Instagram Video Formats: Your Simple Guide

We’ve noticed a huge rise in video use on Instagram over the last few months, especially after the success of Reels. We’re getting asked more and more about formats, sizes etc so we thought we’d put together this simple guide.

The 4 video types:

  1. Instagram Stories
  2. Instagram Video
  3. Instagram Live
  4. Instagram Reels

Instagram Stories:

Instagram Stories are vertical (ideally 1080 x 1920 px), 15-second videos that disappear after 24 hours. If you upload/record a video longer than 15 seconds Instagram will split it into 15-second clips that users can tap to skip through. You can post as many stories as you like, and enhance them with emojis, gifs and more. They’re a great way to capture users attention, and because they disappear after 24 hours they are great for creating scarcity with product discounts.

Instagram Video:

Instagram Video is a relatively new format, introduced in 2021 to combine IGTV and In-feed videos. The ideal size for Instagram Videos is 1080 pixels x 1350 px but you can upload them from 1080 x 608 px (landscape) to 1080 x 1350 px (portrait). They can be up to an hour long and are uploaded using the same + sign in the top corner of the app that you would use if you wanted to upload to IGTV. There are cool features such as location tagging, filters and trimming available and once published, they live in the ‘video’ tab on Instagram. Users will see these videos when they’re scrolling through the feed so you need to remember to make the first few seconds as attention-grabbing as possible.

Instagram Live:

Instagram live videos are a great way to engage with your followers. We’d typically recommend filming vertically on mobile to fill users’ screens, also making them look better if used later as a story. Live videos are a great opportunity to show a different side of your brand that users wouldn’t normally see.

Instagram Reels:

If you’ve ever scrolled through the Reels tab of Instagram, you may find it very similar to a certain video app that exploded in recent years. That’s because Instagram Reels are Meta’s take on TikTok videos, offering users and brands a new format to be extremely creative and fun. The biggest benefit from a marketing perspective is that users don’t have to follow your account to discover your videos, so it’s well worth having a go. Reels are displayed vertically so that they fill users’ screens, and they offer some really cool features like AR filters, timed text and green screen!


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