We all love to upload our images to social media. Be it to show our professional work, get critique from our peers or just to show our friends and family our latest shots, between us, we upload tens of millions of images per day to social media sites.
As photographers, of course, we strive to display our images in the best way possible way, something that is not always easy with social media.
Different sites have different sizes and different compression rates meaning outputting an image say for Facebook, may not look as good when shown on Twitter. Today we are going to give you a brief guide to outputting your images to social media.
Let's start by looking at Sizing Images. The first thing to note is that all social media sites will resize your images automatically to the correct size. However, their compression techniques may not be as good as your software and also you don’t get to decide how the image is cropped or scaled.
Facebook has a bewildering array of different sizes depending on whether it a cover, profile, timeline or linking image. However as a rule of thumb if you are uploading a cover photo it’s maximum dimensions will be 1200x1200px. This can be re-aligned manually when uploaded.
For images to be displayed in the timeline the optimum size is 1200×628 pixels. This is the size that is displayed when you click on the images to show it full size. For portrait format keep the longest side at 1200px. Images are compressed to show on the timeline with both landscape and portrait images becoming 470 pixels wide and cropped to suit.
Tweeted images appear in the Twitter timeline at size of 506px x 253px. That is a close to 2:1 and a little different from the 4:3 that many of us are used to.
If you want your image to look correct on the timeline you need to crop to a near 2:1 ratio otherwise Twitter will crop it automatically. When you open the image full size, you will see the full image without the Twitter crop. The optimum size for Tweets is 1024 x512 pixels.
G+ images appear in the timeline at a width of 426px and the height is maintained to actual crop factor of the image. Opening images full size in G+, the maximum dimensions are 886 pixels again with the crop factor maintained to the original image.
The optimum size for G+ image uploads are 800px x 1200px.
Although designed for mobile images, many of us choose to upload images from our own cameras to Instagram. Instagram’s sizes have recently been updated to accommodate the increasing number of “retina” screens in mobile devices.
It maintains it’s square format but allows images to be cropped to near 2:1 format. The maximum image size for square images on Instagram is now 1024px x 1024px. If you use the Instagram crop tool, that becomes 1080px x 566px.
Designed for business networking, LinkedIn displays images in its timeline at a maximum size of 350px with the image crop maintained. When displayed full size they will be 800x800px.
In the Pinterest feed, the maximum display size is 235px with the original crop maintained. An open pinned image will display at a maximum width of 736px again with the crop maintained to the original. The optimum size for uploading to Pinterest is 735px x 1102px.
Resizing for Social Media: Those of us that use Lightroom will note that there are some plugins that allow you to publish to various social media sites. Some of these allow you to define preset sizes and add watermarks. Perhaps a better option is to create your own export presets for each social media site and upload them manually. You can decide whether to add a watermark or logo or whether to sharpen the images or not.
If using Photoshop or similar, you can resize manually each image or you can record an action that will automatically resize and save that image for you.
Lastly when resizing, use a resolution of 72dpi. This is better for images that will only be displayed on screen and has the added benefit of keeping file sizes down. However, when saving, make sure you keep the jpeg quality near the highest end of the scale.
Adding photos to social media is a great way to show the world how your photography is progressing or what you are shooting at the moment. Following the simple resolution guidelines above, you will know that you are displaying those shots at an optimum size and resolution for the relevant site.