Instagram reel length – All you need to know

Instagram-reel-length

If you think Instagram reel length can only be 60 seconds long, this article is for you! There are a lot of new features that the Instagram app has introduced. Among these features was the introduction of reels just like the ones in TikTok. Reel features launched in 2020 have been a very important part of increasing the engagement of any page or account. Since then the reels have become a very important part of the Instagram community.

Recently Instagram has introduced new features into the reel section. These features include shifting the Instagram reel length from 60 seconds to 90 seconds. Yes! You heard that right. It is possible to film reels up to 90 seconds as of May 2022. This feature will help in adding extended content to the reels.

The other feature that Instagram introduced is the addition of self-audio to the reels. This signifies the possibility of adding any audio from the phone to the reel audio. This will bring individuality and uniqueness to the reels and is a total game changer in terms of engagement. Another feature that Instagram released is the use of Instagram story stickers in the reel section. For example, you can now use the Ask Me Anything sticker in the reels section for free. Let’s look at how Instagram reel length influences engagement.

How to film reels?

Filming reels is not as tedious as most of us think. It is a very easy process just requires adequate knowledge of how to and what to post on the reels. The major criterion to increase engagement is the proper use of Instagram reel length. Accordingly, the use of proper audio will help create better engagement. One can film the reels analogous to the content in the following way –

  1. Go to the Instagram app.
  2. Click on the plus button you will find at the bottom center of the app.
  3. Click on the reel option.
  4. Once the camera opens click on the Instagram reel length button on the left middle side of the screen and select the time required.
  5. It can 15, 30, 60, or 90 seconds.
  6. Select music by choosing the audio from the music symbol on the left of the screen.
  7. Now you can film the reel or add pictures and videos from your camera roll to the reel.
  8. Click on the left bottom corner to add images and videos to the reels.

Reels are possible to be made this way. Now that we have an idea of how to create reels, let’s look at the effect of Instagram reel length on engagement.

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Setting Instagram reel length for various contents:

There is no particular range of time frame as such for Instagram reels. The reel can range anywhere from 15 seconds to 90 seconds as of Instagram’s new update. Reels are not necessary to have to be 7 seconds or 20 seconds long for a particular reel to gain engagement. It all depends on the type of video content. For better engagement, it is always good to have shorter reels. This does not mean that all Instagram reels should have a short duration.

Reels are of multiple types.

Text over reels –

People mostly use text over reels to narrate a story, mention facts, or describe a situation. This kind of reel can range anywhere from 15 to 60 seconds. It is better to keep such reels short and crisp to engage the audience and not bore them.

Jump cuts –

Jump cuts are the new trend, where makeup artists, painters, and various artists jump from before to after a picture or video showing the work shift. This kind of video is better when filmed and uploaded with an Instagram reel length of about 10 to 15 seconds. This will keep the audience interested and increase the engagement of the content.

Informative reels –

When talking about comparing reels, the reel length can be 20 to 30 seconds. Depending on the length of the video content it can also go for up to 45 seconds.

To make informative reels, create short content ranging from 15 to 30 seconds. This ensures more views and likes. If the video content is too long, try to make it in two parts, but always it is better to keep them short to keep audience consistency.

A reel featuring an interview or any conversation tends to be longer in order to accommodate the discussion and provide details. Despite being longer these reels get engagement based on what type the content is.

Entertaining reels –

Reels made on pets and animals are very engaging these days when made with the right content. Animals are so much more like influencers these days! These videos can last from 15 seconds to 90 seconds depending on the type of content.

In another humorous reel by Mochapom_, the video was almost 10 seconds long. It has almost 50.3K views. Most of the reels posted by this Instagram account had more views when the content was shorter and crisp. This is an example of how most of the content type of this particular account is best suited for shorter Instagram reel length. This is how content is kept in a time frame to match the type of content.

Business reels –

To attract a larger audience, business pages on Instagram should keep their reel lengths shorter. This will ensure audience attention and give more views and likes.

Before and after results reel is popular these days with Instagram pages and even with influencers. This kind of reel is better when kept crisp and short making it more accessible to the audience.

