Instagram Reels are one of the most popular content types on the social media platform, giving users the ability to create, view, and share short, quick video snippets similar to TikTok videos and YouTube shorts. To maximize engagement with Instagram Reels, length is paramount. Here’s what you should know about the ideal Instagram Reels length:
- 7 to 15 seconds is best for most Reels
- 30 to 60 second Reels may be best for some audiences
- Use up to the full 90 seconds for content-rich Reels
Instagram is now years into using Instagram Reels, and the video-focused feature has become a priority of Instagram as it works to keep up with other major players, like TikTok. Reels offer a lot of creativity and fun that the traditional Instagram image post doesn’t allow.
As with all social media platforms, Instagram has its own algorithm and set of standards that influence the virality of its users’ content. Instagram Reels can absolutely go viral, leading to increased engagement across your account. One way to help your Reels reach their full potential is by understanding how length can affect the number of views and amount of engagement they receive.
How Important is Instagram Reels Length?
Screenshot via Instagram
It doesn’t seem like the length of a video could hold a lot of weight regarding how engaging the video is to your audience. However, in terms of social media, video length plays an important role.
Social media is all about quick consumption. That’s why Twitter only allows short snippets in its tweets, and catchy memes get shared on Facebook more than long, drawn-out posts. Videos on YouTube that give viewers the information they need in a short amount of time tend to be the ones that have a lot of views and the ability to go viral. Along the same lines, quick and catchy TikToks tend to do well on the platform.
Instagram Reels function the same way. Shorter videos that get to the point quickly usually get the most views, likes, comments, and shares. Put simply: They’re easy to watch when users are scrolling their feeds. When you give your Reels the chance for higher engagement, you’re also allowing them to rank higher in Instagram’s algorithm, as it specifically looks for engagement when determining its rankings.
The Best Instagram Reels Length for Engagement
Screenshot from @lastseenwearing via Instagram
Although there’s no steadfast rule for the best length of an Instagram Reel to increase engagement, lots of data across the web shows that between 7 and 15 seconds tends to be the ideal length. That’s not a long time to show your content, so the best course of action is to focus on your content’s strategy.
The best way to do that is to use the first three seconds of your video wisely. Most people will make up their minds within those three seconds on whether they’d like to continue watching your Reel. Focus on creating a catchy hook in those first few seconds to convince viewers that your Reel is worth finishing.
It’s also okay to make the occasional Instagram Reels using the full 90 seconds of allowable time when you have too much content to squeeze into 15 seconds or less. Depending on the content you share, you might even find that 60-90 seconds is the sweet spot for your audience. Experiment with Instagram Reels lengths to determine what works best with your specific viewers.
Customizing Instagram Reel Length
You can trim a video in Instagram to fit the ideal length of a Reel. Instagram also lets you set the length for your Reel if you’ll be using Instagram’s tools to shoot your video. Here’s how to do that:
- Open the Reels tab in the Instagram app.
- Tap the 30-second icon on the left side of your screen. Choose whether to make your Reel 15, 30, 60, or 90 seconds.
- Now, shoot your video. Instagram automatically cuts it off after the amount of time you choose, but you’ll be able to see how much time you have left as you shoot.
3 Other Ways to Boost Instagram Reels Engagement
Screenshot from @frenchies.page via Instagram
Follow these additional tips to continue increasing engagement on your Instagram Reels.
Make New Content for Instagram
Sharing TikToks to Instagram Reels seems like a good idea in theory. However, Instagram tends to lower videos with the TikTok watermark on them in its algorithm. Rather than reshare your TikToks, use the content you shot to create a new Instagram Reel using Instagram’s tools to get the most visibility for your video.
Have a Steady Flow of Content
Consistency is key, especially with Instagram Reels. Try to set a schedule for releasing new Reels, even if it’s just once or twice a week. Your audience will learn when to expect new content from you and when to look for that content, which can increase engagement organically. An Instagram content calendar is a valuable tool to keep you on track.
Comb Instagram for Trends
Take part in Instagram trends when they make sense for your business and niche. Look for other Reels that are getting notices, and use those trends to inform your content and increase your chances of having a viral Reel.
Increase Engagement with Instagram Reels
While there’s no set standard for the Instagram Reels length that will maximize your audience’s engagement, 7 to 15 seconds is the most recommended length, and it’s suitable for most Instagram Reels. For Reels with more content than can feasibly fit in 15 seconds or less, 15 to 30 or 60 seconds may best engage your audience, and for content-rich Reels, you might need to use the full 90 seconds. All of these lengths are acceptable based on what your audience responds to most.
Like Instagram photo posts, hashtags can increase the power of Instagram Reels, so don’t forget to add them strategically to your content. Check out our ultimate guide to Instagram Reels for more information on how to use them as part of your overall Instagram strategy. And don’t forget to add the Instagram Follow Button to your website to give your audience an easy way to start following your Instagram account.