How to Properly Size Graphics for Social Media
The world of social media has opened a plethora of doors for brands and businesses that wish to drive traffic, gain attention and interact with communities. Impressions matter, and there may be no way in which to make a more immediate impression on users of social media than through multimedia and graphics. Each social network has its own guidelines and resolutions for images and graphics, and knowing how each works is essential if a brand wishes to be optimally featured in news feeds, on pages and in advertisements. In the following article, we’ll summarize some of the most common image sizes on sites such as Facebook and Twitter so that you’ll have properly-sized images for every occasion.
On Facebook, there are many different considerations for graphic sizes, depending on both mobile and desktop devices. For desktops, the cover image of a page or profile should be 851 pixels wide by 315 pixels tall. Profile pictures will be sized as 160 x 160, but as long as they are square, the network will proportion the image down accordingly. On mobile devices, however, your cover image or photo will be cropped on either side; only the middle 563 pixels will be visible, so keep this in mind!
Whenever you post images to your Facebook page or profile as a part of its timeline, some basic considerations on size are required. Whether you’re pinging from a Mac, a mobile device or a desktop PC, the 1:1 ratio for images posted to timelines still apply. Ideally, the optimal resolution for images is 1200 x 1200, but again, Facebook will scale perfectly any image that is 1:1 in nature. If an image is wider than it is taller, then the sides will be cut out until someone clicks on the preview. Likewise, an image that is too tall will have its upper and bottom portions blocked until an individual opens the image.
There are literally dozens of other image dimensions and sizes on Facebook to consider for a variety of purposes, all of which can be seen here.
While still complex, Twitter has fewer overall image sizes and resolutions to consider. The first and most important perhaps is your profile and header photos. The ideal resolution for your header photo is 1500 x 500 pixels, which is a 3:1 ratio. The actual profile image is comparable to Facebook’s at 1:1, but the ideal resolution will be 400 x 400 pixels. Whenever you begin tweeting images, know that in preview, they will display in a 2:1 ratio when pinging from a Mac or Android mobile device – 440 pixels wide by 220 pixels tall. On desktop devices, however, this preview will be displayed at a slightly larger resolution.
Last but not least, Google Plus image resolutions and sizes are another important set to consider. Google Plus’ cover photo features less memorable resolutions – at 1080 pixels by 608 pixels, it is larger than the rest. Images at this proportion that are larger or smaller will be scaled to automatically fit this precise area. Google Plus profile images must be at least 250 pixels in diameter, but keep in mind that Google Plus displays photos in a circular orientation. This means that the overall image being used will need to have some extra space in each corner if the entirety of the photo or image in the middle is to be shown.