Best Video Format for Instagram

September 1, 2022
Reading time8 minutes
Jaqueline Corradi
Jaqueline Corradi
Content Manager

Understanding the best video format for Instagram is an important factor in conquering your audience. With almost  1.3 billion monthly users in 2022, this is the second largest social media network in the world, and they have been encouraging creators to produce more video content

Reels, in-feed videos, stories, and lives have turned Instagram into a platform for videos and no longer only images with captions. According to Instagram Trend research Study, 91% of the surveyed active users watch videos on Instagram weekly. It's an opportunity for you to engage more with your followers, catch their attention, and gain new followers. 

Check out this article to understand better what you need to consider to make the best video format for Instagram.

What is the Best Video Format for Instagram?

The best video format for Instagram is MP4. To save the file in this format you can use a video editing app or an online file converter. Other technical specifications are recommended: 

  • AAC audio
  • H.264 codec
  • 30 fps (frames per second)
  • 3500 kbps bitrate
  • 1920 pixels tall
  • 1080 pixels wide

Those specifications are valid for reels, in-feed videos, and stories. In the case of lives, as you will record directly from Instagram, the app will configure them automatically. 

Best Instagram Video Format: Dimensions and Aspect Ratio

The best video dimensions and aspect ratio for Instagram will vary according to the type of video you are going to produce. It's important to pay attention to that to avoid losing video quality when publishing it on the platform. 

Video Feed

Although it's possible to post videos in the feed with different dimensions, a square video post with 1080x1080px, and even in the horizontal format, with 1080x608px, these aren't the most recommended dimensions anymore. 

The most common format for videos used to be the horizontal one, as we see in movies and TV shows, but with the growth of video consumption on smartphones, this has changed significantly. Not only Instagram contributed to this, but also apps like Snapchat and TikTok where the main content is vertical videos.

This has also to do with the user experience. We use our smartphones on the vertical, and people don't want to turn their phones to watch a video.

The best dimension for video feeds is the same for reels, which as you can check on the app, now share the same section on the profiles. Therefore, it's advisable to use the 1080x1920px dimensions, with an aspect ratio of 9:16. 

Reels

Following the TikTok success, the reels have become a trend on Instagram too, and they are characterized as short videos recorded on the vertical. You can make reels about several different topics, from fashion to recipes. 

The dancing videos and the lip sync ones are some of the most popular reels and many of them have gone viral. The video dimension to follow is the same one as the video feed, 1080 x 1920 px, and the aspect ratio is 9:16 too. 

Stories

The Instagram stories can be recorded directly from the app, which means you don't need to worry about setting up the dimensions and aspect ratio for yourself. But, if you want to publish a previously recorded video in the stories, the best is to respect the recommended dimensions of 1080x1920px, 9:16 aspect ratio.

Although, with stories, you can position the video on the screen in the square format, and write something underneath it. The problem is if the users are going to be able to see the video images well and if it isn't going to be too small. 

How to Enhance Video Quality On Instagram

User experience matters. Think about yourself, when you are watching a video on Instagram, seeing high-resolution images have an impact on your perception of the content, right? To avoid losing quality when publishing, it's essential to pay attention to some aspects. 

Besides, using the best video format for Instagram, make sure you are connected to a wi-fi network, and transfer your video through Google Drive or Apple Airdrop. Use a high-quality camera to record the video, which has become an easier task since the latest smartphones already come with cameras that record on 4K and FullHD. 

Best Instagram Video Format: Length

How long should your Instagram video be? This depends on the type of video you are going to produce. Each story can have no more than 15 seconds, but you can record several of them in sequence.

You need to consider, though, if your followers are going to watch every story if you post a lot of them in a short period of time, or if they are just going to jump all the videos. 

When it comes to videos in your feed the minimum length is 3 seconds and the maximum is 10 minutes. Some selected accounts can post longer videos of up to 60 minutes. The reel video length can vary from 15 to 60 seconds. 

For live streaming, the original video length limit was 1 hour, but Instagram has extended it and now you can stream for 4 hours. It's also possible to save the live stream on your feed, so people who didn't have the opportunity to watch can see it later. 

Tips to Record Videos Using Instagram Best Video Format

Besides applying the best video format for Instagram, and paying attention to the other technical aspects that will influence the quality of your productions, it's also necessary to plan the content. A video can have the best resolution ever, but if the content is boring, it's unlikely that anyone will want to watch it. 

On the other hand, there are several viral reels that weren't recorded with the best equipment and have poor image quality. But, they caught the users' attention because of the storytelling, the choreography, the vlogger's charisma, and authenticity. 

Catch the User Attention in the First Seconds

The first seconds of an Instagram video are crucial to instigating the viewers' curiosity, so they will want to keep watching, instead of continuing scrolling their feed. You can catch their attention by announcing what you will explain during the video and how it benefits them or showing eye-catching images, for instance. You need to use your creativity.

Know Your Audience

What type of videos does your audience like to watch? Do they prefer long or short videos? Do they consume more stories or reels? Having those answers will help you to plan content that meets your target audience's wishes. 

Research the topics that they are interested in, and how you can create videos that provide the information they will find interesting and valuable. The tone of speech matters as well, if your audience is younger you may use a more informal vocabulary, but if you are addressing the videos to a group of entrepreneurs the way to approach is different. 

Create a Script

Being spontaneous is something very valuable in videos, mainly in stories, which are frequently used to show the routine. But, to produce reels, lives, and videos for the Instagram feed, it's pertinent to write a script.

The script will guide you through what you have to say and do during the scenes, and help you not to forget to mention some essential information. But, remember, to try to relax and talk in the rhythm of a conversation, without being too rigid. 

Be Authentic

This may sound like cliche advice, but the truth is being yourself makes a whole difference to engage with your followers through videos. They notice when you are just mimicking another content creator's style, or if you are just reading a text with no emotions, it makes them feel distant from you.

Even when it comes to video for companies, it's important to humanize the brand, so the customers may relate to it. Authenticity is about many things, the way you speak, how you edit the videos and using a catchy phrase that is typical of you. 

Finding inspiration from other video content is great and will help you to develop your scripts and plan the videos. But, be careful not to make a copy, which makes your posts lose quality. As you start producing videos and publishing them you will understand how to improve, and feel more confident and comfortable in front of the camera. 

Experiment to See What Works Better

Try out different types of videos, and don't be afraid to experiment, the most important thing you need to always remember is to keep the videos aligned with your brand's identity.

Besides that, you can be bold and try a funny reel dancing, showing the outfits from the people in the office, asking them to explain what they do, and explaining how your brand product is made, for instance. 

Keep your eyes on the metrics, though. Instagram analytics tools allow you to identify the videos that have the highest number of likes, shares, and comments. Then, you can see the most successful topics and video types that you should invest on to keep producing.

Enjoy Best Instagram Video Format to Boost Your Brand Visibility

Instagram videos are a valuable asset for content creators and brands that wish to develop brand awareness, engage with their audience, and expand their reach. Apple the best video format for Instagram, and start producing videos to enhance your performance on Instagram, and reach your marketing goals.

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