Instagram Story Dimensions: The 2018 Ultimate Guide and Tips


Instagram Story dimensions are strict, but you are not at a loss if you do not have any photo/video editing software:

This guideline will teach you what you need to know and give you tips to crop your media and get it ready for Instagram. You fill find:


Guideline Contents:


Previous Instagram Video Guidelines
What is Instagram Stories?
What’s the purpose of the Instagram Stories Feature ?
Why should you care about Instagram Story Dimensions?
The New Instagram Story Dimensions
How to Fit Your Photo Within the Instagram Story Dimensions
Steps to Make Any Photograph Fit Instagram Story using Photo Editors such as Photoshop



Lightning fast Internet speeds have now made instant communication a possibility.


We have the tools to share a photograph from our phone with the entire world in real time as opposed to the cumbersome task of emailing which was previously the norm.


Instagram is one application that has been built for the purpose of photo-sharing and it is now one of the most popular social media platforms online.


Previous Instagram Video Guidelines


Instagram accounts only had the ability to share photos and 15-second video clips in the beginning but now they have introduced a number of new features including ‘Instagram Stories’.


Borrowing from their competitor Snapchat, the application unveiled the ability to share photos and video clips that expire in 24 hours.


You can take pictures directly from within the app or upload from your camera roll.

Instagram Stories has revolutionized the social media platform and quickly become one of the most used features.

What is Instagram Stories?


It is an Instagram feature to share photos or video in a more dynamic and interactive way. The feature also allows to be pinned at the top of the Instagram feed, increasing visibility and interactions.


What’s the purpose of the Instagram Stories feature?


Instagram Stories allow the users to keep their Instagram followers updated on the daily.

Since the posts disappear in 24 hours there is no feeling of commitment and you do not have to worry about whether the picture matches your feed aesthetic.

It also allows users to keep track of who is viewing their posts and who isn’t.

Brands are also jumping at the opportunity to communicate with their audience on a daily basis and using it for marketing and promotional purposes.


Why should you care about Instagram Story Dimensions?

Instagram Stories has made it easier to create and share content… Nice!


But when uploading pictures from your camera roll:

 there is the issue of ensuring it complies with the specific Instagram Story dimensions


To make sure your story is as impactful as you want it to be there are a number of practices that you should be mindful of and uploading pictures.


The New Instagram Story Dimensions


The new Instagram story dimensions are 1080 by 1920 pixels.

This means that for the picture or video to fit within the frame, it has to be exactly 1080 pixels wide and 1920 pixels high. This corresponds to an aspect ratio of 9:16.


The Instagram story dimensions are not flexible and every photograph you upload has to be within this range otherwise it will not fit the frame. A larger photograph will result in Instagram cropping the picture or zooming in on the photo or video resulting in loss of visuals and compromising on quality.

Often people post content on their story that has not been formatted so that it is compatible with the mobile phone screens. They are either too small or too large therefore space is either not properly utilized or wasted.


Even though the story disappears after a day, posting one that does not follow the Instagram story dimensions gives a bad impression. Not only does it fail to deliver the complete message to the audience but it also looks unprofessional.

There are ways to make sure any picture you take or video you shoot fits the Instagram story dimensions criteria and allows you to create eye-catching visuals for your page.


How to Fit Your Photo Within the Instagram Story Dimensions

Even though the Instagram story dimensions are fixed you can have the audience view pictures in either portrait (aspect ratio 16:9) or landscape orientation (aspect ratio 9:16 with phones rotated).

While shooting from within the Instagram all you have to do is set the frame and you are good to go. But if you are using a digital camera or SLR for photography then you need to properly crop them according to the Instagram story dimensions.

Once you have edited the photographs on your laptop you can adjust them using your desktop photo editing software or first transfer them to your phone and then use a mobile application.


Steps to Make Any Photograph Fit Instagram Story using Photo Editors such as Photoshop.


Follow these steps to get your photograph within the Instagram story dimensions using a photo editing software:

  1. Open the image you want to crop using your favorite photo editing application.
  2. Using the cropping tool you can adjust the dimensions of the photograph as well. Rather than using the free-hand crop you can specify the size of the crop box you want i.e. 1080 by 1920 pixels.
  3. Move the crop box around to make sure the part of the image you want to focus on is within it. The crop box also contains gridlines to help you align focus points of the image.
  4. Save the photograph to your camera roll and then upload to your Instagram story.

If you want to upload the picture as it is without leaving out any of the details then you can choose to resize the image to fit the Instagram story dimensions. Here is how you can do that:

  1. Open the image you want to resize using your favorite photo editing application.
  2. From the settings select resize and change the measuring units to pixels from the drop down menu.
  3. Specify the height as 1920 and width as 1080 pixels. You will have to unlock the ratio if your photo which might stretch out or squish in the photograph.
  4. Save the photograph to your camera roll and then upload to your Instagram story.

You can edit the photographs using software such as Adobe Lightroom or Adobe Photoshop. These also have a mobile phone application version that you can use from within your phone and save on post-processing time.


If you want to upload the photograph in landscape mode then you can simply rotate it clockwise or anticlockwise after it has been cropped or resized. Make sure you do this before you upload the photograph on your story because it does not offer the option to rotate it from within the app.



How to Crop your Photos Without Using Photoshop or any other Editors: The Way Around


If you do not have the time or resources to edit the photograph using an editing software or application then there is a simple way around it.

This method works well for pictures that are in landscape mode since rotating the photograph makes it awkward for the viewers and often fails to deliver the message. Here is how you can fit a landscape photo within the Instagram story dimensions:


  1. Open the photograph that you want to upload in your gallery or photo viewer. Make sure you are holding the phone upright and the auto-rotation mode is off.
  2. Take a screenshot of the screen using your phone’s buttons. You should wait a second for the notification bar and clock to minimize.
  3. Upload the picture to your Instagram story. You will notice that the entire photo is visible with equal empty black spaces above and below it. Even though there is a loss in details of the photograph you can utilize the blank space for text and stickers.


Uploading Videos to Your Instagram Story

The allowable Instagram video size is only a maximum of 15 seconds in length and the application automatically uses only the first 15 seconds of a longer video.


To upload a longer video it has to be cropped using another video editing application. You can shoot a video clip from within the Instagram application for the best results.

The dimensions for the Instagram story video posts are also 9:16 and it is best for clips that are shot in portrait mode.

Videos that have been made using the landscape orientation have to be rotated to make sure they are within the Instagram video size requirements. There are software options such as Adobe Premiere or Final Cut Pro that can be used to create a clip that is the correct aspect ratio and also zooms in on the focus points.



The procedure for resizing and cropping videos is similar to that for pictures:

You can go through the settings and specify the dimensions that you want to keep. There is also an option of zooming in the frame which is great for landscape videos that are limited to a small rectangular box in the center of the screen.

With Instagram stories you only have to be mindful of the Instagram video size and make sure that the length of the video covers all the important moments that you want to share with your audience. You can upload a longer video in a series of shorter clips however it is important that you do not lose their interest with long endless videos.

Instagram stories are where you can share additional photographs without cluttering your feed with too many posts.

Unlike multiple photograph and story posts that get lost within a viewer’s feed, you can add to the Instagram story throughout the day and also get it through to the right audience.

The purpose is to give viewers an insight of who you are as an individual or brand by sharing behind the scenes footage and background stories.


If you enjoyed these tips, do not forget to spread the love and share with friends!

They will thank you!

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