Sizing up Your Instagram: Why Is It Cutting Off Your Picture?

As more and more businesses invest time and money into having an Instagram account, it is important to stay up-to-date with the types of posts that have the greatest impact on an audience. Determining why images are cutting off or stretched at certain sizes is essential for having an effective Instagram account. In this article, we provide an overview of the main reasons why Instagram might be cutting off or distorting a picture, and will offer tips for avoiding these issues when posting.

1. Exploring Instagram’s Image Sizing Rules

Since its initial release in 2010, Instagram has grown to one of the largest platforms for both commercial and private use. It has become a necessity for businesses and professionals to have an operating account with the app and optimize their image sizes to match the platform’s guidelines.

Photo Sizes
When uploading photos to Instagram, the platform’s algorithm automatically crops and adjusts each photo to the ideal size. Instagram does not have strict rules for image size and allows a range of sizes to be uploaded. Nevertheless, there are recommended sizes to use in order to maximize visibility:

  • Square Images: 1080 x 1080px
  • Landscape Images: 1080 x 566px
  • Portrait Images: 1080 x 1350px

Video Sizes
In addition to photos, Instagram also allows a range of video sizes to be uploaded. Videos of any length and ratio can be uploaded, however, the platform’s adaptive algorithms recommend to upload videos in the following aspect ratios:

  • Landscape (1.91:1): 1080px wide x 608px high
  • Square (1:1): 1080px wide x 1080px high
  • Vertical (4:5): 1080px wide by 1350px high
  • Instagram Stories (9:16): 1080px wide by 1920px high

2. Key Reasons Why Part of your Image Is Being Cropped

When an image is cropped, it means that a part of the original photo is removed. This practice is commonly used in photography and photo editing, so you don’t have to worry if some of your image is missing. Here are some of the key reasons why part of your image might be cropped.

Aspect Ratio

The main reason why an image might be cropped is to ensure it fits a specific aspect ratio. Different display sizes use different aspect ratios, so it may be necessary to modify the size of the image in order to make it look perfect on the page. For example, a 4:3 aspect ratio format is common for television and computer displays, while a 3:2 aspect ratio is more suitable for printing images.

Design Elements

  • The image might be cropped in order to create a better looking design.
  • You might want to remove some elements from the photo so that it looks more balanced or to emphasize a certain area.
  • Cropping is commonly used to create collages or for adding text or graphic elements to a photo.


Cropping can also be done to change the content of the photo or to bring attention to a certain area. For example, you can crop away the background and draw focus to the main subject of the image. This practice is used to make an image more powerful and highlight the main element.

3. Tips for Ensuring Your Images Are Not Cut Off

If you want to create an appealing and professional-looking design, then making sure that none of your images are cut off is essential. Images that are cut off, either partially or entirely, can make your designs look incomplete, messy, and unprofessional. Here are three tips that you can use to ensure your images are not cut off:

  • Check the canvas size: One of the most common reasons why images are cut off is because the image size is bigger than the canvas size. Make sure to check the size of your canvas and adjust the size of your image accordingly.
  • Check the resolution: The resolution of the image is also important here. Lower-resolution images may appear blurry and pixelated when enlarged. If the canvas size is small, you may need to reduce the resolution of the image.
  • Check the cropping: Make sure to also check the cropping of the image. Cropping an image can also affect its size, so be sure to recheck the size after making adjustments to the cropping.

By following these tips and making sure that none of your images are cut off, you will be able to create professional designs that look appealing and attract the attention of your viewers. This can help improve the overall look and feel of your designs.

4. Strategies for Balancing Quality and Size

In software development, it’s important to balance the effectiveness of the code with its size and how it is consumed. Quality code should be concise and as efficient as possible. This can be difficult to achieve and tends to spread over multiple disciplines. Here are four suggestions on how to achieve it.

  • Optimize the code through refactoring:
    The act of refactoring code is an art and has to be done carefully. Consider refactoring when the software requires it, such as when new requirements need to be included or when an update is expected. Refactoring should be based on the intended usage and the user journey.
  • Reduce repetitions and redundant code:
    Repeated code takes up unnecessary space, so it’s important to have efficient ways to manage it. Reducing the amount of lines can be done using functions and classes, or by connecting up the structure of the code with a good architecture.
  • Keep the code organised:
    It’s critical to maintain a clean structure to the code and use consistent conventions on variable and function names. This goes beyond coding conventions, but also covers the structure of the code at a high level. A clean code will be readable and transferable.
  • Mark and review code:
    An effective process to keep the code quality high is to use a code review system in place. This could be a peer review or a team process, with review criteria that are agreed upon. Identifying and tracking problems with the code early can help keep it concise and up-to-date.

These are the basic guidelines for keeping code of a high quality while still maintaining its size. With these strategies in place, software developers can be confident that the code will perform as expected and serve its purpose.

5. How to Adapt Your Images for Other Social Platforms

Optimising Your Images
When it comes to sharing your images across social media platforms, you need to ensure the sizes are right to fit the different image ratios. This can be tricky when each platform’s layout have different images sizes and ratios, but it can be done using basic image editing tools.

Using Image Editing Tools
When taking or creating images with the intention of posting on social media, save it as a large size with the highest quality, typically a JPEG file at 72dpi. After that, you can scale up or down your image size to fit a particular type of platform.
Next, use an online or free image editing tool that enables you to rotate, crop, resize and compress your image to better fit the target platform. It is important that you use the aspect ratio cropping to ensure the image is displayed correctly when uploaded.

  • Rotate
  • Crop
  • Resize
  • Compress
  • Aspect ratio crop

Submitting to Social Media Platforms
Once the edits have been made and saved, you can then submit your image to the various social media platforms. You may need to do certain changes such as setting a brightness or colour to make it look appropriate, or to suit the background of the page. You may also need to add a certain amount of text in the space provided by the platform to increase the reach of the post.
Finally, it is important to keep your images well organised to save time, and have them available for other posts in the future. This involves having a solid system for archiving, such as a cloud-based system to easily access images when needed. Overall, always plan your content carefully and pay close attention to sizing guidelines when uploading to your Instagram page. Don’t be discouraged when Instagram crops your posts or stories – it simply wants to ensure the best possible user experience. Make the most of it by designing content specifically for the platform. With the right size, your posts will look great and serve to enhance your followers’ engagement.