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How to Optimize Instagram Story Sizes & Dimensions (with Examples)

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By Sam Nguyen

CEO Avada Commerce

Drive 20-40% of your revenue with Avada
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Living in this fast-growing world, it is so easy for us to share photos with our friends on social media. Instagram, a well-known photo and video-sharing social networking service that continues to revolutionize the social media with its photo and video sharing capabilities. One aspect of Instagram is its story, which has been implemented recently, is now growing and becoming something really effective.

More and more brands are now on board with Instagram Stories. Also, Instagram users have also proven their interests to engage with brands via the content. Estimated, there are more than half a billion people use Instagram Stories every day, and a third of the most-viewed Stories are posted by businesses. However, we are seeing more and more people as well as brands using Instagram stories, which makes it become harder for you to be outstanding with it.

So, in this article today, there’s no doubt that we will go through the matter: Instagram Story: Size, How To Optimize and Examples For You To Learn. Let’s start now!

Why you should use Instagram stories?

First thing first, Instagram is considered to be a powerhouse that owns more than 2.3 billion monthly active users, and Instagram Stories are gradually becoming thrive with 250 million daily active users within a year of its launch.

Then, with Instagram Stories you will be able to update your followers on what you are doing at any time. Just simply post a short video or a vertical photo on your Instagram stories about what you are doing, then you have a way to reach your followers right away. The stories will disappear in 24 hours and you can keep track of those who view your stories, then you are even able to create an Instagram story highlight to your Instagram profile.

So, Instagram stories are a worthy addition to your Instagram marketing strategy, as they enable you to reach your audience with a more in-depth level instead of a standard post.

Why you should use Instagram stories?
Why you should use Instagram stories?

How to create Instagram stories?

In case you just want to input a simple photo or video to your story, you just need to take your photo or film your video with your camera in a vertical way and simply post it. In case you are searching for ways to generate professional Instagram Stories that have a nice text and more stunning, so there will be a few things that you should pay attention to here.

First, there is an app, which is Snappa available for you to create Instagram stories for yourself or also your business. There are some Instagram story templates on Snappa so that you can utilize them to customize to your brand’s needs. Just simply go to Snappa website and start to create an image with 1080 x 1920 dimensions, there are also so many options for you to design your images. In case you want to edit video, you can use programs like iMovie, Adobe Premiere Pro, or Final Cut.

Use Snappa to create Instagram stories
Use Snappa to create Instagram stories
Use Snappa to create Instagram stories
Edit Instagram stories before posting

What are Instagram story dimensions and Why do you need it?

Some of you might have known this, Instagram story dimensions are 1080px and 1920px, which means your image or video should be 1080 pixels wide and 1920 pixels high like the ratio of 9:16. So, why do you need it?

Think of when you use a smartphone to take a portrait photo or video, then yes you will have a stunning image with the ability to fit the Instagram Story dimensions. However, in case you want to create more professional images or videos in a program like Photoshop or Illustrator, then you should apply the right Instagram Story dimensions to avoid messing around.

 Instagram story dimensions
Instagram story dimensions

What exactly is being messed around? For images or videos uploaded and they don’t fit these Instagram Story dimensions, it will be more likely that your content will be cropped and some of your visuals will be lost. Somehow, your content will be zoomed by Instagram and become poor quality as the story will be forced to adhere to the Instagram Story dimensions. So, it’s best when you make sure that your images and videos are framed exactly based on Instagram Story dimensions to maintain their high quality.

Some tips to optimize your Instagram stories

It’s clear that Instagram stories are great ways for you to sell a product, promote your brand, or even use them as a medium to keep your followers up-to-date. Here are some tips that I want you to know:

Display what users share about your post

It would not be an optimized idea for you to repost photos or videos from your customers or viewers if you are trying to keep a certain look or style on your main Instagram feed. Because this will not enable you to gain much control over how your customers produce these photos or Instagram videos, meanwhile, these testimonials are always a large source of content.

So, just utilize Instagram stories as a way to display the content that your customers share about your product and avoid ruining your Instagram feed. Sometimes, your users would be so happy if they see you repost their footage.

In addition to that, in case your brand picks up any press, so using your Instagram stories to showcase this is also a good idea. Some clothing brands, such as Aritzia have reposted a picture of influential Instagram influencer and celebrity, Hailey Bieber, who was wearing one of their pieces. So they just made use of this opportunity to screenshot the article and share it with their followers on their Instagram story.

Add a poll on your Instagram stories

For someone who might not know, Instagram has inserted a new feature that enables people to add a poll on your stories. So yes, just utilize this opportunity to ask any question you like and with a tap on the screen, give your followers opportunities to answer it and they will tell you exactly who answered what. This tool is free market research for brands. In case you have the right questions to ask, then you can gain some interesting insights about your audience.

Add a poll on your Instagram stories
Add a poll on your Instagram stories

Display sneak peak and behind the scenes

Have you ever thought of putting behind the scenes look idea to your Instagram stories? You should try to. This is a great way to give your followers a glimpse of what’s happening in everyday life of your business. If you want to post future content and products, then using teasers here is absolutely a good way to build excitement for your audience. So, just try to input a sneak peek for your followers, you will be able to keep your brand on top of their minds while making them have to anticipate the release of new content or goods.

