You’ve got all the great tools to create engaging images for social media. You know what the brain loves about visuals and how to build something beautiful to drive engagement. You’re all set to make something great!

One last thing: How exactly should your image look so it fits in the News Feed, timeline, or stream?

There’s so much to consider in creating great images for social media–for me, the size and shape tend to get locked in before I even realize what’s happened. Yet the size and shape–the height, width, and orientation–are the elements that most influence how an image will appear in a social media stream.

Fortunately, there’re some answers out there on how to create ideal images that show up consistently great in your audience’s timelines. We’ve collected all the answers here, along with our favorite two templates to fit any network.

ideal-image-sizes

Ideal image sizes for social media

Image sizes are a huge topic to cover.

There’re ideal image sizes for cover photos and profile pictures, Facebook ads and Twitter cards. Several in-depth blog posts have tackled an overview for what’s best in all these many different spots. Here are two of my favorites:

Most of the major social media channels like Facebook and Twitter now give you added control over how your profile picture and cover photo look. You get some really neat tools to resize and scale these pictures until they’re pixel perfect.

Here’s the process for a Facebook cover photo, for example.

fb-cover

For ideal sizes on cover photos and profile pictures, I’d highly recommend the sites mentioned above. They’ve got it all covered.

I’d love for this post to focus specifically on the social media images you share with your updates, either as image attachments or as links.

Looking for a particular social platform? Try clicking one of these categories below to jump to the relevant section:

The best sizes for sharing images on social media

We’ve long been interested in the impact of social media images for engagement, retweets, clicks, and more. We found that tweets with images receive 150 percent more retweets than those without.

One of the big questions for me is how you get an engaging image to look its best when it’s in a stream, timeline, or News Feed?

What’s the best–and maybe even the easiest–way to go about it?

In general, here are the best sizes for sharing images on social media. (Click on any link here to jump to the details for a specific network.)

Facebook – 1,200 x 628

Twitter – 1,024 x 512

LinkedIn – 700 x 400

Google+ – 800 x 1,200

Pinterest – 735 x 1,102

Instagram – 1,080 x 1,080

By the way: I cover five unique and secret ways to include images in your updates on day 9 of our email course on social media strategies. I’d love to share them with you, too! You can join that course for free here.

Our two favorite image size templates that cover most networks

In experimenting with the fastest, easiest way to create images we know will work well in social media feeds, we came across a couple of image sizes that became our go-tos: one size for horizontal (landscape) images and one for vertical (portrait) images.

  • Horizontal (landscape) – 1,024 x 512
  • Vertical (portrait) – 800 x 1,200

Note: If you’d like to grab either of these as a Canva template, we’d love to make this easy for you. Click here for the horizontal template; click here for the vertical template.

One of the simplest ways we’ve found for creating the 1,024 x 512 pixel images is to use Pablo. You can create an image in under 30 seconds and share directly to Twitter, Facebook, and Buffer.

We use the horizontal size for sharing to Facebook and Twitter.

We use the vertical size for sharing to Google+ and Pinterest.

The horizontal size, as you’ll read below, fits perfect for Twitter’s 2:1 aspect ratio. The fit isn’t quite spot on for Facebook, yet we’ve found that it’s close enough where no important bits get cropped when Facebook resizes things.

If you prefer to have a square image size to go along with the portrait and landscape orientations, Constant Contact has some good recommendations for what they’ve used successfully.

  • Square – 1200 x 1200 (share to Facebook and LinkedIn)
  • Landscape – 1200 x 627 (share to Facebook and Twitter)
  • Portrait – 736 x 1128 (share to Pinterest and Google+)

Ideal image sizes for Facebook posts

The orientation of your image–whether it’s horizontal (landscape), vertical (portrait), or square–will determine which dimensions Facebook uses to show your image.

If you upload a square image to share, it will be 470 pixels square, the maximum allowable size in a Facebook feed. This’ll be the case no matter what size square you upload, be it an 800 x 800 image or a 400 x 400 image (the smaller images might appear a bit blurry when they are sized up to 470 pixels square).

facebook square

If you upload a horizontal (landscape) image, it will be scaled to 470 pixels wide and the height will be adjusted accordingly.

facebook post wide

Landscape images smaller than 470 pixels wide could appear at less than the 470-pixel width, aligned left with whitespace to the right of the image.

If you upload a vertical (portrait) image, it will be scaled to a height of 394 pixels, aligned to the left, with white space to the side. The adjusted width will be relative to the 394 pixels. For instance, if you upload a 500 x 700 image, Facebook will resize it to 281 x 394 pixels.

portrait facebook dimensions

If you plan on sharing multiple images in the same Facebook post, there’re some great insights at Have Camera Will Travel that cover all the various options that ensue here.

