When it comes to just posting images, things work a little differently.
Twitter images display at a maximum width of 506 pixels. If your image is smaller than that, it will appear with white space to the right of the image. (You can also upload images that are wider than 506 pixels if you want better quality.)
Here’s what that looks like in practice (click to enlarge):
Here’s where it gets tricky, though.
If your image is taller than it is wide after being scaled down to 506 pixels wide, Twitter won’t display the entire thing in its actual aspect ratio, and will crop it to fit a 1:1 ratio.
That means if Twitter scales your image down to 506 pixels wide and it’s taller than 506 pixels, Twitter will crop it in the Timeline, and users will have to click on the image to see the whole thing.
This is something that happens a lot with portrait-oriented images, like this one:
One quick and easy way is to turn a portrait image into a landscape one by adding some background, like so:
That way, users scrolling through the Timeline will be able to see the entire image without having to click on it – which can give you a big advantage in capturing someone’s attention!
LinkedIn image sizes
LinkedIn handles images a little differently from Facebook and Twitter – which is good, really, because otherwise, this all would have been entirely too easy.
According to LinkedIn, the ideal aspect ratio for an image you’re attaching to an update is 3:2, with a 522-pixel width. If your image is wider than 522 pixels, LinkedIn will scale it down, and if it’s less than 522 pixels wide, it will be centered with white space on either side.
Here are some examples (click to enlarge):
If your image is taller than it is wide, LinkedIn will shrink it down so that it fits in a 1:1 box with white space on either side.
(So unlike Facebook and Twitter, it won’t crop the image.)
Here’s what that looks like:
The image we uploaded to LinkedIn has been made small enough to fit inside that 1:1 gray outline, eliminating that cropping issue you have to deal with on Facebook and Twitter.
LinkedIn also generates link previews for any URLs that you share – according to their guidelines, images should have a 1.91:1 ratio and be more than 200 pixels wide. (If they’re smaller than 200 pixels wide, they’ll generate a smaller, thumbnail-style link preview, much like Facebook does.)
And that’s it!
Yes, there are still a few stones left unturned, like GIFs, posts with multiple images, mobile, and so on – but this is supposed to be a quick and simple reference guide!
Got any tips of your own for optimizing images for social media?