Introduced by Snapchat, the concept of stories that disappear after 24 hours quickly became a hot feature of social media, especially Instagram. But to make impactful stories on Instagram, you need to get a bunch of things right. One of them is Instagram story dimensions.
Instagram marketing isn’t as simple as it used to be. Gone are the days when you could just upload a retro image, use a few hashtags, and be done with it. Today, with Instagram stories in the mix, which alone offer a wide selection of features, things have become rather overwhelming.
But if you’re aware of the basics and the best practices, you can start creating eye-catching stories in no time.
Whether you’re an independent influencer or just someone who manages a business profile, keep reading. In this article, we’ll discuss:
- The ideal Instagram dimensions for stories
- How to design image stories using templates
- Using the Instagram app to create and/or publish stories
- Best practices for designing stories
Let’s get started.
What are the Recommended Instagram Story Dimensions?
The ideal Instagram story dimensions are 1080 x 1920 pixels. That’s 1080 pixels for width and 1920 pixels for height.
Or you can say that the aspect ratio when it comes to Instagram story size is 9:16.
Additionally, depending on the format of the content you’re uploading as the story, there are certain conditions that must be met.
Let’s take a quick look:
- For Images – besides getting the correct picture size, your file size must not exceed 30MB. Also, Instagram only supports JPG and PNG.
- For Videos – the permitted Instagram video size limit for stories is 4GB. The video file format must be either in MP4 or MOV. Finally, make sure that the video length does not exceed 15 seconds.
That’s all fine, but why is Instagram so strict when it comes to video/image size?
Social apps prefer these dimensions for stories because portrait photos (and videos) are perfect for smartphones.
Furthermore, if you don’t use the right dimensions, Instagram will crop parts of your story, which is the last thing you want.
Why Instagram Stories Rock
Because of busy Instagram feeds and fussy algorithms, reach has become a serious problem.
Despite there being more than 500 million daily active users, getting engagement on regular Instagram photos/videos is tough – even from the people who follow you.
However, with IG stories, which are conveniently placed at the top of the feed, you can reach a larger chunk of your followers.
This can help you:
- Market a new product or a service
- Get people to visit certain links
- Engage with your followers by asking them questions
- Just share whatever else you want
And the most important part? People love stories!
While there could be a ton of underlying reasons for that, the main reason is the convenience of just tapping to go from one story to another, which is a lot better than scrolling through a never-ending feed.
All things considered, if you’re not using Instagram stories, you’re potentially missing out on higher organic reach and engagement.
How to Design an Instagram Story from Scratch [Using Templates]
Now that you know the perfect Instagram story dimensions, is there an easy way to create one from scratch?
Instagram offers a lot of built-in features, such as stickers, filters, etc., that can help create engaging stories.
However, if you want your stories to stand out, you need to aim for high quality in terms of the design.
With Pixelied – one of the leading sites like Canva and a leaner alternative to Photoshop – you don’t need to be an experienced designer to create professional-looking Instagram posts.
Thanks to our wide-selection of fully-customizable templates for Instagram images (for stories, regular posts, and ads), you can easily craft high-level content in a matter of minutes.
Just follow these steps:
1. Register to Get Started [It’s Free]
Before anything else, you need to register yourself.
The entire process is extremely simple and shouldn’t take more than a minute.
In case you missed it, you’ll get access to all of the essential features that you need to create stunning IG stories for absolutely free.
And yes, you don’t even need to provide any credit card information. You’re welcome to use the free version of Pixelied for as long as you like.
2. Choose a Template That You Like
After you’re done with the registration process, you’ll be redirected to the homepage.
From there, navigate to the templates page by clicking on “See more” in the top-right corner of Instagram story.
On the templates page, browse through the exciting selection of templates (all having the recommended Instagram story dimensions).
Simply click on any template you like to start editing.
3. Customize It However You Want
Pixelied offers a comprehensive online editing tool, packed with some of the best in-demand features (a few of which are exclusive).
