Instagram Video Length Guide to Ensure Your Content’s Success

21/02/23         Author: Florencia Corazza         7 min reading

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Instagram video length is a common concern among users, business owners, and marketers who are taking their first steps on the platform. It’s understandable. Nobody wants to upload a marketing video that will just get cut off –especially if it’s part of a video marketing strategy!

So, how long can a video be on Instagram? Well, that will depend on the type of video you want to share. That’s why, today, we’ll discover what the ideal video lengths are for each different type of video and the answer to some other common questions users ask.

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(Example of an Instagram post by the animation company Yum Yum Videos.)


1. How Long Are Instagram Videos? (Former IGTV)

One of the very first things users usually want to know when they get started on social media video production for Instagram is the video length limit. That is, the maximum length a video can run for before it gets cut off.

If you remember, long-form videos used to be uploaded to IGTV, but that no longer exists since the second half of 2021. Now, longer videos have been combined with in-feed video posts under the name of “Instagram Video.”

This type of content has a maximum length limit of 10 minutes for regular users. There are some verified accounts that get an extended limit of 60 minutes.

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You can identify these videos on an account’s profile by the “Play” icon in the top right corner of the thumbnail.


2. How Long Can an IG Story Be?

Stories are vertical, full-screen Instagram videos posted to a profile that appear at the top of the app, rather than in the news feed. Since they automatically disappear after 24 hours, many people don’t see their appeal, but recent numbers show that around 70% of Instagram users watch video content in the form of Stories on a daily basis. 

So, if you still haven’t given Stories a try, it’s high time you start doing so!

In the past (well, actually until October 2022), videos longer than 15 seconds would get split into smaller segments when uploaded to Stories. Now, you can upload pieces up to 60 seconds in length without them getting split.

While these videos only last for 24 hours, as I’ve mentioned before, you can save them to a highlight reel, so your followers can watch them at any time.

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(Example of a whiteboard video post by Yum Yum Videos)


3. How Long Can an Instagram Reel Be?

When TikTok’s popularity exploded, Instagram decided to incorporate Reels and they became so popular that even video marketing agencies recommended leveraging them. These short, vertical videos have their own dedicated section on the platform, both on the explore feed and on users’ profiles. You can recognize Reels by the icon in the top right corner:

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How long an IG Reel can be will depend on how it’s created. The default Reel length you can create using the Instagram camera is 15 seconds. However, if you create your video with the Instagram Reels tool, you get up to 90 seconds.


4. Is There an Instagram Live Time Limit?

In the beginning, Lives had a 60-minute video length allowed. Recent updates have extended that limit, and now you can stream on Instagram for up to 4 hours. Great news for promotional video production!

A useful feature the platform offers is that you can save your Instagram Live to your profile, so anyone who wasn’t able to join the stream can watch it. However, it’s important to note that they can only be saved for up to 30 days. Once that period is over, the Live disappears.

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5. What’s the Typical Instagram Video Ad Length?

Many video production companies ask themselves this question because, if you want to run Instagram video ads, the rules change a bit with respect to regular videos. For starters, you have two options: in-feed ads, and Story ads.

In-feed video ads are shown in between the content in a user’s feed, and they can be between 3 and 120 seconds long. However, they’re usually 15 seconds long (even shorter than an explainer video!) because people tend to scroll past them fast if they’re longer than that. 

Story ads, as the name suggests, live within Instagram Stories. You can think of them as a commercial break of sorts between the content of the people you follow. Now, while your typical Stories will disappear after 24 hours, Instagram Story ads will keep showing for as long as your campaign is running. So, they can be great if you want to share product ads on social media.

These Instagram videos can be anywhere from 1 to 60 seconds, but they’re typically between 15 and 30 seconds to ensure the effectiveness of your mobile advertising strategy.

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6. What Do I Do If My Video Exceeds the Limit?

Now that you know what the video length limit is for different types of content, you might wonder what you should do if your videos are longer than the maximum length allowed. 

Here are some ideas on what you can do to adapt your content to fit Instagram video requirements:

Trim your video right on Instagram

This can be quite obvious, but did you know you have a handy trim tool built right into Instagram? That’s right, whenever you try to upload a video that exceeds the video length limit, you are given the option to trim it. 

Use a video editor

If you don’t like how the previous tool works or would simply prefer to try another option, you can always download a video editor or use the one that you already have on your phone or computer. 

Then, just tinker with the video until it complies with the requirements. It’s as simple as opening the editor and finding the clipping option, which usually looks like a pair of scissors.

Create a video carousel post

When you don’t want to trim and edit your video, you can create a video carousel post to divide your content into shorter clips. Unlike other types of Instagram videos, the viewer will only be able to watch the entirety of your piece by swiping the post. It’s important to keep this in mind, as you’ll have to add something to encourage viewers to swipe.

The great thing about video carousels is that they can be up to 10 minutes long, which is quite longer than the 60 seconds you’d get with other video types. Another cool aspect is that you can even transform your Instagram ads into a carousel post!


Instagram Video Length Summary

If you’d like to compare the length limits of the different video types to decide in which format it’d be better to upload your content, here’s a quick summary of them:

  • Instagram Videos: 10 minutes for regular users and up to 60 minutes for verified accounts.
  • Stories: up to 60 seconds.
  • Reels: between 15 and 90 seconds, depending on how you upload the video.
  • Lives: up to 4 hours.
  • Video Ads: up to 60 seconds.

If your video exceeds the limits, you can always trim it, use an editor, or create a video carousel to at least get to choose where it gets cut.

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(Example of a live-action video post by Yum Yum Videos.)


Wrapping Up

And there you have it! Learning how to leverage Instagram video is not really that hard, and it’s entirely worth it, in my opinion. However, you do have to become familiar with length limits, so your piece doesn’t get clopped in the best part!

I hope that the quick summary at the end of this post will help you plan your video length in the future and save you the hassle of having to edit them.

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Florencia Corazza

Florencia Corazza – Content Writer and Co-Editor

A skilled writer, translator, and co-editor for our web and blog content. As a self-defined "wordsmith," she’s talented in adapting the latest marketing news into all kinds of digital formats. If she’s not watching the latest Sci-Fi show on Netflix, then can find her tending to her perfectly reasonable number of plants.

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