Instagram Video Length: Size, Time Limit & Specifications (2024)

In 2024, video remains one of the most popular ways to spend time online. On average, people spend 17 hours a week watching videos. This medium is a great way to engage followers on social media and keep them coming back for more content. 

As TikTok gained popularity thanks to its short-form video feed, Instagram quickly evolved to become a widespread alternative for sharing this kind of content — all with the added benefit of appearing alongside photos. The social media giant offers a variety of options for posting and sharing videos, each with its own rules, making it a great platform to reach and engage your audience.

Here, we’ll explore everything you need to know about Instagram video length, including time limits, best practices, and other information. 

How Long Can an Instagram Video Be? 

Like other social media platforms, Instagram has shifted its video length requirements with user preferences. Although you can still post long-form videos up to 60 minutes in most cases, Instagram only lets you boost videos under 90 seconds long. Choose your desired video type and length based on your marketing needs.  

Instagram In-Feed Video

On Instagram, an In-Feed video is similar to a regular post, except you use a video instead of a static image. These videos are great for engaging your existing audience. Unlike videos posted to your stories that disappear after 24 hours, In-Feed videos live forever in your profile. Anyone who visits your Instagram profile and scrolls through your posts can access In-Feed videos. 

For this reason, evergreen content works well as an In-Feed video. Use this format to post client testimonials, interviews with your founder or employees, or similar content. 

  • Time limit: 1 to 90 seconds (if recorded in the platform)
  • Video size: Minimum 1080 x 1080 pixels

Instagram Reels Video

Instagram Reels are similar to TikTok videos. They are short-form videos designed to be easily viewed and shared. Instagram’s algorithm shows Reels to users based on their previous activity, which makes them a good way to broaden your reach and connect with new potential customers. Users prefer short-form Reels that feel authentic, entertaining, or educational. 

Jump on trending hashtags or social media challenges that make sense for your business to attract more followers.

  • Time limit: 1 second to 15 minutes
  • Reel size: Minimum 1080 x 1080 pixels

Learn More: How to Make a Reel on Instagram

Instagram Story Video

Stories are temporary videos that only appear on your profile for 24 hours, unless you add them to your profile highlights, which appear under your bio toward the top of your profile. You can’t edit your Stories using the breadth of features available for In-Feed and Reels videos. However, Stories do offer more interactive features, such as polls and embedded links. 

Since Instagram Stories are short-lived, use them for limited-time promotions and other videos in which you want to spur action. If you’re trying to gather customer data or direct people to a specific landing page, post a poll or pop a link on your story. 

  • Time limit: Videos will be broken into 15 second segments
  • Video size: Minimum 1080 x 1080 pixels

Instagram Live Video

When you want to engage your audience in real time, you can go live on Instagram. With this type of video — which is actually a livestream that converts to a video once concluded — you turn on your camera or your phone and go live, and people can interact with you through the comments feature. You can also invite other users into your Live, so this option is great for hosting interviews with customers or business partners. 

Instagram Live is great for question-and-answer sessions, inviting your followers to a new product launch, or offering a tour of your daily operations. Live videos are more engaging than In-Feed videos, Reels, and Stories and allow you to build a strong, personal connection with your followers.

  • Time limit: Up to 4 hours
  • Video size: Minimum 1080 x 1080 pixels

As for that conversion we mentioned, according to Instagram, “Once a live broadcast has ended, you can share a replay or access it in your Live Archive.” 

Instagram Video Ads

Video ads are similar to native content on your Instagram feed, but they are shown to people who don’t follow you. When you create a video ad, you can target potential customers using a variety of factors, including location or interests. You’ll also want to make sure you follow the Instagram video ad specs and placements so your ads feel native to the platform. 

You can use In-Feed videos, Stories, and Reels to create your ads. They will include a “sponsored” tag to let users know they are seeing an ad rather than an organic post. Instagram ads are a great way to expand your network and build brand awareness with people who would probably like your product based on their online activity. 

  • Time limit: Up to 60 minutes 
  • Video size: Minimum 1080 x 1080 pixels

What If Your Instagram Video Exceeds the Limits? 

If you’ve created a brilliant organic video or ad, but it’s over the maximum length, you have some options. 

Trim Your Video Right on Instagram

You can use advanced settings already built into the app to trim your videos.

  1. While you’re going through the steps to post your video, you will have the option to add a filter, trim, and choose a cover for your videos. Choose the “trim” option at the bottom of your feed. 
  2. Once you’ve selected “trim,” you can grab the endpoint at the beginning or end of your video production and drag it until the video reaches your desired length. If you’re posting on a phone, you can drag the endpoint with your finger. On a computer, use a mouse or a touch screen to cut your video. 
  3. After you’ve trimmed the video, you can follow the on-screen prompts to finish posting. The trim feature is not available on Stories, so you’ll have to cut those a different way. 

This is one of the quickest and easiest options for shortening a video, but you may have less control than with other options.