Here’s a quick snapshot with a sample template locked and loaded:
There’s a lot you can do with Pixelied’s editor. Here’s a quick overview of the key features that it has to offer:
- Library of Stock Images – in addition to the templates, you can also access a vast library of millions of stock images. These images are sourced directly from Unsplash, which won’t require you to switch between tabs.
- Fonts and Text Manipulation – access over 900 Google fonts on the editor in real-time. Furthermore, you can tweak your typography however you want, with features like letter-spacing and line-height.
- Premium Icons and Elements – make your images more compelling by adding a premium icon or an engaging shape/element.
- File Uploading – you can also upload and use your own images, and save your final files on the secured cloud server of Pixelied.
In addition to the above, you can also add borders, shadows, change the position of layers, download unlimited images, and get access to 2 folders.
How to Publish/Create a Story on the Instagram App
Once you’re done designing an image for your Instagram story, all that’s left to do is to publish your masterpiece.
To do this, open your Instagram account on a mobile device (the image you want to upload should also be saved in that device).
- On the feed, tap on “Your Story” in the top-left corner of the screen.
- Select the pre-made image from your camera roll.
- Add stickers, filters, links, or anything else to augment your story
- Hit publish.
Quick Note: Stories disappear after 24 hours, but you can also save your favorite ones and place them on top of your Instagram profile.
Best Practices and Tips for Creating Super-Engaging Instagram Stories
Of course, getting the Instagram story dimensions right is only one part of the puzzle.
The real challenge lies in actually creating Instagram stories from scratch.
Even with the perfect dimensions, a mediocre-looking story won’t do you much good.
Here are some best practices to help you nail your vertical photos/videos for Instagram:
1. Use Limited Text
As with everything else on social media in general, when it comes to Instagram stories, less is more.
Unlike Instagram and Facebook ads, adding too much text to your stories won’t affect the reach.
But it will negatively impact the visual appeal and potentially the engagement you receive.
Even if you’re not publishing a story ad, it’s best that you stick to the 20% text rule (text should cover 20% of the total pixels of the image).
This is because Instagram is primarily supposed to be a visuals-only platform, and that’s what users expect to get out of it.
2. Leverage Calls-to-Action
If you’re not sharing anything personal, don’t forget to utilize the call-to-action feature offered by Instagram stories.
These can work wonders in terms of getting clicks/unique visitors on your website (via a traditional CTA button) or get them to check out your offerings (with the “swipe up” option).
With a CTA, you can get more bang for your buck and actually achieve a tangible goal with the help of your stories.
3. Don’t be Afraid to Whip Out the Cam
So far, we’ve talked about using custom designs for your Instagram stories.
However, you don’t always have to use them for your stories.
Even if you’re a brand, you can always take relevant images and shoot videos of literally anything you want that provides a ‘behind the scenes’ look or just your human side.
However, to stick to Instagram stories dimensions, always shoot images/videos right from the app (as opposed to using the native camera app and uploading the content from your camera roll).
4. Experiment with the Layout Feature
Instagram recently launched a new layouts feature that lets you share multiple photos and videos in a single story (like a collage).
To use this feature, select “Layout” from the standard list of features (like Boomerang, Superzoom, etc.).
Then select any layout that you like, upload the content to each “section,” and you’re good to go.
5. Create Something Engaging On-the-Go
Another great thing about Instagram stories is that you don’t necessarily have to design anything from scratch, take a photo, or shoot a video.
You can simply use the “Create” feature to whip up something amazing on-the-go by selecting a background and writing text.
Furthermore, you can make things more interesting by adding a poll, doing shout outs, asking your followers questions, and even share GIFs (sourced from GIPHY).
Wrapping it Up
Let’s face it: It’s not easy being an Instagrammer.
Perfect Instagram story dimensions aside, there’s a lot that goes into crafting compelling content.
But pre-made templates, a user-friendly editor, and sufficient know-how of what to do should make things easier.