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16 May 2022 Video tips

What's new for Instagram Video in 2022?

An updated guide to all the video features available on Instagram in 2022, complete with tips and aspect ratios of Reels, Stories, Live, and Feed Videos.

If you've been feeling a shift in what the Instagram algorithm prioritises over the past couple of years, you're not going crazy. Today, 91% of Instagram users report they watch videos on a weekly basis, with Reels, Live, Stories, and Instagram Video being the four horsemen of the Instagram algorithm apocalypse. 

But with so many ways to tell stories on Instagram, it can feel overwhelming trying to juggle all the varying formats while keeping up with their ever-evolving features. But here, we'll teach you all about the features available in 2022, some smart hacks, and how to make the most of each of them for your brand. 

Download our Video Activation guide  In this guide, we’ll share our key tactics and approaches, and walk you  through the details of the main distribution channels to help you work out what  to post when, where and why. Download the guide

what are the types of videos on Instagram?

1. Instagram Stories

2. Instagram Live

3. Instagram Feed Videos

4. Instagram Reels 

5. Video Activation Guide

1. INSTAGRAM STORIES

Inspired by Snapchat, Instagram Stories are 15-second snippets that disappear after 24 hours. But despite their short-form nature, Stories are one of the platform's most popular features, likely because they encourage way more frequent posting than in the feed due to their ephemeral nature. 

They have interactive elements allowing users to answer questions and polls, heart-react, direct message you, and share public stories with friends via DM. 

Tips for Instagram Stories
  • You can add interactive elements such as filters, emojis, tags, and stickers to each Story, from "this or that" polls to Q&As and product tags.
  • Instagram Stories are also one of the rare places on Instagram where you can post direct links, which is a great way to drive organic leads and conversions for brands. More than 50% of people say they've visited a brand's website after seeing a Story.
  • If you want your Instagram story to be visible for more than 24 hours, you can mercifully extend its life by saving it in your 'Highlights' section. 

instagram story examples

Image source: Buffer

Sizes for Instagram Stories

Stories take up the entire mobile screen and are tailored to the device, which means exact specs can vary. We grabbed these design requirements for Instagram Stories from Facebook.

  • Recommended image ratio: 9:16 (all feed ratios are supported, but this ratio maximizes the Stories format)
  • Recommended resolution: 1080_1920 (minimum resolution is 600_1067 with no maximum, though very high resolution may increase upload times)
  • Maximum file size: 30MB for images, 250MB for video
  • Title-safe area: Leave a 14% title-safe area at the top and bottom (in other words, don't put text or logos in the top or bottom 250 pixels of the Story, to avoid overlapping with the app's interface)

2. INSTAGRAM LIVE 

Starting a Live broadcast can be sone by swiping right or tapping the plus icon and toggling to 'Live'. Going live allows your video to stream directly to your audience's feeds, and followers also get a notification when this happens.

The other special thing about Live videos is they get pride of place at the front of your followers' Stories feeds with a Live icon, so you're more likely to get an audience. When you go live, you can see how many people are watching and interact with your audience in real time as they react with comments and emojis. 

How long can Live broadcasts last on Instagram?

Live streams can last up to four hours and can be hosted by up to four accounts.  So you can include a couple of colleagues, friends, customers, or thought leaders into your stream for a conversational element. Once you're done, Instagram Live videos can be shared for 30 days before they're deleted.

intagram liveImage source: Instagram

Why would you go Live on Instagram?

It feels spontaneous, and gives the feeling of urgency and connectedness in real time, making it much more engaging. This means it's particularly good for Q&A sessions, webinars, and interviews. 

Tips for going Live on Instagram:
  • Instagram has a Live Shopping feature that allows users to shop directly from your stream. All you need to do is tag the relevant products and they'll appear at the bottom of the screen. This is amazing if you're looking to gain leads directly from your stream!
  • In a similar vein, Instagram Live also supports donations, so nonprofits on social media and creators can fundraise using this medium. 
  • Live Rooms now give you the ability to go Live on Instagram with up to three people. Previously, you could go live with only one other person in a stream.
  • Fighting trolls? You can also pin comments, turn comments off, or set up keyword filters to moderate comments. 
Sizes for Instagram Live

Instagram Live is the same format as Instagram Stories above.

