While Instagram may have started as an app for posting images, the developers have since realized the power of video as an effective method for engaging the audience on the platform. Image content is captivating in its way, but videos grab the viewer’s attention because they’re dynamic and eventful, often demanding to be watched to the end.
Video does wonders for all kinds of content creators. It generates 12 times more shares than image and textual content together, and it’s particularly popular with the ever-growing mobile community—92% of mobile users share video content with their families and friends. When it comes to marketing, studies have determined that video is the #1 method for a successful content strategy.
Instagram has enabled its users to share videos in different ways, including their feeds, Stories, and IGTV. While you might think that uploading a video to Instagram is easy, the chances are that the final result won’t look the way you expect it to. If this happens, it’s because you didn’t pay attention to the optimal Instagram video size and other recommended specifications when editing the video.
Why Isn’t My Instagram Video the Same Quality as the Source?
Instagram focuses on providing the best possible user experience. This means that it prioritizes conserving bandwidth and using less server storage to make the process of streaming videos faster and smoother. As a result, all your video uploads are processed by Instagram’s data compression algorithms.
Compression isn’t an issue if your video is encoded in line with Instagram’s recommended specs. This includes particular settings for each type of Instagram video, including:
- Carousel ad
If you post a video that doesn’t meet Instagram’s standards, the platform will modify and compress it. In case your video is too small or encoded using the wrong framerate, the end product will most probably be blurry and show compression artifacts like noise and pixelation.
To help you avoid such issues, let’s take a look at how you should prepare your video for generating the best results on Instagram.
Recommended Instagram Video Specs
You need to follow Instagram’s video requirements to ensure that the quality doesn’t get affected by resizing and compression. This includes the videos that you post to your:
- Carousel ad
Instagram Video Requirements for the Feed
You can post different formats of videos to your feed, each with different resolution and aspect ratio specifications. Depending on your video format, here are the recommended sizes:
Recommended Size for Instagram In-Feed Videos
|Max Resolution||Min Resolution||Aspect Ratio|
The video that you upload to your feed needs to be encoded in MP4 or MOV, with a framerate of no more than 30fps. You can’t upload footage longer than 60 seconds, and the media file can’t be larger than 4GB.
Instagram Video Requirements for Stories
Aside from including videos in your feed, Instagram enables you to post them as Stories. While the recommended file size and format are the same as with in-feed videos, the frame rate should be 30fps or more. You should also keep in mind that the maximum duration is 15 seconds. You can upload longer videos, but Instagram will separate them into 15-second segments for each Story.
When it comes to the recommended size, the videos you post to your Story should be:
Recommended Size for Instagram Story Videos
|Video Format||Max Resolution||Min Resolution||
|1080×1920||600×1067||9:16 or 4:5|
Instagram Video Requirements for Carousel Ads
Carousel ads are an eye-catching way to combine multiple clips or images into a video that showcases different items, such as services, products, and promotions. Like in-feed videos, they can be no more than 60 seconds long and need to be encoded in MP4 or MOV at the maximum frame rate of 30fps. The maximum file size is 4GB. You can use 2–10 images and videos per ad.
Let’s take a look at the recommended size for Instagram carousel ad videos:
Recommended Size for Instagram Carousel Ad Videos
For optimal results, you should encode all three types of videos using:
- Video codec—H.264
- Video bitrate—3,500 Kbps
- Audio codec—AAC
- Audio sample rate—44.1 kHz
Recommended IGTV Video Specs
IGTV is Instagram’s companion app for posting long-form videos. You can get it from the App Store or Google Play and connect it with your Instagram profile. While it works as a standalone app, it’s also integrated with Instagram so your followers can find your IGTV videos via your profile or their Explore Page.
When you open the IGTV app, videos will start playing automatically. They can be filtered based on interests, popularity, and the channels you’re following. IGTV plays videos in succession, like when you’re watching a TV channel.
The maximum duration of an IGTV video depends on the device you’re uploading it from:
- Mobile—15 minutes
- Desktop—60 minutes
While the file size limit for 15-minute videos is 650MB, for 60-minute videos, it’s 3.6GB. They need to be encoded in the MP4 format, with a frame rate of at least 30fps.
While IGTV was originally designed for vertical videos only, you can now upload horizontal ones as well. The recommended dimensions for IGTV videos are:
Recommended Size for IGTV Videos
|Video Format||Max Resolution||Min Resolution||Max AR||
When uploading your video to IGTV, you should also consider the dimensions of the:
IGTV Preview Dimensions
You can set up a preview for your IGTV video that will show in your Instagram feed. It’s 60 seconds long and uses a 4:5 aspect ratio. When uploading the video, use the Edit Preview option to ensure that the preview shows properly.
Previews are an effective way to engage your Instagram followers to check out your IGTV video. After the first 60 seconds have passed, the preview will end and prompt users to check out the rest of the video on your IGTV channel.
IGTV covers work the same as YouTube thumbnails. When you upload your video, the platform will create several screenshots that you can select as a cover. The better option is to create an upload one yourself and ensure that it grabs the users’ attention by letting them know what they can expect from your content.
The optimal cover size is:
- Resolution—420×654 pixels
- Aspect ratio—1:1.55
Once you’ve uploaded your video, you can no longer edit the cover and preview, so make sure to set them up beforehand.
How To Prepare Your Video for Uploading to Instagram
While Instagram may not give you control over what happens to your content when you upload it, you can compress a video yourself and ensure high quality while following the platform’s requirements.
