The guide to Instagram video: Size, format, aspect ratio, and more

What began as a visual app for uploading and sharing photos has morphed into a digital storytelling platform that embraces both photos and videos in a big way. We’re talking about Instagram, of course, and while photos are still the most popular way to share across the platform, videos are quickly gaining ground. 

Let’s dive deep into posting videos on Instagram, including how to choose the right size, format, and length for your video, and how to crop your videos for both Instagram posts and Instagram Stories. 


What is the size of an Instagram video?

Don’t go through all the trouble of creating a stellar Instagram video only to find that you’ve got the dimensions and resolution all wrong for posting. Instagram video size matters, and there is a huge difference between posting a video as an Instagram post and adding a video to your Instagram Stories. Here are some tips to help you keep everything straight, so you can start wowing your audience with awesome videos.

Video is notorious for large file formats that take up space on your iPhone. With an app like Gemini Photos, you can sort videos by size and quickly delete those you don’t need. Plus, you’ll find all the similar shots and get rid of unwanted ones.

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Instagram Story video size and length

Using Instagram Stories is a great way to increase engagement and followers on Instagram. Instagram Stories make use of short, 15-second clips, but you can also upload longer videos that will be automatically stitched together across multiple Instagram 15-second Stories. 

Even with videos stitched together across multiple Stories, you’ll have to keep your total video under 1 minute. Attention spans are short on Instagram Stories, so keep your videos short and memorable. The maximum file size for Instagram Story uploads is 4GB.


Instagram video size and length for posts

Instagram video posts are also limited to a file size of 4GB or under, but you have a bit more flexibility on length. They can be anywhere from 3 to 60 seconds. If you want to post longer videos in a post, use an app like Cut Story to separate your video into clips that are shorter than 60 seconds, then add them to Instagram as a carousel post. 


What is the aspect ratio of Instagram videos?

You can upload portrait, square, or landscape videos as both posts and Stories, but they will show up differently on the screen depending on the aspect ratio you choose.

For Stories, if you choose a landscape video, use an aspect ratio of 16:9. Your video will take up a small portion of the screen, but you will have more room to add stickers, text, and graphics. If you use a portrait video, use an aspect ratio of 9:16 and the video will cover the entire screen. 

For video posts, use 16:9 for landscapes, 4:5 for portrait orientation, or choose 1:1 for a traditional Insta square format. If you choose a portrait or landscape video for your Instagram feed, be prepared for your video to be cropped within your grid. 

Screenshots: Instagram video Stories with different aspect ratios

How to crop a video for Instagram

What happens if you create a video with a certain aspect ratio and decide you want to change it later? Can you crop it to meet your needs? Not surprisingly, there are apps that specialize in cropping your videos for use on various social media platforms. Video Crop is a free and easy to use app that allows you to quickly change the aspect ratio of your videos before posting to Instagram. Here’s how to use it to crop your video for the ‘Gram.

  1. Download Video Crop from the App Store. 
  2. Choose the video that you want to crop and tap the check mark in the upper right corner.
  3. Your video will appear on the screen with several aspect ratios below it. 
  4. Choose the aspect ratio that you want.
  5. A frame will appear over your original video. Use your fingers to slide the frame where you want it on your video. 
  6. Slide the corners of the frame in or out to crop further. 
  7. When you are finished, tap on the download icon, and then tap Save to save your video to your Camera Roll. 
  8. Upload your newly cropped video to Instagram.
How to crop a video for Instagram using Video Crop

What is the best Instagram video format?

You may be wondering what video format Instagram prefers and if Instagram supports .MP4. The best formats for your Instagram posts and Stories are .MP4 and .MOV files, which are by far the most common video formats used on a variety of phones and cameras.


What’s the optimal Instagram video resolution?

The last thing you will have to worry about when creating an Instagram video is the proper resolution. Does Instagram support 1080p video? Here are the minimum and maximum resolutions for all of the videos that are currently possible to post on Instagram:

  • For square Instagram video posts, the minimum resolution is 600 x 600. Maximum resolution is 1080 x 1080
  • For portrait video posts, the minimum is 600 x 750 and the maximum is 1080 x 1350.
  • Landscape videos come in at 600 x 315 minimum and 1080 x 1350 maximum.

Stories have slightly different requirements — a minimum resolution of 600 x 1067 and a maximum resolution of 1080 x 1920. So, yes, Instagram supports 1080p video without a problem.


Are you ready to start killing it on Instagram with creative video posts and Stories? Sure, videos require a bit of extra work, but they’re a great way to engage your followers and attract new ones. 

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