Reel vs. reality –

Reel vs. reality is also a type of reel that ought to be small to keep the audience interested. Making it long will only make the audience skip it making the Instagram algorithm think it is not engaging.

Transition reels –

Transitional reels as per the name should stick with transition-making within a short period making it more efficient. This way it will get more views and more activity.

Cooking and food –

Cooking reels involve the process of it. It can be showing the final product or the process of making the final product. In the former, the Instagram reel length should be kept as minimum as possible. This will help in keeping the audience engaged. In the latter, the reel length can range from 30 to 90 seconds making it longer than the former. But this is necessary to keep the audience on track with the process helping the curiosity. Hence long reel length will also be engaging in such context.

In one of the reels by Chef Kunal Kapoor, he posted a cook-with-me video. The video was almost 30 seconds long showing the process of cooking in a time-lapse pattern. The video was seen to have 386K views with 13.8K likes. This video was perfectly made using the perfect time frame of medium Instagram reel length. The time frame was perfect to get maximum engagement and also fit the content in the video.

Beauty and fashion –

Beauty reels may range from showing make-up on the transition to showing the get ready with me process. In the past, people preferred shorter and crisper reel lengths, typically ranging from 10 to 20 seconds. In the case of getting ready with me reels, it can be about beauty or fashion. Such reels may have a longer length to cover up the process and hence longer reels will also do the job.

In a video by Mimiermakeup, she made a transition reel that was almost 10 seconds long. It got around 1.7 million views and 165 thousand likes. The time frame was matching the type of reel she had made. A transition reel should be small to capture the audience’s attention. This will help in gaining engagement and better insights. On the other hand, if this was a makeup tutorial it could be longer and still get the reach.

Tutorials and Behind the Scenes –

Behind-the-scene video reels on the other hand are also dependent on the type of content. It can range from 30 to 90 seconds. These videos are usually longer than normal to fit the content behind the scenes.

The length of tutorial reels does not specifically depend on the time frame and can range from anywhere between 30 to 90 seconds. Engagement will depend on how the video is made.

In one of the reels by Jimmy Fallon, an American television host recently posted a reel with Elizabeth Olsen. The reel was around 40 seconds long. It had a fun element to it and the content was humorous enough to keep engagement. This reel shows how engagement is dependent on the type of content along with the matching time frame. For the reel to be longer the content has to be enough engaging.

The key to maintaining the best Instagram reel length is based on the type of content. It is based on anticipating the type of reaction the audience will have when seeing the reels. Hence, reels that are worth a smaller length should not be made longer to keep the engagement.

Experiment with the content –

Always try to experiment with the content and get to know what goes better with your page in particular. Now if a writer posts a reel with a quote for 10 to 15 seconds it will get more engagement than if he put it with a 60-second time frame. The Instagram algorithm sees who is skipping the reels and based on that it will see if the engagement is better or not for that particular reel. Hence, try to make the time frame of the reel as per the content.

In the same way, if a dance tutorial is posted on reels, the time frame for the same can be longer because of the type of content that it is and will still be engaging. This is why experimenting with content is important on social media. Keep different time frames for different reel lengths for content and see how it makes the engagement more popular. This is how most of the content reaches more views and likes. It’s all about experimenting on how and which content goes better with what time frame. After some experimenting one will get an idea of how to set the Instagram reels maximum length.

Check for insights –

Checking the insights will show you how well your content is doing on Instagram and other social media platforms and will help you understand how it can be made better. You can keep track of how the audience has reacted to the content and in what time frame. This will help in making sure that the next Instagram reel length is based on the required engagement.

The Instagram algorithm works based on insights. It gives an idea based on the number of views and the number of impressions one’s reel receives in the given time frame. One can check the insights on Instagram as follows –

  1. Go to the profile page.
  2. Click on the professional dashboard.

3. Once you open the professional dashboard you can see the number of accounts reached. Click on account insights to see accounts engaged and total followers gained after posting a particular content.

The same way insights for a post can be seen as follows –

  1. Open the reel to be checked.
  2. Click on the side options at the right bottom corner.
  3. Click on view insights.
  4. Or you can directly click on the view insights option on the left side.
  5. Here you can see the impressions on the reels.

