Instagram Story Size & Best Practices for 2024: A Comprehensive Guide

Learn the optimal Instagram story size and best practices for 2024 to boost your engagement and reach. Discover essential tips and guidelines for creating high-quality Instagram Stories that captivate your audience and enhance your social media strategy.

Instagram Stories continue to be a powerhouse for engagement.

With over 500 million daily users, Instagram stories have revolutionized how brands connect with their audience.

Whether you’re already harnessing the power of Instagram Stories or just starting, knowing the optimal Instagram Story size is essential.

In this guide, we’ll explore the best dimensions and practices to create visually compelling stories that grab attention and drive results for your brand.

Let's jump in!

What is the Recommended Size of an Instagram Story?

Instagram story size inforgraphic

The ideal size for Instagram Stories is 1080 x 1920 pixels. 

This size ensures your images and videos are displayed at the highest quality, fitting perfectly on most mobile screens. 

This size corresponds to an aspect ratio of 9:16, which is essential for maintaining the visual integrity of your content across different devices.

Key Specifications for Instagram Stories

Let's take a more granular look at what the specs for high-performing Instagram stories are:

Instagram Story Sizing: 1080 x 1920px

  • Minimum Width: 500 pixels
  • Aspect Ratio: 9:16 (critical for maintaining proper display)

Accepted File Types for Images: JPG and PNG

  • Maximum Image Size: Up to 30MB
  • Visibility Duration: Image stories are visible for five seconds per slide

Accepted File Types for Videos: MP4 and MOV

  • Maximum Video Size: Up to 4GB
  • Video Length: Up to 60 seconds per video

It's important to note that while 1080 x 1920 pixels is the recommended size, your images, and videos don't necessarily have to be exactly this resolution. 

As long as you adhere to the 9:16 aspect ratio, your content will display correctly. Here are other acceptable resolutions for Instagram Stories:

  • 720 x 1280 pixels
  • 1440 x 2560 pixels
  • 2160 x 3840 pixels

By following these guidelines, you can ensure your Instagram Stories look crisp, professional, and engaging, providing a seamless experience for your audience.

What is the Instagram Story Safe Zone?

When creating Instagram Stories, it's crucial to understand the concept of the safe zone. 

This area ensures that all vital elements of your story are visible and not obscured by Instagram's user interface. Here’s what you need to know about the Instagram safe zone:

Definition of the IG Safe Zone

The safe zone refers to the central area of your Instagram Story that is free from Instagram's interface elements such as the username, message box, and navigation buttons. These UI elements typically appear at the top and bottom of the screen and can hide important parts of your content if not properly accounted for.

Instagram Safe Zone Dimensions and Placement

To keep your content within the safe zone, maintain a margin of approximately 250 pixels from the top and bottom of your story. This ensures that any text, logos, or key visuals you include are not covered by Instagram's interface elements.

Importance of the Safe Zone

  • Visibility: Keeping essential elements within the safe zone guarantees that your audience can see and interact with your content without obstruction.
  • Engagement: Placing calls-to-action (CTAs) within this area ensures they remain clickable and actionable, which is crucial for driving conversions.
  • Professionalism: Stories that account for the safe zone appear well-designed and professional, enhancing your brand’s image.

IG Safe Zone Visual Guide

To better illustrate the safe zone, imagine your 1080 x 1920 pixel story divided into three sections:

Instagram story safe zone infographic
  • Top Margin (250 pixels): Avoid placing any important elements here.
  • Central Safe Zone (1420 pixels): This is where you should concentrate your key content, ensuring maximum visibility and engagement.
  • Bottom Margin (250 pixels): Similar to the top margin, keep this area free of critical elements.

By designing your Instagram Stories with the safe zone in mind, you can create visually appealing and highly effective content that stands out and engages your audience. 

If you’re unsure if your content complies with the IG safe zone, then you can use any emoji to test it. 

In the example below, you can see how IG warns me that I’m crossing the safe zone. So, ensure all of your important content elements are within these borders.

How to get the right size story for instagram

Remember, a well-planned story not only looks good but also performs better, driving higher engagement and achieving your marketing goals.

Why Instagram Stories Are a Valuable Marketing Tool

Instagram Stories allow you to connect with your audience in real time.

They can create a sense of immediacy and engagement that static posts can't match. 

  • Instagram stories allow you to showcase products, share promotions, and drive traffic through swipe-up links directly to your online store. 
  • The ephemeral nature of Stories encourages quick consumption and interaction, making your content more engaging and compelling.
  • Features like polls, quizzes, and question stickers invite users to participate actively, fostering a deeper connection with your brand.
  • The visual and dynamic nature of Stories makes it an ideal platform for highlighting product features, demonstrating usage, and providing behind-the-scenes glimpses that humanize your brand.
  • Instagram Stories are prominently placed at the top of the app, ensuring high visibility. 

