Social media marketing has become an absolute madness. It doesn’t matter if you are a designer who creates visuals for a client or the brand owner. Standing out from the mass is crucial. It’s hard to cut and paste a photo and reuse it across all of your social networks. If you don’t cut the picture meaningfully, it will automatically be cut into unwanted parts, thus destroying its meaning. That is why the image size of every visual on social media is important.
Choosing the correct dimensions of the image, resolution, and color system is necessary to bring your images to the next level. In addition, social media platforms are often updated, which means they’re frequently changing their profile and cover photo dimensions, layouts, and requirements for uploaded images, so to keep you updated, we bring you tips on how to create high-quality social media images in 2023 for Facebook and Instagram.
#1 Facebook post image size
Let’s start with the world’s largest social network – Facebook. Have you ever found yourself in a situation where your image is grainy and lost its quality after uploading? The reason for this is compression. You can find lots of information about the dimensions, image resolutions, and basic settings at various sites. Still, hardly any will answer your question about why your image has lost quality. Even though you have correctly set up all settings. The following text will explain how to properly adjust Photoshop’s Facebook post size settings. The settings are basically the same even if you’re using another program.
Therefore, as an example, we will take a Facebook post. Open a new document in Photoshop and adjust the dimensions to 1200 x 630 pixels. Make sure your resolution is set to 72 pixels per inch and image mode set to 8 bits/channel. To avoid discoloration in your image, make sure you have selected an RGB color profile. To make sure that you have set the preset details correctly, see the screenshot below.
How do you properly adjust the image size?
All social media platforms use the RGB color system. So, everything you can see on your monitor screen is based on the RGB (red, green, blue) color system. However, if you choose another color system, for example, CMYK (which is used in the production and printing materials), be aware that the colors in your image will be displayed differently.
Now we come to the main question – why does Facebook make image compression, and how to avoid it? To avoid compression when you upload your image, make sure the file size is less than 100 KB. To better understand, let’s take, for example, that you want to upload a high-quality jpg image. If your image size is not smaller than 100KB, Facebook will make image size compression to 100KB. As a result, your image will become grainy, and you will lose some details, and all your effort to create a high-quality image is wasted. To reduce the document size to 100KB when saving your image, go to file – save as and choose JPEG format.
You’ll see a new screen where you will have the ability to adjust the maximum file size. So, when you move the arrow sideways (shown below), you can see how the size of the file decreases or increases. Next, move the arrow to the left to make the image size smaller than 100KB and click save.
And what about the image size of a logo?
If you want to upload an image with a text or logo, make sure you choose the proper format. When saving your image, go to file – save as and select PNG format.
PNG format supports images with a palette defined with 24-bit RGB colors, greyscale images (grayscale), and RGB images. PNG files are commonly used to store web image graphics because they contain a map of indexed colors and less compression. So the text and logo on it will not become grainy. As a result, you will have a high-quality image and, therefore, a more professional and convincing approach to your audience. Below is an example of the quality of the image with the logo, exported in jpg and png format.
Facebook image size for every Facebook format
In summary, set your image to the correct dimensions, check the resolution and image mode, be sure that you choose the RGB profile color, and keep an eye on the recommended file size. For example, you can find all Facebook image sizes in the image below.
As in the previous example, social media image sizes are often expressed through an aspect ratio or a specific number of pixels on the longer and shorter sides. The aspect ratio of an image is the ratio of its width to its height and is expressed with two numbers separated by a colon.
The following types of posts are most often used on Facebook:
Profile Photo, Carousel, or Ads: You should prepare your image on a square artboard 1:1 (usually 1080 x 1080 pixels)
Cover Photo: You should prepare your image on 2.63:1 (820×312 pixels)
Event Cover Photo is the same as the Linked image, and you should prepare your image on 1.91:1 (1200 x 628 pixels)
Facebook Video should be prepared on 16:9 or 9:16 for landscape and portrait videos (1200 x 1080 pixels)
But what about HD videos? If you post an HD video on Facebook from a computer, it will automatically upload in HD. Facebook recommends using the MP4 or MOV format. But, a complete list of the video formats can be uploaded to Facebook. You can check it here.
To post a video in HD, click Create a post at the top of the news feed or timeline. Then click photo/video and select the HD video you’d like to share. The final step is to choose your audience and click the post.
