650% higher engagement, 40 times more likely to get shared and an 80% increase in people’s willingness to actually read a post – images make a difference.

With stats like these, it’s easy to understand that images, just like online reviews, are pretty much a necessity in social media. In this article, we’ll take a look at the nuts and bolts of sizes, formats, dos and don’ts and the importance of images.

Key Insights

  • You can access a huge range of high quality images online (free and paid for)
  • Most people access social media via mobile devices so optimising photos for mobile is ideal
  • Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube have different recommended image sizes
  • Selecting photos that won’t be affected when they get cropped on smaller devices helps
  • PNG and JPEG are the most common image formats

In Australia, as of late 2020, iOS and Android make up the vast majority of mobile devices:

  • iOS: 54.08%
  • Android: 45.56%
  • Total: 99.64%

Firstly some FAQs

Other than attracting attention, why are images so important?

Images have the ability to create a theme and convey emotions. Furthermore, images can differentiate your business from others and explain complex data – quickly.

For example, Christmas – it only takes milliseconds to identify a Christmas tree and the red and green colours associated with the holiday.

Another example – try explaining something complex like that shape of Australia without an image.

Where do you get all these images?

Copying and pasting images from Google is easy but the quality lags and not to mention copyright infringement laws. Free and high quality images can be found online.

For free images, try:

Naturally, there are options for paid professional images too:

Can’t you just post photos from your phone?

This all comes down to quality. If you’re confident in the colours, portions, theme, sizing and content, taking your own photos might suffice. For example, phone photos from a personalised occasion, like a staff social event, look good.

On the other hand, you won’t often see Apple, Toyota or Google staff using their smartphone pictures for marketing material.

Image Sizing for Social Media

Did you know that in October 2020, over 98 percent of active user accounts worldwide accessed Facebook via mobile devices?

With 17.9 million smartphones in Australia and social media penetration currently at 71%, optimising images for mobile devices is a must.

Here’s how:

Below are the recommended image sizes for Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube. Note that most don’t specify between desktop and mobile. This is because social media platforms optimise and resize images for the device the user is viewing them on.


Profile image: 400 x 400
Shared image [square]: 1200 x 1200
Shared image [landscape]: 1200 x 630
Shared image [portrait]: 1200 x 1500
Shared link image: 1200 x 630
Facebook story: 1080 x 1920
Cover image: 1200 x 674 (displays 1200 x 444 on desktop)

image sizing


Profile image: 360 x 360
Shared image [square]: 1080 x 1080
Shared image [landscape]: 1080 X 608
Shared image [portrait]: 1080 x 1350
Instagram story: 1080 x 1920


Company Page
Logo size: 300 x 300
Cover image: 1536 x 768
Shared image [square]: 1200 x 1200
Shared image [landscape]: 1200 x 627
Shared link image: 1200 x 627

Personal Page
Profile image: 400 x 400
Cover image: 1584 x 396
Shared image [square]: 1200 x 1200
Shared image [landscape]: 1200 x 627
Shared link image: 1200 x 627


Profile Image: 800 x 800
Cover image: 2560 x 1440
Video thumbnail: 1280 x 720

YouTube cover image guidelines:

yt guide


1280 x 720 (Minimum HD)
To qualify as Full HD, your video dimensions must be at least 1280 x 720 pixels.

Cover images for social media

From the above, it’s clear to see that careful consideration needs to be made for cover images across all social media networks.

In terms of why, the below example provides a general guide as to the display differences between desktop and mobile.


Mobile Couplelogo1


Desktop Couplelogo2

To get around this, try to use images that don’t have important logos or faces near borders.

Below is a good general guide to ensure there’s no cropping over important areas on your uploaded images.


In practice:


Mobile Asset Finance_1


Desktop Asset Finance2

Ideally, place important areas towards the center of the image.

Images come in different file formats. This means different computer codes are used to display images. The ultimate goal of each format is to compress the image so that it loads as quickly as possible without affecting the quality too much.

The two widely used formats are:

PNG – these are high in quality and considered to be ‘lossless’ when it comes to compressing the files. This means no or minimal blurring or fuzziness when zoomed.

JPEG – these images are usually intended for photos from a camera. The degree of compression is adjustable so file sizes can vary. They compress images by analysing and discarding the kinds of information that the eye is least likely to notice.

If you have an iPhone, a screenshot is a PNG as it isn’t a photo from your camera, however, an actual photo from your camera (e.g., a selfie) is in JPEG format.


High quality images are a must on any platform. Make sure to keep the same (or close to same) style and theme. For example, you might use real people or simple icons.

Note that a good aim is to attract as much attention on a mobile as possible. This means when people are scrolling through social media platforms, your photo catches their eyes. Ideally, a square image is the best bet, for example, on Facebook – the 1,200 x 1,200-pixel size.


Take some time to unleash your creativity and align with the sizing listed above. All that’s left is to craft some engaging social media content.

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