If you’re not recording via Instagram, you shouldn’t worry about the requirements before you decide to upload your video. You can configure your camera settings to the highest quality and shoot your footage with the intention to capture as much detail as possible. When you’ve filmed and edited the perfect video, you can use a compression tool that provides the options you need to convert your file without losing much of the original quality.
Let’s take a look at how you can prepare your video for upload using HandBrake—a free and open-source compression tool.
Using HandBrake To Convert Your Footage to the Best Video Format for Instagram
Using HandBrake, you can convert your video into the best size and format for Instagram in just a few steps. First, you need to import the media file by browsing to it or dragging and dropping it onto the screen. When the file is done uploading, you will be taken to the settings screen.
If you’re familiar with converting files, you can use one of the presets that the tool offers. Otherwise, you can configure the conversion options yourself. Click on the drop-down menu in the Format section, and choose MP4. Then, click on the Dimensions tab to set up the appropriate resolution.
On the Dimensions screen, go to the Size section and type in the desired width and height. If your video is recorded in an aspect ratio that doesn’t fit Instagram recommendations, changing the resolution will allow HandBrake to crop it automatically.
If you don’t want the video to be cropped evenly, you can select Custom and input how many pixels you want to cut from a particular side of the frame.
Click on the Video tab to continue.
On the Video screen, you can change the quality settings for your recording. Use the Video Codec drop-down menu to choose H.264 and the menu below it to set the frame rate to 30fps.
You can use the Constant Quality slider to ensure that the resulting video maintains the best possible quality when the video gets converted.
To see what the resulting video will look like, click on Preview in the menu at the top of the screen. If you’re satisfied with the results, click on Start Encode.
Transfering the Video to Your Mobile Device Without Compression
While you can upload videos to IGTV from your desktop browser, you need to transfer your video to a mobile device to be able to post it to Instagram. When doing so, you should avoid using Instagram direct messages or other apps that will compress your video further, such as Viber, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger.
If you want to transfer the video to your iPhone or Android device online, you can do so via email if the media file doesn’t surpass your email client’s size restrictions. If it does, you can rely on a cloud-based solution such as Dropbox or WeTransfer.
Now that we’ve covered the essentials of preparing a video for Instagram, let’s take a look at how you can create professional-looking video content for the platform using the best video editing app on the market.
InVideo—A Robust Platform for Creating Stunning Instagram Videos
There’s more to posting video content to Instagram than knowing how to approach it from the technical side. You need to know how to make a video that will grab your audience’s attention and provide them with something valuable. It’s also important that your videos look professional and represent your brand in a memorable way.
InVideo—our feature-rich video editor—can help you achieve all of that.
Aside from being the most user-friendly platform you can find, InVideo provides a variety of features and templates for creating professional-looking Instagram videos that your followers will love. This includes:
Let’s take a look at how you can use InVideo’s eye-catching templates for Instagram videos.
How To Use InVideo’s Premade Templates To Create Amazing Instagram Videos
InVideo provides an extensive library of more than 3,000 fantastic templates for all kinds of videos, including a vast selection of those specifically made for Instagram. Depending on the type of content your channel is based on, you can use a template for:
- Motivational quotes
- Podcast announcements
- Exclusive offers
- Gaming livestream invites
- Memory slideshows
- Product ads
All of our templates are fully customizable, which means that you can turn them into personalized videos for your Instagram profile. You can edit the existing elements, import your media files, and play around with any of the features that InVideo has to offer.
To start editing a template of your choice, all you need to do is:
- Open the Premade Templates tab
- Pick the template that you want to work on
- Preview it to see if it fits your concept
- Click on Use this template to start editing
How To Edit a Template
When you open a template in the video editor, you can view all of its elements in the menu on the right. They are shown as layers that are arranged in the order of visibility. Some of the elements are locked, so if you want to edit them, you need to click on the lock icon on the right side of each layer bar.
Editing Textual Elements
Let’s say that you want to edit a textual element. Click on it to open the Edit menu.
Here, you can replace the default text with yours and change a variety of settings, such as:
- Style—Change the font and configure the size, style, height, and alignment
- Colors—Select a different color for the textual element
- Drop shadow—Add a drop shadow effect to the text and pick a color for it
- Animation—Animate the way a letter, word, line, or the whole text appears and disappears during a scene
- Textbox animation—Set up an animation for the whole textual element
- Change project colors—Change the template-default colors to your brand preset or a custom selection
Editing Image Elements
If you want to replace an image element, you can find alternative solutions by going to the menu bar on the left and opening the Images tab. Here, you can browse through our vast selection of royalty-free images. If you want to use image files that you’ve created, you can import and add them to your scenes via the Upload tab.
Go back to your scene, and click on the image element that you want to replace. Drag and drop a photo that you’ve uploaded or chosen from our library onto the scene. Click on Replace in the pop-up menu, and adjust the new image to your liking.
InVideo provides a variety of other features, including filters, stickers, overlays, transition effects, and much more. Aside from images, our library includes an impressive selection of songs and videos. It consists of more than a million media files that can turn your video into an engaging visual experience.
Start Making Jaw-dropping Instagram Videos With InVideo Today
With InVideo, you can approach video editing however you like. If a premade template seems too restrictive, you can always start editing from scratch or use our Text-to-Video method to transform scripts and media files into scenes.
Aside from being as easy to use as they come, InVideo is one of the most cost-effective video editors out there. With our free plan, you can use all of InVideo’s editing features free of charge, for as long as you like. The only restrictions are that the videos will have the InVideo watermark and that you can export up to 60 videos per month. You can always upgrade to one of our paid plans down the road to remove these limitations.
Ready to start making high-quality Instagram videos that will leave your followers breathless? Sign up for InVideo today!