Instagram Reels Length (2024) – Duration & Best Practices

Instagram Reels is your infinity stone to gaining instant popularity (and sales on your brand!) You can post a trending sound or adjust your video to fit the viral length limit. Now, the question is, how long can Instagram Reels be?

After going through a series of articles, I have understood that there are factors that vary the length of your Reel. Yes, there is a maximum limit on your Reel, but at the same time, each length gains you different benefits. 

In this article, I will primarily discuss limiting factors for your Reel (compression size and resolutions – to name a few). 

In addition, I will discuss the best length limit to make your Reel go viral, different goals/ benefits upon posting certain seconds of the Reel, and four tips from my end to find your ideal length for an Instagram Reel. 

So, let’s dive into the details:-

How Long Can Instagram Reels Be? (Quick Overview)

Before delving into extensive details, skim through the basics of Instagram Reel length, which is 90 seconds at most. However, the ideal length to post Reels is between 15 to 30 seconds, as that gains the most engagement. 

Let’s check out more Reel seconds and how it benefits you in the table below:-

Goal/ FeaturesReel Length
Maximum Reel Length Limit90 Seconds
Ideal Reel Length Limit15 to 30 Seconds
Length to grab users’ attention right away2 to 10 Seconds
Reel length to gain maximum views3 to 10 Seconds
Ensuring users watch your Reel in the Loop5 to 10 Seconds
Maximum Engagement on Reel15 to 30 Seconds
Building Connection with Your Viewers60 to 90 Seconds

Understanding Instagram Reel Video Length Limits 

When it comes to the length limit, Instagram Reel is not just restricted to the number of seconds you choose to post. Instead, the Reel’s resolution, Cover Photo Specs, and Compression size are a few factors that you should take into consideration. 

Instagram Reel Video Length
Source: Quora

The below list discusses the specifics of the available factors. 

  • Aspect Ratio – 9:16
  • Dimensions – 1080 Pixels x 1920 Pixels
  • Upload Limit – 90 Seconds
  • Resolution – 1080 Pixels x 1920 Pixels
  • Compression Size – The highest quality videos (1080 Pixels x 1080 Pixels) are compressed to 600 Pixels x 600 Pixels.

Check out the Aspect Ratio for the YouTube short here.

What’s The Best Length For Instagram Reels 

The ideal length for posting Instagram Reels is up to 30 seconds, as it brings more engagement to your page in terms of likes, comments, and shares. This goal can be achieved by keeping your content interactive and guiding viewers to do what you want. 

Is your goal to have them share your Reel? Say, “Don’t forget to share this Reel with your loved ones and make their evening!” You aim to get more likes, say, “15K likes, and I will drop behind-the-scenes footage.” You can be as creative and random as you want.

However, the most performing and easy-to-consume Reels are under 15 Seconds. Somehow, they are so addictive that each user watches them at least five times in a row, which makes it 75 seconds on average

I would rather watch a smaller Reel on a loop than a longer one just one time. 

I guess that’s what does the trick on Instagram. It’s all about captivating the viewer’s attention, which is in minus these days. Thus, making shorter videos/ Reels helps captivate the audience and keeps them engaged on your page for at least a minute.

How Does Instagram Reel Length Affect Your Engagement?

Different lengths of Reels have different effects on viewers. Check out a few examples below:-

1. Grabbing Users’ Attention Right Away: 2 To 10 Seconds Reels

Since the time limit is much shorter, it’s important for your intro to be catchy! 

I enjoy the content that is somewhat puzzling, so it makes me stay on the page to figure out what the creator is saying. So, assume you’re spending 20-30 seconds figuring out what the creator is saying – and an additional 20-30 seconds exploring the comments.

2. Increasing Views: 3 To 10 Seconds Reel

Continuation of the above point, shorter Reels help you gain maximum views. However, your video should have an intriguing, comic, or emotion-inducing quality to it.

3. Infinite Loop: 5 To 10 Seconds Reel

These videos are generally the kind whose first few words seamlessly transit with the last few words, making it a continual story. You cannot tell the break even if your Reel ends and starts again.

4. Getting More Engagement: 15 To 30 Seconds Reel

These Reels are ideal for conversions. Let’s say you are promoting a product and want the viewer to purchase it. For that, you need to create a situation where they feel that what you have is the best, and if they don’t get the same product, they are missing out a big time.

Creating a sense of urgency to take action is the kind of engagement I am talking about. 

Now, the engagement can be in the form of them clicking the link from your bio, dropping comments, or sharing posts – it depends on you. All you have to do is guide them. 