You can check various impressions like the time frame of the reel, and how it has influenced the number of likes and views. The number of comments and the number of shares can also be seen through insights. The number of accounts reached can also be seen.

Compare with the competitors

Compare the content with your competitors. Check the Instagram reel length used and how it is influencing the post engagement and views. This way one can get an idea of how to set the Instagram reel length and work on it. Moreover, it will also help in making the reels with better content quality.

Reels are the new “thing”

Reels are now being used a lot by brands and users to increase sales and engagement and attract new customers. If you want your reel to work wonders, you should have a proper understanding of the algorithm. Now the reel feature has a separate algorithm that you will need to deal with.

Understanding the Instagram reel algorithm

When you post a new reel, it will be featured first on the main feed of people who already follow you. Then to those who have engaged with your previous reels. After that, it all depends upon how the algorithm will analyze your reel and deliver it to a further audience.

The Instagram reel algorithm has its ways of determining which reel to push further based on certain factors:

Relevance

First and foremost, the algorithm will check the relevancy of your reel with a variety of target audiences. A thorough check of your tags, hashtags, your audio tracks along with your posting time is taken into consideration. This information will help the algorithm to understand the niche of your content as well as to verify whether it is an original or adapted from another source.

Interactions

You may have wondered, why is it important to have daily interactions on your profile and content. Well, it matters for the algorithm. The interaction of the audience with your past content is looked into so that your content is suggested to those people. However, the information is also used to check whether the content is original or copied from another source. 

Your profile is in surveillance regarding who searches for your profile, sends DMs, and engages with your posts. With all the necessary observations, the Algorithm then performs its matchmaking.

Posting time

If you want your reel to go viral, you better pay attention to what time you post your reel. Post fresh content at the time when your audience is most likely to be online and view your reels. Eventually, this will increase the stakes of your reel to go viral. 

Having a large number of followers that regularly engage with your content, chances are high to win this race. In addition, all of the positive engagement that they will bring along will boost the recommendations of your content. 

Instagram doesn’t play unfairly. So the newcomers need to keep these things in mind to get a fair share:

  • Your content should be fun to watch and an easy attention grabber.
  • Follow proper instructions and guidelines given by Instagram.
  • Prepare high-quality content that is visually attractive.
  • Make proper use of tags and hashtags.
  • Ensure to study the analytics and prepare content that is relevant to your audience.

Now you have a better understanding of how important it is to be well aware of the Instagram reels algorithm. You should also know why these reels are important on a social media platform like Instagram.

Why reels are important nowadays

According to a study made by The Rival IQ, it was revealed that “Instagram reels boosted the reach rate by 14%.” whereas, when you take a look at other social media platforms, their reach rate lies between 9% – 10%. Another study results from Social Insider reports that Instagram reels had a 20.59% average reach rate.

So how did reels become so important? Instagram has over 2.35 billion monthly active users whereas Instagram reels have 2.35 billion monthly active users. Now, the number of ad audiences on Instagram is 1.3 billion. Ad audience refers to the group of people you want to reach with all of your marketing efforts. 30.3% which means 406.9 million of this audience falls under the age group of 25-30 years of age. Besides a preferable target, this age group is the one having the funds to purchase products.

Reels are important not just because of the large number of ad audiences available on the platform that uses reels. The reel feature has also evolved being longer with far better editing tools than they used to have before. This allows businesses to showcase their product and services more effectively in terms of being visually appealing, engaging, and interactive. Moreover, as compared to stories that disappear after 2 hours, reels stay longer on your profile unless you delete them.

Why everyone is preferring “Reels”

Reels also tend to bring more engagement to your platform as compared to any other feature available on Instagram.

There is a case study conducted by Predis on Kylie Cosmetics, a mogul in the beauty industry, based in California. This study reflects on how reels are the most preferred feature and also the one bringing in the most engagements.

According to this study, Kylie Cosmetics made use of different strategies to market its products to the viewers on Instagram. All of these were presented in the form of videos, single images, and carousel posts. Now out of these, the majority of posts were presented in the form of videos and reels. Here they could easily explain how to use the product to leverage it the best. Additionally, most engagement was brought in from the video and reel posts.  The study shows 7.5M engagement on reels and videos, single images with 6M engagement, and carousel posts with 4.3M engagement.

