Post Perfect Instagram Videos: Optimizing for Size, Length, and File Type

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Everyone’s on Instagram. And it’s no secret that the platform has emerged as a powerhouse for content creators, influencers, and businesses alike. But getting your videos to look their best isn’t always a straightforward process. With different formats and dimensions for Stories, Reels, and in-feed videos, it’s easy to end up with pixelated content or awkward cropping. Whether you’re an aspiring influencer aiming to boost your following, a brand looking to enhance your social media strategy, or a seasoned content creator seeking to refine your craft, understanding Instagram’s specifications is essential.

Here, we break down everything you need to know about Instagram video sizes, formats, and aspect ratios, ensuring your content not only looks professional but also maximizes engagement, reaches a wider audience, and stands out.

Instagram video sizes

Instagram Stories

Instagram Stories are short, ephemeral videos that disappear after 24 hours unless saved to your highlights. They are designed to be quick and engaging, and are typically viewed vertically. With a maximum length of 60 seconds, Stories are perfect for sharing behind-the-scenes content, daily updates, and timely promotions. They are also great for encouraging interaction with features such as polls, quizzes, countdowns, and links. Brands often use Stories to create a sense of urgency and drive immediate action from their audience.

Instagram Story size: 

  • Aspect ratio: 9:16
  • Resolution: 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Size limit: Up to 4GB per video
  • Length: Up to 60 seconds long, but longer videos are split into 15-second segments

Instagram Reels

Reels are short-form videos that are basically Instagram’s answer to TikTok. Reels allow users to create 15-to-90-second clips with audio, effects, and creative tools. They appear on the Explore page, making them a powerful tool for reaching new audiences and increasing visibility. Reels can be used for a variety of content, from educational snippets and product demonstrations to fun, viral challenges and user-generated content.

Instagram Reel size: 

  • Aspect ratio: 9:16
  • Resolution: 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Size limit: Up to 4GB per video
  • Length: 15 to 90 seconds

Instagram feed videos

Feed videos appear in the main Instagram feed alongside photo posts on your profile. They can be up to 60 minutes long, but most successful examples tend to be shorter to maintain viewer engagement. Feed videos support multiple aspect ratios (square, landscape, and vertical), making them versatile for different types of content, including brand stories, product launches, and customer testimonials.

Instagram feed size: 

  • Square aspect ratio: 1:1
  • Square resolution: 1080 x 1080 pixels
  • Portrait aspect ratio: 4:5
  • Portrait resolution: 1080 x 1350 pixels
  • Landscape aspect ratio: 16:9
  • Landscape resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • Size limit: 650MB for videos up to 10 minutes, and up to 3.6GB for videos up to 60 minutes​
  • Length: From three seconds to 60 minutes; longer videos appear as previews in the feed, with the full video viewable on your profile

Instagram live

Instagram’s live feature allows users to broadcast to their followers in real time. Live videos can last up to four hours and are a great way to engage with your audience through Q&A sessions, live events, or product reveals. The interactive nature fosters real-time communication and immediate feedback, enhancing the connection with your followers.

Instagram live size: 

  • Aspect ratio: 9:16
  • Resolution: 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Size limit: Up to 4GB per session, with a maximum duration of four hours
  • Length: Up to four hours per session

Instagram video formats

Instagram

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Understanding the proper video formats for Instagram is crucial to ensuring your content uploads smoothly and looks its best. Instagram supports specific file types, dimensions, and other technical specifications for its various video formats. Here’s what you need to know:

1. Supported file types: Instagram primarily supports two video file formats: MP4 and MOV. The MP4 format is generally recommended because it offers a good balance between video quality and file size, making it ideal for social media uploads.

2. Compression and encoding: To maintain high quality while keeping the file size manageable, Instagram applies compression to uploaded videos. The recommended settings for optimal upload include:

  • Video codec: H.264
  • Audio codec: AAC
  • Bitrate: 3,500 kbps
  • Frame rate: 30 fps

Using these settings—which you can check on your phone in your photo gallery—helps ensure that your video retains its quality even after Instagram’s compression is applied.