CNW's 2017 Guide to Sizing Images for Social Platforms


Creating eye-catching multimedia for your PR campaign can be a lengthy (but worthwhile) process.  After all, multimedia drives discovery and encourages social sharing of your posts.

But after countless conversations with a designer and a few rounds of hard-fought revisions, the last thing you want is for your beautiful image to show up as a pixelated mess with your news release or cropped all wrong on Twitter.

To ensure a smooth multichannel promotion experience, CNW has created the 2016 guide for sizing images to meet each distribution channel’s spec requirements. Happy campaigning!



Facebook pages contain informative details such as contact information and company updates. These pages also provide ample opportunity for visual storytelling. For optimal viewing, a company’s cover photo should be 851 x 315 pixels (px) and profile images should be 180 x 180px.  Facebook’s latest facelift no longer has your profile image sitting on top of your cover photo, so feel free to reclaim that visual space!

Images can be shared on Facebook in a variety of ways, each requiring different optimal dimensions. If you are posting a portrait-sized image natively (i.e., while using the Facebook platform), it should be at least 394px high. The width will be adjusted accordingly. Aim for your landscaped-sized image to be 470px wide; the height will be re-sized as needed. If your image is smaller than either of those dimensions, your image will appear as is. However, this is undesirable if your images contain text. 

Sharing a link on your Facebook page? The preview image will be 476 x 249px. If you have a smaller image associated with your link, it will shrink down to a 158 x 158px thumbnail.  When a user clicks on your image, it will expand and retain its original dimensions. 


Images are important when devising your Twitter strategy. After all, a great photo allows users to say much more than 140 characters allows. Header photos on Twitter should be 1500 x 500px, and profile photos should be no larger than 400 x 400px, and will display at 200 x 200px. Your header photo will display at 936 x 280 px, so if you have any text on your image, make sure it looks good at those dimensions. To do this, you can add some white space both above and below your header photo. The profile photo also cuts into the header photo space, so you need to plan for that as well.  


Twitter has one image dimension recommendation: 504px wide. If your image is longer than 504px wide, it will be re-sized to meet this width requirement. The height will be adjusted but maintain its aspect ratio (no squishing). If the image is smaller than 504px wide, the image will retain its original dimensions.  Like Facebook, when a user clicks on your image, it will expand and retain its original dimensions. Every image you share on Twitter will also appear as an 83 x 83px thumbnail under your “Photos and videos” and will be automatically cropped. 

Working with Twitter Cards?  There are two sets of dimensions that you’ll have to consider. Summary cards with a thumbnail image must be at least 120 x 120px. Summary cards with a large image will be 280 x 150px minimum. Images need to be less than 1MB in size. Twitter will automatically generate a cropped image for your summary card, but you can work around this with assistance from your web developer. 

News Releases

Multimedia, whether it’s a video, image or audio clip, is a must-have for any news release. In fact, a release containing one multimedia asset will receive 170% more views than a text-only release. For photo distribution, CNW asks that your image be between 1200 and 2000px on its long+ side and 600px on its short side.

For CNW Content Centre images, our experts recommend at least 2700px on its longest side to ensure high resolution. This applies to both gallery images and a hero image. Logos should be a minimum of 200 dots-per-inch (dpi) and other images should be at least 300 dpi. Content Centre pages follow responsive web design requirements, so your hero image will fit no matter what size of screen the page is being viewed on.  

When it comes to social sharing on our newswire, images will be automatically re-sized by the social platform it’s being shared on. Since the newswire requirements are much larger than each major social channel, you won’t need to worry about any stretching or pixelation. 




A LinkedIn company page houses important company details but is also multimedia-friendly. The platform recently underwent a facelift, changing the look and feel of the company page. The only image that has changed is the career photo (now called the background photo) which should be 1536 x 768px. Be careful with text or logo placement, as it can be cut off quite easily. To avoid this, minimize the vertical distance between lines of text. Make sure your company logo is at least 400 x 400px to ensure that it doesn’t appear pixelated or cropped. When you share a link, consider including a thumbnail image that’s 180 x 110px.  Sidebar logos (e.g., “Connections you may know) will appear at 60 x 60px. Your logo or profile should look good in both sizes.

