What Are the Best Size Dimensions for Instagram Stories?

Instagram stories can be tricky and unexpectedly hard to use, but this can be avoided with the correct Instagram stories dimensions. Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms in the world. On average, the application has more than 1 billion active monthly users. It has become a premier location for any individual or business to market themselves. The platform is most well known for its picture sharing capabilities, but that is not all it has to offer. In recent years, the team behind Instagram has developed a story feature. Instagram stories are incredibly similar to Snapchat stories, but they are definitely more diverse. Snapchat is an application to interact with friends and family, but Instagram can be much more than that. Effectively taking advantage of Instagram’s story feature can help you grow a wider audience on the platform.

create an instagram story

What are Instagram Stories?

Before going any further with Instagram stories dimensions, you need to know what you stand to gain from using stories. As previously mentioned, the story feature on Instagram is not the main appeal of the platform. In a manner of speaking, stories are not the main reason people open their Instagram app. This does not mean that stories are not important in terms of marketing or engaging an audience. In recent years, the popularity of the story function has risen drastically.

Rules of Stories

Instagram stories consist of photos and videos uploaded by a specific user. All of the posted photos and videos must abide by the specific dimensions of Instagram stories. These pictures or videos stay attached to their Instagram story for 24 hours. After the allotted time passes, the story will disappear for that user’s followers. The user who posted the story can still view it. Instagram simply archives all previously posted stories for the user to view at a later date. From their archive, a user can post an old story to their Highlights, keeping the story visible on their page. Instagram stories, when used successfully, are a fantastic way to interact with an audience on a daily basis. If you do not have an Instagram post scheduled for that day, you can post a story instead. This will keep your audience engaged. In general, stories are also a great location for videos. Instagram users are more likely to view a video on a story than in a regular post.

instagram story

What are Instagram Story Dimensions?

Instagram stories dimensions, like the dimensions of any proprietary platform, follow their rules. This means that the Instagram story dimensions could potentially vary for another story using platform. The Instagram story aspect ratio is 9:16. This is equivalent to the dimensions of 1080 pixels by 1920 pixels (1080 x 1920). This means that the image or video you intend to upload to your story should abide by these dimensions. In doing so, you will find yourself with a story that is 1080 pixels wide by 1920 pixels tall. There is another rule of thumb to keep in mind when it comes to Instagram story sizes. Your story cannot feature a width below 500 pixels. 500 pixels is the bare minimum for the platform to recognize your photo or video. If you attempt to post an Instagram story below this pixel width, the platform will not allow it to be posted.

The Purpose of Instagram Story Dimensions

The specific dimensions of Instagram stories are put in place by Instagram for a reason. In truth, it is not an overly complicated reason. Most, if not all, major smartphones abide by the exact dimensions of an Instagram story. For this reason alone, Instagram chose to employ the same dimension size for their platform.

If you take any photo or video on your smartphone, it will appear as compatible with the Instagram story size. This allows any default photo or video full integration with the dimensions of Instagram stories. Any photo that you take in portrait mode will be fully compatible with the software. Issues begin to occur when you attempt to upload an Instagram story that is not compliant with the aspect ratio. When you take this action, Instagram will crop the content to form to the Instagram story dimensions. This is not a good thing. After this process, your photo or video will lose a large portion of the shareable content. Another side effect of this could be a loss in overall quality. To avoid this, make sure that you capture your photos and videos in your smartphones portrait mode.

editing stories

Editing Stories

The Instagram stories dimensions can sometimes be a frustrating thing to abide by. This is largely the case when you are attempting to get professional with your stories. If you are editing images or videos in software such as Photoshop or Illustrator, the rules still apply to you. In fact, from your advanced standpoint, the rules most likely appear more strict than is necessary.

Accepted File Formats

When editing Instagram stories in compatible software, you have to use the appropriate file formats. For pictures, Instagram accepts .jpg and .png files. For videos, Instagram accepts .mp4 and .mov files. These are the only files Instagram will accept when you upload a story. Your default smartphone settings will produce pictures and videos in one of these specific file formats.

Accepted File Sizes

In your attempt to create professional content for your Instagram viewers, you may have upgraded some of your equipment. For example, a camera with higher picture quality than a smartphone could come in handy. This can be tricky to edit to the specific dimensions of Instagram stories. On top of that, you will need to make sure your picture files are less than 30MB in size. To avoid going over this limit, make sure you are not uploading raw images. Raw images taken directly from an advanced camera are often not compressed. This means that they possess large files sizes incompatible with Instagram’s requirements. Avoid going over the limit by putting your files through your editing software of choice. In the case of video files, ensure that they are below 4GB in size. That may seem large, but Instagram will only allow you to show a designated portion of that video.

instagram pictures

Appropriate Video Length

When editing, there are many things to keep in mind other than Instagram stories dimensions. Instagram limits the length of a video story to 15 seconds. While that may seem short to you, it will allow you greater flexibility than to be expected. 15 seconds is more than enough time for you to focus on one aspect of what you wish to share. If you find yourself in need of more than 15 seconds of screen time, there are options. While one story can only house up to 15 seconds, you can continue the video in your next story. This means that when your followers move onto your next story, it will just seem as the story is continuing. This is a seamless and easy way to share a video longer than 15 seconds.

The Safe Zone

When upping your Instagram story game, it is important to consider the dimensions within the dimensions. That is to say, the dimensions that are not interacting with Instagram’s user interface. When you post an Instagram story, it will appear to your followers in a certain manner. Your username will appear at the top of the video or image. At the bottom of this video or image will be an option to chat with the story’s poster. Most everything in the middle of this zone, excluding the edges, is referred to as the safe zone. In order to ensure that your story is abiding by the specific dimensions of Instagram stories, consider the safe zone. The safe zone is approximately 1080 pixels by 1420 pixels. That is set within the maximum 1080 pixels by 1920 pixels. When engaging with the safe zone, a user is eliminating the upper and lower parts of a story’s length. This is to avoid interfering with Instagram’s user interface. In doing so, you will be ensuring that your video or image is not blocked in any way.

Recent Modifications

Instagram has put forth a bit of effort to make the idea of the safe zone a bit easier. When preparing your Instagram story, you can activate specific lines on the screen of your smartphone. These lines will show the area that will be covered by Instagram’s user interface. This simplifies the process for those not using an editing software to reach the specific dimensions of Instagram stories.

editing instagram stories

Good Instagram Story Practices

Abiding by the specific dimensions of Instagram stories will result in you crafting a great story. If you take the safe zone into consideration as well, you will be taking an extra step to guarantee success. An Instagram story is a great way to engage with your followers. It is best to ensure that your story content is on brand with the rest of your account’s content. This will allow users a bit of familiarity within your stories. That does not mean you should be afraid to try new and bold ideas within your Instagram stories. The story will vanish after 24 hours, but don’t be afraid to go all out and make it your best story yet.


  • How long does an Instagram story last?
  • What size is an Instagram story?
  • Why is my Instagram story video zoomed in?
  • How do I make my story fit on Instagram?

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