Instagram was launched in 2010 as a unique online platform for exclusively uploading pictures in a square format by its users. It quickly gained popularity globally and steadily gained thousands of users every day. Thereafter, it gradually upgraded to a variety of features that help connect with the audience and build a brand. 

Through Instagram, one can connect to people and other brands by creating posts in various formats. Users can use the additional features of Instagram to become more creative in their content. 

Besides posting pictures, you could also post videos on Instagram. Today, there are different video formats on the app to engage with the audience such as stories, reels, IGTV, Instagram Live and Instagram Videos. 

What’s the difference between all these different kinds of videos? Confused about how to use these video formats? Then here’s a guide for each kind of video format. 

1. Instagram Stories

Instagram Stories is a feature that allows a user to upload photos or videos that are only viewable for 24 hours. They disappear after 24 hours but can be saved under highlights.

There are also multiple features under stories such as tagging, filters, stickers, adding GIFs, etc.   

Duration of Instagram Stories

You can record a regular video or record a boomerang on Instagram stories. Each video can be up to 15 seconds long, and you can post multiple videos as you wish. 

Type of Content for Instagram Stories 

Stories can be recorded in real-time or pre-recorded and then uploaded. 

You can optimise interaction by using various features of Instagram stories such as adding stickers, polls, quizzes, using relevant hashtags, questions etc. Once you upload your video on stories, add the feature you want to before posting. 

To keep the connection with your audiences strong, it is advisable to respond to the audience’s reactions to your stories. 

Aspect Ratio, Dimensions, Video Format and File Size for Instagram Stories

The best video format for Instagram stories is MP4, with an aspect ratio of 16:9 or 9:16. The maximum file size for Instagram Stories can be 50 MB. 

2. Instagram Reels 

Instagram Reels was introduced by Instagram following the ban on Tik-Tok in India and has been trending ever since. Reels are short videos on Instagram, where you can showcase your talents and creativity using creative tools such as audio, AR effects, speed, alignment and timer. 

Reels has since become one of the most sought ways to post on Instagram. 

Duration of Instagram Reels

Initially, a user could post 30-second long reels, but now you can post 60-second long ones. 

Type of Content for Instagram Reels 

Brands generally use reels to post informative content for their users, but keeping up with trending reels, they can be funny ones too. 

Aspect Ratio, Dimensions, Video Format and File Size for Instagram Reels 

Instagram Reels can be in MP4 or MOV video formats, with an aspect ratio of 9:16. The dimension of reels should be 1080px wide by 1920px tall, and the maximum file size should be 4GB. 


IGTV is an abbreviated word used for Instagram TV. Instagram launched IGTV in 2018 with a concept like that of a television, and IGTV also has channels. When you follow someone on Instagram, their IGTV channel will show up on your feed. 

Duration of IGTV

Unlike any other video format on Instagram, here you can post videos a minimum of 15 seconds short and up to one hour long.  

Also, IGTV is exclusively used to post videos in portrait or vertical mobile mode. 

Type of Content for IGTV

Since the time limit on IGTV is more, you can use it to create more detailed content, storytelling, or short films like videos, recording of recipes or an informative video. 

Aspect Ratio, Dimensions, Video Format and File Size for IGTV 

IGTV videos can be posted in MP4 video format. They should be in vertical mode as above mentioned, with a minimum aspect ratio of 4:5 and a maximum aspect ratio of 9:16. 

The video size can be up to 650 MB for videos having a duration of 10 minutes or less, whereas the file size for videos longer than 10 minutes and up to 60 minutes can be a maximum of 5.4 GB. 

4. Instagram Live

Instagram Live lets you broadcast your video live on your page/channel. 

This means your audience can see the real-time streaming of your video through Instagram stories, and once the Live is over, they can also view it as a story. 

Duration of Instagram Live

You can broadcast through Instagram Live for up to 60 minutes per live session.

Type of Content for Instagram Live

Instagram Live is a highly interactive session and can be used to have real-time conversations with audiences, informative demo sessions of products, launching of any products or making announcements, showcasing live performances of events etc. 

Aspect Ratio, Dimensions, Video Format and File Size for Instagram Live 

The video format of Instagram Live needs to be MP4. An aspect ratio of 9:16 is preferred, and the dimensions should be 1080px wide by 1920px tall.

Since it is live streaming, there are no file size requirements. 

5. Instagram Feed Videos 

Instagram videos are those videos you can post on your page rather than your stories or reels. They can be pre-recorded and uploaded easily without any technical requirements. They show up on your Instagram page, and when you post such a video, it will show on the feed of your followers. 

Duration of Instagram Feed Videos

Instagram feed videos earlier were made available to post for a 15-second duration. Now, you can post Instagram Feed Videos for a minimum of 3 seconds and up to 60 seconds long. 

Type of Content for Instagram Feed Videos 

Unlike Instagram Reels, there are no add-on features such as audio, filters etc. for Instagram Feed Videos. 

They are simple, short and can be used for engagement, such as posting trailers of movies or short movies or any to give an informative video showing quick steps to do something etc.  

Aspect Ratio, Dimensions, Video Format and File Size for Instagram Feed Videos

Instagram Feed Videos can be in MP4 or MOV with an H.264 Codec ACC audio and 3,500 kbps video bitrate formats. 

The minimum aspect ratio can be 1:19, while it can be a maximum of 4:5. The dimension of 1080px wide by 1350px tall is advisable for Instagram Feed Videos. 

There is no file size limit for Instagram Feed Videos, but a file size of up to 50 MB is preferable. 

While selecting a video format to post on Instagram might be a difficult question, considering the features of each format and how you can make the best use of them would prove helpful to decide.  

As far as engagement is concerned, it is advisable to use the relevant hashtags in the caption while uploading a video in any format. 

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