Sharing links to Facebook (and the images that come with them)

If you share a link to Facebook, the image associated with the link can be displayed in a number of ways. Again, all depends on the image size (pixel width and height) and shape (orientation).

Images previews for shared links are scaled to fill a box of 470 pixels wide by 246 pixels tall.

facebook featured image size

When choosing an image to go along with a link, Facebook looks at the Open Graph tags for a page, specifically the og:image tag, which specifies the image that Facebook should use when sharing in the News Feed.

You can add the og:image tag manually into the <head> section on every page of your website, or you can try out a plugin like Yoast SEO for WordPress, which handles the code and implementation for you. (We’re big fans of the Yoast plugin for the Buffer blog.)

If you are creating an image to be used in the og:image tag for your link, keep in mind that anything outside of 470 x 246 pixels will be cropped from the top and bottom in order to fit.

facebook crop top bottom

Additionally, if the link you share does not have the proper og:image tags installed or the image in the tag is not large enough, Facebook will not display it full-width. A thumbnail image will be placed in a small box to the left of the link text.

For most all image orientations–square, horizontal (landscape), and vertical (portrait)– the thumbnail will be scaled and cropped to fit a 158 x 158-pixel square.

facebook thumbnail size

In certain cases, very tall images (like infographics, for instance) will have 158-pixel width and 237-pixel height.

facebook tall thumbnail

What we’ve found to be the best solution for creating and sharing images to Facebook is to build an image that is 1024 x 512. While this doesn’t quite fit the dimensions above perfectly, it is large enough to look great on retina displays (where the pixel density is greater) and large enough so as to fit with the full-width areas in the News Feed.

(And as you’ll see below, this image size is ideal for Twitter as well.)

Ideal image sizes for tweets

Until very recently, Twitter images appeared in the timeline at 506 pixels wide by 253 pixels tall. However, images now appear uncropped, so you can experience and present them as they were meant to be viewed.

Here’s a quick before and after snapshot of how images are displayed on Twitter:

new_look_for_twitter.com_photos_1

(Note: Uploading an image that is smaller than 506 pixels x 253 pixels will result in whitespace to the right of the image.)

Twitter also allows you to upload up to four images to each tweet. And instead of display them all in an equal grid, you can now feature on particular image:

new_look_for_twitter.com_photos_2

Twitter share image size

When a link is shared, Twitter pulls in a bunch of meta information from your website including the title, description, and a feature image. Here’s an example:

Twitter typically pulls in the image that’s specified within the post’s metadata. If the size of image isn’t right for the, it will sometimes distort and not look great.

With Twitter is best to use an image that’s 1024px x 512px in dimension.

(At Buffer we use the Yoast SEO WordPress plugin mentioned above to specify which images should be shared to Twitter.)

Image sizes for Twitter cards

Images are also present in each of the nine different Twitter Cards. If you’re interested in trying out something like a lead generation card or a product card, AgoraPulse does a great job of breaking down the images sizes for each type of card. I’d like to get a bit deeper into a couple of specific ones that seem key for content sharing.

  • Summary card
  • Summary card with large image

Summary cards show a headline, description, link, and photo when you share a url from a site that contains the appropriate Twitter Cards code. All this information is pulled via HTML tags, often the same ones that are being used by Facebook to display links.

(The Yoast SEO WordPress plugin mentioned above also includes support for Twitter Cards.)

Each type of summary card contains a thumbnail or featured image.

For summary cards:

The image must be a minimum size of 120px by 120px and must be less than 1MB in file size.

For an expanded tweet and its detail page, the image will be cropped to a 4:3 aspect ratio and resized to be displayed at 120px by 90px.

The image will also be cropped and resized to 120px by 120px for use in embedded tweets.

twitter cards small thumb

Update: Small-image Twitter Cards now use a size of 109 pixels by 82 pixels, not the 120px x 90px mentioned above.

For summary cards with large images:

Images for this Card should be at least 280px in width, and at least 150px in height. Image must be less than 1MB in size.

All images for the large-image cards will be scaled to fit a width of 480 pixels. So landscape and portrait images will be resized to 480 wide and however many pixels tall (there doesn’t seem to be a maximum or a minimum here). Square images will be resized to 480 x 480 square.

Any image smaller than 480 pixels will appear aligned to the left with whitespace filling the empty space to the right.

twitter card large summary

Update: Large-image Twitter Cards now use a width of 506 pixels, not the 480-pixel width mentioned above.

