Instagram Video: Greatest Practices and Instruments for Creating Nice Content material

Instagram videos are available in five formats: Rolls, Live, IGTV, Stories, and In-Feed Video Posts.

The explosion of videos on the platform is a lot to juggle. But it has also created new ways for marketers to tell stories and reach their audiences.

Which Instagram Video Format Is Right For Your Brand? There may be a place for everyone in your social media strategy. Or maybe you just want to focus on one couple. Read our guide to learn more about the features, specifications, and best practices for each type.

We've also rounded up tools that make juggling Instagram videos a little easier.

Bonus: Unlock our free, customizable Instagram storyboard template to save time and plan all your Stories content in advance.

Types of Instagram videos

Here is a breakdown of the various Instagram video formats.

Instagram stories

Inspired by Snapchat, Instagram Stories are 15-second videos that disappear after 24 hours.

Stories can be recorded by swiping right from the home screen or tapping the plus icon and selecting Stories. They can also be uploaded from the photo library.

Expired stories can be saved in the "Highlights" section of a person's profile above the grid.

Source: Instagram

Interactive elements such as filters, emojis, tags and stickers can be added to each story. Several brands – around four million each month according to Instagram – have found new ways to use these features, from "this or that" surveys to questions and answers and product tags.

Stories are also one of the rare places on Instagram for accounts to post links. (Only accounts that have been verified or have over 10,000 followers have access to this feature.) For brands, this is an important way to generate organic leads and conversions. More than 50% of people surveyed by Facebook say they visited a brand's website after seeing a story.

Despite their impermanence, stories are popular.

Your position at the top of the home feed may have something to do with this. The side effect of the disappearing format – removed from the aesthetic pressure of the lining – is likely another factor.

Over 500 million people watch stories every day, and 58% of those surveyed by Facebook say stories sparked their interest in a brand or product.

Resource: Learn how to use Instagram Stories to build your audience.

Instagram feed video

In-feed video is the original Instagram video format in the app. Video posts are added the same way as pictures: using Instagram's built-in camera or when uploading from a photo library.

In-feed videos must be three to 60 seconds long, which means boomerangs and GIFs fall into this category as well.

Like an image post, an Instagram video post can contain a filter, location, label, and user, location, and product tags. After posting, users can engage in likes, comments, and sharing public videos in stories and direct messages.

In people's profiles, video posts are marked with a camcorder icon in the top right corner.

Instagram Live

Instagram Live allows users to stream videos from the built-in camera. This year brands have used Instagram Live to host workshops, interviews, and more. This resulted in a 70% increase in views between February and March.

Live broadcasts are started by swiping right or tapping the plus symbol and switching Life. Live streams can be up to four hours long and hosted by one or two accounts. When an account goes live, it will appear on the front of the Stories bar with a live icon. Once completed, Instagram Live videos can be saved to IGTV or shared for 30 days before being deleted.

The number of viewers watching a live stream is shown at the top of the screen and users can get involved by adding comments or emoji reactions. Viewers can also purchase badges so that heart symbols appear next to their name in the comments. Instagram Live hosts can pin comments, turn off comments, or set up keyword filters to moderate comments.

With live shopping features, companies can label relevant products so that they are displayed at the bottom of the screen. Instagram Live also supports donations, so social media nonprofits and creators can use this medium for fundraising.

Resource: How to Use Instagram Live to Grow and Engage Your Followers.

IGTV (Instagram TV)

IGTV is the Instagram format for in-feed videos that are longer than a minute and up to 60 minutes. Unlike shorter in-feed video postings, IGTV must be pre-recorded and uploaded from the camera roll.

Before posting an IGTV video, creators have the option to add the video to a series and add a cover photo. Creators can choose to post a 15-second preview to their feed (and home feed) or opt out. In both cases, all IGTV videos are displayed in a special tab in the user profile where they can be sorted by series.

IGTV videos get additional properties and their own section on the Explore tab. Videos will play automatically wherever they are viewed and queued one at a time. People watching IGTV videos can engage in likes, comments, saving and sharing in the usual way.

