Stories have really taken Instagram to another level. The social media photo-sharing app has surpassed the likes of Snapchat due to their ,Instagram stories and it is no surprise why. However, a lot of people may not know the Instagram story dimensions, often making posts that are either too big or too small for the format. Luckily, we have the answer to your story posting needs.

Why Use Instagram Stories

Instagram has many things going for it from the Instagram feed, IGTV, and the topic of this article, stories. Instagram users seem to gravitate more towards the latter due to the idea that you can update your followers as soon as possible. The idea of stories is that the followers see what you do when you do it. It lets them and you live at the moment. Plus, it only lasts for 24 hours giving it a kind of FOMO, fear of missing out, aspect to it.

Instagram application menu on smartphone screen close-up

However, influencers mostly use this feature of the app to update their followers on promotions or to let them know when they have posted a new Instagram post or Instagram video. It is a direct message to the followers, often learning to more people wanting to follow them to keep up-to-date with what the influencers are up to.

And, it can be great for social media marketing for those that know how to use it.

The “swipe up” feature can help to sell products. As well as asking ,story polls questions can drum up engagement which the algorithm loves to see. But, creating the best Instagram story can take some trial and error.

Then again, that is the fun of the app and this particular feature. Creating high-quality content be it Instagram photos or the perfect Instagram story, can truly help to grow your Instagram profile.

What Are The Dimensions

The aspect ratio of a story video or post is 9:16 which means it is 1080 pixels by 1920 pixels. This further means that your story has to be 1920 pixels in terms of height with a width of 1080 pixels. Much like for TV but it is in a portrait photo, as well as vertical video format, not landscape like for the movies. Instagram stories can only handle content that is less than 30 MB in story size, and it supports PNG or JPG file formats. PNG is usually the smaller format, so it would be best to go with this one for your stories. This applies only to photos or still images.

For video size, Insta can handle less than 4GB, while keeping to the video dimensions 1080 by 1920 pixels ratio. Therefore, you cannot upload long 4K videos, unless a new feature is introduced. Furthermore, Instagram accepts MP4 as well as .mov video files format. The video length is 15 seconds at a time. However, you can upload a minute of video content that will be divided into 15-second sections. If you do not stick to the aspect ratio of 1080 by 1920 then Instagram will make the post or video fit into these dimensions.

This means that the app will crop and at times zoom into the content, often cutting out important information that you want your followers to know. This will decrease the functionality of your story if you are trying to promote or sell something. And, it will also lessen the image quality of the story. Remember you want the best quality for your stories in terms of still images and videos.

Luckily, there are many online conversion sites that can help you to get the best Instagram image sizes for your stories. These converters can be a great way to resize your Instagram story to fit the restriction so that your quality and message are not lost. Plus, there are also templates that you can use to make sure you stick to the limits of the app.

How To Create Stories

If you want to update your followers with a quick “what is going on in your life” post then all you have to do is log into your Instagram account and press the profile picture in the top left corner of your screen. This is the story tab. From there you simply take a vertical photo or make a vertical video. You add a few sticks or gifs or even hashtags and post it. It is just simple. However, if you want to make something that is more professional looking then you would have to create it.

For still images such as photos, you can use Canvas which is a free site to create eye-catching images. Or you can use something like Snappa to do the same. Both can help you add texts so that it can look like it is done by a graphic artist, just on the cheaper/ free side. If you want to edit your videos you can use editing software programs such as iMovie, Final Cut, or Adobe Premiere Pro. You can change the settings in these programs so that the dimensions are that of 1080 by 1920 not the other way around. This is very important.

If you have a video that is in the standard landscape format of the video you can still post it as a story. All you do is that you make a background that is 1080 by 1920 and you resize your video to fit in the middle of it. This can also give you space on top and below the video to add text, gifs, or stickers. Furthermore, you can also add your brand logo. There are many ways that you can create stories that can market your products, skills, or works. Even just by ,using Instagram alone without outside software.

Use Stories for Engagement

Much how you would use feed posts to create engagement, you can do the same when it comes to your stories. You can ask the followers questions, ask them to ask you questions, or make a poll. The latter is very easy to do and extremely beneficial since plenty of users love to answer polls. This can also be a great way to see what people want or what they are interested in. You can also use it to help iron out your branding. Stories are not only about giving your followers updates at the moment, but they can be a direct way to talk to them.