One thing that’s interesting to note here is where the images get cropped. For the basic summary cards, photos will be cropped in the following ways:

  • Square and portrait images will be cropped from the bottom up and not from the sides.
  • Landscape images will be cropped from the outside in, and not from the top or bottom.

For the summary cards with large images, there don’t appear to be any noticeable crops.

If you’re curious how your images might look with Twitter Cards, you can enter your link into Twitter’s free card validator to get a quick preview.

Ideal image sizes for LinkedIn posts

When you share links and articles to LinkedIn, the thumbnail photos appear at a maximum of 180 pixels wide by 110 pixels tall.

linkedin thumbnail

If you upload an image directly, the image will appear at a maximum width of 350 pixels. The height of the image–whether square, landscape, or portrait–will be scaled to fit the new width. For example, a 700 x 500 image will be scaled to 350 x 250.

linkedin large upload

One outlier among these standard sizes is for LinkedIn’s Showcase Pages, a feature that allows companies to create pages based on offshoots of their brand (for instance, Adobe created pages for Adobe Creative Cloud, Adobe Marketing Cloud, etc.)

On these pages, thumbnail and featured images for links appear either at the standard size of 180 x 110 or at a larger size of 442 x 248.

linkedin company showcase page

LinkedIn uses the same Open Graph tags as Facebook and other social networks. If you’ve got your site well-optimized for Facebook links, then you should be good to go for LinkedIn as well.

(There’re a few neat ideas from SmashingBoxes as far as LinkedIn thumbnail workarounds if Open Graph tags don’t seem to be a possibility for you.)

One additional way to share content on LinkedIn is by publishing articles that appear on people’s home pages via LinkedIn Pulse. LinkedIn built a substantial publishing platform for this content, which includes the ability to add featured images to the articles.

In the home page feed, the featured image on a Pulse update is 180 pixels wide by 110 pixels tall–same as it is for all link thumbnails. If the story is placed in the recommended reading list below a featured Pulse story, the thumbnail will be 70 x 37.

linkedin pulse homefeed

Inside the Pulse page, a list of articles runs along the left-hand column. The image thumbnails here are 70 x 70 square images.

The featured image at the top of the article is 700 pixels wide by 400 pixels tall.

(Cropping for these images occurs from the outside in, so the very middle of the picture will be what’s displayed in the smaller thumbnails.)

li-pulse

Ideal image sizes for Google+ posts

When you share links and articles to Google+, the featured photos appear at a maximum width of 426 pixels. The height scales accordingly.

mcdonalds g+ portrait g+

Similarly to the other social channels mentioned here, Google+ pulls in images from URLs using Open Graph tags. If the image used in the Open Graph is not at least 426 pixels wide or if Open Graph tags do not exist for a url, Google+ may instead place a thumbnail image to the left of the update. This thumbnail is 150 x 150 square.

If you upload an image directly to Google+, the image will appear at a maximum width of 426 pixels also (same as above). The height of the image will scale to fit according to the new width.

Clicking through to the update URL, the image will be 506 pixels wide, maximum, with a height that scales accordingly.

url page g+

If the image is smaller than the 346-pixel width, Google+ places the image centered on the update with white space to each side.

One other way that Google+ may display photos is as a full-width image that spans across both columns of the Google+ stream. These images are 886 pixels wide. The height scales accordingly.

gopro full width g+

Ideal image sizes for Pinterest Pins

There are a couple of different places where a Pinned image can appear on Pinterest.

In the feed, Pinterest images have a width of 235 pixels. The height scales accordingly.

pinterest size

If you click to expand a Pinned image, the image will have a width of 736 pixels. The height, again, scales accordingly.

Beyond these two places, the other spots that you might find a pin include the cover for Pinterest boards and in side ads for recommended and related Pins.

Ideal image sizes for Instagram photos

Instagram used to be all about the square image. However, you can now upload landscape (horizontal) or portrait (vertical) photos as well. Here are the best sizes for Instagram’s three image types:

  • Square Image: 1080px in width by 1080px in height
  • Vertical Image: 1080px in width by 1350px in height
  • Horizontal Image: 1080px in width by 566px in height

Square

ig-square

Vertical

ig-vertical

Horizontal

ig-horizontal

The thumbnail photos that appear on one’s profile page are 161 x 161.

The images in the header are either 204 x 204 (for the smaller featured images) or 409 x 409 (for the larger featured image).

Summary

I hope these image size overviews might be useful for you. We continue to learn lots about what’s best for all the different social networks, and I’ll be happy to continue updating this post with all our latest findings.

(I’m also eager to experiment with mobile sizes as well!)

Is there anything we can add to this resource to make it more useful for you? What has your experience been with sharing different image sizes to social media?