Resource: Using IGTV: The Complete Marketer's Guide.


Reels is Instagram's newest video format. Inspired by TikTok, these 15-30 second long clips can be created with Instagram's camera or uploaded from the photo library.

Recording effects include timed text, AR filters, green screen mode, timer and speed controls, and access to an audio library.


Source: Instagram

Roles record in vertical portrait (9:16) and appear in users' feeds, on the Roles tab, and on a Profile tab.

Like feed videos, roles can include subtitles, hashtags, and most recently product tags. People can engage with roles by liking, commenting on, or sharing them in stories and direct messages.

Resource: Everything you need to know about Instagram reels.

Instagram video specifications

Here are the size and format specifications for each type of Instagram video.

Specifications for Instagram Stories

Stories take up the entire mobile screen and are tailored to the device. Because of this, the exact specifications vary. These are the recommended specifications:

  • Length: Up to 15 seconds (longer videos can be cut into multiple stories)
  • Recommended size: Upload the highest resolution video that meets the file size and ratio limits.
  • Maximum video file size: 30MB
  • Recommended file type: MP4 or MOV format
  • Ratios: 9:16 and 16: 9 to 4: 5
  • Minimum width: 500 pixels
  • Minimum aspect ratio: 400 x 500
  • Maximum aspect ratio: 191 x 100 or 90 x 160
  • H.264 compression recommended
  • Square pixels, fixed frame rate, progressive scan, and stereo AAC audio compression greater than 128 kbps

Tip: Keep approximately 14% (~ 250 pixels) of the top and bottom of the video free of essential content. In this area, it can be hindered by the profile photo or a call to action.

Instagram feed video specifications

  • Duration: 3 to 60 seconds
  • Recommended size: Upload the highest resolution video that meets the file size and ratio limits.
  • Recommended file type: MP4 or MOV format
  • Maximum file size 30 MB
  • Maximum frame rate 30fps
  • Minimum width: 500 pixels.
  • H.264 compression recommended
  • Square pixels, fixed frame rate, progressive scan, and stereo AAC audio compression at 128 kbps +

Instagram Live specs

Instagram live broadcasts can only be recorded using the camera app. The technical data is similar to that of Instagram Stories. Before starting up, make sure you have a reliable and fast internet connection.

IGTV specifications

  • Minimum length: 60 seconds
  • Maximum length: 15 minutes when uploading via mobile phone and 60 minutes when uploading from the Internet
  • File type: MP4 file format (required)
  • Vertical video aspect ratio: 9:16
  • Horizontal video aspect ratio: 16: 9
  • Minimum resolution: 720 pixels
  • Minimum frame rate: 30 frames per second
  • Maximum file size (for videos 10 minutes or less): 650 MB
  • Maximum file size (for videos up to 60 minutes): 3.6 GB

Recommended size of the cover picture: 420 x 654 pixels (ratio 1: 1.55)

Instagram video best practices

Every Instagram video format is different, but these best practices apply to everyone.

Create for cell phones

The majority of people watch Instagram videos on mobile devices. Therefore, it is best to shoot in a vertical orientation. Most people intuitively use Portrait or Selfie mode when taking pictures on their phones. But for those who use a camera and want to upload a video, this is something to keep in mind.

Create videos for mobile orientation

Source: Instagram

Of course there are some exceptions. For longer IGTV content, horizontal video may be better suited.

Viewers can tilt their phone to the side to see a full screen. Landscape videos can also be uploaded to Stories and In-Feeds, but without the tilt effect.

Start with a hook

Typically, you have three seconds to prevent thumbs from rolling past your Instagram video. Or leave your Instagram story. Give people a reason to keep looking. Find a way to get instant resonance, whether it's impressive images or a taste of the future.

Also, don't underestimate the importance of labeling. If the video doesn't grab someone's attention, the caption is your second chance.

Deliver value

In order to get a viewer's attention, you need to provide a value. Your pitch could be purely entertainment – like comic book relief, engaging conversation, or your magnetic personality. Or you can give tips and tricks, instructions and workshops or thought-provoking information.

