Brenda Peterson
Brenda Peterson
Social Media Image Sizes: One Size Doesn’t Fit All
1 (20%) 1 vote

Why do 80% of marketers worldwide use visuals in their social media marketing? It is widely known that 80% of visual information entering the human brain is retained. This means that vivid, high-quality pictures have much higher chances to catch the public eye and bring more potential customers to you.

This is why it is so important to come up with images that contribute to the reputation of your brand, present your product in the most favorable light, and, most importantly, encourage people to click through to your business website, blog, online store, etc.

If you use social media, you must have noticed that the quality and size of images uploaded on social networks do not always meet your expectations: their quality may deteriorate, sizes may change, and photos may crop terribly. As a brand promoting yourself on social media, you can’t afford yourself such a carelessness.

Your pictures must be flawless. And for this, you need to know what size requirements different social platforms put forth toward images. This knowledge will allow you to pick optimal visual content for your marketing needs, as well as properly edit images that don’t meet the given criteria.

But before we start, let’s see what types of images should be clearly distinguished in the context of social media.

Common image types on social media

Visuals are essential for social media as they help users establish their online presence and share experiences more effectively. Various kinds of images serve different purposes on social networks, and for most of them, there are different size requirements:

  • Cover image: An image at the top of a profile page that gives other users an idea about you and what you do (as an individual or business). It can be a team photo, official logo or any other image related to your personality, work, interests, hobbies, etc.
  • Profile image: An image that represents your profile on social media and appears on a profile page, as well as next to your posts and comments. This can be your headshot, logo or other image representing you. A profile image should be clear, recognizable (even as a thumbnail), and memorable so that users could immediately associate it with your brand.
  • Image thumbnail: A preview copy of a regular image reduced in size (or cropped). Thumbnails are often found in photo galleries or image lists. Downsized profile photos appearing next to posts and comments are also thumbnails.
  • Shared image: An image included in a social media post. It appears in your followers’ feeds and drives their engagement. Quality images will promote further interaction with your content (through liking, sharing, and commenting) and increase your chances to succeed with your social media marketing.
  • Shared link: An image that appears every time you post a link to another web resource on social networks. It is applied to increase the informative value of a link, boost engagement, and encourage users to click on it.

Listed are the most common types of images you can find on almost all popular social networks. However, some platforms offer additional features that might require images of a certain size as well, for example, Event or Highlighted images on Facebook or Stories on Instagram. Further, you will find the recommended sizes for both common image types and network-specific ones.

guy taking pictureFacebook

Facebook is the largest social network in the world. This is why your visual identity on the platform is so important. With the help of high-quality images, you can show your audience that your brand is professional, authoritative, and attentive to details.

Recommended Image Sizes

  • Cover image: 820 x 312 px
  • Profile image: ≥180 x 180 px
  • Shared image: 1200 x 630 px
  • Shared link: 1200 x 628 px
  • Highlighted image: 1200 x 717 px
  • Event image: 1920 x 1080 px

Instagram

Instagram is all about visual content. So the images you post on it must be absolutely flawless in terms of both aesthetics and dimensional fidelity. Otherwise, surviving the competition will be hard.

Instagram is widely used by both companies and individuals for marketing purposes because the platform is a real engagement machine through which you can tell your story by sharing awesome photos with the audience.

Initially, Instagram supported only square photos, but now you can upload rectangular images as well (landscape and portrait orientation are both supported).

Recommended Image Sizes

  • Profile image: 110 x 110 px
  • Photo thumbnail: 161 x 161 px
  • Shared image: square 1080 x 1080 px | landscape 1080 x 566 px | portrait 1080 x 1350 px
  • Shared video: 1080 px wide
  • Instagram Stories: 1080 x 1920 px

Twitter

For businesses, Twitter account is almost like a business card: everyone has it, but only a few actually use it. Reportedly, only 57% of companies use Twitter for marketing purposes. But don’t let the figures fool you. It appears that Twitter audience is three times more likely to follow a brand than Facebook users.

A profile image is the most important visual asset of your Twitter profile. So if you plan to use it actively, make sure your profile photo is impeccable because it will become a face of your brand on the platform.

Recommended Image Sizes

  • Profile image: 400 x 400 px
  • Header (cover) image: 1500 x 500 px
  • In-stream (shared) image: 440 x 220 px

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is, first and foremost, a business platform for connecting specialists worldwide, searching for partners, and promoting yourself in a professional environment.

LinkedIn gives you a choice of creating either a personal or company account. Consequently, there’s a wider variety of images to work with.

Recommended Image Sizes

  • Profile image: 400 x 400 px
  • Cover image: 1536 x 768 px
  • Banner image: 1584 x 396 px
  • Shared image: 350 px wide
  • Shared link: 180 x 110 px
  • Company logo image: 300 x 300 px
  • Company cover image: 1536 x 768 px
  • Company banner image: 646 x 220 px
  • Square logo: 60 x 60 px
  • Hero Image: 1128 x 376 pxsmartphone upload

Google+

Although Google+ is not among the top social networks, it should definitely not be ignored. At least for the fact that it brings your brand closer to the world’s most powerful search engine, Google.

Since Google+ allows businesses to reinforce their online presence through the local search, the social platform still holds massive potential for marketers.

Recommended Image Sizes

  • Profile image: 250 x 250 px
  • Cover image: 1080 x 608 px
  • Shared image: 497 x 373 px
  • Shared video: ≥496 px wide
  • Shared link: 150 x 150 px

Pinterest

Pinterest is another social platform focusing on visual content. It is great both as a networking medium and a search tool. So if your business can be effectively promoted through engaging images, then Pinterest is an online destination which is definitely worth your while along with Instagram.

It is noteworthy that, unlike other social media, Pinterest doesn’t allow you to set a cover image for your profile. So the presentation of your brand relies solely on the profile image.

Pinterest shared images (so-called “pins”) are usually portrait oriented. Therefore, vertical pictures look better on the platform and drive more attention. However, this doesn’t mean you cannot upload landscape-oriented pictures.

Recommended Image Sizes

  • Profile image: 165 x 165 px
  • Shared image (pin) thumbnail: 236 px wide (min. 600 px when expanded)
  • Board image: 222 x 150 px

YouTube

YouTube is the second-to-none video-sharing platform. Although images are apparently not as crucial for YouTube as videos, good quality pictures are still vital for your channel presentation, as well as the competitiveness of your video content.

Since YouTube is accessed from all types of devices including PCs, laptops, smartphones, and tablets, make sure the images you upload look great on all of these.

Recommended Image Sizes

  • Channel cover image: 2560 x 1440 px
  • Channel icon: 800 x 800 px
  • Video thumbnail: 1280 x 720 px

Final words

Whether you use social media to stay connected with the world or promote your business, taking good care of image quality is imperative as long as you expect people to get interested in what you do and react to your content.

Knowing what image sizes are optimal for different social media is the key to creating eye-catching and memorable visual assets for your social accounts. Hopefully, this brief guide will help you deal with this challenging task.