How to get the best quality in Instagram?

I tested these export settings to avoid Instagram compression :

enter image description here

Instagram uses these settings, but the app still compresses my pictures. Why?


1 Answer 1


I think the 612 pixel dimension is some way out of date. This post from Instagram's blog is an old post introducing a new feature since version 2 (we're on version 6 on iOS now), and it says that the resolution has increased from 640px square to 1936px square on the iPhone 4, so it looks like even around 2-3 years ago, the dimensions of Instagram images was increased to 1936px square.

It looks like you found the 612px dimension from a google result that came from Instructables. Even that article is approaching a year out of date because the example given by the author links through to a flickr photo that was uploaded in August 2014, but I think they were using wrong information in the first place.

I think that instagram isn't comrpessing your pictures, but is actually enlarging them to somewhere around 4 times their previous width and 4 times their previous height, therefore actually about 16 times bigger in area.

I would probably try not to limit the file size too much when exporting from Lightroom, unless you test the exported results first.

Try cropping your image to 1936px square first, then export using these dimensions

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I was a little amazed (and excited) by resolution you mentioned (1936x1936), but it turned out that that maximum resolution is only applied to iphone and for images taken with instagram camera (not imported to instagram, which they clearly state: "Keep in mind that photos imported from iOS (not taken with the Instagram camera) and then uploaded to Instagram may save at a much lower resolution". I'm an Android user (which instagram is already inferior to that of iOS) , and even if I were an iphone user, I'm not really a fan of "iphone-only-gram". \$\endgroup\$
    – Jim Raynor
    Jan 1, 2016 at 0:19

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