Video Lengths for Social Media Platforms : Ultimate Guide

Koushik Marka
December 25, 2018

There is no need to elaborate on the significance of using video content for businesses. Worldwide, different types of companies are making use of video content on various social media platforms. With billions of video clips being watched on a daily basis, it is not tedious to figure out why more brands are resorting to video marketing through various digital channels.

For instance, Facebook alone gets more than 8 billion views a day. While the video is a very engaging content online- the trick lies in choosing the right length for web video content!

Choosing the right video length

Choosing video over other types of content for online promotion and marketing need is fine, as long as you choose the right length. The majority of web users typically have a short attention span and this makes it crucial for video marketers to be careful about video length. As per the latest data, approximately 56% of all web video published last year were under two minutes.

However, that does not necessarily mean that all video marketers should keep their produced videos within 2 minutes duration! The video length also depends on aspects like which social media channel you choose to share the video over, target audience and their penchants, etc.

An extensive study carried out by Wistia on this topic shows the following statistics:

  • Interestingly, longer videos within 6-12 minutes have nearly the same level of viewer engagement.
  • The drop off in engagement is considered when the video length is more than 2 minutes.
  • The cut off in engagement after 12 minutes is quite perceptible.

Optimal and recommended video lengths

Listed below are the recommended video lengths for some of the most popular digital/social media platforms.


Facebook has always encouraged sharing videos online. So, it is safer to use bit longer videos on this social media platform.

  1. In-feed Facebook videos can be pretty long, but once again, shorter videos get more traction with the viewers.
  2. Facebook Stories are much like Instagram stories and they can be 20 second long only.
  3. The limit set for Facebook Live video is 4 hours, but in reality, it is better to keep it much shorter. There isn’t a rule of minimum time when it comes to Facebook Live streaming but a length of 10 minutes is advisable.
  4. The Video covers give a refreshing look to your Facebook page and they look better than static images. It can be between 20-90 seconds.
  5. Profile video on Facebook can be just 7 seconds long.
  6. Facebook video ads are very popular and used by thousands of companies, belonging to many sectors. They can be up to 2 hours in length, but keeping such videos shorter makes sense.


In Twitter, you deal with two types of video clips.

  1. Twitter users are habituated to short bursts of data. So posting shorter videos on this platform makes sense. Twitter videos can be 2.20 minutes long at max.
  2. The Twitter video ads also have the same duration as native posts.
  3. The videos which are less than 7 seconds long, will automatically loop. In other words, the video turns into a GIF.  If you were not aware, GIFs are key to audience hearts and minds. So do use this feature.


Instagram is an extremely popular social media platform for video marketers. You will find many types of video clips on this platform. There are 4 types of video formats to choose from.

  1. The in-feed posts seen by most of the Instagram users while they scroll down can be deemed as regular Instagram videos. The typical video length is 60 seconds.
  2. Instagram stories- A lot of businesses are resorting to Instagram Stories for marketing these days. It can be 15 seconds long. You can definitely use many 15 second clips to tell a story!
  3. You can also share live videos on Instagram. While the maximum allowed length for Instagram live videos is 1 hour, you need to practice moderation here.
  4. Businesses can also make use of video ads on Instagram. The in-feed video ads can be a minute long, while the Story ads can be just 15 seconds long.
  5. IGTV or Instagram TV: You will find a new feature from Instagram i.e. IGTV or Instagram TV. This platform is to replace the traditional TV experience. Hence it lets you upload long videos with length up to 60 minutes.  The videos automatically play as soon as users open the sub-app. Further, IGTV is made up of all vertical videos, as it works the best for the mobile-only platform.

Even though the service lets you upload one-hour long video, it is preferred to most brands to stick to videos between two and three minutes long.


YouTube continues to be among the top contenders in online video sharing and viewing platforms. In reality, YouTube users watch videos of all lengths. As a result, the businesses can be more experimental with video length.

  1. Based on your video type and target viewers, the length can vary, but even here a video of 2 minutes duration gets a good level of engagement. More importantly, YouTube live broadcast content has no time limit.
  2. YouTube video ads can vary in length, but again brevity and quality content wins more viewers.


A majority of Pinterest users feel motivated about topics if there are videos, and so using it in video marketing strategy can be helpful. The platform allows you to upload a video of maximum 30 minutes duration, but ideally, keeping the video length shorter is always fruitful.


Snapchat is known for time-sensitive content. Hence making very long videos for the platform does not make sense.

  1. The video ads can be ideally 3 seconds to 10 seconds long.
  2. The long-form video ads have to be minimum 15 seconds long while there is no upper limit.


It is a top professional networking site. The video on this platform is used to improve career prospects and attract talents. However, LinkedIn added the facility to share the native video as late as August 2017.

The LinkedIn video ads can be as short as 3 seconds and the maximum limit is set at 30 minutes. However, the majority of popular video ads are less than 30 seconds long.

A few pointers for video marketers: Along with the ideal video length for social media platforms, the marketers need to be aware of the formats, resolutions and aspect ratio of such video content.

Where it all leads to?

Despite all these analyses and statistics available on video length for social media platforms, there is exactly no uniform size fitting all platforms. On average, YouTube and Facebook give you the maximum flexibility in terms of video duration.

Meanwhile, social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram are restrictive owing to the kind of target users they have. Undeniably, the users of most social media platforms focus on the quality of content presented in varying durations-based on context.

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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