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How Long Can Instagram Reels Be?

Published February 1, 2024

Since Instagram debuted its reels on August 5th, 2020, this feature has skyrocketed in popularity. The decision to incorporate this video feature in Instagram which was essentially a ‘picture-sharing app’ seemed bizarre at first, but four years down the line we can understand why.

Video content is now the way to go. This is more notable when you realize the impact TikTok has on the younger demographic (people below the age of 35). Quite shocking for an app that was released six years after Instagram.

Instagram came up with reels to compete, with a dedicated tab on the app. At first, these reels were only 15 seconds long, but that time has increased with subsequent updates.

How Long Are Instagram Reels In 2024?

At the moment, Instagram Reels can be 90 seconds long if you record them in the app, or 15 minutes long if you upload a video you’ve already made.

While this long duration may seem great, it may not be a good idea to upload videos that test the Instagram reel time limits. We’ll tell you why.

Does The Length of Instagram Reels Matter?

Here’s the thing: they do.

The main aim of posting your reels is to get people to engage with them. Depending on the specific content you’re posting, reel length can help decide if you’re video goes viral or not.

There’s no best length for an Instagram reel. You just have to decide how long to keep your content based on a few factors. These include:

  • Follower attention span: Short videos are more rampant on the internet now. Many people now seek videos that are short, yet impactful and fun. Unnecessarily long reels will have your followers scrolling before they’re over, negatively affecting your engagements.
  • Content and story: While short is good, not all content should follow this rule. Guides, walkthroughs, and product demos need some length to be understandable.

Don’t hack the best parts of your content out for speed. If you’re sure your story is engaging enough to keep your followers hooked, then go for it.

The idea is to stick to a sweet spot based on your audience. Keep your reels long enough to get your message across without boring them, and you’ll be fine.

How Do I Know The Best Instagram Reels Length For My Audience?

At the beginning of your content journey, you may find it tricky to know how long to keep your reels. Here are a few tips:

  • Check the length of competing reels: Figure out what’s working for your competitors, and it will probably work for you.
  • Post reels of different lengths and compare: Sometimes, trial and error is necessary. Post reels of various durations and keep an eye on your engagements. Which ones were liked and saved more?

If you have a Creator or Business account, then go to Reel Insights and see your progress for yourself.

Fine-tune the length of your reels with these tips and watch your engagements go up. You’ll be glad you did.

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Written By:
Jessica is a writer who specializes in social media, marketing, and digital strategy. She is a graduate of Antioch College and earned her MBA at Boston College’s Carroll Graduate School of Management, specializing in STEM Management. Her work has been published in numerous academic journals and mainstream publications. She lives in New England with her husband, two children, and three dogs.
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