Instagram Video Lengths- How to Get the Most Out of it

Koushik Marka
October 23, 2019

So, you have some promotional content that’s ready for your Instagram Feed. Or a brilliant product teaser for your Stories. Or maybe a super-fun vlog that’s got to be shared on IGTV. know, you’re just excited about that new puppy video you’ve shot.

Regardless, if you haven’t given Instagram video length a thought, maybe now’s the time. This tiny yet crucial requirement will help you understand how best to optimize your video content for a given duration.

So, how long can Instagram videos be?

Well, in this article we’re going to help you answer that with:

  • Detailed video length requirements of each post type, 
  • Video content ideas to make the best out of your time-frame.

And because I like you, I’ve got a bonus hack on how to beat the video length limit on Instagram feed.

All set? Let’s get started.

What is the ideal Instagram video length?

Before we bombard you with the details, let’s take a basic look at the different Instagram video length limits.

  • Instagram Feed Length - 3 to 60 secs
  • Instagram Story Length - 15 secs max per story card
  • IGTV Length - 1 to 15 mins for regular account; 60 mins for verified account
  • Instagram Live Length - 60 mins max
  • Instagram Feed Ad Length - 3 to 120 secs
  • Instagram Story Ad Length - 15 secs max per story card

While that pretty much answers your question, there’s a lot more to Instagram video limits than just numbers. 

Let’s check out how you can make the most out of your IG video time-frame.

Instagram Feed Video Length

Instagram Feed Video Length

The time limit to keep in mind when creating video content for your Instagram Feed is a minimum of 3 secs and a maximum of 60 secs.

What you can do with a video that’s longer than a minute is trim it. You get to select the 1-minute section that you want to post, and ideally, you select the most engaging and interesting part.

How to trim a video on Instagram

To do this, simply select your video from your camera roll in the upload menu, then go to the ‘Trim’ option to edit your video’s length. It’s that simple.

The Instagram Feed is a great place to promote your product and build brand trust. It’s an opportunity to share interesting and snackable content with your viewer, especially when it’s something they’ll truly enjoy. 

Check out how Google used Instagram video to share an update of the voice of Google Assistant. It features the voice artist Issa Rae and a very short behind-the-scenes look of the recording process. 

Now, you’re probably frowning at your screens, thinking “How in God’s name am I supposed to say everything I want to say in a minute?”

Well, I did promise an Instagram video length hack, didn’t I? 

The Carousel Post - Instagram Hack for Posting Longer Feed Videos

Instagram carousel post hack for uploading longer videos.

The Carousel feature lets you upload up to 10 photos or 10 minute-long videos in a single post – kind of like a slideshow. 

To make a carousel out of your video, you’ll first need a video editor. 

You can use either your phone’s in-built editor or you can download external video editing apps.

If you’re finding it difficult with choosing a video editing app, don’t panic! We’ve compiled this list of our Favorite Instagram Video Editing Apps to help you out.

Once you’ve got that sorted, chop your video into smaller, minute-long clips

Then go to the upload menu and select the ‘Multiple post/Carousel’ option (the one that looks like 2 squares stacked on each other). 

How to make a carousel post on Instagram

Now, select your video clips in order and upload them.

How to upload a carousel post on Instagram

Voila! All your video’s content squeezed into a single IG post.

Instagram Stories Video Length

Instagram stories video length

You’ve probably noticed that Instagram Stories have a short time-frame when you tried to upload that video of your office dog.

So how long can Instagram Stories be? 

IG Stories have a 15 sec time limit per each story card. That goes for images and video content.

If your video is longer, Instagram will automatically splice the video into 15 sec pieces. You can only have a maximum of 4 story cards this way.

Instagram stories limit

That means you can only post a video that’s 1 min long in one sitting

If your video content is longer than a minute, you’ll have to manually split your video into 15-sec clips and then upload it. Just like what you did above.

Oh, the time limit applies even when you’re shooting IG Stories live from the Instagram app.

I personally believe that IG Stories are best for sneak-peaks or teasers of what you’re up to. This way, you’re drawing hype for whatever it is you’re working on. 

I would highly recommend staying away from posting long videos on your Story. IGTV or your IG Feed is a far better option for this.

I’ll also recommend shooting your Story videos directly from the app because you’ll have the possibility to share more content in less time.

Apple's Instagram story

This Story video by Apple is a great example of that. They’ve beautifully shown the capabilities of the new iPhone 11 Pro’s camera with a video that was shot on that very phone.

IGTV Video Length

IGTV video length on Instagram

The introduction of IGTV to Instagram was a huge thing. It added so many more possibilities for businesses that Instagram didn’t initially allow. 

Instagram, 8 years after it’s launch, finally gave us a way to share video messages longer than a minute. And I mean proper, long-form video content.

