The Complete Guide to Instagram Ad Sizes in 2020 - header image

The Complete Guide to Instagram Ad Sizes in 2020

If you’re already creating ads for social media, or if you are looking to give it a try, Instagram is a platform to consider. You cannot ignore how incredibly popular Instagram is. Not only is it the fastest growing social media platform right now, but it is also the platform with the highest engagement rate, and the platform that has the highest growth potential.

Instagram Ad Sizes and Specification Covered:

A little louder for those in the back … Instagram is the place right now for growth, growth, and more growth!

Instagram has almost a billion monthly active users:

and 500 million of those being daily active users. And 60% of these users learn about new products using Instagram, and a third of the users have already purchased a product directly from the app.

instagram monthly active users growth

Therefore, Instagram not only has a massive audience, but it is also a social media platform that can really help you and your business get your brand and products out there and even make it a sustainable sales channel.

If you want to grow your business on Instagram you should read how to kickstart your Instagram business marketing campaign and how to use Instagram for business 2020 guide

Instagram has been added to the Facebook Business Network, which is making the process of creating ads and hosting them on the platform a lot easier. However, if you want to start advertising on Instagram, you need to make sure you do it right, and that means that you need to make sure that you’re using the optimal sizes for Instagram posts.

Between creating Instagram images, videos, stories, and carousels, it is very easy to get confused with all of these formats and different sizes flying around. And that’s what this article is for. By the end of it, you will know everything that you need to know about formats and sizes, so you’ll be able to launch the perfect Instagram ad for your brand or product.

You might want to read our full guide for the ideal Instagram video length

Instagram ads aspect ratio

Instagram Image Ad Size

This is the most shared ad that you can launch on Instagram: a single image with a caption. Depending on the format that you want to go for, you will have to respect different dimensions and aspect ratios to make sure that your ad gets to display the best way possible, without being cut off or without losing any quality.

Instagram Square Image Ad

Minimum of 600 x 600 pixels up to 1936 x 1936 pixels.

Instagram used to be only a collection of square images. Kind of like an old polaroid or a film picture. While the square format was the norm years ago, they’re less used nowadays for more common formats such as vertical and landscapes.

Instagram square image ad

Instagram Landscape Image Ad

Minimum of 600 x 315 pixels up to 1936 x 1936 pixels.

Any horizontal content, from a ratio of 1.91:1 to 1:1, will work for an ad on Instagram. However, keep in mind that a piece of content with an aspect ratio of 1.91:1 will be very thin and won’t take much space while scrolling on a phone screen. Which kind of misses the point if you are paying for an ad as you want your users to consume your content and to engage with it, which is less likely to happen if your post gets lost in a sea of content.


Instagram Vertical Image Ad

Minimum of x up to 1936 x 1936 pixels.

Any vertical content, from an aspect ratio of 4:5 to 1:1, will work for an ad on Instagram.

Vertical ads take up much more space while scrolling through an Instagram feed. For that reason, vertical content usually captures the users’ attention more. Vertical ads usually tend to perform a little better for that matter: the visual content is more prominent and takes more space on the screen. People are less likely to get distracted by the next or previous post, as it wouldn’t be visible.

Instagram Vertical Image Ad

You should also read how to use Instagram for business

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Instagram Video Ad Size

The file that you use for your Instagram video ad must not exceed 4GB and must not be longer than 120 seconds (2 minutes). Depending on the format that you want to go for, here are the aspect ratios that you can use:

  • square: 1:1
  • landscape: 1.91:1
  • vertical: 4:5

In terms of performance, it’s the same as image ads: vertical ads tend to perform better as they take more screen space that a landscape or square one. As a general rule, vertical content is now perceived as more native on the platform and social media in general because it displays more information than a standard square, and it doesn’t require the user to rotate their phone or whatever to consume the piece of content.

Here is an example for a square video ad from Magisto, Squarespace’s, and RedBull’s Instagram account:

Square Instagram video ad example

square instagram video ad

We love how visual this example from squarespace is while also hammering home the message: “A website makes it real.” This visual instantly makes you think about your own product and how it would look via the example.

instagram video ad redbull

Redbull has been a long standing player in the ad game for their creative animations and their now household tagline: Red bull gives you wings. What we like about this example? They used a post scroll animation to close the ad for even more brand recognition.

Here is a great example of a landscape video ad from Ebay’s Instagram account:

landscape instagram video ad example ebay

What we love about this ad? It does the same as the Red Bull ad with the closing, but their logo remains in the bottom corner the entirety of the ad – here at Magisto we have a feature that does that you know 😉 We also love that it is hilariously human. We have all been in this situation and can easily relate no matter your gender, age, location etc. overpaying for something? It’s a universal feeling.

