Last year, Instagram launched Reels, a short-form video section that allowed users to create and view videos up to 15 seconds long. The launch came at a time when TikTok was in troubled waters alongside other Chinese companies and services.
Since its launch, the service has taken the world by storm, and Reels is now being used by all the major brands and celebrities around the world.
If you are looking to get on the reel train and wondering the correct dimensions and size of video that you can load as reels, the following post should help you understand them better.
Instagram Reels: What is the required aspect ratio?
Being vertically hosted, Instagram Reels follow a full-screen portrait video format just like Instagram Stories. So when uploading a Reels video on Instagram, you should create it with an aspect ratio of 9:16 so that you can comfortably view them on the full screen using your mobile device.
Maximum and minimum resolutions for Instagram reels
- Minimum resolution: 600 x 1067 pixels
- Maximum resolution: 1080 x 1920 pixels
- 4K not supported
Instagram does not yet support 4K videos on its platform, which means that you are currently unable to upload or view 4K resolution videos. You can upload your Instagram reels in 1080 x 1920 pixels resolution to preserve the highest video quality. You can still upload a video to Instagram Reels if it doesn’t match the 1080p quality mark. As a minimum requirement, your video must have a resolution of 600 x 1067 pixels.
What is the size of the reels when viewed on the Instagram feed?
Unlike Stories that can only be viewed within individual user profiles, reels can be added to your Instagram feed and will be viewable alongside other posts on your feed. A Reel video will be available in a 4: 5 aspect ratio when viewed as an Instagram post.
This means that even if you uploaded a Reel video at the maximum resolution (i.e., 1080 pixels x 1920 pixels), the size of the reels would be limited to 1080 pixels x 1350 pixels when viewed in someone’s feed or profile.
Because of this, users can only see about two-thirds of the content you posted as a Reels video when they view it on your Instagram account or profile. To capture the audience’s attention, the reels should be made so that the main content of the video is displayed in 9:16 and 4: 5 formats.
Instagram reel length limit
When Reels was first Announced last year, Instagram limited users to capturing and uploading videos to be less than 15 seconds long. Since then, the service has extended the length of the video on Instagram Reels to 30 seconds. If a video was recorded for more than 30 seconds, Instagram allows you to trim and delete parts of the clip to keep the final video in less than 30 seconds.
Depending on your video content, you can set your Instagram Reels video to be 15 or 30 seconds long.
Instagram reels file format and size limit
All forms of video content hosted on Instagram are based on MP4 or MOV file formats. This means that videos created to be loaded onto reels and Instagram Stories, Live, and IGTV videos must be in MP4 or MOV formats.
Depending on the resolution of your video and the size of individual frames, the size of a video file may vary. Instagram will allow you to upload a video on reels as long as they are less than 4GB in size. We recommend that you keep the video size low without sacrificing frame quality so that you can minimize the load time you spend and keep the time and data spent by the viewer below a reasonable limit.
Instagram reels frame rate limit
Instagram has yet to capitalize on the 60fps train – all across its entire platform. So it doesn’t matter if your video is loaded as a reel or a story; it is limited to 30 frames per second.
If the uploaded content exceeds the frame rate limit, Instagram will perform compression techniques to reduce the frame rate to 30 fps or less.
Instagram Reels Thumbnails: How Big Should It Be?
We already mentioned that reels could be accessed from someone’s feed that follows you or from your own profile, and this video will show only two-thirds of all video space on your phone.
This is because, to make room for other elements in the app and to help users distinguish reels from other posts, the top and bottom of a reel video are cropped by 15% each.
Similarly, the dimension of a reel thumbnail may be different than the dimensions of the original reel video because the thumbnails do not need to fill the entire screen. Instead, reel thumbnails should be created for two sections: Profile Gallery and Reel Gallery.
The profile gallery is what hosts all the content of your profile on Instagram. The profile gallery lists the images and videos that you may have uploaded as Instagram posts and the videos that you shared through Reels.
When a reel video appears within the profile gallery, it will be displayed in a 1: 1 square aspect ratio. This video’s thumbnail dimensions must be cropped from the exact center in the original Reels video.
In addition to your main profile screen, the reels will also appear in a separate section of the reel gallery, which can be accessed by tapping the second tab from the left (the one next to the grid tab) in any profile. Inside the Reel Gallery, all of your Reel Videos will be listed with thumbnails that have the same 9:16 aspect ratio as your original video.
Although thumbnails of one of your video frames can be chosen from Reels, creating your thumbnail will make your profile more aesthetic, and you will be able to display or caption things in the video in a single image format.
Instagram Reels vs Stories vs IGTV vs Live: How do they compare?
To make it easier for users to upload videos and encourage more vertical content, all vertical videos on Instagram have the same dimensions: 1080 x 1920 pixels at the highest quality and 600 x 1067 pixels at the lowest. This means that if you created a video to upload to Reels, you could also upload it to your Instagram and IGTV Stories section.
What sets Reels apart from other vertical video formats is the length of the video being uploaded. The video on the reels can be 15 or 30 seconds long. On the contrary, videos about:
- The Instagram feed can be between 3 and 60 seconds long.
- Instagram stories must be less than 15 seconds long.
- IGTV should be between 15 seconds and 10 minutes.
- Live Instagram video should be less than 60 minutes.
Tips for creating Instagram reels in perfect dimensions
The above list of dimensions and limitations should help you learn how you can shoot videos for your reels the right way. However, if you want to refine your content creation to make it more aesthetic, you can follow the tips below.
- Make all content visible in the Instagram feed: Record your reel in such a way that all or most of the content you want to show is visible in users’ feeds without having to open them in full screen view. Since the reels within the Feed crop your video by 15% from the top and bottom sides, you need to ensure that all created content is visible within the feed view.
- Use captions but keep them centered: Like the tip above, you need to make sure that the captions you add to your reel video are also visible even when viewed from your feed.
- Create your own reel thumbnail: When uploading a video as reels to Instagram, you have the option to keep one of the video frames as the cover / thumbnail of the reels. But if you want the video to appear within your profile, you need to create a unique 9:16 thumbnail as the cover of Reels. If possible, create reel covers with captions so people get a feel for your video before they click on it.
- Edit your video to look the same in gallery view and full screen: If you don’t want your reel video to look different when viewed in someone’s feed or profile gallery, you can edit your video so that it has black bars at the top and bottom. You can add these black bars in proportions that are only visible when the video is viewed in full screen without losing the necessary details. The downside to this is that watching the video in full screen will not benefit the viewer in any way.
- Split long videos into 15 second reels for better engagement : This is pretty obvious. We all stick to content that is short and fun rather than something that is long and boring. To retain the attention you got for your reel video, you need to divide the videos that are long into multiple 15 second reels. For example, if you are showing a bunch of DIY tricks on a certain topic and 15 or 30 seconds is too short to show, you can row multiple reels on different tricks to attract engagement and also make it consistent. points of view.
That’s all there is to know about the dimensions, sizes, and limitations of a Reels video on Instagram.