Your value proposition should be clear and simple. Before creating a video, fill in the blank: When someone watches this video, they will _______. The answer can range from “laughing out loud” to “learning how to do snowman wiches”. Whatever you land, it should be clear to viewers in advance.

If you keep your promise, you will likely see more views, engagement, and approvals.

Use sound and subtitles

According to Instagram, 60% of people see stories with the sound on. However, it is known that there are many reasons why people may be able to watch your video with the sound off, including contextual and hearing disorders.

Use sound to enhance your video and add subtitles to make your video more accessible. IGTV has the ability to use automatic video titles, and timed text can be manually added to Instagram Stories and Reels. To save time, tools like Clipomatic will automatically add subtitles to your video.

Post regularly

The best way to build an audience is to post regularly. This is especially true for long formats like Instagram Live and IGTV.

Create a schedule and share it with your viewers so they know when to expect your next Instagram Live. Or develop an IGTV series that your followers can regularly look forward to and hear. Use planning tools like Hootsuite to make sure your posts get published on time.

Try to post when your followers or most are online. Review your analyzes and consult our research to determine when this is the case. Remember, your schedule won't work for everyone. So make sure your Instagram videos are still available. Save Instagram Live Videos to IGTV and share new IGTV episodes so people don't miss them.

Tip: Create a countdown sticker on an Instagram story to increase the anticipation of an Instagram Live or IGTV premiere.

Cross-promote your videos

There are many ways you can make videos more discoverable. Use trending hashtags, geotags, and flag relevant accounts. Add popular stickers to your story. And of course, you can always inject a few advertising dollars.

With all of these boxes checked, plan on promoting your Instagram videos before and after posting. Share your videos with Instagram Stories. Tease an upcoming Instagram Live on Twitter. Pin your videos on Pinterest.

Not only does this increase the number of views, but it also encourages engagement on other platforms. The effort involved in creating the video is even more worthwhile.

No title needed.

Just take a glass and turn it on.

Dec. 15, 4 p.m. PT / 7 p.m. ET
On Instagram Live ???? @maryjblige @TheWineMVP

– Will Blackmon @ (@WillBlackmon) December 14, 2020

Instagram video apps

You have your tripod and ring light ready. Now try these Instagram video apps to perfect your content.


Use Canva to automatically size Instagram videos for you, add interactive elements, and take advantage of the app's photo and audio library.


Hootsuite's collaborative platform is ideal for content that requires teamwork and approval. You can also manage all of your video using the Hootsuite content library.

Then use the planner to locate releases, schedule production, and spot gaps in your content calendar. Avoid delays in posting a multi-part story with the planning tools.


Clipomatic is the preferred method of adding live subtitles to social videos from a number of high profile users, including U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Queer Eye's Karamo Brown. Subtitles as you speak or add subtitles to recorded videos. The subtitle tool is available in more than 30 languages. The text can be edited and adjusted before posting.

Apple clips

Apple's video editor allows you to cut and dice videos as you like before sharing them to Instagram. The app also includes a number of filters, special effects and graphics. As with Clipomatic, you can also add live subtitles and text to your videos.

Adobe Premiere Rush

Adobe Premiere Rush is included in the Creative Cloud All Apps plan and Premiere Pro. If you're an existing customer, this app has a number of social video tools and features. Aside from stunted special effects, the app keeps its audio library up to date with custom recordings.


Lumen5 is a video creator that helps companies convert their blog posts into engaging social videos. The AI-powered video app pulls images and words into a storyboard that brands can edit and adapt to any platform.


If you want to join the video action but only have audio and text to work with, Headliner is for you. The app was originally developed to promote podcasts and is used by Wondery, BBC, CNN and other platforms. You use headliners to turn audio clips into shareable, animated video.

Increase your Instagram presence with Hootsuite. From a single dashboard, you can schedule and publish posts and stories right on Instagram, engage your target audience, measure performance and run all other social media profiles. Try it for free today.

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