5. Building A Connection: 60 To 90 Seconds Reel

Since the Instagram algorithm counts completion views, if a viewer swipes up on your Reel without watching it till the end, it would mess up your Reel’s engagement rate. 

Hence, as advised by NapoleonCat, opt for short videos, preferably between 15-30 seconds, as not only will your Reel have better completion rates, but your followers, to an extent, will build connections with you and look forward to more posts.

Tips To Find The Ideal Length For Instagram Reels 

Find the Ideal Length For Instagram
Source: LinkedIn

Instagram is a place with a wide range of users, each with different attention spans as well as what they find interesting. 

As you know, the average limit of an Instagram Reel is up to 90 seconds. However, selecting an ideal length for your Reel depends on your target audience, goals, and the type of content you are creating. 

With that, I have a few tips that would help you gauge the ideal length for your Reel!

Tip #1: Understanding Your Niche Audience

Depending on the audience’s demographic, you can understand their attention span.

For example, Gen Z has the least attention span, so you need to capture the attention within 1.5 seconds. Once they have your attention, they will also sit through a longer video.

  • Likewise, Millennials have a 12 seconds attention span
  • Baby Boomers have 20 seconds
  • And Silent Generation has 22 seconds

Irrespective of your target age group, make sure your introduction is catchy.

That is because that would decide the engagement rate of your Reel as well as new followers.

Tip #2: Understanding Your Content Type

Before you jot down the idea for your Reel, ask yourself – Do you want to entertain the users? Sell a product? Educate them? Depending on your goal, the length of your Reel will be defined. 

For example, sharing intense information would require a minimum of 30 to 60 seconds. However, sharing product details or cracking silly jokes will not exceed 30 seconds. 

(These are just estimates. Thus, the length of your video, irrespective of the type suggestion, may vary!)

Tip #3: Analyse Your Past Engagement Rate

Analyze your past Reels and check which type of content, length, or sound has worked well. Regarding trending Reel sounds, you can check whether your audio is popular or whether your video aesthetic/ content has boosted your popularity. 

Similarly, you can even check the comment section and take the feedback from there. 

Once you understand the reason behind your engagement rate and if the primary reason behind it is the length of your video, then you have an answer!

Tip #4: Experiment With All Lengths!

Lastly, I would suggest experimenting with all types of Reel length limits. 

This will also help you understand what type of content you are most drawn to and whether it is converting. Likewise, you will improve at editing parts that are too long or do not serve any call-to-action purpose. 

For those who do not know, CTA helps viewers perform an action that works to your benefit. It can be as simple as getting X amount of likes, your desired comments, or even sharing stories. 

All you need to do is tell them to perform a certain action at the end of your video and reward them. For example, you can say, I have 499K followers, so whoever follows me and makes it 500K, I will follow them back!

This would naturally get multiple users to follow you, thinking they are the chosen one, but instead, you are only following one of them. So, it’s a win-win situation for you!

Conclusion: Instagram Reels Can Be Up to 90 Seconds Long

Instagram Reels can typically be 90 seconds. However, keeping your audience’s attention span in mind, the ideal rate for posting a Reel is between 15 seconds and 30 seconds. 

That, too, the initial 1.5 seconds of your introduction must be catchy enough for them to stay. 

Three key takeaways:-

  • Creating loop Reels: 5-10 Seconds
  • Gaining maximum engagement: 15 to 30 seconds
  • Building connection: 60 to 90 seconds

Keep in mind what works for one may not work for another. 

Therefore, it’s important for you to try all Reel lengths before deciding what many seconds of video are bringing you the most engagement! 

Related Reads:


Can an Instagram reel be 3 minutes?

Instagram Reel cannot be 3 Minutes, as its maximum length limit is 90 seconds. However, you can post an IGTV whose upload limit is about 60 minutes.

What is the longest reel length on Instagram?

90 seconds is the longest limit on the Reel length. However, with the help of third-party tools, Instagram lets you upload videos of up to 15 minutes on Reel. (Conditions apply.)

How long should a reel be to go viral?

15 to 30 seconds Reel length is ideal for going viral. That is because most users have less attention span, and thus, you need to present a hook within the first 2 seconds.

How do you increase the Instagram Reel time limit?

Tap on the plus sign at the bottom of your page (+), then select “Reel” and scroll down. Further, you will see 15 in a dotted circle, so tap on that. After you see four options, 15, 30, 60, and 90, select any time limit of your choice.

How long can an Instagram story be?

The maximum limit for sharing an Instagram story is 15 seconds. However, if you upload a, let’s say, 30-second story, it will get posted in two parts. 

What is the Instagram Reels size ratio?

9:16 is the ideal size ratio for Instagram Reels, alongside 1080 Pixels resolution.

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