Why Social Media Image Sizes Matter

Although the applicable text and visual content tends to get all of the attention from marketers, there’s a reason why social media image sizes do matter. 


According to Greek mythology, the Hydra of Lerna was a serpent-like water monster that terrorised a local lake. Apart from its formidable strength, its superpower was that everytime a budding hero would cut one of its many heads off, two more would reappear. 

If you ask any social media strategist, that’s a bit like what working in their arena is like – just when you get familiar with the quirks of each platform, the rules of conquering the algorithms change. Think about all of the people who had finally perfected their Instagram grid curation, only for Reels to arrive. 

While trying to find commercial success on social media can at times feel like a losing battle, there’s always going to be a time and a place for posting photos. Although viral videos are certainly having their moment in the spotlight, one standalone image is always going to be required for certain marketing endeavours. In fact, it’s for this reason that social media image sizes are the one thing that are always going to stay relevant. 

How To Master Social Media Image Sizes 

Is there anything worse than spending time meticulously finding the right image that fits your message and posting on social media at the ideal time, only to find that the photo is pixelated, blurry or nothing like what you had intended? 

When this happens, there’s a high chance that the social media image sizes are wrong. Along with having the potential for being embarrassing for the person or business in question, the wrong image size has the potential to negate your efforts, as audiences simply won’t engage with a photo that isn’t up to their standards.

To help future proof your brand and ensure that your credibility remains intact, getting familiar with social media image sizes is a must. While the process can be meticulous since they’re rarely ever exactly the same dimensions, the payoffs are worth it. 

Facebook – Your brand’s Facebook profile picture will display at 170 x 170 pixels on desktop, but will display as 128 x 128 pixels on smartphones. For cover photos, the same concept applies, with the display sitting at 820 x 312 pixels on a desktop and 640 x 360 on smartphones – if it displays at all. When adding a photo to a post, the recommended image upload size for a shared image post is 1200 x 630 pixels, which also applies to a shared link post image.

Instagram – Although cropped to a circle, the Instagram profile picture is displayed at 110 x 110 pixels and stored at 320 x 320 pixels. When posting a photo, square images should be 1080 x 1080 pixels, landscape images should be 1080 x 566 pixels and portrait images should be 1080 x 1350 pixels. When using stories, keep in mind that the portrait format uses a 1080 x 1920 resolution with an aspect ratio of 9:16. 

LinkedIn – A profile photo on LinkedIn should be between 400 x 400 pixels and 7680 x 4320 pixels, but keep in mind that it needs to be a headshot, or the algorithm may remove it. Displayed in a similar fashion to Facebook, your cover photo should also be 1548 x 396 pixels. For anyone posting original content, the ideal article cover image dimensions are 744 x 400 pixels, with the recommended size for a shared link image being 1104 x 736 pixels.

TikTok – As TikTok is a video-based platform booming in popularity, it’s important to note that the recommended size is 1080 x 1920 pixels with a 9:16 aspect ratio. In fact, the only social media image sizes that really apply to TikTok is your brand’s profile photo, which has a minimum size of 20 x 20 pixels. While TikTok is informal and is thus more forgiving than other platforms on content quality from a technical perspective, it’s the topic that you cover that really counts. 

YouTube – Much like Instagram, expect your profile photo to be cropped into a circular thumbnail. While it is displayed at 98 x 98 pixels, it’s recommended to use a photo size of 800 x 800 pixels in conjunction with a cover photo sized at 2560 x 1440 pixels. For the actual video thumbnail displayed on YouTube, the recommended image size is 1280 x 720 pixels, with a maximum file size of 2MB and an ideal aspect ratio of 16:9. 

Pinterest – The ‘pins’ on Pinterest are generally images, as the visual search engine format relies on them to deliver accurate results. Pinterest pin images have a recommended size of 1000 x 1500 pixels for the best image quality, with the recommended aspect ratio being 1:3.5 to 2:3. Board display thumbnails are thumbnails for images on a specific Pinterest board, so small board display thumbnails should be 55 x 55 pixels, and large board thumbnails should be 222 x 150 pixels.

If not actioned properly and without a well thought out plan of attack, marketing on social media can result in a lot of work with minimal results. If you lack the time, energy or resources to give this the proper attention that it deserves, it might be worth considering outsourcing the work required to the professionals – but where do you find them?

The Key To Good Marketing Is Great Content 

Here at Content Hive, producing top quality digital content is exactly what we do best. We have itemised a list of digital content services, and allocated credits next to each of these. This means that each month, you can use your credits with us to produce digital content such as blog articles, social media posts, videos and even animated Instagram stories. By using this model, we believe that it enables us to produce high quality content with faster delivery times.

If you aren’t quite sure where to start on your digital marketing journey and would like to speak to a professional, why not book in a free discovery call with us at Content Hive today to discuss how we can get your brand buzzing online.

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