I’d love to hear from you in the comments!

Want more social media tips? Take our free email course!

I’ve put together a list of 25 practical social media strategies that work for us here at Buffer–and I’d love to share them with you via email. (We’ll also keep you in the loop with more social media tips!)

Sign up here ->

Image sources: IconFinder, Pablo, Startup Stock Photos, Blurgrounds

25 Comments

  1. Peter Dykstra

    Great homage to Sprout Social’s cropping tool, Landscape.

  2. Gary Verderamo

    Why do none of these social media image size guides ever explain why these social networks (specifically Facebook) scales the images down? Why recommend 1200×630 if they are just going to scale it down? Maybe I am missing something here but…..well, I am obviously missing something. It’s why I am asking. That and frustration. LOL LOL

  3. Em Gould

    This may need updating. Not a single image I’m seeing in my LinkedIn feed is displaying in a square.

  4. sevim

    Hello Kevan, really helpful article, but somehow I can’t apply for the free email course! Could you, please, tell me how could we fix this 🙂 Thank you in advance.

  5. Christensen143

    Hi Kevan. The form for the course is broken. Can you help?

  6. James Ng
  7. James Ng

    It said that I can’t get a free course

  8. LV Linguistics

    Hi! I’m no expert on this topic at all – but thought maybe it could have something to do with ALT text? What happens when you rename the image on your website? Good luck with your issues. Cheers, Victoria

  9. LV Linguistics

    Hi Kevan! I recognize this is quite an old post dating 2015, but this is a fantastic guide for me. Thank you. On another note, I was wondering if you’d be willing to share the specs for the images you include in your blog posts (titles, etc.) They’re a beautiful resolution and the page is loading quite rapidly. I’m using Pablo and then exporting the images to JPEG format. However, mine show up sort of blurry. Thanks for any tips! Victoria, LV Linguistics (Belgium)

  10. Loic Gonsolin

    Same for me.

  11. Chris

    Hey why don’t you check out http://www.adsvise.com/? It has all the specs & free psd’s for all social networks.

  12. Jose Antonio Morales

    Hey Kevan, great article. I’d like to receive the email training course but the form isn’t working.

  13. Greete Eluri

    Hi Kevan – could I get the presentation about this or will there by another one? Thanks, Greete

  14. Dena McKitrick

    I tried to sign up for the free email course, and got the message: I’m so sorry! Something’s broken on our end. You’re welcome to leave me a comment and I’ll get on this!

  15. Conci

    Thank you very much for your article Kevan, but I have a problem in registering for the free course.
    Can you help me to join please?
    Thanks

  16. Chris Bowyer

    Unless I have missed something, when I checked the Twitter ‘summary’ image size using their validator (https://cards-dev.twitter.com/…, images are resized to 125x125px, so, although the minimum size is 120x120px and I recall from an earlier experiment, that not being correct either, any image larger or smaller than 125x125px is not optimal. As for Retina Display and all that, I don’t know. Argh! Nothing like standardisation. If they all agreed on a standard share size, everyone would benefit.

  17. Deniz Yılmaz

    Hello Kevan. Thanks for sharing!
    I am really struggling to find the image size for Tumblr blog and share it on FB, Linkedin and Twitter. Every image size i tried, fails in one of these mediums. Should i make different sized images for each social media channel? How can i do it, i can’t, because i am sharing the image that i used in blog post! Could not find an answer and i am about to loose my mind.
    Do you have an idea about what can be done?
    Thank you.

  18. Stephen Parker

    Nothing yet jana. We’re doing posts to LinkedIn manually at this point.

  19. jana

    Hi Stephen, I keep on seeing this too. Did you find a solution yet?

  20. l

    ll

  21. @aNoviceMum

    The course button is not working; how can I get it?

  22. diver405

    Welcom my blogs http://pornopass24.com/free-br

    Very helpful, Kevan. It’s the post that keeps on giving!

  23. Spindle

    It says in this article that the ideal sizes for social sharing are:
    Horizontal (landscape) – 1,024 x 512
    Vertical (portrait) – 800 x 1,200

    I would recon that the landscape sizes would look nice on Facebook and Twitter, however linkedin is the odd one out with a thumbnail-like vertical ratio of 1:4. So for linkedin a vertical portrait image would be more appropriate.

    But is it then possible to define 2 images with only one opengraph metadata:image field?

  24. Digital Fairways

    This was really helpful. Thanks for the clear and concise info!

  25. Martin Cooney

    While my blog has OpenGraph meta tags, is there a separate meta tag that I can add so Google+ picks up an 800×1200 image tailored for their network and not use the Facebook go:image ??

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