Instagram Ad Specs in 2018

By Tinuiti Team

Founded in 2010, Instagram stands as one of the younger social media networks – particularly in its advertising endeavors – and has seen an incredible surge in popularity since its arrival onto the market.

So much so, that in 2012 – just two years after its launch – Facebook acquired the company for $1 billion in cash and stock.




It’s important to take note of the advertising approaches offered on Instagram and decide whether or not they should be considered as a formidable option as a social media marketing platform.

Instagram’s advertising solutions are comprised of several different ad formats that work in conjunction with its singular photo and video feed.

In order for an ad to be effective, it’s content and creative needs to be customized – tailored exactly to the audience it’s reaching, the product it’s selling and, maybe most importantly, the medium it’s displayed on.

That’s particularly true in Instagram advertising.

In the following article, we provide you with the Instagram ad specs for photos and video ads (including carousel and stories).


Instagram Photo Ad Specs:


Selecting the Instagram Feed placement will allow members of your audience to see your ad within their Instagram app feed.

Photo Ads – Early adopters of the Instagram platform will be familiar with this ad type, as it takes after the network’s original business model: photo sharing. The photo ad type, simply put, is a promoted image.

It assists in visualizing your brand’s story or personality through static imagery. The majority of its structure mirrors that of organic posts, consisting of a photo and a description to utilize. The key difference is it also has a call-to-action, sending users to an offer or landing page.

  • File type: jpg or png
  • Maximum file size: 30MB
  • Recommended resolution: Upload the highest resolution image available that meets ratio requirements.
  • Text: Two rows of text will display. Learn more about character limits.



Technical Requirements

  • Minimum Image Width in Pixels : 500
  • Aspect Ratio Tolerance : 1%
  • Lower Minimum Width in Pixels : 500
  • Minimum Image Ratio : 4:5
  • Maximum Image Ratio : 1.91:1
  • Maximum Text Length : 2200
  • Maximum Number of Hashtags in Text : 30
  • Maximum Number of Cards in the Carousel Ads : 10
  • Maximum Video Duration in Seconds : 120


Instagram Video Ad Specs:

Instagram also has several types of video ad placements.

Video Ads – This ad type offers virtually all of the same features as its photo counterpart. The main difference being, as you probably guessed, a video format in place of the static image.

Video ads provide visuals, audio, and up to 60 seconds of play time (up 30 from its original limit). Text descriptions and call-to-actions are readily available as well.

The video ad specs for these are as follows:




Instagram Video Carousel Ads:

Carousel Ads – Not only is this ad type the latest addition to Instagram’s advertising model, it’s also one it seems to have adopted from Facebook. Initially, the ad is presented similarly to that of the photo ad. An image, photo description, and call-to-action.

The key feature that distinguishes this type from the others is its ability to display multiple images and videos that users can scroll through.

The carousel ad has become a popular option, as it allows businesses to showcase a number of products, a single product with multiple features, or any other number of creative product or service objectives – all within a single ad.


Instagram Stories Video Ads:

Instagram Stories – This ad type allows businesses to create picture or short video ads either on Facebook or Instagram and capture their target audience who viewed the ads on their Facebook or Instagram Feed.

Instagram Stories Ads can only be published to Instagram Stories, but similar other posts on Instagram, they can be shared to Facebook Feed as well.


facebook audience network


“When it comes to advertising within Instagram Stories, for retail brands I think the primary limitation will be the creative. Your creative should be ‘thoughful’ because people are very much in a ‘browsing friends and family’ content mindset. Snapchat already does this really well in their own space but those ads are typically produced with high level creative.”

–  Sarah Sanchez, Performance Social Manager at CPC Strategy

For more information on Instagram ad specs, email [email protected]

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