How long your Instagram videos should be

Posting a video on Instagram is a great way to attract new engagement and followers, as well as provide creative and valuable content for your current audience. But if you’re like many businesses or individuals, you may be interested to find out if there is a video length requirement on IG.

Fact is, social media platforms like Instagram are always in a constant state of evolving to meet the growing (and changing needs) of their user base. To this point, the video length requirement has changed a number times over the years, and there are even rumors of the app increasing its video length limit in the not too distant future. While we can’t say for certain if this is indeed the direction IG is headed, the prospect of being able to post even longer videos is an exciting one nonetheless.

What are Instagram videos?

Videos on Instagram have become increasingly popular over the years, pushing static images to the backburner. IG’s “explore page”, constantly updated with new and trending videos will have you losing track of time checking out new and entertaining posts from all around the world.

With videos shared on Instagram ranging from funny to informational, or outright entertaining, there is something for everyone.

Despite the short video length requirement imposed by IG, these videos never fail to keep us entertained.

While scrolling through the explore page, it’s not uncommon that you’ll find an interesting makeup tutorial, movie clip, or just something weird and funny.

However, these videos must be short in duration if they are to meet the requirements imposed by IG. Anything longer and the video will not upload.

For this reason, it’s a better idea to save and upload your longer videos on YouTube, because they probably won’t meet the stringent IG video length requirements.

However, users have uncovered all sorts of tips and tricks to making videos fit within the short window of time allotted.

Want to know about the various Instagram video length requirements for live videos, stories and posts? Keep reading to find out how you too can leverage the power of video on IG.

Why Post videos on Instagram?

Give a little variation to your Instagram feed by posting a video. Videos are unique in that they allow users the opportunity to get to know more about a specific person or brand through an immersive live experience.

Not to mention, they’re extremely convenient videos to watch. Unlike Youtube, Instagram videos will automatically play while you scrolling through the ‘gram.

Attention Brands: Post videos showing how your product is used. They don’t have to be too long, because we’ll explain later, your time IS limited. Despite this, if an image is worth a 1000 words, a video is worth 10,000, and you can pack a lot of value into this short time span.

Example: Makeup company Colourpop Cosmetics (@colourpopcosmetics) shares many videos showing its followers how to use their makeup. Take this one, for example:

Instagram video length limits

The specific video length requirements are different based on how you are posting on Instagram. For example, posting a live video will have a different limit than an Instagram story video.

Here’s the current breakdown:

  • Videos posted to your Instagram profile cannot be longer than 60 seconds
  • Videos posted to your Instagram story cannot be longer than 15 seconds
  • Live videos cannot be longer than one hour
    • Tip: Live videos can be posted to your story for 24 hours after the live video. That means that viewers who didn’t make it to your live video can still watch it!

NOTE: The minimum video length for Instagram is three seconds. Anything shorter than that, you may be better off making a photo post instead!

💡 Related Post: Cheatsheet for Instagram video marketing

How to make IG videos shorter

Want to post a video for Instagram but it’s more than 60 seconds long? Don’t give up, because there are some sneaky ways to get that video posted while still being able to watch the whole thing.

Here’s how:

  • First, make sure you’ve cropped the video as much as you can. It may help to crop out seconds in the beginning or end that aren’t necessary. (For example, trying to adjust the camera.)
    • Cropping videos can be done on the Photos app on your phone, or in the iMovie mobile app.
  • Use video editing apps like iMovie to increase the speed of a video. Doing this can cut lots of seconds out of a video without losing content.
    • Many makeup tutorials and drawing videos are posted after being edited to high-speeds. 

Check out some of these videos below to see how longer videos can be edited to under one minute:

Not only does this video make us hungry for sweets, but it’s also a perfect example of how cooking videos (a long process) can be cut down to under one minute.

Makeup tutorials are also a very popular type of video on Instagram. Some artists employ “time lapse” footage in order to skip over the mundane parts, while still providing a good overview of what to do. We’ll discuss this more below, but if you have a longer makeup video you want to post, it would be better off on YouTube.

There is a huge art community on Instagram. We could spend way too much of our day watching these quick mesmerizing painting and drawing videos.

Video length limits are getting longer

If you think 60 seconds is way too short for a video, can you imagine that the time limit used to be even shorter? The 60 second limitation is fairly new. It started in March 2016. But before then, videos were only allowed to be 15 seconds long. Imagine watching a makeup video in 15 seconds.

Because of the growing popularity of Instagram videos, many expect to see video limits increase even more over time. While there has been talk of making Instagram video limits up to one hour long, those rumors have not been confirmed.

How long do you think an Instagram video should be?

Why you should think of YouTube for your longer Instagram videos

In some ways, Instagram is sort of like YouTube. However, the Instagram video length requirement is what really sets them apart.

Youtube videos are starting to get longer in length as the site grows in popularity. The average YouTube video length is 4 minutes and 30 seconds. A video of that length would never be able to get shortened down to one minute.

Many popular YouTube videos are even longer than a few minutes, with many reaching the 10, 20, and even 30 minute mark. That is because YouTube is becoming more popular for long, episodic content.

Instagram, however, is very much more geared toward a quick, fun video that you may watch on the go. It’s convenient, which is something Instagram is known for.

So if you’re looking at where to post your video content, think about the length. If you have vlog style or in-depth how-to videos, upload them to YouTube. But if your videos are short and sweet, Instagram is the way to go.

That is everything you need to know about the Instagram video length requirements as of today. Do you think Instagram will ever let users post longer videos? We’ll just have to wait to find out.

For now, good luck staying within the video length limits!

By Kim

My name is Kim Hanna. I am a college student at Monmouth University. Writing has always been a passion of mine. I like writing about current trends that have to do with social media and fashion.

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