Coming to the topic at hand, you can upload a minimum of 1 min and a maximum of 15 mins of video content here.

How to upload a video on IGTV

That’s unless you have a verified account – or a lot of followers at the very least. Then, your IGTV video limit extends to 60 mins. Mad!

IGTV now lets you upload both vertical videos (aspect ratio of 9:16) and horizontal videos (aspect ratio of 16:9). So before you start shooting, remember these.

How to upload on Instagram IGTV

To upload a video on IGTV,

  • Open the Instagram app.
  • Tap the IGTV icon on the top right corner and tap ‘+’. 
  • Select the video you want to upload and follow through the steps (choosing the thumbnail, and adding title and description). 
  • Click Post and you’re set!

Note: In addition to being an in-app feature, IGTV has its own stand alone app too.

The scope of IGTV means there’s really no limit to what type of content you can post. 

As a business, I suggest you first think about the value you want your video to provide. Whether it’s informing, educating or promoting, if your followers can gain something out of it, you’re good to go. 

This is one of our videos and we’ve used IGTV to share tips on video marketing. This is content that’s sure to give viewers useful information to take home.

We’ve written a pretty quick guide on How to Get The Best Out Of IGTV if you’re looking to up your IGTV game.

Instagram Live Video Length

Instagram live video length

IG Live is perfect if you’re a master at on-spot interaction. 

If you’re shooting a video for Instagram Live, you can stream up to 1 hour’s worth of video at a time. To start shooting, open the Instagram Stories camera and select the Live option.

How to go live on instagram

Want to stream longer? You can always start a new Live session when the 60 mins are up. And you can continue the process for as many times as you want!

Just remember to keep an eye on the clock, and tell your followers that you’ll be starting a new session before you go offline. You don’t want them thinking it’s a disappearing act.

IG Live is the perfect tool for lead generation. The sense of urgency and exclusivity will urge your followers to act. You just need to prompt them in your direction. 

How can you do that? Entice them. 

Entice them with teasers of an upcoming product. Entice them by deliberately showing less to get their curiosity kicking. Giveaways, discounts and campaigns are other great options you could use. If done right, your audience will come flocking in in no time.

If you’re looking for tips on How to Make The Best Out of Live Videos, check out this blog.

Instagram Ads Video Length

Instagram Ads video length

Okay, we’re going to have to spend a teensy bit more time on this section. It’s going to get slightly technical, so I apologize beforehand. 

If you’re running Instagram ads, the length limits are slightly different from organic posts.

Unlike your usual IG Feed video length, the maximum limit for Instagram Feed ads is 120 secs! So you have an extra minute for yourself there. Yayy! 

When it comes to Instagram Story ads however, it’s a little less direct, so bear with me here.

Because they can be made up of multiple cards (carousel stories), IG story video ads come in two types - Native stories carousel and Expandable stories carousel.

Instagram stories carousel hack

Native stories carousel is the traditional kind, where the stories are displayed automatically in between stories. These allow a maximum of 3 story cards, each 15 secs long.

Expandable stories carousel is a little more interesting. You have the option of adding up to 10 cards. For these ads, either 1, 2 or 3 cards will be displayed automatically. But to see the remaining cards, the viewer has to tap ‘Expand Story’. Once again, all the cards have a maximum limit of 15 secs each.

Hold on, we’re not done. If you want to add a video that’s longer than 15 secs with lesser cards, you can. 

Instagram will automatically split it into a maximum of three 15-sec cards and tailor the number of cards displayed. Again, either 1, 2 or 3 cards will be displayed after which the viewer has to click ‘Keep Watching’ to watch the rest of the video. And yes, the entire video will then appear in one story card.

Phew! I told you this was going to be lengthy.

As I mentioned earlier, when using IG Stories, especially when it’s an ad, try to keep away from using videos that are more than a minute long. 

Think ‘short-form promotional content’ before running ads on either IG Feed or IG Stories. The point is to try and capture attention amidst the multitude of other posts and stories, while still being able to convey a message in that time.

If all this was too much, here’s a simpler guide on everything you need to know about Instagram Video Ads. Wondering how to get the most out of your videos? Here's a guide for understanding the best Instagram video format to use for your posts.

And We’re Done!

Dear reader, you have made it to the end. Now you know the Instagram Video Time Limits, and how you can make the most of them.

Whether you’re a businessman sharing company news and updates, or an influencer who’s ready to bathe Instagram in quality content, create your videos keeping these constraints in mind. You’ll end up designing content that’ll wow your Instagram followers.

Are there any Instagram video length limit hacks that we missed out? Let us know below!
And if you’re looking for video length limits for other social media platforms check out our Ultimate Guide to Video Lengths for Social Media.

Koushik Marka

Founder @ Studiotale. He is passionate about helping brands grow with video and has expertise in video marketing & 2D animation. When he is not working, he loves playing video games and traveling.


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