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The complete guide to image size for social media

21 January 2022Reading time: 4 min.

What are the ideal image sizes for social media? Every social media recommends the optimal size for its platform, and we’re taking a look at those provided by the most popular platforms: Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter and TikTok.

When using social media professionally to promote a brand, business or public image, published content needs to meet a high standard of quality. 

From this point of view, uploading images of the wrong size on unoptimized platforms could be counterproductive.

We have already seen how to optimize images to improve website performance and how to choose the ideal file size to optimize them from a SEO point of view.

Now, let’s see how to choose the format (jpg or other) and the ideal size for your social networks.

Images and differences between social media

There isn’t just one social media. Besides, even focusing on only the biggest social networks, the most popular have specific characteristics because they target different users. Instagram and LinkedIn were created with different purposes, and Twitter and Facebook are based on dynamics that have few points in common.

In addition, individual social networks have specific rules for sharing. That’s why optimal images require different sizes depending on the content type published: a profile, a cover, a shared link, an ad, etc.

Let’s try to understand the ideal image size for publication in the main social networks.

All values below have been expressed in pixels. The repopulated sizes also refer to the optimal width to height ratio that expresses the value in terms of proportion. So, there is a ratio of 1:1 for 110 x 110 px or 1080 x 1080 px, while the ratio is 4:5 for 1080 x 1350 px.

Image Format: Instagram 

Instagram was created as a social media dedicated to sharing images. There is little space for texts except in comments, and users run a quick timeline where their presence is not always highlighted. Therefore, the square photo on Instagram doesn’t have the same format and value on a different social network.

The recommended image size depends on the item you are sharing:

  • Profile images: 110 x 110 px;
  • Thumbnails: 161 x 161 px.

On the other hand, shared images require different sizes, depending on the format:

  • Square size: 1080 x 1080 px;
  • Portrait: 1080 x 1350 px;
  • Overview: 1080 x 566 px.

These values are also recommended for carousel images, whether they are posts, ads and videos. 

Finally, the stories require different sizes depending on whether they are in portrait mode (1080 x 1920 px) or panoramic (1080 x 608 px).

Image Format: Facebook

Repeatedly dismissed as obsolete, Facebook continues to be the most popular social network in the world with about 3 billion active users. It is also a platform where you can upload multiple types of images:

  • Facebook profile image format (also for business): 180 x 180 px;
  • Facebook cover image format (also for business): 820 x 312 px;
  • event cover image for: 1920 x 1005 px;
  • group cover image for: 1640 x 856 px;
  • shared image: 1200 x 630 px; 
  • image in focus: 1200 x 717 px; 
  • stories: 1080 x 1920 px;
  • shared link images: 1200 x 630 px. 

The social media created by Mark Zuckerberg also provides specific image sizes used for advertising. Here they distinguish between:

  • stories: 1080 x 1920 px;
  • carousels: 1080 x 1080 px;
  • standard display: 1268 x 628 px.

Finally, note that the recommended size for images used in Messenger communications are now 1200 x 620 px, and 1080 x 1350 px for videos.

MailUp facebook cover

Image Format: LinkedIn

Let’s now go to LinkedIn which, unlike platforms previously analyzed, was created as a dedicated social network for businesses and professionals. So, it is no accident that this service calls for different image sizes, depending on use.

Personal Profiles

As for the size of personal profile photos, the recommendations are:

  • profile image: 400 x 400 px;
  • background image: 1536 x 768 px;
  • shared image: 1200 x 627 px.

As for post images, there is a further distinction between desktop (1200 x 1200 px) and mobile content (1200 x 628 px).

Business Profiles

As mentioned, LinkedIn recommends different sizes for business pages and images of businesses operating on its social media. Specifically, before uploading your files you should take the following values into account:

  • logo: 300 x 300 px;
  • cover: 1584 x 396 px;
  • image for contents: 1200 x 627 px;
  • banner: 646 x 220 px.

YouTube cover size

Actually, YouTube is not exactly a social network but a platform for audio/video streaming. However, it has several features dedicated to the creation of graphics of YouTube and the community channels. For this reason, it is fully within the purposes of this brief overview.

YouTube videos and channels

For movie thumbnails, 1280 x 720 px images are recommended, while for standard content the range goes from a minimum of 426 x 240 px to a maximum of 3840 x 2160 px.

The channels provide for a profile image of 800 x 800 px as well as different banners depending on the device and the display used:

  • smartphone: 1564 x 423 px;
  • desktop: 2560 x 423 px;
  • tablet: 1855 x 423 px;
  • smart TV: 2560 x 1440 px. 

Advertising

YouTube also provides several recommendations regarding image size for video ad formats available to advertisers. In this case:

  • skippable images (whose reproduction can be interrupted after 5 seconds of display) and non-skippable ads: 1920 x 1080 px;
  • images for display ads: 300 x 250 px;
  • overlay (overlay images): 460 x 60 px;
  • images for pre-roll ads (displayed before video playback):  640 x 360 px.

Pre-roll size is the same as that recommended for bumpers, i.e., ads that interrupt a video.

Twitter image size for

Twitter is a social media network that allows a limited number of characters for text content (tweets). So, images play a basic role because they make it possible to express even very complex concepts through graphs or photos.

Here too, given the large number of formats, let’s first distinguish between images for profiles and advertising.

Twitter Profiles

Profile images for Twitter accounts are 400 x 400 px, header images 1500 x 500 px, 1200 x 675 px are recommended for the timeline.

Tweet requirements are more specific:

  • tweeted image: 1200 x 675 px;
  • tweet from website or smart card: 800 x 800 px if square, 800 x 418 px panoramic mode;
  • tweet of two images: 700 x 800 px each;
  • tweet of three images: 700 x 800 px for the first from the left, 1200 x 686 px for the other two;
  • tweet of four images (maximum quantity allowed): 1200 x 600 each.

Advertising

Twitter recommends dimensions of 800 x 428 px for advertising images. From this point of view, not many formats are available, unlike advertising videos that require 720 x 720 px for square outputs, 1280 x 720 px for panoramic mode and 720 x 1280 for portrait mode. 

TikTok

TikTok is a social network based entirely on sharing short video clips (1080 x 1920 px for shared movies and 720 x 1280 px for advertising). The use of other multimedia content like images is limited and basically consists of profile images whose recommended size is 200 x 200 px.

Conclusion

Each social network requires specific image sizes that can be uploaded by users and advertisers. Knowing these values allows you to select content optimized for the platform where you want to share.

This article was written by

Claudio Garau

Claudio Garau

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