Small Business Trends

How Long Can Instagram Videos Be?

By | 6 min read | Published

Before creating and sharing content, know your options and limitations for IG videos.

Instagram (IG) is no longer simply a photo-sharing and messaging app. With the integration of video posts, live streams, and Instagram Reels, there are now multiple ways to share video content on the platform and reach even more followers.

If you’re wondering about Instagram video length, the short answer is more of a long one. It depends on the type of Instagram video you’re sharing.

Instagram Feed video length

Videos posted to your Instagram Feed remain permanently displayed on your account’s main gallery/grid (they don’t disappear after 24 hours like Instagram Stories.)

Video posts on your main profile Feed will display a play icon in the top right corner of the thumbnail.

videos in your grid will have a play icon over the thumbnail image
Videos on your Instagram Feed remain on your main profile unless you choose to delete or archive them. The play icon in the top right corner of the thumbnail image indicates a video post.

These videos also show up in the “Videos” section of your profile. To view this section, first bring up your main Instagram profile page. Then, tap on the play icon above the grid of your Instagram posts.

to access all videos you've posted to your instagram feed tap the triangular play icon
To access all videos you’ve posted to your Instagram Feed, tap the play icon above your gallery/stream on your profile.

According to Instagram’s Help Center, when you upload a video longer than 60 seconds a preview of the video will appear in Feed. The max preview length is 60 seconds, at which point the video pauses and asks users to tap “Keep watching” to continue. The full video can be found on your profile grid or in your profile’s video section.

Instagram previously limited video uploads to mobile devices, but in 2021 the social media platform announced that users could now upload videos from their mobile device or desktop computers.

Since uploading videos from a desktop can be quite complicated, most users still choose to either upload videos to the app or capture video through the Instagram app itself.

Instagram Story video length

Instagram Stories are temporary profile posts and updates that are visible for 24 hours. They can be photos, videos, or text posts from Create mode.

A single Instagram Story has a max length of 15 seconds. However, if you want to post an Instagram story video that is longer than 15 seconds, Instagram simply cuts your story into multiple clips. Viewers may notice a short pause between one video and the next, but the video is generally fairly fluid.

a still of an instagram story video with a red arrow pointing at the top of the screen where a longer video has been divided into multiple segments
A longer video will be broken into smaller segments/video clips on Instagram Stories; each section is represented by a short dash at the top of the screen.

You can view Instagram Stories by following these instructions:

  1. Click on the “Home” icon within the Instagram app on your mobile device.
  2. To watch your personal Stories, click on your profile image in the circle at the top of the screen.
  3. To watch Stories posted by the accounts you follow, tap the desired account image in the circles to the right of your profile image. You can scroll through the profile circles at the top to choose different Stories, or simply tap the first account to the left of your profile image. Instagram Stories will then autoplay until you exit.

You can save your Stories to a Highlight, collections of Stories that appear on your profile page above your grid.

Instagram Reel video length

In 2020, Instagram introduced a new feature: Instagram Reels. Instagram Reels are edited videos with added music, narration, text, effects, and filters. Often, the videos are compilations of several short video clips.

Originally, Reels were capped at a length of 30 seconds. In August 2021 Instagram extended the maximum length of Reels to 60 seconds.

To access Instagram Reels, click on the Reels icon; this looks like a triangular play symbol inside a square evoking a film director’s clapperboard. Depending on your operating system and app version, this is often at the center of the app’s bottom menu on your mobile device.

Once you navigate to the Instagram Reels page using the Reels menu icon, the word Reels will appear at the top of the screen.

You will also notice that Instagram Reels appear on your Recommendations page, which you can access by tapping the magnifying glass menu icon.

Instagram Live and IGTV video lengths

Instagram has two additional video format and sharing options: Instagram Live and Instagram TV (IGTV) videos.

Instagram Live video length

Instagram Live is a feature that allows you to share videos in real time by live streaming, either alone or with another Instagram account. It’s a great way to connect with followers in a candid, unscripted way.

Instagram allows you to live stream for 60 minutes. If you want to stream for longer than 60 minutes, plan accordingly; you’ll need to exit out and then begin another Instagram Live immediately (your followers and viewers will have to rejoin the new stream).

Instagram Live videos appear in the same section as IG Stories on your home page. A live Instagram feed will have a bright ring around the profile circle and the word “Live.”

IGTV video length

For videos longer than 60 seconds, Instagram offers both a separate application as well as the option to upload video content to your grid that will prompt users to tap “Keep watching.”

With the recently rebranded Instagram TV app (fka IGTV), users log in using their Instagram account credentials and create long-form videos. From mobile, those videos can be up to 15 minutes long. From a desktop, the video can be 60 minutes long.

There isn’t a separate section of Instagram or Instagram’s main app dedicated to IGTV videos. Instead, Instagram will embed longer videos into your Feed (along with short videos and Reels), play a snippet up to 60 seconds long, and then prompt viewers to tap on the video to launch the IGTV page for that video.

Creating and sharing Instagram videos

You can create your Instagram video format of choice from within the Instagram app itself on your mobile device.

To create and share a video, follow these steps:

  1. Open Instagram on your mobile device.
  2. From either the home screen or your profile page, tap the plus icon in the upper right corner.
  3. Choose the video type you want to share (Post, Reel, Story, or Live).
  4. Follow the prompts to create, edit, and share your video content.
Choose the video type you want to share: Post, Reel, Story, or Live.

Instagram videos for business: tracking KPIs

Instagram is a free social media tool that allows you to connect with customers and gain new followers with reasonably little effort or cost.

Is your business utilizing Instagram to reach a larger audience and increase revenue? If so, how are you tracking your key performance indicators (KPIs) for this platform?

The instructional Instagram screenshots in this article were captured in November 2021; screenshots reflect the Android app layout at that time. Applications and layouts are liable to change.

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Capterra

Capterra

At Capterra, we believe that software makes the world a better place. Why? Because software can help every organization become a more efficient, effective version of itself.

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