Use a Video Editor

If you’re creating polished, professionally produced videos, you’re likely already using a video editor. Video editors give you more cutting options than trimming directly with Instagram. With a video editor, you can add cuts throughout your video to shorten it and improve the flow. 

Go through your video and mark natural locations that would result in smooth cuts. For example, you wouldn’t cut off a speaker mid-sentence, but you could cut right after they pause and pick the video up at another part of the conversation. Make sure your stopping point and the following starting point make sense together to avoid a choppy video. Or add transitions and pick the video up on a different topic. 

Create a Video Carousel Post

Carousel posts are a favorite for marketers because they let you showcase multiple elements — like product features — in one post. You could also post multiple related products to present your followers with a curated list of similar products in your line. 

Instagram carousels originally let you post up to 10 photos in a single post. With the growing popularity of video on the platform, Instagram now allows you to post video carousels. If your In-Feed videos are too long, break them into smaller segments and post them as a carousel. Be creative in how you edit and post your videos to create a cohesive and engaging story through multiple videos. 

Benefits of Instagram Video Marketing

With more than 2 billion active users, Instagram video marketing can help you reach a wide audience. This platform offers multiple video formats, allowing you to be flexible with your content and post more of it in one place. When you want to solidify your brand image while reaching new potential customers, you can use Reels. When you want to establish your authority and enhance your relationship with existing followers, you can use In-Feed videos. 

Video helps you convey your brand personality to followers and build a trusting relationship. Use keywords in your captions and meta descriptions to improve your search engine rankings through video marketing

How Video Impacts the Instagram Algorithm

The Instagram algorithm promotes content to users based on how they interact with the app. Over time, the algorithm learns a user’s preferences and shows them content it thinks they would like. 

Instagram uses a variety of classifiers and processes to match users with content that resonates with them. Rather than prioritizing Reels or other video content over static images, Instagram’s algorithm matches users with the type of content they interact with the most. If you’re posting video ads, Instagram will show them to people who engage more with videos. Ads featuring your static images will pop up in the feeds of users who prefer them. 

Best Time To Post on Instagram

When you post Instagram video ads during peak use, they can have a higher impact. Choosing the right time to post lets you reach more users and potentially convert more of them into customers. When you start posting Instagram videos and video ads, look at your metrics to see when your target audience is most active. 

People in your industry may be active at different times than others. However, Instagram users are generally most active in the mornings, around 7 a.m., and early afternoons between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. during the week. On weekends, engagement is usually higher in the evening after 8 p.m. Experiment by posting at different times to find the best time to post on Instagram for your audience. 

Instagram Video Best Practices

Follow these best practices to get more views on Instagram videos. 

Keep it Short and Sweet

Just because you can post long video content doesn’t mean you should. Your audience may be scrolling before work or during their lunch breaks, which means viewers might not have time to watch a long video. Videos under 15 seconds also have higher engagement rates, likely because they’re easier to share and consume. 

Capture Attention Quickly

Hook your audience within the first three seconds to keep them watching your videos. Take advantage of trending audio or add your most appealing video elements up front. Give your audience a reason to stick around until the end. 

Have a Purpose for the Video

You want to post consistently for maximum engagement, but you should have a reason for each video. Each video’s purpose will impact the creative elements and messaging you choose. A video aimed at improving brand awareness will be different from a video aimed at your best customers. Plan for various goals in your content calendar. 

Use Different Types of Videos

Keep your followers entertained with a variety of videos. Use your In-Feed videos to showcase your expertise and establish your authority. Use Reels to cast a wider net and engage your audience with entertaining videos. Use Instagram Lives to build a rapport with your audience and interact with them. Mixing things up gives your followers a reason to come back to your profile. 

Optimize for Sound-Off Viewing

Many of your viewers are likely watching your videos without sound. To engage these users and promote accessibility, use closed-captioning and effective visuals. You may be able to capture sound-on viewers with a catchy song, but people who are watching on mute will likely scroll past your reels if you don’t hook them visually. When you add sound to your video, do it with the intention of enhancing the video. 

Instagram Video Length Summary

Before you start sharing your video content on Instagram, make sure you understand the correct ad specs, sizes, and placements. Sharing an optimized video will help extend your reach and connect your brand with new viewers. 

Create Engaging Instagram Videos at Scale

With the volume of Instagram video options available, it can be time-consuming to start your video marketing strategy. But you don’t need a professional studio to shoot and edit your Instagram videos.

QuickFrame’s video production platform connects you with a network of video professionals and production teams who are ready to create high-quality videos for your Instagram. We connect you with creative teams who understand how to engage Instagram users to stand out from the crowd.

Contact us today to learn how we can help you with your Instagram video production

Instagram Video Length: Final Thoughts

With billions of active users, Instagram is a valuable video marketing tool. By following Instagram’s best practices and abiding by video length requirements, you’ll can effectively reach your target audience, expand your brand’s reach, and drive more engagement. 

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