Instagram Story Dimensions, Specs & Advice for 2024

Written by <a href="" target="_self">Samantha Ferguson</a>

Written by Samantha Ferguson

Samantha is Copy Team Manager at Wyzowl. She has written over 1,000 scripts and hundreds of articles on video marketing so what Samantha doesn't know about video isn't worth knowing!

Last updated on 25th March 2024

In this article we’re going to take a look at Instagram Stories dimensions, specs, and advice for 2024. 

What image file types should Instagram Stories be?

Instagram Stories should be in PNG or JPG format.

What’s the maximum image file size for Instagram Stories?

The maximum image file size for Instagram Stories is 30MB.

What video file type can be used for Instagram Stories?

You can use MP4, MOV, or GIF file types for Instagram Stories.

What is the maximum file size for videos on Instagram Stories?

The maximum file size for videos on Instagram Stories is 4GB.

What’s the right aspect ratio for Instagram Stories?

The right aspect ratio for Instagram Stories is 9:16.

What’s the ideal resolution for Instagram Stories?

The ideal resolution for Instagram Stories is 1080px by 1920px.

What’s the maximum video length for Instagram Stories?

Each story can be a maximum of 15 seconds long, and you can shoot up to 4 at a time (to a maximum of 60 seconds). 

Note: If you’re running a paid ad through Instagram Stories then this can be much longer, up to 60 minutes in length. This means you’re much less restricted with Instagram Stories ads.

How much text should I use on Instagram Stories?

It is recommended to use no more than 125 characters of text on Instagram Stories.

What’s the Instagram Stories ‘Safe Zone?’

Keep your content within the “safe zone”. This means leaving roughly 250 pixels at the top and bottom free from key creative elements so that nothing important is obstructed by other things on screen, like your profile icon or the “send a message” box. 

Luckily, Instagram does highlight where the edge of the “safe zone” is with blue parameter lines. Here’s an example:

Instagram Story safe zone

And here’s what it would look like if the “safe zone” parameters were ignored. As you can see, the question box is obstructed and difficult to access: 

Instagram Story safe zone

Beyond dimensions: Advice for perfect Instagram Stories

Creating Instagram Stories isn’t JUST about obsessing over the ideal Instagram Story dimensions. 

You need to go that extra mile to ensure your brand’s Stories stand out among the rest. Here are 5 tips for creating perfect Instagram Stories: 

1. Use photo editing apps 

If you have content that you want to post to your Instagram Stories but it doesn’t fit the specifications, don’t worry. You can use an editing app to help you get there. 

Canva is a great tool for editing images, and it even has an “Instagram Story” option that makes it super simple to automatically adjust your content: 

Canva Instagram Story creation
Canva Instagram Story creation

If you’re sharing videos there’s also many great video editing apps out there that can help you prep your content before posting it to your Instagram Stories. 

Check out our article: The Best Video Editing Apps (2024)

2. Make sure your content is vertical

Instagram is a mobile first platform, so vertical content is the best way to take advantage of Instagram screen real estate – particularly when it comes to Stories. According to ImpactPlus, smartphone users hold their phone vertically around 94% of the time and don’t like content that forces them to turn it horizontally

As expected based on that information, vertical videos have a 90% higher completion rate than horizontal videos (on social media). It’s best to think ‘vertical-first’ when it comes to all your Instagram posts, and that includes posting Instagram stories.

3. Use interactive elements to increase engagement 

One of the best features of IG Stories is the ability to easily add interactive elements to your content that can not only increase engagement, but also give you access to valuable audience data. 

Instagram Story interactive elements
Instagram Story interactive elements

You can use hashtags to increase the visibility of your story, polls and questionnaires to encourage user engagement, GIFs to catch the eye, and so much more! 

4. Add captions 

According to a survey by Verizon Media, 92% of U.S. consumers watch videos with the sound off on mobile. The report also recommends captioning videos as 80% of consumers are more likely to watch an entire video when captions are available.

Luckily, it’s really easy to add captions to your Instagram Stories. After recording your video, head to the stickers tab and you’ll see a “Captions” button: 

Instagram Story interactive elements
Instagram Story subtitles

Click this and captions will automatically be added to your Instagram Story posts – pretty cool!  

5. Keep your content fresh and exciting 

Social media content should be engaging, informational, fun, and educational. It shouldn’t be overly salesy or repetitive. 

To really make an impact with your Instagram Stories you need to ensure your content is always fresh and exciting. An example of a brand that does this well is the luggage brand, Away

Their stories are always varied, interesting, and beautifully shot. From fun ways to use their products: 

Instagram Story by Away

To Q&As:

Instagram Story by Away

And DIY games: 

Instagram Story by Away

6. Keep the good stuff around for longer

By their nature, Instagram Stories are designed to be temporary – in true ‘Mission Impossible’ style, they self-destruct after 24 hours! However, if you mark them as Story Highlights, they stick around on your timeline for as long as you want. Use this functionality to highlight interesting events and content long into the future, and they’ll be among the first things people see when they land on your profile.

For more inspiration to keep your Instagram Stories engaging, check out our article: 21 Instagram Story Ideas for Quick Inspiration.

Final thoughts

The Instagram Story feature is a fantastic way for brands to maximise their output on this popular social channel. By sticking to the right size, aspect ratio and maximum Instagram story length, you give your brand the best possible chance of standing out. So many brands are using Instagram Stories right now to increase their conversion rates, boost awareness, and collect valuable consumer insights. 

By following the Instagram story size tips in this article, you can ensure your Stories are professional and engaging.

And if you’re looking for ideas, check out our article: What to Post on Instagram: 29 Ideas for B2B Brands.

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