Shared images (no link) will appear at 531px wide; the height will be adjusted automatically. If your image is larger than 531px wide, it will be re-sized to meet the 531px requirement. When a user clicks the image, it will appear at its original dimensions. If it’s smaller, the image dimensions will not change. 



A visually-driven platform, Pinterest images should appear in high resolution. Your profile image will be viewed at 60 x 60px, but Pinterest recommends uploading a photo at 600 x 600px.

When it comes to pins, there are two sizes: those within your feed and expanded pins (what happens when you click on a pin).  For in-feed pins, you should include images that are 236px wide and the length will be adjusted accordingly. For expanded pins, make sure your image is 564px wide. Again, the image length will be adjusted.

For your board cover image, create a 236 x 117px image. The tiny thumbnails that appear on your main page will adjust to 117 x 111px. You cannot load thumbnails though; Pinterest doesn’t permit images smaller than 80 x 80px. 




Also visually-driven, Instagram is a relatively new platform for businesses. Instagram’s profile picture dimensions are 110 x 110px and are cropped to fit into a circle.

To have your image appear in high resolution, Instagram suggests having an aspect ratio between 1.91:1 and 4:5. In other words, re-size your image to 1080px wide and between 566 and 1350px high.  If your image is deemed “too high res,” it will be sized down to 1080px wide. On a desktop, your images will be 600px wide, and the height will adjust depending on the shape you choose to display your image in (square or rectangle).  Thumbnails will be reduced automatically, so no need to worry about them. They will display at 231 x 231px on your profile page.




This platform has recently undergone a facelift and received many changes to improve user experience. Your profile image will display at 120 x 120px and like Instagram will display within a circular shape. Try to avoid text if you can.

On a desktop, your cover image will display at 760 x 363px, but is highly responsive and will shrink in order to match the size of your browser. As your browser window gets smaller, business details for your Google+ page will start to cover the left-hand side of your image. If this image has text in it, try to keep it on the right side so it doesn’t get cropped out.

Sharing an image, whether it’s natively or through a link, will display at 530px wide. The height will be adjusted accordingly. Don’t worry though, your image will display in full once it’s clicked by a user. If you have a “Collection” of images on your profile, they will appear as a 257 x 262px thumbnail.



Channel art (aka as the banner atop a YouTube channel page) should be 2560 x 1440px in order to provide the best viewing experience regardless of device. If this image has text or a logo, try to keep it centre-justified within a 1546 x 423 px box. This will ensure that your logo and text are also visible on all devices. 

Video thumbnails are also important, as they can give viewers a quick snapshot of your content. YouTube recommends uploading a custom thumbnail with a resolution of 1280 x 720px and to consider using a 16:9 aspect ratio as a secondary guide. Keep in mind that custom thumbnails can only be added if your account is verified or if you have live streaming access. Otherwise, you’ll need to use one that is automatically generated by YouTube from your uploaded video. Ultimately, the thumbnails will display at 196 x 110px.

Company logos will display as a 100 x 100px square on your channel page. 


Social Media Workflows

When automation plays a role in your social media marketing plan, you want to ensure that your images look as intended. Images posted in advance from Hootsuite to Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram will appear as if shared natively on each platform. However, Twitter accounts must be set up with the image upload service on Hootsuite. If is selected, the image will appear as a link and can only be viewed if a user clicks on the click. Tweetdeck adheres to Twitter's (its owner) image requirements. 


Feeling overwhelmed? Consider these three takeaways:

  1. Keep in mind that meeting the largest width requirement of 1000-1200px will ensure that your images are not pixilated on any social platform.
  2. Web-based photo editing software, like Canva, can re-size your image to meet many social platform requirements.
  3. If your image contains any text, it's best to keep it central as it could be cropped when posted to another social platform.


Where do you use images most often? Tell us in the comments below or tweet us @CNWGroup.

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