15 Minute Read
Posted by SocialSellinator Team on Apr 13, 2024 1:48:07 AM

Welcome to the Ultimate Guide to Social Media Platform Specifics, your go-to resource for mastering the intricacies of social media image sizes and ensuring your brand shines across the digital landscape. Whether you're juggling campaigns on Facebook, finessing adverts on LinkedIn, or launching a new product on Instagram, knowing the right image sizes can make or break your online presence.

As the digital world evolves, so do the requirements for image sizes across various platforms. Staying ahead of these changes isn't just about aesthetics; it's about maximizing engagement, enhancing brand visibility, and driving conversions. This guide is designed to demystify the specifics for each major platform, providing you with a streamlined Social Media Cheat Sheet that acutely addresses the image dimensions for Facebook, Instagram, X (formerly Twitter), LinkedIn, and TikTok.

From aspect ratios to maximum file sizes, and the nitty-gritty of PNG vs. JPEG, we've got you covered. Whether you're a seasoned digital marketing head grappling with the nuances of each platform or a busy marketing leader looking for quick answers, this guide will empower your social media strategies, ensuring every post, banner, and profile picture is pixel-perfect.

Let's dive into the essentials of social media image sizes, starting with our detailed cheat sheet that simplifies understanding platform specifics for busy marketing professionals.

Detailed infographic on the optimal social media image sizes for major platforms including Facebook, Instagram, X, LinkedIn, and TikTok, highlighting aspect ratios, maximum file sizes, and preferred file formats. This cheat sheet also includes quick tips for ensuring high-quality visual content across different social media channels - Social Media Cheat Sheet infographic pillar-3-steps

Understanding Social Media Image Sizes

When it comes to sharing visual content on social media, the devil is in the details. Not all images are created equal, and the platform you choose to share on can significantly impact how your image is displayed. To ensure your visuals are as engaging and professional as possible, it's crucial to understand the basics of aspect ratios, maximum file sizes, and the differences between PNG and JPEG formats.

Aspect Ratios

An aspect ratio is simply the ratio of the width to the height of an image. Different social media platforms favor different aspect ratios for images and videos. For instance:

  • Square images often work best on Instagram, with a recommended aspect ratio of 1:1.
  • Facebook and LinkedIn posts tend to look better in a landscape format, commonly at a 1.91:1 ratio.
  • TikTok and Instagram Stories prefer a vertical format, with a 9:16 aspect ratio.

Choosing the right aspect ratio for your content can help avoid awkward cropping and ensure your entire message is visible.

Maximum File Size

Each platform has its own limits on the file size of the images and videos you can upload. Exceeding these limits can lead to automatic compression, which might degrade the quality of your visuals. For example:

  • Facebook allows images up to 30MB in size, but for best results, keeping images below 15MB is advisable.
  • Instagram recommends keeping images under 10MB to ensure quick loading times and maintain image quality.
  • LinkedIn has a maximum file size of 100MB for images, but staying well below this limit will ensure your images are optimized for the platform.

Understanding these limits can help you choose the right file size for quick loading times and the highest quality display.


The two most common image formats used on social media are PNG and JPEG. Each has its advantages:

  • PNG: This format is best for images with transparent backgrounds or when you need to preserve fine details and high contrast. PNG files are typically larger than JPEGs, which can be a drawback for loading times on social media.

  • JPEG: This format is more suited for photographs and images with gradients. JPEG files are smaller and more compressed, making them ideal for fast loading times on social media platforms. However, this compression can sometimes lead to a loss of quality, especially if the image is edited and saved multiple times.

Choosing the right format for your content can make a significant difference in how it's perceived by your audience. PNGs are great for logos and detailed graphics, while JPEGs are better for photos and images with lots of colors.

In summary, getting to grips with aspect ratios, maximum file sizes, and the differences between PNG and JPEG can dramatically improve the quality and engagement of your social media content. The goal is to make your visuals as appealing and professional as possible, no matter where they're being viewed. With this understanding, you're well on your way to mastering the art of social media visuals, and the Social Media Cheat Sheet is your handy guide to getting it right every time.

