  • Portrait in news feed: 1080 x 1350 pixels (px)
  • Reels preview image in profile overview: 1080 x 1080 pixels (px)
  • Reels preview image in the Reels overview: 1080 x 1920 pixels (px)
  • Length: up to 60s
  • Size limit: 4GB

Instagram Live format

With the Instagram Live function you can communicate with your followers in real time and thus have direct interaction. This makes sense especially if you use Instagram for advertising – for example as an influencer, coach or shop operator. Because with the Instagram Live format you have the opportunity to directly talk to your target group (i.e. your potential customers) about their questions, wishes or problems. This knowledge helps you further with your product development or for your online marketing.

The following information about the Instagram Live format you should know:

  • Video size of the full screen: 1080 x 1920 pixels (px)
  • Length: up to 240min (4h) (before the update the maximum length was 60min)
  • Size limit: 4GB

In addition, the use of the Instagram Live format is designed for mobile devices, which is why it is recorded vertically and in full screen.

ICTV format

With the IGTV format, you can upload videos longer than a minute on Instagram. These IGTV videos are then saved separately in the Instagram TV feed of your profile.

For example, if you were live on Instagram and want to save your Instagram Live as a video in your profile, you can do this easily with the IGTV format. If you were a guest in an Instagram Live and want to save this video also in your profile, you would first have to download the Instagram Live to be able to upload it in your own Instagram profile.

To download the IGTV video from your host, you must first go to their profile to the video and copy the video URL via the three dots. Insert this URL into an appropriate Instagram downloader app (e.g. Instadown). This way you save the IGTV video on your smartphone and can upload it again via Instagram in the next step. If this does not work on your smartphone, try the Instagram desktop version.

If this short guide does not suffice, you can find more information in the following two articles:

Now we have clarified what the ICTV format is and how you can upload videos as ICTV on Instagram. But the important information about the Instagram TV format sizes is still missing.

Therefore, we are listing the IGTV video sizes for you:

  • Full screen: 1080 x 1920 pixels (px)
  • Portrait in news feed: 1080 x 1350 pixels (px)
  • Up to 60min long
  • Preview picture in profile feed: 1080 x 1080 pixels (px)
  • Preview image in IGTV feed: 420 x 654 pixels (px)

Please note that the IGTV is recorded and saved in full screen, but is only displayed in portrait size in the news feed. Therefore, you should place yourself in the middle when recording so that your head is not cut off when your IGTV is played out in the news feed.

Instagram and Facebook ads

In addition to all the Instagram formats for your Instagram profile, you can of course also run ads on Instagram and Facebook. You've probably seen these ads often on Instagram and Facebook – maybe even bought something through them.

We show you an overview of all placement possibilities. The large amount seems overwhelming at first; therefore, we introduce you to the most common placements of Instagram and Facebook ads – keep in mind, however, that there are other types of ads (from the overview).

Tip: For beginners, it may be advisable to let Meta automatically choose the placements.

Overview: Placement possibilities of Facebook and Instagram ads:

You can place Facebook and Instagram ads in many different placements. What placements are possible depends on the format of the visuals, ie the image or video.

Placement possibilities in feeds

  • Facebook News Feed
  • Instagram feed
  • Facebook Marketplace
  • Facebook video feeds
  • Right column on Facebook
  • Instagram Explore
  • Instagram shop
  • Messenger Inbox (formerly Facebook Messenger)

Placement possibilities in stories

  • Facebook Stories
  • Instagram stories
  • Messenger stories

In-stream placements

  • In-stream videos on Facebook
  • In-stream videos on Instagram
  • Instagram reels

Placement possibilities in search

  • Facebook search results

Sending of messages

  • Messenger Sponsored Messages

In-article placements

  • Facebook Instant Articles

Possibilities for placement in external apps

  • Audience Network Native, Banner and Interstitial Ads
  • Rewarded Videos on the Audience Network

Placement possibilities at Oculus

  • Feed in the mobile Oculus app
  • Search results in the mobile Oculus app:

Instagram Ads

For Instagram Ads, you have two ways to run them. Either via the “Boost” button at your already published Instagram Post or via the Meta Ad Manager (formerly Facebook Ad Manager). In the Ad Manager you can upload and use new ad images or video ads that are tailored exactly to your target group and your offer.

