Advertising · CAP 105-04 · Public Relations

What You Really Post On Social Media

If you have ever used a computer before you can probably list off a handful of file formats. After a class discussion about the different types of file formats that are used for documents, videos, pictures etc., I was curious as to which ones were best for various social media accounts.

According to By Janine Warner and David LaFontaine from Social Media Design For Dummies, people often have questions regarding what the best type of media file should be used when uploading to social media. The most common file formats for social media are .JPG, .PNG, and .GIF (Warner). The two designed a table to help clarify what type of file format should be used. Some of the information from the graph is listed below. 

GIF [Graphics Interchange Format]: For line art (such as one- or two-color logos), simple drawings, animations, and basically any image that has no gradients or blends. GIF is also the best format for displaying an image with a transparent background. Can also be animated.

PNG [Portable networks Graphics]: Generally produces better-looking images with smaller file sizes than GIF for the same kinds of limited-color images.

TIFF [Tagged File Format]: High-quality image files, commonly used by print shops.

PSD [Photoshop Document Format]: Images saved in PSD format after being edited allow you to go back and make further changes to the image, or reverse changes that they made (either by deleting adjustment layers or finding a previous restore point).

JPG or JPEG [Joint Photographic Experts Group]: The best format for colorful, complex images (such as photographs); images containing gradients or color blends; and any other images with millions of colors (Warner).

The article further explains some of the further advantages for a few of the file formats. Another website blog, titled Different Image Formats – And When to Use Them, bullets some of the pros and cons of different file formats for images, along with an example of each. The file formats list above are just a few of the thousands of types of formats that anyone can use when uploading or sharing pictures with friends and family on social media or simply through email. Photos, videos, etc. are all on our laptops and tablets, if we don’t upload or share them with the proper file format, then the clarity and quality will diminish over time, something I know I would never want to do.

Warner, J., & LaFontaine, D. (n.d.). How to Choose the Best Format for Images on Your Social Media Site, Retrieved from

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