Ultimately, using Instagram Stories effectively can enhance your brand's presence, increase customer engagement, and drive sales, making it an indispensable tool in your social media marketing strategy.

Best Practices for Creating Instagram Stories

3 Instagram story sizes that work

Creating compelling Instagram Stories requires more than just knowing the right dimensions. 

To truly captivate your audience and maximize engagement, it's essential to follow a set of best practices. 

Here’s how you can make your Instagram Stories stand out:

Design Tips for IG Stories

First and foremost, Instagram is a visual platform. So designing your stories well is essential. 

Here are four quick tips to succeed.

  • Utilize the Full Screen Space: Make the most of the 1080 x 1920 pixels available to you. Fill the screen with vibrant, high-quality visuals that grab attention.
  • Keep Important Elements Within the IG Safe Zone: Ensure that text, logos, and call-to-action buttons are placed within the central 1420 pixels of your story. This prevents them from being obscured by Instagram’s UI elements.
  • Maintain Consistent Branding: Use consistent colors, fonts, and logos to reinforce your brand identity. This helps in building brand recognition and trust among your audience.
  • Leverage Contrast and Readability: Make sure your text stands out against the background. Use contrasting colors and ensure the font size is readable on all screen sizes.

IG Story Content Recommendations

Figuring out what to post can be tricky. The goal is to post content that gets social media engagement

While the type of content varies from brand to brand, here are four general guidelines for better-performing posts.

  • Use High-Resolution Images and Videos: Ensure your visuals are clear. Blurry or pixelated content can harm your brand’s image. You don’t need professional-grade photos - sometimes regular well-taken photos may even work better.
  • Incorporate Branded Elements: Include your logo, brand colors, and other recognizable elements in your stories. This not only reinforces your brand but also ensures consistency across all your marketing channels.
  • Tell a Story: Use the sequential nature of Instagram Stories to craft a compelling narrative. Whether it’s a product launch, a behind-the-scenes look, or a customer testimonial, make sure your content has a beginning, middle, and end.
  • Include a Call to Action (CTA): Encourage your viewers to take action, whether it’s swiping up to visit your website, responding to a poll, or sending a message. Clear CTAs can drive engagement and conversions.

If you’re looking for more specific content ideas, we recommend checking out Shopify's post that covers 30+ engaging Instagram story ideas.

Tools and Resources for Creating Instagram Stories

Let's quickly cover some of the most useful tools for creating awesome Instagram stories with ease.

  • Canva: An easy-to-use design tool that offers lots of Instagram Story Templates. Customize these templates to match your brand’s aesthetics.
  • Adobe Spark: Another versatile design tool that provides a range of templates and design options. Great for creating visually striking stories without advanced design skills.
  • Instagram’s Own Creation Tools: Instagram offers various stickers, text options, and drawing tools to enhance your stories. Use these features to make your content more interactive and engaging.
  • Other Third-Party Apps: Apps like Unfold and StoryArt offer additional templates and design elements that can help make your stories unique and visually appealing. It's also worth exploring apps like Minta that empower you to use social media automation.

Tips for Maximizing Instagram Story Engagement

Social media is a place where folks come to be, yup, social. So you want to create engaging and fun content that builds a relationship with your audience.

Here are a few tips to help:

  • Use Interactive Features: Polls, quizzes, and question stickers can boost engagement by encouraging viewers to interact with your content.
  • Post Regularly: Consistency is key. Posting regularly keeps your audience engaged and helps maintain a steady presence on your followers' feeds.
  • Monitor Analytics: Use Instagram Insights to track the performance of your stories. Pay attention to metrics like views, replies, and swipe-ups to understand what content resonates best with your audience.
  • Respond to Feedback: Engage with your audience by responding to their comments and messages. This builds a sense of community and loyalty around your brand.

By following these best practices, you can create Instagram Stories that not only look great but also drive meaningful engagement and conversions.

 Remember, the goal is to create content that resonates with your audience, builds your brand, and ultimately drives your business forward.

Instagram Story Examples That Work

To truly understand the power of Instagram Stories, let's look at some real-world examples of brands effectively leveraging this feature. These examples from Paula's Choice, Noom, and Blossom & Rhyme illustrate various strategies to engage audiences and drive business goals.

1. Paula’s Choice

Paula's Choice, a renowned cosmetic brand, uses Instagram Stories to engage and educate their audience. In a series of three story posts, they skillfully blend interaction, education, and promotion.

  • First Story: The series kicks off with a true or false question related to common myths in the cosmetics industry. This interactive poll engages viewers right from the start, inviting them to participate and test their knowledge.
  • Second Story: The next slide provides the answer, explaining why the myth is true or false. This educational content helps position Paula's Choice as an authority in the industry, building trust with their audience.
  • Third Story: Finally, the series concludes by linking to one of their products related to the myth discussed. This seamless transition from education to promotion helps drive traffic to their product pages, potentially boosting sales.

This approach not only engages viewers but also subtly guides them through a journey that ends with a strong call to action.