Here is an example for a vertical video ad from Netflix’s Instagram account:

portrait instagram video ad example netflix

Although it is very busy and has a lot going on – it is on purpose. Nexflix is driving the fact that there are limitless options to peak your curiosity.

The caption is limited to 2,200 characters, which is the same length as a regular Instagram post. However, it can be smart to include words and subtitles on your video itself as most people would be watching the ad and watching your content without the sound on. To make sure that your message gets delivered and that people understand the point of your ad, the best thing to do is to include text (through keywords, simple phrases, and mission statements) or subtitles directly in your video.

Ready to create your first Instagram video? check out our Instagram Video Ad Maker


Instagram Story Ad Size

Instagram story ads are increasingly popular on the platform. They’re usually cheaper than a regular Instagram post ad, and they tend to perform well if you’re targeting choices are on point.

Instagram story ads are vertical, by default, to fit the screen of the user. You can either use images or videos. You can use up to 3 pieces of content to create your final ad, making it overall a more in-depth and more immersive experience for the final user: through the same ad, you can educate your target audience, work on your brand image, and then include a call to action for conversions.

This point is also discussed in Instagram feed vs. story

Instagram is focusing all of its innovation energy towards stories at the moment. That explains why the Instagram story ads tend to become more and more popular, and why Instagram is trying to come up with different formats and different ways to advertise through that medium.


Instagram stories image ad

Here is a quick checklist of the requirements for a still image:

  • It has to be a .jpg or a .png file
  • A file size maximum of 30MB
  • Recommended resolution: 1080 x 1920 pixels (9:16 aspect ratio)
  • Minimum resolution: 600 x 1067 pixels

Images show for 5 seconds by default, just like a regular image story.

Instagram story image ad example peta

Instagram stories video ad

Here is a quick checklist of the requirements for a story video ad:

  • It has to be a .mp4 or a .mov file
  • A file size maximum of 4GB
  • Maximum duration: 15 seconds
  • Recommended resolution: 1080 x 1920 pixels (9:16 aspect ratio)
  • Minimum resolution: 600 x 1067 pixels

Instagram story video ad bennjerrys

Here is a great example from Ben and Jerry’s to celebrate World Vegan Day. Adding animations to your ad is super trendy right now and stands out in all of the noise.

Instagram story video ad levis


The same thing applies to video Instagram stories and video ads: some people will see your ad without the sound on. So to make sure that your audience gets your message and understands what your product is and what your brand is about, you should put subtitles on your Instagram stories video ads.

We love this example from Levi’s because it does just that. It very quickly allows you to see multiple shots of the product from different angles while still remaining clear and focused with a great CTA – to Shop Outerwear.

We created a list of 30 ideas you can take and post on your Instagram and social media campaigns

Ready to create your first Instagram video ad? check out our Instagram Video Ad Maker


Instagram Carousel Ad Size

Carousel ads allow brands to display multiple visual pieces of content (either images or videos) to display multiple products or multiple services. Carousels work well for storytelling or for displaying a broader catalog of products if you have many to advertise.

They tend to convert well as they require an interaction of the user to be thoroughly watched: the user has to swipe to see the different pieces of content. This will lead to better education of the target. Therefore, it gets easier to get a conversion.

Recommended guidelines for a carousel of images:

  • Recommended resolution: 1080 x 1080 pixels
  • Aspect ratio: 1:1
  • Images should be in a .jpg or .png format
  • 30MB maximum per image
  • You can use up to 10 images per ad

instagram carousel ads

Instagram image carousel example from SHEIN

Recommended guidelines for a carousel of videos:

  • Minimum resolution : 600 x 600 pixels
  • Recommended resolution: 1080 x 1080 pixels
  • Aspect ratio: 1:1
  • Videos should be in a .mp4 or .mov format
  • 4GB maximum per video
  • Videos must not exceed 60 seconds
  • You can use up to 10 videos per ad

Also, keep in mind that if you are using videos, you will need to select a thumbnail that will need to be in a 1:1 aspect ratio, with text covering less than 20% of the image space. This is super important!

You can also mix images and videos in a carousel to grab attention. In this case, you can add up to 10 pieces of content to the same carousel, and the previous guidelines still apply to depend on the sort of content you decided to post.

Keep in mind that even though ad sizes and formats matter, what will determine the performance of your campaign will be how good your targeting and copywriting are. To make sure that you go the extra mile and that you get the absolute MOST out of your Instagram marketing campaign, you should prioritize vertical content and video content. You can also combine both and post vertical video ads.

Instagram marketing is all about trial and error. Don’t be afraid to try new things until you find the right combination of format, size, copy, and targeting.
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