Next, we'll explore the specific image size recommendations for major platforms, ensuring your content always looks its best.

Social Media Cheat Sheet for Major Platforms

Navigating through the maze of social media platform specifics can be daunting. But worry not! Let's break down the essentials of image sizes across Facebook, Instagram, X (formerly Twitter), LinkedIn, and TikTok. This cheat sheet will ensure your content not only fits perfectly but also looks stunning on each platform.

Facebook Essentials

  • Profile Photo: 170 x 170 pixels on desktop, 128 x 128 pixels on mobile. It's the face of your brand, so keep it clear and recognizable.
  • Cover Photo: 851 x 315 pixels. This large space is perfect for showcasing what your brand is about. It displays differently on mobile and desktop, so design accordingly.
  • Post Image: For a crisp look, aim for 1200 x 630 pixels. This size works well for both link shares and standard posts.
  • Event Image: 1920 x 1080 pixels. High-quality event images can increase engagement and interest.

Instagram Must-Knows

  • Profile Photo: 320 x 320 pixels. Although it appears small, a high-resolution image will stand out.
  • Post Sizes:
  • Square: 1080 x 1080 pixels. The classic Instagram format.
  • Portrait: 1080 x 1350 pixels. Ideal for more detailed visuals.
  • Landscape: 1080 x 566 pixels. Great for wider images.
  • Stories and Reels: 1080 x 1920 pixels. Full-screen content for maximum impact.

X (formerly Twitter) Basics

  • Profile Photo: 400 x 400 pixels. It appears all across the platform, so quality matters.
  • Header Photo: 1500 x 500 pixels. This large banner is a fantastic opportunity to be creative and share your brand's vibe.
  • In-Stream Photo: 1600 x 900 pixels for a well-balanced look in the feed. Keep it high-res to catch the eye.
  • Card Image: 1200 x 628 pixels. When sharing links, this image size will display your content attractively.

LinkedIn Specifications

  • Profile Photo: 400 x 400 pixels. Professionalism is key here; make sure your photo is up to par.
  • Cover Image: 1584 x 396 pixels. Use this space to make a statement about your professional brand.
  • Post Image: 1200 x 1200 (square) or 1080 x 1350 (portrait) for individual posts. Keeping to these sizes ensures your content looks its best.
  • Company Page Logo: 300 x 300 pixels. A clear logo builds trust and recognition.

TikTok Dimensions

  • Profile Photo: 200 x 200 pixels. Even though it's small, a clear image will help you stand out.
  • Video Size: 1080 x 1920 pixels, keeping in line with the platform's vertical format. High-quality videos perform better.
  • Carousel Image: Not commonly used on TikTok, but if sharing a slideshow, stick to the video size guidelines.

By adhering to these size guidelines, your social media profiles and content will not only look more professional but also be more engaging to your audience. Each platform has its quirks and requirements, but with this Social Media Cheat Sheet, you're equipped to tackle them head-on. Consistency in quality across all platforms can significantly boost your brand's image and engagement rates.

Next, we'll dive into the best formats for engagement across these platforms, ensuring your content doesn't just fit perfectly, but also captivates and engages your audience.

Optimal Formats for Engagement

Crafting Engaging Content

Creating content that stands out in the crowded world of social media requires understanding not only the right sizes but also the best formats for engagement. Let's break down how to leverage Video Resolutions, Stories, Carousels, and Link Shares to captivate your audience.

Video Resolutions

For videos, clarity and quality are key. High-definition (HD) videos make your content look professional and engaging. Aim for a resolution of at least 1280 x 720 pixels for standard HD. Platforms like YouTube and TikTok support even higher resolutions, up to 1920 x 1080 pixels (Full HD), ensuring your videos look crisp on all devices.


Stories have taken the social media world by storm, with platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and even LinkedIn adopting this format. Stories are perfect for real-time engagement, allowing you to share moments as they happen. The best part? They don't need to be as polished as your main feed, giving you room to be more authentic and spontaneous. Stories are vertical, so aim for a 9:16 aspect ratio.


