9 Actionable Tips to Nail Instagram Story Dimensions

Over half a million Instagrammers use Stories every day, and 80% of accounts follow a brand on Instagram.

When done right, Stories can skyrocket brand awareness and win more hearts. Take the case of media brand Insider Inc., who more than tripled their followers’ number in less than three months (while generating 5.2 million views from Instagram Stories in one month).

But there’s a science to making stories that stand out from the crowd. Neglect the Instagram Story Dimensions rules and they won’t get the love they deserve. If you want followers to engage with your story (and not simply ignore it), you need to know what works, and what doesn’t work. Let’s say you’re writing a novel, you want to be able to showcase it well. Or, if you’re promoting a party. You need a story that stands out.

In this post, we’ll cover nine essential Instagram story dimensions tips and tricks to make sure you nail it and improve the way you connect with your audience.

Without any further mention, let’s dive in.

#1. The Best Instagram Story Dimensions Are 1080px by 1920px

Rule number one: If you want your content to look spotless and smooth, you have to stick with the recommended Instagram story dimensions. Whether you upload photos, videos, or use an online video maker, it’s how you make sure your story will look right (and visually appealing) across all devices.

Otherwise, Instagram will cut off parts of your photo or video to adjust to the right dimensions (and you don’t want that). Here’s why.

Content marketer Claire Brenner uploaded an image to her Instagram story that wasn’t 1080x1920px. First, Instagram zoomed the image to fit the recommended dimensions, which reduced the image quality.


Second, Instagram posted the image in its original resolution, leaving a lot of blank space that doesn’t look good.


Bottom line: Whatever you do, don’t do what Claire did.

#2. Aspect Ratio Should be 9:16

The recommended aspect ratio for Instagram stories is 9:16 because it fits well with a lot of devices. By using it, you make sure your images and videos are framed correctly and keep their high quality.

#3. Reduce Resolution to Increase Upload Time

The aspect ratio of 9:16 has several resolutions: 1024×576, 1152×648, 1280×720, 1366×768, 1600×900, 1080×1920, 2560×1440, 3840×2160, and 7680 x 4320.

Even if the recommended resolution is 1080px by 1920px, there are times when you can be flexible.

If you’re spending a lot of time uploading content on multiple Instagram accounts, you can avoid slow upload speeds by switching to low resolution. Videos and images with lower resolution are smaller in size, which makes their upload faster.


However, the fewer pixels, the less definition. If you can compromise on quality, reduce the resolution (as long as you keep the recommended aspect ratio).

#4. Make Videos and Photos Vertical

If you’re uploading an image or video to your Instagram story, make sure it’s vertical—because people use their smartphones vertically. When followers click on stories, they don’t want to change the orientation of their phone (it would ruin the UI).

#5. Photos Should be Less than 30MB

You can upload photos for your Instagram story no larger than 30MB (which is more than enough).

If you’re using raw formats, you’ll have to convert them to JPG to reduce file size to fit the Instagram story dimensions.

#6. Videos Need to be Less than 4GB and Under 15 Minutes

The Instagram story dimensions limit video files to 4GB. The smaller your videos, the faster the upload time and the quicker the buffering (users with a slow internet connection will thank you).

If you upload a video that’s longer than 15 seconds, it will be broken down into several segments of 15-second videos. This means you can create a sequential video story and wow your followers.

#7. Use PNG or JPG Photos

Instagram Stories only supports PNG and JPG formats. The advantage is they don’t occupy much space and are recommended for static graphics.

#8. Use MP4 or MOV Videos

The supported formats for videos are MP4 and MOV. Since MOV takes more space than MP4, your first choice should always be MP4.

#9. Use a Tool to Nail Instagram Story Dimensions

If dealing with dimensions, formats, and quality is giving you a hard time, it’s time to call in the pros.

With Lumen’s Instagram story creator, you can make thumb-stopping videos that match the Instagram story dimensions recommendation. Plus, you have access to thousands of free images and videos, helping you save a lot of time and resources.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Create a free account.
  2. Click on Instagram story template.
  3. Choose a theme.
  4. Personalize the theme by adding your own video, soundtrack, content, and photos.
  5. Preview video.
  6. Publish it on your Instagram account.

Ready to Rock Instagram Stories?

When you stick with the correct Instagram story dimensions and follow expert advice, several things will happen.

First, your stories will be spot on.

Second, your followers will love interacting with them.

Third—your Instagram account will see better results.

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