The ideal image size for social media

Visual content has always trended high in social media, but over the last year or so, platforms such as Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat have grown into a few of the top social networking sites in the world—surpassing Twitter in mobile downloads in both the Apple and Android markets.

According to 2014 research published by, photos accounted for 75% of content published on Facebook worldwide, and KPCB analyst Mary Meeker’s annual Internet Trends report reveals that over 1.8 billion photos are shared online every day!

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With the evolution of multi-platform distribution channels, building images to fit nicely into newsfeeds, timelines, blog posts or streams has become paramount to creating share-worthy content. The size and shape are the most important things to consider. [Most of the mobile and smartphone apps handle this with a built-in CSS to scale images to look better on high-resolution displays. For example, Instagram crops images to 640px by 640px and then scales to 612px by 612px.]

But when you do have control to exercise over your images—exercise it! The height, width and orientation of your images will influence how they appear in social media streams—and ultimately how often they are shared.

One of the most common, and often overlooked, problems with your images is their sheer size. Large images will upload slowly, cause your pages to load slowly (and sometimes hang) for the folks viewing them—which can increase your bounce rate—and will also take up a great deal of storage space. Optimizing your images for the web will solve all of these issues and not compromise their quality. There are many blog plugins available to manage this automatically—comment below if you need a few recommendations.

When it comes to orientation and formatting (landscape versus portrait) we’ve come across this great (mega) blog post by that speaks to each of the most popular social sites in complete and awesome detail. Here’s an example of what you will learn:

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If a picture is worth a thousand words—make every word count! If you need help with your visual content, give us a call.


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