Carousels let you showcase multiple images or videos in a single post. They're fantastic for storytelling, breaking down complex topics, or showing different products. Platforms like Instagram and Facebook allow you to upload up to 10 images or videos in a carousel format, giving you a dynamic way to engage with your audience. Keep your first image compelling to encourage swiping.

Link Shares

Link Shares are crucial for driving traffic to your website. When sharing links, especially on platforms like Facebook or LinkedIn, ensure the preview image is eye-catching and relevant. A well-chosen preview can significantly increase click-through rates.

Image Quality

High-quality images are non-negotiable. They represent your brand's attention to detail and commitment to quality. Use high-resolution images to avoid pixelation, especially when they're expanded or viewed on large screens.

Text Overlays

Adding text to your images can help convey your message quickly. However, keep it short and readable. Platforms like Instagram are more visually driven, so ensure your text doesn't overwhelm the image. Use bold, clear fonts that are easy to read on small screens.

Call-to-Actions (CTAs)

A strong CTA can make the difference between a viewer and a converter. Whether it's "Swipe Up" on Instagram stories, "Learn More" on Facebook ads, or "Click the Link in Bio" on Instagram posts, your CTA should be clear, compelling, and easy to follow.

By focusing on these elements, your social media content will not only fit perfectly within each platform's specifications but will also engage and captivate your audience. Next, we'll explore some tools and tips to make resizing and formatting for multiple platforms a breeze, ensuring your content always looks its best.

Social Media Sizing Tools and Tips

Creating visual content that looks good across all social media platforms can be a bit like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. Each platform has its own set of rules for image sizes and aspect ratios, making it challenging to keep your content looking sharp everywhere. Fortunately, there are tools and tips that can make this process easier. Let's dive into some of the best practices for resizing and optimizing your social media images.

Resizing for Multi-Platform Posting

When you're managing multiple social media accounts, you want your images to look their best no matter where they're posted. Here's how you can achieve that:

Canva: Canva is a favorite tool among social media marketers for a reason. It offers preset image sizes for every social media platform, meaning you can design once and resize for elsewhere with just a few clicks. Whether it's a Facebook cover photo, an Instagram story, or a LinkedIn post, Canva has you covered.

Snappa: Similar to Canva, Snappa offers an array of templates and sizes tailored to different social media platforms. Its drag-and-drop interface makes it easy for anyone to create professional-looking images. Snappa also offers a feature to instantly resize your creations for any platform, saving you time and effort.

Pixlr: For those who want a bit more flexibility in their image editing, Pixlr is a great choice. While it may require a bit more manual work to resize images for different platforms, it offers advanced editing features that can help your images stand out.

Image Compression: No matter which tool you use to resize your images, it's crucial to compress them without losing quality. Tools like TinyPNG can reduce file size, which is essential for keeping your website fast and improving your posts' load times on social media.

Cross-Platform Considerations

When you're creating content for multiple platforms, keep these tips in mind:

  • Understand the Aspect Ratios: Each social media platform has preferred aspect ratios (the ratio of width to height of an image). For instance, Instagram posts work best at 4:5, while Twitter prefers 16:9.

  • Design with Flexibility in Mind: Create images that can be cropped or adjusted without losing important elements. Keep text and key visuals centered or well within the safe zone.

  • Use Templates: Many social media tools offer templates that are already optimized for each platform. Starting with these can save you time and ensure your images meet platform specifications.

  • Test and Adjust: Before finalizing your images, test them on each platform to see how they look. Sometimes, what works on one platform may need a slight tweak to look good on another.

By using these tools and keeping these tips in mind, you can ensure that your social media images are always crisp, clear, and engaging, no matter where they're viewed. This will not only enhance your brand's appearance online but also improve engagement with your audience across different social media channels.

Next, we'll tackle some of the most frequently asked questions about social media images, including the best formats to use and how to avoid common pitfalls like image cropping.

Frequently Asked Questions about Social Media Images

Navigating the maze of social media image requirements can be tricky. Let's dive into some of the most common questions to help you master the art of social media visuals.

