Working in marketing can feel like you’re constantly playing catch up. With new trends and algorithms to keep up with, it can be hard to find consistent success with your strategies.

One area that’s always changing is social media. But between uploading a blog and composing a drip campaign to nurture new leads, getting started with your Instagram ad campaign can seem daunting.

However, Instagram ad campaigns are still a powerful way to reach your audience. According to Sprout Social, Instagram’s ad revenue will bring in nearly a quarter of Facebook’s total ad revenue by the end of 2019, and 30% of total ad revenue by the end of 2020.

However, before you can get started with your ads, we want to ensure you have professional-looking images and avoid pesky error messages like “image is too small.” With more than one billion monthly active users, you want to put your best foot forward.

Here, you’ll find Instagram ad specs and sizes to help you get started, plus examples of different types of ads.

New Data: Instagram Engagement in 2019

Instagram displays different ad sizes.

Image source: Mailchimp

Examples of Different Types of Ads

Whether you’re using an image or video ad on Instagram Feed or Stories, a few guidelines apply at all times:

  • Avoid using URLs in captions since they aren’t clickable in Instagram.
  • Captions can be up to 2,200 characters.
  • Do not include text or logos on 14% of the top and bottom of your ads. If you do, these will be covered by other ad elements like the CTA or profile icon.

Below, we’ll cover more detailed specifications and examples on each type of ad.

Image ads

Image ads consist of an image that promotes your business, brand, or product. These ads are an effective way to convert social media followers. According to Omnicore, 60% of people say they discover new products on Instagram, and 70% of shoppers turn to Instagram for product discovery.

Below are the detailed specs from Facebook Business (reminder that Facebook owns Instagram):

Feed

  • File type: jpg or png
  • Recommended resolution: Upload the highest resolution image available that meets ratio requirements.
  • Image dimension
    • Minimum width: 500 pixels
  • Image aspect ratio
    • Minimum aspect ratio: 400x500
    • Maximum aspect ratio: 191x100
    • Aspect ratio tolerance: 0.01
  • Square
    • Minimum resolution: 600 x 600 pixels
    • Maximum resolution: 1936 x 1936 pixels
  • Landscape
    • Minimum resolution: 600 x 315 pixels
    • Maximum resolution: 1936 x 1936 pixels
  • Vertical
    • Minimum resolution: 600 x 750 pixels
    • Maximum resolution: 1936 x 1936 pixels

Stories

  • Image ratios: 9:16 and 16:9 to 4:5
  • Images with more than 20% text may experience reduced delivery.
  • Image dimension
    • Minimum width: 500 pixels
  • Image aspect ratio
    • Maximum aspect ratio: 90 x 160
    • Aspect ratio tolerance: 0.01

Below is an example of an image ad for Grubhub. Note how the “Order Now” text on their ad is not blocked by the CTA, because they made sure it was not in the bottom 14% of the image. In addition, the text on the Pick Up Stix logo on the top is pushed further down so it isn’t in the top 14% of the image. This is what an image ad will look like on the Instagram Feed.

Grubhub places image ad on Instagram.

Image source: Grubhub

Carousel ads

Carousel ads are the ads that display multiple images. Instagram users can swipe to see a series of images in these ads, both in the feed and in Stories. These ads give you more space to creatively tell a story to promote your business or product.

In Stories, there are two types of Carousel ads: native or expandable. Native stories display three cards. Expandable stories display one to three cards that give people the option to “keep watching” to see the rest of the cards (up to 10 total).

Below are the detailed specs from Facebook Business:

Feed

  • Minimum number of cards: two
  • Maximum number of cards: 10
  • Image file type: jpg or png
  • Video file type: Supported file formats
  • Video maximum file size: 4GB
  • Video length: up to 60 seconds
  • Recommended resolution: minimum 1080 x 1080 pixels
  • Carousel ratio: 1:1
  • Images with more than 20% text may experience reduced delivery.
  • Aspect ratio tolerance: 1%
  • Maximum number of hashtags in text: 30

Stories

  • Aspect ratio tolerance: 1%
  • Maximum number of cards in the prompted Carousel ads: 10
  • Maximum video duration for carousel videos: 15 seconds
  • Maximum video duration for prompted Carousel videos: 60 seconds
  • Maximum video duration: 120 seconds
  • Native Stories Carousel
    • Minimum number of cards: two
    • Maximum number of cards: three
    • Ratio: 9:16
    • Recommended resolution: 1080 x1920 pixels
  • Expandable Stories Carousel
    • Maximum number of cards: 10
    • Ratio: same as newsfeed
    • Images with more than 20% text may experience reduced delivery.

Below is an example of what a Carousel ad would look like on the Instagram feed. This ad contains four images that users can swipe through.

Carousel ad examples on Instagram.

Image source: Online Advertising School

Video ads

Video ads can be used to bring your product or service to life. According to Omnicore, Instagram videos get over two times more engagement than Instagram photos.

Below are the detailed specs from Facebook Business:

Feed

  • Recommended resolution: Upload the highest resolution available that meets file size and ratio limits.
  • Maximum video length: 120 seconds
  • Video dimension
    • Minimum width: 500 pixels
  • Video size
    • Maximum video file size: 30MB
  • Video aspect ratio
    • Minimum aspect ratio: 400 x 500
    • Maximum aspect ratio: 191 x 100
    • Aspect ratio tolerance: 0.01
  • Video thumbnail image dimension
    • Minimum width: 500 pixels

Stories

  • Video ratios: 9:16 and 16:9 to 4:5
  • Video length: maximum 120 seconds
  • Video dimension
    • Minimum width: 500 pixels
  • Video size
    • Maximum video file size: 30MB
  • Video aspect ratio
    • Option 1
      • Minimum aspect ratio: 400 x 500
      • Maximum aspect ratio: 191 x 100
      • Aspect ratio tolerance: 0.01
    • Option 2
      • Maximum aspect ratio: 90 x 160
      • Aspect ratio tolerance: 0.01
  • Video thumbnail image dimension
    • Minimum width: 500 pixels

Below is an example of a video ad from Stitch Fix. Stitch Fix uses video footage of their products to showcase fun outfits, plus the benefits of their service. This ad also had better engagement than the image ad example. It had 2,761 likes compared to 32 likes from Grubhub’s image ad.

Image source: Instagram

Instagram ads as a marketing strategy are here to stay. That’s why it’s important to understand the image sizes and requirements for your ad campaigns. Besides ad specs and sizes, Instagram also has other ad policies online.

Want to learn more about social media dimensions? Check out our ultimate guide.

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Originally published Sep 27, 2019 4:00:00 AM, updated September 27 2019

Topics:

Instagram Marketing