Format Instagram

Instagram Format: 2024 image and video format guide

Each Instagram format has its own strengths for maximizing the performance of your content. Discover all the formats with our guide!

On Instagram, every pixel counts, and the right format can make all the difference. This social networking platform continues to evolve every year, keeping pace with market trends. It adapts to user behaviors to enhance their experience and increase time spent. That’s why Instagram is testing and offering more and more new types of content with varied resolution. Whether you’re looking to strengthen your online presence or boost sales, understanding and mastering each Instagram format is essential.

With this guide we share with you the various image and video formats available on Instagram in 2024. As a paid media agency, we can confirm that choosing the right format for your content is crucial. We’ll look at how best to use them to maximize your impact and improve the performance of your posts or ads.

Photo publishing on Instagram

Instagram offers three main image formats: square, portrait and landscape. Each has its own advantages, depending on the message you want to convey. Ideal for capturing attention with a high-quality visual, a well-chosen photo can tell a story in an instant. In addition, it will be important to specify the best format for a profile photo on Instagram.

Profile photo

The profile photo is often the first impression users get of you on Instagram. For some time now, it has been possible to click on this photo to enlarge it. That’s why knowing more about this format will be crucial to your online presence strategy.

Photo de profil - Format Instagram

Make sure the image is sharp and visible even on a small scale, as it often appears as a small icon on comments and likes.

For a brand, remember to update your profile photo to reflect seasonal events or special promotions. It should also remain consistent with your brand’s image.

  • Photo size: the minimum dimensions are 110 x 110 pixels, while the recommended dimensions are 320 x 320 pixels.
  • Aspect ratio: 1:1
  • Profile photo type: PNG or JPG

Square photo

The square format is the classic Instagram format. It’s ideal for a centered presentation, offering eye-catching symmetry. Use this format for images that need to capture attention without peripheral distraction.

Photo carré - Format Instagram
  • Photo size: 1080 x 1080 pixels
  • Aspect ratio: 1:1
  • Photo type: PNG or JPG

Portrait photography

The portrait format allows you to use more vertical space, which is perfect for capturing longer details or subjects that require a little more height. It’s the preferred format for portraits or products. The portrait format on Instagram is particularly powerful for capturing attention in a browsing stream. This is because it takes up more screen space, offering deeper immersion in the content.

You can use this format for photos where the main subject is vertical. For example, choose it when displaying standing people, buildings or vertical landscapes. Make sure your subject is well centered. Make sure important elements are visible without the need to scroll.

Photo portrait - Format Instagram
  • Photo size: 1080 x 1350 pixels
  • Aspect ratio: 4:5
  • Photo type: PNG or JPG

Landscape photo

Less common but just as important, the landscape format is wide, ideal for panoramic scenes or content requiring a wider perspective.

  • Photo size: 1080 x 566 pixels
  • Aspect ratio: 1.91:1
  • Photo type: PNG or JPG

Video publishing on Instagram

Videos on Instagram allow you to convey more dynamic and detailed messages. They’re perfect for showing processes or events in real time. Videos can come in several formats, each suited to a different type of content.

They appear in your main feed and can be very effective for telling a story or showing a product in action. They follow the same proportions as images, including square, portrait and landscape.

Format vidéo sur Instagram

Video in square format

  • Recommended size: minimum 600 x 600 pixels
  • Aspect ratio: 1:1
  • File type: MP4
  • Video size: Maximum 4 GB
  • Maximum length: 2 minutes

Horizontal video

  • Recommended size: 1080 x 1350 pixels
  • Aspect ratio: 1.9:1
  • File type: MP4
  • Video size: Maximum 4 GB
  • Maximum length: 2 minutes

Vertical video

  • Recommended size: 1080 x 608 pixels
  • Aspect ratio: 4:5
  • File type: MP4
  • Video size: Maximum 4 GB
  • Maximum length: 2 minutes

Instagram format: Story

Stories are ephemeral content that remain visible for 24 hours and are limited to 15 seconds. They offer a fantastic way to communicate informally with your audience. They’re often used to share everyday moments or instant updates. You can integrate interactive elements to make your Instagram Stories successful. For example, these include polls, questions or swipe-ups to encourage interaction.

To keep Stories after a day, use Highlights. They allow you to keep your favorite Stories on your profile.

For brands, this is a great way to archive content for accessibility. Brands keep Stories displaying tutorials, events or special promotions.

Story Instagram

Story in photo format :

  • Photo size: 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Aspect ratio: 4:5, 16:9 and 9:16 (the most recommended format)
  • Photo type: PNG or JPG

Story in video format:

  • Recommended size: 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Video size: 4:5, 16:9 and 9:16 (the most recommended format)
  • File type: MP4

Instagram format: Carousel

The carousel format lets you share several photos or videos in a single publication. It’s ideal for telling a multi-part story or showing different aspects of a product. Make sure that each image or video in the carousel is interesting in its own right, but also contributes to the overall story or message.

