Posted On 31 Aug 2022
Jennaya Dyet

Instagrammers spend an average of 53 minutes daily scrolling through the platform. A huge chunk of these 53 minutes is spent swiping across and enjoying the different offerings Instagram has – technically referred to as video formats. Below is everything you need to know about Instagram and its popular video formats.

What is Instagram?

Instagram may have started out as a popular photo and video-sharing app, but it has slowly transitioned to connecting people, brands, and places worldwide. As part of the larger Meta Group, Instagram has grown from a simple photo-sharing platform to a major business/brand marketing platform infused with captivating and entertaining picture video content.

Just how popular is Instagram?

In late 2021, CNBC reported that Instagram had reached the 2 billion monthly active users mark. Furthermore, it was the most downloaded app in 2021’s Q4, narrowly edging out TikTok, one of its top competitors with a massive fan base. However, among the US teenage population, Instagram ranks 3rd in preferred social media platforms behind TikTok and Snapchat.

Instagram is also popular among businesses and brands. According to SocialPilot, Instagram is a powerful marketing tool for small businesses to create a buzz surrounding their brand. Businesses and brands can post creative and entertaining photos or videos – in different formats – multiple times daily, hoping to attract potential clients.

Different Video Categories and Formats on Instagram

Instagram offers four primary video post categories. These include:

IGTV/Instagram Video

Instagram combines standard videos appearing on user timelines with IGTV. The videos appear on the user’s personal feed together with ordinary posts. However, they have their independent home in the Instagram Video tab. An IGTV video can last up to 60 seconds unless they are advert-supported content, typically 15 seconds long.

Instagram Reels

An Instagram Reel is a video appearing in the main news feed and expands to full screen when you open it. You can customise a reel with music, graphics, or text. Instagram Reels can go as long as 90 seconds and appear on a separate tab on the user’s profile page. They are highly popular, perhaps since it competes with TikTok.

Instagram Story

Stories are short videos that disappear automatically 24 hours after posting, unless you delete them before the 24-hour lapse. Stories are among the most watched video categories on Instagram. Unlike other categories, Instagram stories can be strictly 15 seconds.

Instagram Carousel Video/ In-feed

IG Carousel posts appear in your regular feed. However, they contain multiple videos or images in a single entry. You can swipe within the post to watch the next video or image.

Instagram Live

Users can also conduct live sessions on the platform. An Instagram live video can last up to 60 minutes.

Video Formats on Instagram

Instagram allows content uploading in three different video formats:

  • MP4. This is the default video output for most smartphones. It is also the ideal video format with H.264 codec and AAC audio.
  • GIF. Graphics Interchange Format (GIF) is a repeating loop of video lacking any sound.
  • MOV. MOV files are standard for Apple’s QuickTime.

Which is the Best Format for Your Post?

Although you can upload different video types on Instagram, the ideal format is MP4 since it gives your videos the best resolution and playability for your audience. To fully optimise your video content, below are the ideal technical specifications:

  • H.264 codec
  • 1920 pixels tall
  • 1080 pixels wide (max)
  • Maximum of 60 seconds long
  • 30 fps (frames per second)
  • 3500 kbps bit rate
  • AAC audio
  • .mp4 format.

Which is the Best Instagram Video Category for Your Brand?

Unlike in-feed posts, the Instagram Reel’s laid-back feel allows businesses and brands to flaunt their creativity. However, in-feed posts are the conventional pieces of Instagram content. Despite the lack of new and shiny features, in-feed video posts aren’t going anywhere for creators and brands. In-feed video posts are likely to be the best Instagram video category.

Would you like to learn more about Instagram and social media marketing? Contact us today to develop an Instagram video marketing strategy that meets your objectives.

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