Social media image sizes cheat sheet for 2017

Recent studies have found that images used on Twitter double the engagement rate of posts – and this makes a lot of sense. In the world of social media, images stand out in a sea of text. However, image sizes vary across all social media platforms. Here is a quick guide to keep you up-to-date on what are the optimal sizes for your images across the top four social media platforms.

It is worth noting that images containing logos or text may be best uploaded as PNG files, while photographs can be JPG files.

For the Photoshop wizards out there, here is a zip folder with PSD templates for each image type listed.


Facebook

Profile picture

Image size: 180 × 180 pixels
This is the image that will appear throughout your usage of Facebook that will represent yourself or your brand. Images can be uploaded at any resolution higher than 180 × 180 pixels; however, they will only display on your profile at this resolution. For further reading, please see Facebook’s support page for profile pictures.

Cover photo

Image size: 828 × 315 pixels
This is the featured image that will appear at the top of your profile page. Any image uploaded lower than 828 × 315 pixels will be stretched to meet this size. Again, images containing logos or text may be best uploaded as PNG files. For further reading, please see Facebook’s support page for cover photos.

Images in feed

Image size: 1200 × 630 pixels
These are the photos that will be used in your Facebook posts that will display on your own profile page and other users’ news feeds. Facebook will upscale images that are lower than 1200 × 630 pixels. It is advised that uploaded images that are higher than 1200 × 630 pixels still meet the same aspect ratio. For further reading, please see Facebook’s support page for uploading and editing photos.


Twitter

Profile photo

Image size: 400 × 400 pixels
This is the image that will appear throughout your usage of Twitter that will represent yourself or your brand. It is worth noting that Twitter have recently updated their profile photos to display as circles. Consider altering your image to work within a circular frame. For further reading, please see Twitter’s support page for profile photos.

Header image

Image size: 1500 × 500 pixels
This is the featured image that will appear at the top of your profile page. Twitter will upscale images that are lower than 1500 × 500 pixels. I have found that Twitter will compress header photos even at optimal resolution. I tend to upload images that are double the required image size (3000 × 1000 pixels) so they still look sharp. For further reading, please see Twitter’s support page for header imagess.

In-stream photos

Image size: 440 × 220 pixels
Maximum file size: 5MB for photos. 3MB for GIFs.
This is the image that will appear in your tweets. 440 × 220 pixels is a minimum requirement, and I tend to upload images that are triple this resolution (1320 × 660 pixels) for optimal viewing when expanded. For further reading, please see Twitter’s support page for posting photos or GIFs.


Instagram

Profile image

Image size: 110 × 110 pixels
This is the image that will appear throughout your usage of Instagram that will represent yourself or your brand. Along with Twitter, Instagram also uses a circular frame for profile images. Consider altering your image to work within a circular frame.

Photo post

Image size: 1080 × 1080 pixels
Instagram photos are the main content on this platform, so this point is important. In order to have optimal clarity from Instagram posts, images must be uploaded at a minimum resolution of 1080 × 1080 pixels. Images higher than this size will be downscaled to meet 1080 × 1080 pixels. Uploaded mages will appear in the feed at 600 × 600 pixels.


YouTube

Channel art

Image size: 2560 × 1440 pixels
The appearance of YouTube varies across different devices. It has separate looks for desktop, mobile/tablet, and TV. Therefore, the channel cover photo upload must act as a ‘one size fits all’ solution. For further reading, please see Youtube’s support page for creating and editing channel art.

Video thumbnails

Image size: 1920 × 1080 pixels
Thumbnails on YouTube videos act as a quick snapshot for viewers to understand what the video is about. Use a 16:9 aspect ratio as it’s the most used in YouTube players and previews. For further reading, please see YouTube’s support page for adding and creating video thumbnails.

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