Video Marketing

Instagram Video Length Guide (An Easy Cheat Sheet)

Kari Livesay


Exactly how long should your Instagram videos be? While the answer varies, and we will be breaking it down in this post, Instagram is making one thing clear. Reels are its top priority, and they should be yours too.


While Reels are number one on Instagram’s radar, there are many different ways to use video to tell your story on Instagram. In this blog, we’ll discuss all of Instagram’s video formats and their recommended lengths, including Reels, Stories, Instagram Video, and Instagram Live.


Instagram Reels length

  • Length: Up to 60 seconds, but shorter videos are preferred. Find more on this below.
  • Aspect ratio: Vertical 9:16: Easily resize your video with the click of a button in Animoto.

Reels are Instagram’s version of TikTok videos. With Reels, individuals and companies alike can create short, entertaining videos, up to 60 seconds in length, in which they can express creativity and bring their personalities and brands to life.

When it comes to Reels length, Instagram isn’t offering an exact number outside of saying the shorter, the better, recently sharing this tip.

“Keep it Short. Our community loves short, entertaining videos - creating reels is the best way to do this.”

So how many seconds does “keep it short” translate to? A general rule of thumb for TikTok videos is between 7-15 seconds, but we advise trying different video lengths to see how your particular audience reacts. Your sweet spot could be six seconds or 20 seconds; the only way to know is to test various video lengths and see what consistently garners the most engagement.

Make a reel

If you're new to Reels, our templates make reel creation fast and simple. Tutorials, explainers, and narratives make for captivating reel content. Easily show off your subject matter expertise with our Expert How-To template or share how to make your favorite recipe with our Trendy Social Recipe template.

Instagram Stories length

  • Length: 15 seconds
  • Aspect ratio: Vertical 9:16: Easily resize your video with the click of a button in Animoto.

Instagram Stories are photos and videos that Instagram users post to their Story and can be seen by their followers for up to 24 hours (unless they are saved to Instagram Highlights, where they can live indefinitely).

There is a 15-second limit per individual Instagram Story. If you upload a video that’s longer than 15 seconds, Instagram will cut it into 15-second pieces that are played one after the other. However, from our own experimenting, it seems you’ll only get four 15-second pieces, so this only works for videos up to 1 minute.

With that said, Instagram is currently testing increasing the length of Stories to one uninterrupted minute.

“The ability to create longer Stories posts comes highly requested by our community. We're excited to be testing 60-second Stories so that people can create and view Stories with fewer interruptions."

You can split up videos that are longer than a minute with apps like CutStory, or Instasize, and you can create your Stories with any of our Animoto templates.

Make a Story

While you can use nearly any of our templates to create a Story, we’ve included some popular ideas below.

Personalize our Vacation Recap template to share your favorite travel moments with your followers, build interest in your latest release with our Collection Launch template, or increase engagement with a Fun Social Quote.

Instagram Video length (Feed Videos)

  • Length: Up to 60 minutes
  • Aspect ratio: Square 1:1 and vertical 9:16: Easily resize your video with the click of a button in Animoto.

In the fall of 2021, Instagram announced it would be combining IGTV and feed videos into one format called Instagram Video, creating a more streamlined video-watching experience for users. While you previously had to leave the main app to watch IGTV videos, all Instagram Videos now live in your feed and can be viewed when going to someone’s profile by clicking the video icon (the triangular play button icon) above the grid.

These videos can be up to 60 minutes long, but you can preview them in your feed for 60 seconds (except for videos that are eligible for ads, which will still preview for 15 seconds).

Make an Instagram Video

In 2021, the Head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, announced that “We’re no longer a photo-sharing app or a square photo-sharing app.” So, why not reach a new audience through Instagram Video? Instagram Video is incredibly versatile. Some popular reasons to create an Instagram video include:

Instagram Live length

  • Length: Up to 60 minutes
  • Aspect ratio: Vertical 9:16: Easily resize your video with the click of a button in Animoto.

Instagram Live is an unedited video that streams in real time, so viewers can watch events as they happen in real life.

When it comes to going live on Instagram, you’re limited to 60 minutes per live stream. However, when you hit the 60-minute limit, you can go live again for another hour after and so on.

Go live on Instagram

Not sure if going live on Instagram is the right choice for you? Here are some reasons to consider creating a live video.

  • Share the humanity behind your brand and create a stronger connection with your audience
  • Capture a larger audience
  • Communicate real-time updates with your followers
  • Live videos show up first in Stories

Create a video

And there you have it. Whether you’re planning to become a Reels expert, want to create more engaging Stories, or are curious about long-form video, now’s the perfect time to start making more Instagram videos with Animoto. Happy video making!