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How Long Can Instagram Reels Be?

Since the feature’s launch in 2019, Instagram Reels have been a massive hit among users; and for Instagram, this means continued dominance in the social media space. This couldn’t be more welcome in the face of TikTok’s growing popularity.

Businesses and brands also have something to gain from this. They can reach their target audience more effectively and with more creativity. Like other features, Instagram has policies regarding the length of Instagram Reels.

Find out how long Instagram Reels can be and how you can make the most of your Instagram Reels posts.

What Is Instagram Reels Maximum Length

Instagram Reels is a new feature that allows users to create short videos and share them with their followers. But just how long can these reels be?

The maximum length for an Instagram reel is 90 seconds. That’s it – no longer. It’s a relatively short window, but you can still pack a lot of content into your reel if you use it wisely. You can make a whole story in 90 seconds or a catchy ad in 15. The choice is yours.

Once you hit the preset length for the Reel video, it will automatically end. For this reason, tracking how much time you have left is vital when creating your reel. If you don’t want it to end abruptly, you can always add some music or a caption at the end so that it wraps up nicely.

Another thing worth mentioning is Instagram’s policy on recommended video aspect ratio. Given that most users are on mobile, the platform recommends between a 1.91:1 and 9:16 ratio for all videos uploaded.

Learn how to resize videos for Instagram using this value-packed guide.

How to Set Up the Length of Your Reels

Setting up the length of IG Reels is pretty straightforward. Here’s how to about it:

  • Open the Instagram app on your device and tap on the camera icon. You can also slide the screen to the left.

  • Next, select “REEL”, as shown below.

  • Tap the timer icon labeled “Length” and select an appropriate length for your Reel video. Currently, Instagram provides three options, 15-, 30-, 60- and 90-second long videos.

  • You can now record your reel in one take or break it into smaller clips that you can stitch together. To do this, tap the ‘Record’ button at the bottom of the screen and capture your first clip.
  • Press the ‘Done’ button to save your first clip. Then, you can continue recording additional clips until you reach your desired duration.
  • Alternatively, you can upload pre-recorded clips from your device as Reels.
  • After recording or uploading media, you can edit your reel further by adding effects, filters, or music. You can also add text and stickers to make your reel more engaging.
  • Preview the reel, and if you’re satisfied with the way your reel looks, you can hit ‘Post’ to upload it to your Instagram feed.

Remember, Instagram will automatically limit your Reel video to your selected length. You can use the inbuilt timer if you’re recording from the app, but if you’re uploading the video, you’ll need to ensure it’s cropped to fit the appropriate length.

Instagram will crop out the extra footage, but for best results, crop it yourself to avoid leaving essential parts.

What Is the Best IG Reels Video Length (and Why It Matters?)

Instagram guidelines on Reels video length aside, there’s a suitable video length for each IG Reels video, depending on what you’re trying to achieve.

Here’s how to determine the best IG Reels video length:

Decide on Your Goals

It seems obvious but worth the mention. Before you start shooting any reel, you should clearly understand what you’re trying to achieve. The specific case uses like ads or product teasers would require shorter reels than an explainer video on how to use a product.

Remember you’re competing for your audience’s attention, and how you craft the IG Reel is decisive. While you’re at, you may also want to set or rather break down your overall goal into measurable objectives.

This will be useful as you move to the third step, where you’ll have to test different strategies against your set objectives and hopefully find a winner.

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Analyze Your Competitors

If other brands/ businesses in your niche get positive results with their Instagram Reels, they’ve probably cracked the code.

But this doesn’t mean copying your competitor’s strategy entirely. Compare your Instagram analytics tools with theirs and identify the gaps. You’ll save a lot of time by improving their strategy rather than reinventing the wheel completely.

Look at several of your closest and most successful competitors for best results, draw upon industry best practices, and build up from there.

A Bit of Trial and Error

If you’re lucky, you can get the desired results in one go. But this isn’t always the case; even with an enhanced strategy modeled after your competitor’s, certain factors come into play.

Once you’ve developed your strategy, test it. Don’t worry if you feel like you haven’t figured out everything. For best results, you may want to go the A/B test route, where you would try out several strategies and measure their effectiveness in achieving your objectives.

How to Make the Most of Your IG Reels Time

One way to look at Instagram’s Reel’s time limitations is they’re too restrictive. A better way to look at it is it’s designed to help you capture and engage your target audience fully if you utilize the time properly.

Here are a couple of suggestions to maximize your efforts with IG Reels:

You may want to use a storyboard technique to get the most out of your Reels time. A storyboard will help you create a cohesive video from start to finish. Begin by plotting each scene in your video, complete with transitions and captions. This will ensure that all the essential parts of your story are included in the allotted 15 seconds.

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Another way to maximize your time is by creating a montage. Try combining several short clips to tell a longer story in the same amount of time. The idea here is to string together several related scenes that work together to create a complete narrative. Sticking with similar clips, like footage of different people doing the same activity, is best to ensure smooth transitions.

You can also try adding audio effects to your Reels. Background music can boost your video and can emphasize certain scenes or highlight transitions. You can also try adding sound effects and voiceovers to enhance your message. Just be sure to pick out audio that fits your topic and observe Instagram’s copyright guidelines.

Captions and subtitles are always a good idea with any video. They can help your audience understand what is happening in your video, even if they cannot hear it clearly, whether it’s due to a noisy environment, restrictive office policy, or hearing impairments. Subtitles are also helpful for viewers who do not speak the audio track’s language.

Lastly, to keep it interesting, no one likes recycled content. This can be hard, considering you may be just starting or don’t know what to post. Here’s a long list of Instagram post ideas if you’re down on options.

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Getting all this done may take so long, and you may need premium video editing software. Thankfully, you can get this free on with a few clicks. Here’s how to use to maximize your IG Reels time:

  • Open on your browser and click “Create Video.”
  • Select “Upload” from the popup menu or import from Instagram, as shown below. Follow the prompts to transfer the video(s) to

  • You’ll be redirected to the video editor once the upload is complete.
  • Scroll down the submenu on your left. You can now use the storyboard and add audio or hardcode captions and subtitles to your Reels video.

  • For the montage, click the plus sign at the bottom and add new video clips or images to your Reel video frame.

  • Preview the clip, and once everything looks good, hit “Publish,” select “Video,” and follow the subsequent prompts to export the video to your device.

You can now upload the new Instagram Reels video on your profile.

Final Thoughts

Instagram Reels are a great way to express yourself as an individual, brand, or business. But to take full advantage of this fantastic feature, you must know how long Instagram Reels can be and the ideal video length for each scenario.

Initially limited to 15 seconds, Instagram now allows Reels video to be recorded in 15-, 30-, 60- and 90-minute intervals. The interval you choose to work with depends on your preferences and set objectives.

Everything considered, Instagram Reels should be on your to-do list if you plan on reaching a wider audience. Here’s a list of Instagram tools to help you get started.


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