Image Aspect Ratio for Instagram posts

If your Instagram account is connected through our Buffer Integration, you may notice that some of your posts are not getting published, despite you having Direct Scheduling set up. This might be due to the aspect ratio of your image. Continue reading to learn more about what this is and what size should your image have to be able to get shared successfully.

What's an aspect ratio?

The aspect ratio is the proportion of your image or video (width and height). Both width and height are represented by numbers divided by a colon (like 1:1 - which is a square image). 

Depending on the ratio of your image, it can be automatically published or, if it exceeds the admitted ratio, you will get a mobile reminder on your phone, regardless of having Direct Scheduling set up in Buffer.  You can read more on how Aspect Ratios are calculated in Buffer's FAQ

Note: This is not about the pixel size of the image, but rather the proportion of the image.

What is the recommended ratio? 

There are a few ratios that are most common, but for the most part, as long as your image's ratio falls within these limits, your image will publish without issues:

  • Any square image (aspect ratio 1:1), regardless of whether it's 1200x1200 pixels or 600x600 pixels.
  • Portrait images with a ratio between 0.8 and 0.99 (images that have a larger height than width, should be similar to 800x1000 pixels, 1500x1800 pixels)
  • Landscape images with a ratio between 1.01 and 1.91 (images where the width is larger than the height, should be similar to 800x600 pixels, 1200 x 800 pixels). 

What can I do if my image isn't posted because of this?

You'll see your images that have different aspect ratios in the Past Reminders section of your Buffer dashboard (especially if you don't have their mobile app or if you don't have the notifications enabled). To publish a post that didn't go through because of this, you have two options: 

1. From the Past Reminders, you can always retrigger the post to publish - make sure you have the mobile app installed, you're logged in and the notifications enabled. 

2. Resize the image to fit the aspect ratio requirements and create your post again. 

Note: When publishing to Instagram from SocialBee, you don't have these restrictions, as you're publishing through a mobile reminder. However, if you're publishing through 

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