[Publish] Instagram Direct Scheduling: Image aspect ratios

IN THIS ARTICLE

Summary

Due to limitations with Instagram's new API, we're only able to publish posts automatically if the image aspect ratio is between 0.8 and 1.91. If the aspect ratio of your image falls outside of this range, your post will be scheduled as a reminder instead. If you like, you can adjust the aspect ratio and then re-upload your image.

An image’s aspect ratio describes the ratio between its width and its height and is obtained by dividing the width by the height. Provided this value is between 0.8 and 1.91 inclusive, your post can be published automatically via Buffer Publish. In a nutshell, your images can't be very wide or very tall.

Aspect ratios are often represented as two numbers separated by a colon (:). This can be a convenient way of displaying an aspect ratio and can be converted into a numerical value by dividing the first by the second. So, for example, an aspect ratio written as 4:5 has a value of 4/5 = 0.8. Likewise, an aspect ratio written as 3:2 has a value of 3/2 = 1.5.

How are aspect ratios calculated?

To calculate the aspect ratio of an image, you can take the resolution and divide the width by the height.

  • 1200 x 1200 pixels → aspect ratio of 1200/1200 = 1
  • 1200 x 1500 pixels → aspect ratio of 1200/1500 = 0.8
  • 1200 x 629 pixels → aspect ratio of 1200/629 = 1.907

Remember to watch out for rounding the results of your calculation digits. For example, 1200 x 628 pixels would correspond to an aspect ratio of 1.910828, therefore falling just outside of the acceptable range. Similarly 799 x 1000 pixels would correspond to an aspect ratio of 0.799, again falling just outside of the acceptable range.

What sizes do my images need to be?

This is a good question, with a slightly complicated answer. Your images don't need to be a specific pixel size, as long as the aspect ratio is within the acceptable range. Here are some examples of image sizes that would work nicely:

Square images

  • Any size square image (same width and height), e.g. 600 x 600 pixels, 800 x 800 pixels, 1200 x 1200 pixels

Portrait images

  • 700 x 800 pixels (aspect ratio 0.875)
  • 1000 x 1200 pixels (aspect ratio 0.83)
  • 1200 x 1500 pixels (aspect ratio 0.8)

Landscape images

  • 800 x 600 pixels (aspect ratio 1.33)
  • 1200 x 800 pixels (aspect ratio 1.5)
  • 1500 x 1200 pixels (aspect ratio 1.25)

Notes:

  • Your images do not need to be any of the one sizes mentioned above, these are just examples. As long as the width of your image divided by the height of your image is between 0.8 and 1.91, it will be published automatically.
  • Instagram accepts a minimum resolution of 150 x 150 pixels and a maximum of 1920 x 1080 pixels. Lower resolutions will be scaled up to the minimum and higher resolutions will be scaled down to the maximum.