Format Instagram Carrousel

Carousel photos

  • Square format: Image size is 1080 x 1080 pixels
  • Vertical format: Image size is 1080 x 1350 pixels
  • And Horizontal Format: Images must be 1080 x 566 pixels in size

Carousel videos

In Feed :

  • Formats – Square (1:1), Landscape (16:9) and Portrait (9:16)
  • Recommended size – 1080 x 1080 pixels
  • Number of videos – From 2 to 10 videos per carousel
  • File types – MP4 and MOV
  • Maximum size – 4 GB

In Stories :

  • Formats – Square (1:1), Landscape (16:9) and Portrait (9:16)
  • Recommended size – 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Number of videos – 2 to 3 videos per carousel
  • File types – MP4 and MOV
  • Maximum size – 4 GB

IGTV video

For longer videos, IGTV is the platform of choice. These videos can last up to an hour, offering an opportunity to explore topics in depth or share more immersive experiences. You can use IGTV for tutorials, interviews, or demonstrations.

Horizontal video :

  • Photo size: 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • Aspect ratio: 9:16
  • File type: MP4

Vertical video :

  • Recommended size: 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Aspect ratio: 9:16
  • File type: MP4

Instagram Reels format

Inspired by the success of TikTok’s short, engaging formats, Reels are vertical videos that create dynamic, fun content, often accompanied by music. They’re perfect for reaching a younger audience or showing a lighter, more entertaining version of your brand.

Instagram Reels
  • Recommended size: 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Aspect ratio: 9:16
  • File type: MP4 and MOV
  • Video size: Maximum 4 GB
  • Maximum length: 90 seconds

Instagram Ads format

Instagram Ads allow you to specifically target your audiences with promotional content embedded in feeds and Stories. This format can serve completely different purposes. It helps promote your products/services, your brand and make you more visible to your target audience. What’s more, Meta offers new updates and formats for Instagram ads on a fairly regular basis. These include Reminders Ads and Promoted Results.

Use eye-catching visuals and clear messages with strong calls to action to convert views into actions.

However, the proven way to get the most out of this format is to use a team of experts from an Instagram Ads agency. It’s a great way to help you develop and implement a strategy to maximize your results on the platform and achieve your goals.

Format Instagram Ads

Photo ads

  • Square format: 1080 x 1080 pixels
  • Horizontal format: 1080 x 566 pixels
  • Aspect ratio: between 1.91:1 and 4:5

Video ads

  • Recommended size: 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Aspect ratio: 9:16

Choosing the right format for your content

Selecting the ideal format for your content on Instagram isn’t just a question of aesthetics, it’s a strategy. Each format has the potential to amplify your message, but the choice depends on your objective and your audience.

Determine the objective of your content

First and foremost, clarify what you want to achieve with your publication. Do you want to generate followers on Instagram? Do you want to maximize engagement, drive traffic to your site, or perhaps generate sales? For example, if engagement is your priority, square and portrait formats often perform better as they fill the screen of smartphones, capturing users’ attention better.

Adapting the format to your audience

Knowing your audience is crucial. Younger users may prefer dynamic content like Reels or Stories, while a more mature audience might appreciate more detailed and informative IGTV videos. Analyzing your followers’ demographics can help you make informed decisions.

Techniques for optimizing Instagram formats

Once you’ve chosen the format best suited to your goals and audience, the next step is to optimize it for the best possible results.

Content creation tips for each format

For each type of content, there are specific techniques that can help improve its performance:

  • Images: Use bright colors and centered framing to attract attention. Images should be of high quality and visually appealing.
  • Videos: Keep videos short and engaging. The first few seconds are crucial to capturing interest, so start strong. Make sure the video is understandable even without sound, as many users watch videos in silent mode.
  • Stories: get creative with interactive stickers like polls or questions to encourage interaction. Stories are perfect for more frequent, less formal updates.

Testing and adapting formats

Optimization doesn’t stop after you’ve published your content. Using Instagram insights to track the performance of your posts is essential. Observe which type of content generates the most engagement or clicks. Don’t hesitate to test different formats for the same type of content to see what resonates most with your audience. A/B testing can be a valuable tool in your arsenal for refining your content strategy on Instagram.

Integrating Instagram formats into your strategy

Adopting specific Instagram formats in your paid media campaigns can transform your advertising approach. The key is to understand which format works best for each message type and campaign objective.

Strategic use of formats in advertising campaigns

For every advertising objective, Instagram offers a suitable format:

  • For brand awareness: Landscape videos and Stories are ideal, as they capture attention and provide an engaging visual narrative.
  • For lead acquisition: Use square or portrait formats in sponsored posts with clear calls to action to encourage clicks to your website.
  • For conversions: Shopping formats integrated into posts and Stories allow users to buy directly from the app, which can greatly increase your conversion rate.

Performance tracking and analysis

Investing in advertising without tracking results is like navigating without a compass. Use Instagram’s analytics tools to measure the effectiveness of each format:

  • Monitor impressions, clicks and conversion rate to understand which format delivers the best results.
  • Adjust your ad spend based on these insights to optimize the ROI of your campaigns.

Conclusion

Navigating the world of Instagram formats can seem complex, but with the right strategies in place, you have everything to succeed. Together, we’ve explored how to choose the right format for your content, how to optimize these formats to maximize their impact, and how to intelligently integrate these elements into your paid media campaigns. Staying on top of the latest updates and trends will ensure that your strategy remains relevant and effective.

Vincent Chevalier Levy

Vincent Chevalier Levy

After managing the largest marketing analytics & growth teams from the Silicon Valley (Electronic Arts & Udemy), Vincent decided to create Impulse Analytics in order to accelerate the growth of the accounts he manages. Vincent's focus on media, content & data helped him generate more than +50 million euros of revenue, +70 clients supported, 25 countries and counting ..
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