What is the best image format for social media?

The two most widely accepted image formats for social media are JPEG and PNG.

  • JPEG is ideal for photographs and real-life images. It's highly compatible across platforms and can be compressed significantly without a noticeable loss in quality, making it perfect for fast loading times.
  • PNG is better for graphics, logos, and text-heavy images. It supports transparency and tends to maintain higher quality when compressed, but the file sizes can be larger than JPEG.

In short, use JPEG for most of your photos and PNG for images where clarity around text or logos is crucial.

How can I avoid image cropping on different platforms?

To prevent your images from being awkwardly cropped, follow these tips:

  1. Know the Aspect Ratios: Each social platform has preferred aspect ratios (the width and height dimensions of images). For example, Instagram posts work well with square (1:1), portrait (4:5), and landscape (1.91:1) ratios.

  2. Design with Safe Zones: Create your images by placing the most important elements (like text or focal points) in the center. This way, if the edges are cropped when posted on different platforms, your message remains intact.

  3. Use Resizing Tools: Tools like Canva, Snappa, or Pixlr offer templates for social media images that automatically adjust to the correct sizes for each platform. This can save you a lot of guesswork and prevent cropping issues.

What are the size recommendations for social media ads?

Social media ads have specific size recommendations to ensure they look their best and capture your audience's attention. Here's a quick guide:

  • Facebook Ads: The recommended size for image ads is 1200x628 pixels, with a minimum width of 600 pixels. Carousel ads should be 1080x1080 pixels.

  • Instagram Ads: For feed ads, use 1080x1080 pixels (square) or 1200x628 pixels (landscape). Stories ads should be 1080x1920 pixels.

  • X (formerly Twitter) Ads: The optimal size for single and multi-image tweets is 1200x675 pixels, with a 1.91:1 aspect ratio.

  • LinkedIn Ads: Sponsored content images should be 1200x627 pixels, with a 1.91:1 ratio. For carousel ads, each image should be 1080x1080 pixels.

Adhering to these size recommendations can help ensure your ads look professional and are fully visible without being cropped or distorted, leading to better engagement and results.

By keeping these FAQs in mind, you can navigate social media images with confidence. Whether you're posting organically or running ad campaigns, the right image sizes and formats can make a significant difference in how your content is perceived and engaged with.


Navigating the complexities of social media can feel like trying to solve a constantly changing puzzle. But with the right tools and knowledge, it's a puzzle that not only becomes solvable but can also significantly amplify your brand's voice and engagement. That's where our Social Media Cheat Sheet comes into play, especially when you're partnering with a company like SocialSellinator.

At SocialSellinator, we understand that social media is not a one-size-fits-all scenario. Each platform has its unique requirements and audience behaviors, which is why having a cheat sheet can be a game-changer for your strategy. From ensuring your images are crystal clear and correctly sized to optimizing your content for engagement across various platforms, the cheat sheet is your go-to resource.

The ultimate goal of your social media presence is to connect with your audience in the most effective and engaging way possible. By adhering to the specific image and content guidelines outlined in our cheat sheet, you're not just avoiding technical mishaps like pixelation or awkward cropping; you're also ensuring your content is primed for maximum impact.

SocialSellinator is here to guide you through this changing landscape. With our expertise and resources like the Social Media Cheat Sheet, we're committed to helping you make the most out of your social media efforts. Whether you're looking to boost engagement, increase brand awareness, or drive sales, the right approach to social media can make all the difference.

In conclusion, social media is dynamic, with trends and platform algorithms constantly shifting. However, with the Social Media Cheat Sheet in your arsenal and the support of a knowledgeable partner like SocialSellinator, you're well-equipped to navigate these changes successfully. Let's harness the power of social media together, crafting strategies that resonate with your audience and amplify your brand's message across the digital landscape.

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SocialSellinator Team

SocialSellinator is a full-service digital marketing agency for startups, small and mid-size B2B/B2C businesses. Our clients benefit from increased brand awareness and leads, created by our data-driven approach to social media marketing, content marketing, paid social media campaigns, and search engine optimization (SEO).