• Learn How to Build a Powerful Personal Brand That Will Differentiate You and Allow You To Compete in the Global Marketplace.
  • The 2009 Personal Avatar Size Reference Guide

    You’ve read the 11 Rules for Best Personal Branding Results with Avatars, have a perfect image for your avatar and want to get started visually improving your personal brand online. This handy reference will help you do just that.

    What you need to know before spreading your avatar

    Most sites only use square images

    If your chosen image is rectangular, some sites will crop it automatically and probably not in a flattering way. Bearing in mind that brand reinforcement is about repetition, keep things simple by using the same square image everywhere.

    Sites only let you submit one image per account

    However, sites will typically use at least 3 different sizes of your image. If the image you upload is too small, it will appear blurry when blown-up on some pages. If the image is too big, the reduction will sometimes look pixelated. How do you choose?

    Image submission rule of thumb

    Submit large images to the sites where profile pages are more likely to be seen often, such as on LinkedIn. Or, avoid this problem altogether by choosing an image *per site* that looks good at all the sizes cited in the guide below.

    Submission recommendations for the sites you use

    LinkedIn logo LinkedIn’s sidebar images measure 40×40 pixels and profile page images can be 80×80 pixels. Recommendation: with the emphasis here on the latter, submit an image of 80×80 pixels.

    Twitter logo Twitter profile pages display images at 73×73 pixels (go figure) while showing avatars at 48×48, 31×31 and 24×24 pixels elsewhere. Recommendation: 48×48 pixels if you put a larger image as part of your Twitter background, otherwise 73×73 pixels.

    Facebook logo Facebook’s profile page lets you display a rectangular image no wider than 200 pixels while showing avatars of 50×50 pixels elsewhere. Recommendation: bearing in mind how profile-heavy Facebook is, use an image of 200×200 pixels for maximum recognition.

    Skype logo Skype is one place where rectangular images can be used, but don’t do it. Both 96×96 pixel and 48×48 pixel images are used on Skype. Recommendation: prioritize the chat window by submitting an image of 96×96 pixels.

    Ning logo Ning will take your GIF, JPG or PNG file and display it at 120×120, 48×48 and 32×32 pixels. As a platform for social networks, Ning also allows you to have a different avatar per network but don’t fall into this trap. Instead, choose only one avatar as the Ning default, which will then cascade to all the Ning social networks you join. Recommendation: 120×120 pixels, because profile pages are so often visited here.

    Google logo Although Google’s Gmail (96×96 pixels) and Friend Connect (both 82×82 and 40×40 pixels) use different images, the image sizes aren’t too different. Recommendation: use an image of 96×96 pixels for your Google profile.

    Friendfeed logo FriendFeed is like Google in that the different avatar sizes used aren’t too different at 75×75, 50×50 and 25×25 pixels. Recommendation: 75×75 pixels.

    Gravatar logo

    Gravatars are universally-used for blog comments, like here below. Although the Gravatar website will preview your avatar for you at 192×192 and 80×80 pixels, webmasters can choose a size that fits their design and that is usually something smaller, closer to 50×50 pixels. Recommendation: 50×50 pixels.
    MyBlogLog logo Also used here on Personal Branding Blog, MyBlogLog is a great way to see who is visiting a site. Files must be in JPG or PNG format, 5MB or under but will be reduced for the avatars to appear at 96×96 pixels, 48×48 pixels and even 24×24 pixels on some sites. Recommendation: 48×48 pixels is the avatar size that seems to be most widespread.

    BlogCatalog logo BlogCatalog is like MyBlogLog and almost as useful. Making things simple, there’s only one possible size here for your GIF or JPG avatar image. Recommendation: 50×50 pixels.

    MySpace logo Myspace allows up to 158×158 pixels for an image on the profile page, and uses 28×28 pixel icons everywhere else. Recommendation: with visitors heading to your profile page often, 158×158 pixels is the way to go.

    digg logo

    Digg is one of the less important social media for professionals but most people do have an account there. A heavy user of avatars, you can see images in 16×16, 48×48, 60×60 and 120×120 pixels on Digg. Recommendation: 120×120 pixels.

    StumbleUpon logo

    StumbleUpon lets you use a large 185×185 image on your profile page but will settle for any size you submit, while using avatars of 48×48 pixels everywhere else. Recommendation:48×48 pixels.

    A tool to make it all happen: mypictr

    Not a graphic designer? Don’t know how to resize your beautiful portrait for these sites and any others? Not to worry.

    With mypictr, upload a large avatar image and choose the destined website or social network. mypictr then suggests the default avatar size for the chosen website and lets you zoom and crop your uploaded image until you have a match. Once you click ‘pictrit’, you can download your image or email it to someone else. Perhaps in the future, mypictr will even update your profiles for you directly.

    Which other sites would you like to see in this reference guide?


    Jacob Share, a job search expert, is the creator of JobMob, one of the biggest blogs in the world about finding jobs. Follow him on Twitter for job search tips and humor.


    Jacob Share is the founder and SVP of Share Select Media, a company focused on empowering quality bloggers and blogs such as Group Writing Projects, The Original Home of Group Writing Projects. His JobMob blog has attracted over a million page views last year alone. He grew up between Canada, France and Israel where he had his first Internet experience in 1994 and was hooked. Since then he’s enjoyed playing a part in growing the Web as a manager-developer and project manager at Amazon.com and other e-commerce companies before starting up his own venture.

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    12 comments on “The 2009 Personal Avatar Size Reference Guide
    1. avatar

      Good info, thanks!

    2. avatar
      Melissa says:

      What is a good website to create an avatar for these sites?

    3. avatar

      Excellent article!

      It can be a real pain figuring out what the optimal avatar size is, this guide takes all the guesswork out of the equation.

    4. avatar
      Scott says:

      Great Info! Thank you for posting! Mucho Kudos.

    5. avatar
      Kristen says:

      Great Resource, I can’t wait to cross-reference it for upcoming blog post

    6. avatar
      Nick says:

      Perfect. Exactly what I was looking for.

    7. avatar
      Stephen Hart says:

      A very handy one stop reference spot. I’m sure a 2010 version is in the pipeline. And until it comes out an update is that with the new LinkedIn group format the sidebar image is now the fuller 80×80 pixels.

      Also worth mentioning that the Twitter picture when clicked on will show a full size version of the picture. Which was quite a shock when I clicked on it by accident once!

      Again thanks for posting.


      Stephen Hart

    8. avatar
      David Hutnik says:

      Thanks for the great information here, I will definitely bookmark it for future reference and subscribe to your rss.

      Just as a side note, the maximum dimensions for a Facebook profile are 200 x 600 pixels. Want to utilize the full potential of this space.

      • avatar
        John says:

        I think the idea here is to keep all your profile pics in a square format, so taking into consideration the smallest dimension, you end up with a 200px square.

        Great info, thanks for the handy reference!

    9. avatar

      Hi @Jacob Share, nice unique post!

      FYI, twitter now has 128×128 which they call “reasonably_small.” I haven’t tried to see if they have “reasonably_large” or “normally_bigger” yet, though. 😉


    10. avatar

      Exactly what i was looking for!

      Great stuff!

    11. avatar
      Barb Smith says:

      PERFECT! Thanks so much for sharing ~ super helpful!

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