Furthermore, other elementary things are defined for your Instagram ads. These include e.g. your campaign goal, your available campaign budget (either daily or total budget), the campaign duration, your target audience and the ad assets.

Our recommendation for you is to always create your Instagram ads via the Meta Ad Manager and never via the “Boost”-Button. The reason for this is that you have hardly any control over your campaign settings with the “Boost” button.

We present to you the most common types of Instagram ads including important key figures.

Image ads in the Instagram Feed

  • JPG or PNG
  • Aspect ratio 1:1
  • Min. image size 1080 x 1080 pixels (px)
  • Max. file size limit 30 MB
  • Max. 125 characters in the primary text
  • Max. 40 characters for the headline
  • Max. 30 hashtags
Instagram-Bild-Ads-Beispiele

This is what your Image Ads on Instagram could look like.

Video ads in the Instagram Feed

  • MP4, MOV or GIF
  • Aspect ratio 1:1
  • Min. image size 1080 x 1080 pixels (px)
  • Video length from 1 second to 1 minute
  • Max. file size of 250 MB
  • Max. 125 characters for primary text
  • Max. 30 hashtags
  • Video sound and video subtitles are recommended

Carousel Ads in the Instagram Feed

  • 2-10 carousel cards consisting of images or videos each with a link
  • JPG or PNG or MP4, MOV or GIF
  • Aspect ratio 1:1
  • Min. image size 1080 x 1080 pixels (px)
  • Max. file size limit of one image of 30 MB or video file size of 4 GB
  • Video length from 1 second to 1 minute
  • Max. 125 characters for primary text
  • Max. 40 characters for headline

Max. 20 characters for description

Facebook ads

For Facebook Ads, basically the same applies as for Instagram Ads: never use the “Boost” button, always use the Meta Ad Manager.

And here too, we would like to briefly introduce you to the most common Facebook Ads formats.

  • Image ads in the Facebook Feed
  • JPG or PNG
  • Aspect ratio 1.91:1 to 1:1
  • Min. image size 1080 x 1080 pixels (px)
  • Max. file size 30 MB
  • Max. 125 characters in the primary text
  • Max. 40 characters for headline

Max. 30 hashtags

  • Video Ads in the Facebook Feed
  • MP4, MOV or GIF
  • Aspect ratio 1:1 for desktop & mobile devices or 4:5 only for mobile devices
  • Min. image size 1080 x 1080 pixels (px)
  • Video length from 1 second to 241 minutes
  • Max. file size of 4 GB
  • Max. 125 characters for primary text
  • Max. 40 characters for headline
  • Max. 30 hashtags

Video sound and video subtitles are recommended

  • Carousel ads in the Facebook Feed
  • 2-10 carousel cards consisting of images or videos each with a link
  • JPG or PNG or MP4, MOV or GIF
  • Aspect ratio 1:1
  • Min. image size 1080 x 1080 pixels (px)
  • Max. file size limit of one image of 30 MB or video file size of 4 GB
  • Video length from 1 second to 241 minutes
  • Max. 125 characters for primary text
  • Max. 40 characters for headline
  • Max. 20 characters for description

Useful tools for the creation and planning of different Instagram formats

So far you have learned a lot about the different Instagram formats. So that you can also get into the implementation, we have some social media tool suggestions for you. Because let's be honest: every social media strategy can be implemented and pursued more easily with suitable tools. With these social media tools you can easily create and design your Instagram formats graphically and plan and automatically post your finished Instagram posts. Of course, you should not forget about your social media analysis, which you can track easily and uncomplicatedly with the following tools.

 

Social-Media-Tools-Vorstellung

 

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Social media tools for creating Instagram posts

Denise Noetzel
Author
Denise Noetzel

Denise ist seit 2020 selbstständig und bietet SEO für Selbstständige und Unternehmer*innen an. Zuvor hat sie ihren Bachelor in BWL an der Uni Hamburg absolviert und anschließend in einer Online-Marketing-Agentur sowie bei OMR Reviews als SEO Managerin gearbeitet.

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