Only your followers can see your stories, well mostly, and this can make them feel like they are in a club. So when you make an Instagram post or story keep in mind how you can get users to interact with your content. Be it a like, comment, or bookmark. All of those can go a long way to growing your Insta account, allowing more people to find you. This is incredibly useful for small businesses, influencers, and accounts that have the goal to make a profit. Be it from selling products, skills, or just by promotions.

Making Your Instagram Profile More Business Friendly

One of the best ways to make your whole Instagram profile, stories included, look more professional is by putting a bit more effort into it. The first thing that you should do is convert your profile into a business account. This is a great way to keep track of how your posts are doing as well as to see which ones do well in terms of engagement.

Then you must make sure that your account sticks to a theme. If you have too much going on, on your profile it can confuse the message, hence confusing the followers. You want your intentions to be clear.

Therefore, make sure that you have a profile picture that shows what your account is all about. Also, write your bio to display your business clearly. And the posts of the feed should relate to your product or skill. You can also post content that asks people for engagement in the form of questions. Furthermore, when it comes to stories you can do a lot with them. You can post a quick story image about something that you are promoting. Or you can share user-generated content to show that you are interacting with your audience.

Two young business women sitting at table in front of laptop

That you care what they think. This can also be a great marketing tool to create more interaction. When people see that you are active and willing to share what others have made, then more people are likely to make more content based on your or your brand. And stories are also a great way to share behind-the-scenes content. This can show your followers that you are hard at work.

Plus, it also shows them what is to come. Instagram users love behind the scene content, certainly if it can teach them how to do certain things. Your content, overall, should be fun, informative, and pleasing to read as well as look at. Another thing about running a work or brand-centered Instagram account is that all your concepts, images, videos, etc. should be interlinked to each other. That when someone looks at your profile they can see a theme. This can also include story highlights.

This is where you can save your stories into collections with different thumbnails so that your old and new followers can see what you have been up to long after the original story has vanished. It can be a look back at history while showing off your progress. The highlight thumbnails are important since they can show followers exactly what the collections are about. Furthermore, these little pictures can also tie your branding together adding a lot of fun, professionalism to your account. You want your Instagram profile to look the part.

If your account is messy, confusing, with too much going on, then people will not think that your business is serious and that you are just a casual user of the app. The latter is fine since there seem to be more people using Instagram for the fun of it than to promote something. However, this is not your main goal if your account is business-orientated. If need be you can have a business like Instagram and a personal Insta.

On the latter, you can post whatever you want, when you want, and not worry if it matches your brand. This account is not a branded one and it is one where you can just have fun with the app.

Advice

When it comes to posting still images stories it would be a good idea to add gifs to them. People like to see movement since this draws the eye in. You can also add arrows pointing to the swipe-up options at the bottom of your story so that it stands out more. However, do not overdo it. Furthermore, also do not overdo it when it comes to text. Instead of putting a lot of information in one 15 second story, spread it out of four of them.

This will give people time to read it, your font can be bigger and clearer, and it can just look better.

The latter would require some planning, but if you are running a business-orientated, professional account, then planning is a huge part of the process. Plus, the more and better you plan, the better your account will look as well as function.

Also, make sure that you do not post too much when it comes to stories. You have to find a balance. Posting too little can make people forget about your products. However, posting too often can make people bored, and they will skip over your stories with a swipe to the left.

Conclusion

Stories are a great addition to the Instagram app. If they are used well they can help grow your audience as well as your account. The dimensions of the stories for both still images and videos are 1080 pixels by 1920 pixels.

Images must be below 30 MB while video must be under 4 GB. The stories last for 15 seconds at a time, but you can upload four of them. Also use gifs, stickers, and text to make them stand out. But, do not overdo them.

Ask your followers questions, get them to ask you some, and make polls for them to play with. Also, make sure that your whole account is on-brand from what you post on stories, to your feed posts and your bio as well as the profile picture of your Instagram account. To take it a step further you can design your ,highlight thumbnails to match your brand. As well as to let your followers, current and future ones, know what your collections are about. Always keep in mind your brand when you post something on the app.

But, if you are just using the app for fun, then you do not need to worry about branding. Just have a lot of fun with it. Regardless of what you use the app for, Instagram stories are a fantastic feature of the app.

One cannot remember how the app was before this feature was added, nor would they want to. Have fun sharing, creating, and posting be it stories or feed posts.