Instagram. Heard of it?

Well, believe it or not, once upon a time many people had not. Long gone are the days when the platform was exclusively for photography buffs. Today Instagram is a social media titan under the ownership of Mark Zuckerberg and co. It is a place where influencers share their stories and products, goods, services, and brands all compete for our attention. Across this page, you will be shown all there is to know about Instagram video specifications, advertising, and how to make your profile bigger and better. In short, all of the best hacks. You read it here first.

The Basics

An apple iPhone showing the instagram application alongside other instagram printed logos

Instagram is in a competitive field. Rivals such as TikTok are on the rise. But Instagram still continues to flourish and succeed. Nothing is stopping it. Indeed, in 2018, the social media platform grew by about 5% per quarter. This far outpaced Snapchat and Facebook who registered anemic growth of 2 and 3 percent respectively.

And here is something to whet the appetite of business. Around 80% of Instagram users follow a business profile on the platform. Meanwhile, 60% of users discover new products through the platform. That’s a lot of revenue.

You do the math. Oh, and did I mention that Instagram is supported on android and ios.

How Long Can Instagram Videos Be?

Moving on to the matter at hand, how long can Instagram videos be? Well, the answer to this question depends on the type of video content you create.

As you probably already know, there are four types of video content.

  • Instagram Live video broadcasts. Like Facebook Live, these are restricted to 60 minutes. Not a second more.
  • Instagram feed video lengths range from 3-second minimum video length to a maximum of 1 minute. Fear not – there is still plenty you can do within this time.
  • Yes, you guessed it. Instagram stories. These bad boys are limited to 15 seconds or a quarter of a minute (depending on how you look at it). However, creative users can blend multiple clips which can be shared as combined stories. The sky’s the limit!
  • IGTV clips are limited to 60 minutes. They range from 15 seconds to 10 minutes for regular Instagram account holders/verified accounts. IGTV video files have a max video size of 5.4 GB and a minimum aspect ratio of 4:5. But note: they must be uploaded from a PC or a Mac in MP4 format. Upload videos with care.

Instagram Video Specs

Before we go on to inspect the four main types of video content in detail, let’s quickly have a look at Instagram video’s specifications.

First off, MP4 is the best format. It simply cannot be beaten.

Other than this the best specs are:

  • Maximum 180 pixels wide
  • Maximum 920 pixels tall
  • Frame rate of 30 frames per second (FPS)
  • Maximum of 60 seconds
  • H.264 codec (I don’t know what this means either)
  • 3500 KBPS bitrate
  • ACC audio

Quick note: As a general rule of thumb, IG video length is rarely more than 60 minutes.

Instagram Live Video Length

Registered users on Instagram can post Live Videos directly to their accounts. Instagram Live Videos display real-time video content up to 60 minutes long. This is the Instagram video limit.

These Instagram Live videos display real-time video content up to an hour in length. Once the Live Video feed has expired (gone over its time limit), your followers on the platform can replay the video for up to 24 hours after the recording. That is, if it is worth watching …

After fixing your makeup and arranging the scenery, you can share a live video with your followers at the swipe of a finger. Simply open up your Insta app and go live baby. Indeed, Instagram Live came hot on the heels of Instagram Stories. These live broadcasts – be they parties, mountain escapes, or you simply chillin’ out on the beach – allow for lots of real-time interaction with followers, and you can easily attack new followers too. Ready to go live? Look at the stories bar on Instagram. Look for the word ‘live’ emblazoned in the avatar. To watch a live stream, click on the avatar and you are good to go.

There’s more. Tap your finger on ‘your story’ next to the + sign and click on the camera icon. There are a plethora of live video recording options. You may recognize them as normal, boomerang, rewind, hands-free and live.

Do not forget the live button and the start video live. Following a 3 second countdown – is that enough time? – your Instagram broadcast will begin. This will push a notification to all of your followers, with a live badge displayed over your profile picture. If you get tired? You can end the live video at any time by clicking, yes, you guessed, it: end.

Instagram Feed Videos, and How Long Can They Be?

No matter how glossy your Instagram profile, longer videos are limited. In fact, you are limited to lengths of 60 seconds MAX for your Instagram Feed videos. And in case you didn’t know, your feed is your Instagram profile. This is where all of your content is flaunted to your loving followers. It is possible to upload an Instagram video longer than one minute. Yet you must be aware that only one minute of that video will feature on your feed. I know this length requirement is annoying.

But the good news is that you can select which minute this is. Make it a good one. Alright, so let us unpack this a little further. Say, for instance, you are recording a 3 minute and 15 seconds clip of video. Once you have selected it, you can edit the clip and prepare it for upload. This includes getting crafty with your hashtags.

Warning: You have to select the time bands option to pick your preferred 60 seconds of video content.

Select the trim option and then drag your video left or right to get the best minute of video content to upload. As soon as you are satisfied, click done.

Instagram Carousel Posts Video Length

Remember those days at the seaside, ice cream in hand grinning from ear to ear? Well, re-live them with a carousel post. These natty little long-form items allow you to upload multiple connected videos to your Instagram Feed. That is, one video, then a second video, and so on and so forth. Indeed, they allow users to post up to ten videos in one swipeable carousel. To do so, simply save sections of your video as stand-alone clips which can be sequentially uploaded in the same carousel.

