How Long Should your Instagram Videos Be?

How long should your Instagram videos be?

Over the years Instagram has increased the lengths of allowable videos, there is now enough video content to keep us entertained indefinitely and with Vine ceasing to operate, it’s no wonder that Instagram are picking up the mantle for shorts.

Instagram video content varies greatly, it can be videos relating to fitness and how to do certain movements, all the way to animals doing stupid things, there really is something for everyone on Instagram. When scrolling through your feed or explore page, you will often come up against video content, whilst videos are not as popular as pictures, there are still a great deal of them. Big cinematic firms now tailor their movie trailers to this platform, it gives you a enough of a taste to either seek out more from YouTube or to go and see the film. Makeup tutorials are sped up to make sure you see the entire look from start to finish in a small window.

Why Would You Upload A Video?
The beauty of Instagram is that videos automatically play when you scroll past them on your feed. This is ideal for brand awareness and marketing as the audience don’t have to click through to watch it! The automatic play feature can increase traffic to your feed especially if you are demonstrating a desirable product, look or service. It may be that consumers didn’t even realise that they wanted it until they saw the video of it in action. Videos also gives your feed more of a personal feel, if you have never uploaded a video before, why not give it a try? It makes your feed seem more authentic and genuine when people can hear and see who they follow!

How Long Can A Video Be On Instagram?

There are three types of video you can put onto Instagram, you can have a story, IGTV or a feed video. Each one of them has different lengths and some time limits applied to each.

  • A video on your IG Story is 15 seconds and will disappear after 24 hours
  • A video on IGTV or Live cannot be longer than 60 minutes and viewers can still watch it up to 24 hours after you’ve originally posted it! This is an ideal concept for things such as webinars on makeup where a more in depth video is needed.
  • A video on your own personal feed can be no longer than 60 seconds and will remain there until you remove it.

Whilst there are different maximum video lengths, there is also a minimum video length, if your video is less than 3 seconds you wont be able to upload it.

What If My Video Is Longer Than 60 Seconds?

Don’t worry! If your video is longer than 60 seconds there are some ways around how you can condense it down to fit this time frame, but before we tell you how, here are some points that are worth considering.

If you’re uploading a longer video to Instagram, you don’t even have 10 seconds to grab peoples attention, they will scroll past in the first 4 if you the introduction isn’t to their taste. You may lose 33% of your followers by the half way point, if you are promoting a brand or a product, this is marked decrease in your audience. According to research that evaluated Instagram and people who engaged with videos 30 seconds in the ideal length if you can manage it, however this is one study and some people enjoy watching how to’s!

Less Speed More Haste

So you’ve filmed an amazing makeup tutorial and now you want to share it with your followers but you are limited to 60 seconds, how can you do it? Well one of the easiest options is to speed up the video and condense it into the 60 second window. Think of this as an advert for the longer video, show users that they too can get this look and then direct them to the full-length video on YouTube!

Cut, Cut And Keep On Cutting

You have condensed your makeup tutorial down, but it still won’t fit into that 60 second window, what do you do? Remember that you have between 4 and 6 seconds to grab your audience’s attention, make it so that they can’t keep scrolling past your video. Cut your video on your phone or video editing software so that when it starts it is already at an interesting point, cut out any parts that aren’t needed in your IG video and think of it as a promotional tool for the full version on YouTube.

Get Verified

If you want to upload longer videos to isntagram and you have a good following, look to become verified. This way you can have hour long videos that stay on your feed for 24 hours. Whilst they have to be live, you can discuss things during this 60 minutes or even try and complete a basic makeup look during that time. Verified users get the privialage of having 60 minutes on their Instagram tv, where as smaller profiles are limited to 15 minutes. Maybe that badge is worth it after all.

Use Instagram Video To Promote Your Other Videos and Content

As we know, the maximum length of video is 60 minutes, and this can only remain on your account for 24 hours. Utilise Instagram as a stepping stone to your other feeds such as YouTube. By thinking of Instagram as offering a teaser to your followers, they may well go and search out the entire content on other platforms!


With every update and change of terms of service, Instagram keep increasing video lengths. You can now upload stories next to each other to create one continuous flow. We can’t see Instagram decreasing how long videos are but it is worth considering how much longer they will become in the future or if you are able to store hour long videos on your feed. Keep an eye on updates and articles relating to updates so you know how long your videos can be!

Final Thoughts

Instagram as a platform for video is super dynamic and easy to use, as long as you can get your head around all the different video types, lengths and visibility you will have no problems maximising your videos to your audience. Look to adjust length, heavily cut and edit and speed up your videos for your audience to give them a taste of what you can offer on other platforms such as YouTube. Research is suggestive of the fact that 30 seconds is the ideal length for your video, and you have all but 4 seconds to grab your followers attention! So make the most of your limited time and upload content that your audience will find engaging!


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