#2 Instagram image sizes
For 500 million daily users to be satisfied, the people behind Instagram regularly change the algorithm and rules of our favorite social media platform. For a year, Instagram could upload only standard square images (1:1 aspect ratio), but now it gives users the ability to share many formats and mediums with their audiences. However, the correct dimension for some people is not the only problem for a particular type of content. For example, most photographers spend hours and hours editing their images in Photoshop or Lightroom. So, the colors on their photos are perfectly prominent, but they face a problem after uploading their pictures – the colors have disappeared or have changed. So, why is this happening, and how to solve this problem?
To solve that problem, we must understand what causes an issue. For that, we need to understand the concept of color space. A color space, also called a color profile, is a defined range of colors, including sRGB, AdobeRGB, ProPhoto RGB, and CMYK. However, what makes them so important?
sRGB is the smallest color space, with a range covering only a small portion of what our eyes can see. The Adobe RGB range is larger. Particularly in the green and cyan colors. This is because it allows for more saturation (“chroma”) in those areas. ProPhoto RGB is the largest of the three – and possibly the most interesting since it includes “colors” outside of what we can see. ProPhoto RGB only consists of those values because it allows the range of authentic colors to be larger than other color spaces, including sRGB and Adobe RGB. If you thought: “OK, then I will use the ProPhoto RGB color profile for all of my images,” then you just made a mistake.
How do you mean a mistake?
ProPhoto RGB requires expensive equipment, and most of us use monitors that support only sRGB or, less often, Adobe RGB. So, we need to save the image in a color space supported by the place wherever we want to upload our image. For example, if we edit and export our image in ProPhoto RGB or Adobe RGB color profile and then upload it on Instagram, the images’ colors will disappear or be replaced. This happens because Instagram will automatically convert the color profile to sRGB. So, for now, only sRGB is important to us because it’s supported by our phones, Instagram, Facebook, websites, and anything on the screen.
Let’s repeat that through an example
Let’s make an Instagram post as an example to see just how important settings are and how to arrange them. First, we will create a vertical Instagram post in dimensions 1080 x 1350 px (4:5 aspect ratio). When we were making a Facebook post, we opened a new document. Now, we will show you how to put the existing image in the right dimensions and set it with the sRGB color profile.
Let’s start with the first step by opening your image in Photoshop. What your image currently uses as the color profile is in the lower-left corner. If not shown, click the arrow on the right (shown in the image below) and select – document profile.
If you have a photograph in RAW format, your color profile will be ProPhoto RGB, as in our example. To change the current color profile to sRGB, open edit and choose convert to profile. You will then get a popup window where you will click the arrow on the right in the destination space and select – sRGB profile. Also, don’t forget to check if your image is in 8-bit/channel mode by opening the section image – mode.
When your image is in the color profile that Instagram supports, your colors will remain unchanged after uploading them. The only thing left is to set the proper dimensions and export our image. First, we need to crop the existing image in a ratio of 4:5. You can use the crop tool or go to image-crop and ensure that the ratio is set to 4:5 and press crop.
Bear with us…
Then, we need to resize the image by selecting the image-image size. In the popup window that appears, set the dimensions to 1080 x 1350 px and choose Bicubic Sharper (reduction) in the Resample field.
The last step is to export. To do that, go to file – export as. In the right corner, choose jpg format and set quality to 73%. Zoom in on the image and see if everything is fine; if the image loses quality and doesn’t look good, increase the quality value. Check the dimensions and color space one more time, and then press export all, and you’re done.
Below, you can find all image sizes for Instagram.
One research has shown that Instagram is a social media that users access through smartphones. For this reason, social media marketing experts recommend a portrait (vertical) aspect ratio of 4:5 (1080 x 1350 px) or 1:1 (1080 x 1080 px) for Instagram posts, and 9:16 (1080 x 1920 px) for Instagram stories, Reels or IG TV. That way, your photo or video takes up the most space on the phone screen and attracts the most attention to the viewer.
Also possible, and perhaps less popular, Instagram post and story size are landscape (horizontal) – with aspect ratios 5:4, 16:9, or 1,91:1. Sometimes your content won’t fit into portrait sizes, so you’ll opt for landscape.
Further to the previous statements, be aware and carefully choose the size depending on the content you are sharing and the target audience you are addressing.
#3 Youtube sizes
Thanks to our digital world, creating YouTube videos has never been easier. We all have heard of the term YouTubers. One feature that has gained popularity and so many followers on their channels is the correct dimensions and quality resolution.
Aside from the fact that people are tired of watching videos that are not in the correct dimensions, there is another essential point why you should set the right dimensions. It is search optimization. Having the proper YouTube video resolution will maximize the opportunities for getting more views (search optimization) when you decide to make a YouTube channel.
We will talk about this topic in one of our upcoming blog posts.