In case you are wondering, here is a quick guide on how to get started with one of these carousel videos.

  • Step one: Launch Instagram on your android or iOS device. (Sorry I had to say it)
  • Step two: Click on the ‘+’ icon and then tap ‘Select Multiple’
  • Gather or record 10 videos (or gifs, don’t forget gifs) you want to put into your IG post.
  • Think about adding some stickers or a filter to your post
  • Ditch this idea
  • Click next and browse through your short videos
  • Spend the next half an hour thinking of a caption for your Instagram carousel video post. Oh and tag your homies.
  • Publish it, baby.

The Big Daddy: Instagram Stories

For the first-timers out there, Instagram stories – or IG stories as they are known in French – are 15-second clips that are only available to watch for just 24 hours. I know this video length limit might seem, well, limiting, but stories offer twice as much length as photos from your camera roll. Although 15-second limits apply to individual stories, Instagram will cleverly (and automatically) splice your video clips into 15-second segments for your convenience.

If you are new to Instagram, you may be surprised to discover your expertly choreographed video cut into 15 15-second tiny pieces. (I know I certainly was). However, there are a whole lot of apps where you can take clipping into your own hands. These apps allow users to cut long videos into 15-second clips. They are Stereo for Instagram, CutStory for Instagram, and Story Slicer. Instagram Story options also exist within the Instagram app.

What are Instagram Story Dimensions?

It is a question that has kept mankind pondering for eons: what is an Instagram story video and what are its dimensions? The Instagram Story dimensions are 1080 x 1920, while their aspect ratio is 9 x 16. To optimize your content for every phone on the market (not everyone has an iPhone, guys), there is also a 250 pixels margin on the top and bottom of the screen that might be cropped out on some devices. What this means is that you should ensure no crucial part of your clip ends up in that 250-pixel safe zone either on the top or the bottom of the screen, lest it gets ignored and forgotten.

Links. Glorious Links

If you have been plugged into Instagram for some time now – who hasn’t – you have probably heard of the phrase link in bio. But this is not the only place you can have a clickable link. You can also put them in your stories through the infamous swipe-up feature. Unfortunately, this new feature is exclusively for those with more than 10,000 followers. Lucky buggers. Perhaps soon links will grace our Instagram reels.

Templates

Before we move onto IGTV, it is time to talk about templates. These are the hottest templates right now.

  1. Make it easy for followers to convert. Include sale info or a discount code to encourage sales in a single click. That is if you are making video ads. Accounts with more than 10,000 followers get access to a simple swipe-up CTA.
  2. Craft your stories for engagement. Ask your audience questions to engage, whether that is with a silly little sticker or a poll. People like to feel involved. Once you have a half sensible amount of replies, get sharing.
  3. Be your own advocate. Advertise a new collection or product range in your stories to help nurture your brand. This one is important.
  4. Fresh, exciting. Promote brand spanking new content. Build suspense for your best content, whet those appetites. Drive story watchers to your page to interact with your latest posts. Keep that Instagram reel fresh.

IGTV Video Lengths

Woman holding a phone with Instagram IGTV

IGTV is … think about it … Instagram plus Television. IGTV. Even your grandma can use – and love – this bangin’ feature on their account. It really is that easy. You can upload HD, vertical videos in long-form with your video channel. Needless to say, IG video length must adhere to certain rules and regulations (yawn). Most notably, it needs to be a minimum length of 15 seconds and it is best used on vertical video. This makes it ideal for Android and Apple devices. But why get busy on IGTV? IGTV is geared towards producing content that you can sink your eyes and brain into. If you have a verified account with heaps of followers, you will be able to enjoy up to 60 minutes of video length for IGTV.

Here are some important tips for IGTV

  • Check the stats. IGTV analytics will let you know whether anyone is even watching. In fact, you can tell how many comments, likes, and views your IG videos have received. That is if they have received any …
  • Share your IGTV video. This feature is pretty cool. It gives you a 60-second teaser trailer of your IGTV video. By allowing the IGTV preview (this is an optional setting), your IGTV video will be available on your profile, and that precious little Instagram feed of yours.
  • Perfect that aspect ratio. Vertical video is an art. Smartphones shoot at 9:16 aspect ratios. Luckily for us, this means we do not need complex software to perfect our clips.

Spotting a High Performing Profile

All of this is for nothing unless you can tell if you have a high-performing bio in your fingers. If you have a Business Profile on Instagram, you will have access to all important analytics. If you do not have a business profile, get one. While Instagram has straightforward and fairly simplistic analytics, this tool will still keep you in the loop about how many people are visiting your profile. Plus what they are doing on it.

Once you have this information, compare that link to your number of profile visits. If a large number of your visitors end up clicking on your links, then you are doing something right. If not, scroll up and read this article again. Take notes this time. But be advised. Even if you have oodles of clicks on your profile, but almost no clicks, you should consider tweaking your profile. More tweaking = more appealing = more cash money.

Here is my final word on the matter: always remember that social media is trial and error. If something is not performing well, fear not. Try and try again. You never know, you might just hit the jackpot.