Instagram works a bit differently than other social networks, and not all posts can be published automatically. Buffer offers both direct scheduling (posts that can be published automatically) and reminders (posts that you’ll receive a push notification for). One of the conditions under which a post can be published automatically is that images and videos must adhere to Instagram's accepted aspect ratio range.
📝 Just need a point in the right direction? Curious about what makes a post go out as a reminder as opposed to going out automatically for you? This article shares all of that and more: How Instagram works with Buffer.
An aspect ratio describes the ratio between the image's width and its height. Aspect ratios are often represented as two numbers separated by a colon, e.g. 4:5. This can be a convenient way of displaying an aspect ratio and can be converted into a numerical value by dividing the first by the second. So, for example, an aspect ratio written as 4:5 has a value of 4/5 = 0.8.
What are Instagram's accepted aspect ratio ranges?
The table below outlines the accepted aspect ratio ranges for both images and videos.
|Aspect ratio range||Aspect ratio range as numerical values|
|Images||Between 4:5 and 1.91:1||Between 0.8 and 1.91|
|Videos||Between 4:5 and 16:9||Between 0.8 and 1.78|
*For Instagram Reels, 9:16 is the only accepted aspect ratio. Any aspect ratio range would not be accepted
How are aspect ratios calculated?
To calculate the aspect ratio of an image or video, you can take the resolution and divide the width by the height. Here are some examples:
- 1200 x 1200 pixels: Aspect ratio of 1200/1200 = 1
- 1200 x 1500 pixels: Aspect ratio of 1200/1500 = 0.8
- 1200 x 629 pixels: Aspect ratio of 1200/629 = 1.907
📝 Remember to watch out for rounding the results of your calculation digits. For example, 1200 x 628 pixels would correspond to an aspect ratio of 1.910828, therefore falling just outside of the acceptable range for an image.
❓ Can our Customer Advocacy team answer any questions for you? Feel free to reach out here.
What sizes do my images and videos need to be?
Your images or videos don't need to be a specific pixel size, as long as the aspect ratio is within the acceptable range. Here are some example sizes that would work nicely.
📝 Your images and videos do not need to be any of the one sizes mentioned above, these are just examples. As long as they are within the accepted aspect ratio ranges, they will be published automatically.
- Any size square image or video (same width and height), e.g. 600 x 600 pixels, 800 x 800 pixels, 1200 x 1200 pixels
For portrait images and videos, the aspect ratio must be between 0.8 and 0.99.
- 800 x 1000 pixels (aspect ratio 0.8)
- 1200 x 1500 pixels (aspect ratio 0.8)
- 1500 x 1800 pixels (aspect ratio 0.84)
For landscape images, the aspect ratio must be between 1.01 and 1.91, and for landscape videos, the aspect ratio must be between 1.01 and 1.78.
- 800 x 600 pixels (aspect ratio 1.33)
- 1200 x 800 pixels (aspect ratio 1.5)
- 1500 x 1200 pixels (aspect ratio 1.25)
📝 We publish posts via Instagram’s API and they allow a maximum image file size limit of 8MB. If the image you upload is larger than 8MB, we'll convert it to a smaller size (1920 pixels wide) to ensure it can be published. The minimum dimensions they accept is 150 x 150 pixels. Smaller images will be scaled up to the minimum.
📝 If you upload an image that falls outside the accepted aspect ratio ranges, you can use our editing tool to crop the image. Here's more about editing your images in Buffer.