Here’s another myth-busting example:

Once you find an IG story template that works, save it. You can then remake the story using different content, to drive engagement even higher.

2. Noom

Noom, a weight loss coaching company, uses Instagram Stories to provide valuable content that resonates with their health-conscious audience. They effectively combine content marketing with lead generation in a series of four story posts.

  • First Three Stories: Noom shares a healthy recipe over the course of three stories. Each slide breaks down different steps of the recipe, complete with visuals and short instructions. This method keeps the audience engaged, encouraging them to follow along and try the recipe themselves.
  • Fourth Story: The final slide promotes their recipe book, offering followers a chance to get more recipes by signing up. This story serves as a lead magnet, driving potential customers to subscribe or provide their contact information in exchange for more valuable content.

By providing free, high-quality content upfront, Noom builds trust and establishes authority, making followers more likely to convert.

3. Blossom & Rhyme

Blossom & Rhyme, a company that transforms bouquets of flowers into everlasting floral displays encased in glass boxes, uses Instagram Stories to give their audience a behind-the-scenes look at their creative process.

  • Behind-the-Scenes Footage: They regularly share stories showing the team at work, crafting the everlasting flower displays. This transparent approach builds a connection with the audience, showcasing the craftsmanship and effort involved.
  • Before and After Results: By displaying before and after transformations, Blossom & Rhyme visually demonstrate the quality and impact of their work. This not only highlights the product’s beauty but also its value, appealing to potential customers.
  • Audience Interaction: They also use stories to let their audience ask questions about their products. Answering these questions in subsequent stories helps address potential customer concerns and curiosities, fostering a sense of community and trust.

This strategy of blending behind-the-scenes content, visual proof of quality, and direct engagement helps Blossom & Rhyme create a loyal and informed customer base.

Instagram Story Size: Key Takeaways

Understanding and optimizing your Instagram Story size is essential for maximizing engagement and achieving your marketing goals. Let's recap the key takeaways:

  1. Adhering to Recommended Dimensions: The ideal size for Instagram Stories is 1080 x 1920 pixels, with an aspect ratio of 9:16. While you can use other resolutions like 720 x 1280, 1440 x 2560, and 2160 x 3840 pixels, maintaining the 9:16 aspect ratio ensures your content displays correctly without cropping or distortion.
  1. File Types and Sizes: Use JPG and PNG formats for images, ensuring they are under 30MB. For videos, use MP4 or MOV formats, with a maximum size of 4GB and a length of up to 60 seconds. Adhering to these specifications ensures high-quality visuals and smooth playback.
  1. Safe Zone Awareness: Keep important elements like text, logos, and CTAs within the central 1420 pixels of your story. This prevents them from being obscured by Instagram's user interface, ensuring maximum visibility and engagement.
  1. Best Practices: Utilize the full screen space, maintain consistent branding, and use high-resolution images and videos. Incorporate interactive features and clear calls to action to drive engagement and conversions. Leverage design tools like Canva and Adobe Spark to create visually appealing stories.
  1. Real-World Examples: Learn from successful brands like Paula's Choice, Noom, and Blossom & Rhyme. Their strategic use of Instagram Stories—whether through interactive polls, educational content, or behind-the-scenes footage—demonstrates the potential of well-planned stories to engage and convert audiences.

By following these guidelines and learning from real-world examples, you can create Instagram Stories that not only look great but also drive meaningful engagement and achieve your marketing objectives. 

Start optimizing your Instagram story sizes and watch your audience interaction and business outcomes improve!

Instagram Story Size FAQ

Let’s quickly cover some of the most commonly asked questions related to Instagram story sizes.

What size is an instagram story?

The optimal size for an Instagram Story is 1080 pixels wide by 1920 pixels tall, which follows a 9:16 aspect ratio. This ensures your content fits perfectly on users' screens without any cropping or distortion. Using these dimensions guarantees that your images and videos appear sharp and professional.

What is Instagram post size?

The recommended size for  Instagram feed posts is 1080 x 1080 pixels for square images, 1080 x 1350 pixels for portrait images, and 1080 x 566 pixels for landscape images. Maintaining these dimensions ensures your posts are displayed correctly and look professional.

How do I adjust my Instagram story size?

To adjust your Instagram Story size, use design tools like Canva or Adobe Spark to create or resize your images and videos to 1080 x 1920 pixels, maintaining the 9:16 aspect ratio. These tools often offer templates specifically designed for Instagram Stories.

How do you fit a story on Instagram?

To fit a story on Instagram, ensure your images or videos are in the 9:16 aspect ratio, ideally 1080 x 1920 pixels. Use the safe zone (central 1420 pixels) to place important elements to avoid them being covered by Instagram’s UI.

What is the 9:16 safe zone?

The 9:16 safe zone in Instagram Stories is the central area, approximately 1420 pixels high, where critical content like text, logos, and CTAs should be placed to avoid being obscured by Instagram’s interface elements.

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