  • Recommended image ratio: 9:16 (all feed ratios are supported, but this ratio maximizes the Stories format)
  • Recommended resolution: 1080_1920 (minimum resolution is 600_1067 with no maximum, though very high resolution may increase upload times)
  • Maximum file size: 30MB for images, 250MB for video
  • Title-safe area: Leave a 14% title-safe area at the top and bottom (in other words, don't put text or logos in the top or bottom 250 pixels of the Story, to avoid overlapping with the app's interface)

 

3. INSTAGRAM feed Video (Previously IGTV)

Instagram video posts replaced IGTV and combined it with in-feed video posts. This means that Instagram Video psts are added the exact same way that image posts are. You can use your own videos from your photo library or use Instagram's built-in camera to film your content. Users can share, comment, and like-react just like a regular image post.

How long can Instagram videos be in 2022?

Previously only allowing 60 seconds, Instagram Videos can now be between 3 seconds and 10 minutes long (selected account can even get 60 minutes, apparently!)

However, if your video is longer than 60 seconds, only a 60 second preview will be played in the feed, with a Call to Action offering a click through to watch the full-legth video on your profile at the end of those 60 seconds. 

 

 
Tips for posting feed videos on Instagram:
  • Just ike an image post, an Instagram video can include a filter, a location, a caption, as well as user and location tags.
  • If you want to be discovered, including key hashtags in your post is essential. However, they can look a little clunky. To hide your hashtags, leave them out of your caption altogether and instead, post them in a comment below your post. This means your hashtags will be safely hidden in the comments section once you get a few more comments. 
  • To find relevant hashtags, search keywords on the explore tab and select 'related'. Here, Instagram will display a list of relevant hashtags that you can swipe through for your research. 
Instagram Feed Video specs

Instagram supports a range of video dimensions in Feed posts, just like images. Your video's aspect ratio can be anywhere between 1.91:1 and 4:5, portrait or landscape options. The best Instagram dimensions for those are 1080 by 608 pixels and 1080 by 1350 pixels.

4. INSTAGRAM REELS

Inspired by TikTok, Instagram Reels are 30-90 second clips (previously 60 seconds) that can be filmed in the app or uploaded from your camera roll. 

With Reels, you can add effects including timed text and subtitles, AR filters, green screen mode, timer and speed controls, and you have access to a rich audio library. People can also engage with Reels by liking, commenting, or sharing them in Stories and direct messages.

Here's a particularly lovely example of one of our Reels from our talented Motion Graphics Designer, Sean Lee: 

 

 
ten Tips for Instagram Reels
  1. Reels record in vertical portrait mode (9:16) and are displayed in users' feeds, the Reels tab, and a dedicated Profile tab.
  2. Like feed videos, Reels can include captions, hashtags, and product tags.
  3. Drive Traffic by Encouraging Viewers to Head to Your Link in Bio
  4. Captions not only make your videos more accessible, but also ensure your message doesn't get lost for those who scroll silently. We know 85% of video on Facebook is watched without sound.
  5. To add video subtitles you can use Instagram's closed caption sticker. Tap on the sticker icon and select "Captions." It may take a few seconds for the audio to transcribe. Once they've pulled through, you can go through and edit the text to make sure it's all correct.
  6. When adding text, make sure it's within 4:5 dimensions, especially if you're sharing it to your feed.
  7. Reels can be featured in Explore and shared to Stories. When you upload a Reel, you can also choose to post it to your Feed.
  8. All the Reels you create will also appear in a dedicated section of your profile, much like your Feed videos (previously IGTV).
  9. Instagram has confirmed it prioritizes videos that aren't visibly recycled from third-party apps, so creating original content in the Reels editor could also help boost your visibility.
  10. Using music from the Instagram music library or creating your own original audio is one of Instagram's top tips for getting your Instagram Reel seen by more users.
Instagram Reels sizeS

Instagram Reels are fullscreen vertical videos dusplated in Stories, Feeds, Explore, and the Reels tab.

Here are the recommended Instagram Reels specs:

  • File type: .MP4 or .MOV
  • Ratio: 9:16
  • Length: 0 to 90 seconds (this used to be a 60 second limit, but has since changed to 90!)
  • Resolution:

Written by Emily Malone

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