Adding links to your Instagram stories is just like having a Call-to-Actions button. But how exactly can you add a link to an Instagram story? If you are a business profile with over 10 thousand followers, then you will be enabled to include a link to your Instagram story. So if you are, just utilize this ability to prompt your followers by swiping up and visit a specific web page when you have a blog post or product to promote.

Add CTA or links
Add CTA or links

In case you are not a business, then they will limit you to only promote your new posts. In this case, just try to tell users to interact with your profile, and inform them to visit the link in bio for more information, then you can direct them to the relevant page.

Mageplaza Instagram Feed for Shopify

Engage visitors, build trust, and customize effortlessly.

Best Instagram story ideas from top brands in the world

1. Create Content Series - Brand Gary Vaynerchuk

Coming up with great content ideas for social media every day is so hard, especially when you have to make sure that you can build a strong connection with your audience because your content will lack a brand theme if you’re inconsistent. Therefore, the content series here is a solution for you.

Let’s look at the way Gary Vaynerchuk shared so many high-quality content using Instagram Stories every day. He put the hashtags like #DailyVee, the #60SecClub, #WallPaperWednesday, and #AskGaryVee in every of his story with recurring content themes. As a result, it makes his Instagram Stories more consistent and so much easier. Hence, try on creating a content series for you to run daily or weekly.

Create Content Series - Brand Gary Vaynerchuk
Create Content Series - Brand Gary Vaynerchu

2. Recycle and Build on Your Other Content - Brand Condé Nast Traveler

Recycling the best parts of your other content into amazing Instagram Stories is also a good idea. By doing this way, you can now create quality content quickly just by taking a look at your blog post, video, or images and repurposing them for Instagram. Of course, you can still promote the original long-form content for your brand. If you choose to use this way, just ensure that your Instagram followers can derive value from the Story without having to click over to view the content.

Let’s look at the example of Condé Nast Traveler, who has done this idea amazingly.

Recycle and Build on Your Other Content - Brand Condé Nast Traveler
Recycle and Build on Your Other Content - Brand Condé Nast Traveler

3. Collaborate and Post an Interview - Brand Starbucks

In this case, you will share some interesting stories or points of view from people that you can gain from your own interview. When you have an interview with someone in your niche, there you go some great Story content. Meanwhile, they’ll also get promoted on your account. Somebody’s thoughts behind your new product or release are also recommended to an add-in.

Starbucks is a great example of this. When the brand has collaborated with S’well and artist Curtis Kulig, then it launched a new bottle design for it. After that, they posted a short interview with Kulig as an Instagram Story.

Collaborate and Post an Interview - Brand Starbucks
Collaborate and Post an Interview - Brand Starbucks

4. Document Moments and Events - Brand Vans

Let’s look at a further view, as you can see, all creation is a form of documentation in some way. From a Renaissance painting to a scientific journal, or an Instagram Story, they are all forms of documenting something. So, whatever happens in a particular moment in time, just capture that moment and share them with your audience.

Vans has done a great job in this as the brand captured day-to-day personal moments and also a large-scale event to put in their stories.

Document Moments and Events - Brand Vans
Document Moments and Events - Brand Vans

5. Tell Your Followers’ Stories - Brand Vogue

In this recommended idea, you will share your followers’ stories and opinions as a way to involve them. By doing this, you will be able to reach out to find people with something to say. Brand Vogue has done a good job in their Instagram Story series, “#DearVogue.”

Tell Your Followers' Stories - Brand Vogue
Tell Your Followers' Stories - Brand Vogue

6. Tell a Story - Brand The Outbound

Again, the story is a fundamental aspect of humans. They need it. So why don’t you tell a story by making use of Instagram Stories? Look at The Outbound brand here as an example of telling a story about a couple who bought an old VW bug in Mexico and went on an adventure to make more followers engage with their brand.

Tell a Story - Brand The Outbound
Tell a Story - Brand The Outbound

7. Get Topical - Brand Condé Nast Traveler

In case you don’t have stories to tell, don’t worry, you also have current events for inspiration. This does not rely on your niches, you can operate nearly everything that refers to the news, developments, and goings-on. Just simply report them to create great Instagram Stories. I would like to take Condé Nast Traveler brand as an example of sharing Stories featuring travel news from around the globe.

Get Topical - Brand Condé Nast Traveler
Get Topical - Brand Condé Nast Traveler


Overall, Instagram stories are an additional feature that can help you obtain more engaged followers with a lot of functions even including creating more brand awareness. Creating an Instagram story doesn’t take much time and effort, but creating an engaging story does. Hence, just display your traits, and don’t be afraid to become creative and try new things.

That wraps our Instagram Story Sizes & Dimensions: How To Optimize and 7 Examples For You To Learn article today. So, which Instagram Story idea are you going to try next? Do you know how to optimize your stories now? Don’t forget to share with us, or leave comments below if you are having any trouble with this subject.

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Sam Nguyen is the CEO and founder of Avada Commerce, an e-commerce solution provider headquartered in Singapore. He is an expert on the Shopify e-commerce platform for online stores and retail point-of-sale systems. Sam loves talking about e-commerce and he aims to help over a million online businesses grow and thrive.