So now we know how important reels are to increase your overall brand image on Instagram. Let us now look at how to create a reel with the correct length.

How to set the time of reels

You can create a reel that is 90 seconds long if recorded in the app itself from the Instagram camera. The default time that Instagram has set for reels is up to 15 seconds. However, the reel length can also last up to 15 minutes if you are uploading it as a pre-shot video. 

Instagram has made it quite easy to create a reel by setting the desired time in simple steps. But before that Make sure your Instagram is updated to the latest version. If you want to create a reel by shooting on the Instagram app camera, you will also need to set the preferred time.

All you need to do is first open your app and go to the Create Reels feature where you shoot your reels. Now if you take a look at the left side, you will be able to see a timer of 15 seconds.

Instagram reel length - Instagram reel length

Now that you can create a reel lasting for 90 seconds you can simply change the timer settings for the reels you shoot. Select the timer and you will have 4 options 15,30, 60, and 90 seconds. 

Instagram reel length - Instagram reel length

If you desire to utilize the entire 90 seconds, simply select the 90 option and you are free to shoot a 90 seconds long video.

Instagram reel length - Instagram reel length

Once you complete the shooting you can click next to edit, and add music, audio, text, or stickers to your video. Here you are provided with a unified editing screen to easily trim and reorder your reel.

Tips to get the best engagement at different time throughout the reel length

Instagram has now increased the reel length to 90 seconds. Now that you have the freedom to create longer videos, you can give a better understanding of your content to your audience. Moreover, if your content is longer, the task of holding a grip on your audience also gets harder. Here are some tips that will help you to get the best engagement at different times throughout the reel length to keep your audience interested and engaged.

Hook your audience

It is the first few seconds that matter the most. Grab the attention of your audience in these few seconds so that they may get a chance to stay longer. Make use of attention-grabbing visuals, and ask enticing questions so that viewers stay longer to watch. For instance, you can use the most trendy sounds to align with cool visual graphics.

Instagram reel length - hook your audience

Furthermore, you can try these hook ideas

  • Stop scrolling and hear me out…
  • Here is a secret to achieve your dream…
  • Quick reminder!
  • Stay and watch till the end!

Entertaining content

Once your audience stays to watch, make sure your content is engaging and entertaining. Here you can add some creative visuals or a storytelling technique that can hold on to the mind of your audience. Moreover, you can try to add some humor as it can reach a far wider audience. For example, You can try to use some funny employee moments and turn them into a meme. This will give your audience a chance to giggle and make your content fun.

In-between transitions

These center parts of your reels should have quick, energetic, and active transitions to keep up the overall energy pace. These transitions will add an extra appealing layer to your reels and stand out to grab your audience’s attention. In addition, use jump-cuts and catchy editing techniques so that your content stays energetic. For Instance, add a finger transition for a quick change of location or clothes, maintaining the same position for the next clip.

Information delivery

Now comes the part where you will share the valued information that you have planned for this content. After coming up this halfway your audience will want to know what information you want to share. So make sure the information is concise and relevant to the topic or else your audience may not be thrilled. 

Climax and CTA

Here, either you highlight the peak moment of your reel or you can simply use it for a strong CTA. The most basic one is to ask your audience to like, share, and comment on your reels. Other than that you can ask your audience to respond by making a relevant post or a reel in response. Here are some ideas that you can try to use:

  • Tag a friend who needs it more!
  • Check out our profile for more similar reels!
  • Let us know about your thoughts in the comments!

While making a reel, try to properly arrange your content using the above tips. Additionally, you will have to use proper captions and hashtags along with keeping a proper track of your analysis. Make sure you stay active in the comment section to give a proper and timely response to your audience.

How to optimize reel length

Instagram has released the latest time update for reels to be 90 seconds for videos made on the platform itself. Now you need to make sure you follow this time frame to get maximum disclosure on Instagram. Here are some ideas you can use to optimize your Instagram reel length:

Keep your content short and sweet

Instagram has increased the time frame but you need to make sure your message is up to the point. Avoid making irrelevant points that won’t add value to your content. Furthermore, Hook early and maintain interest by providing the most important points in the first half of your reel. The second half can be used to highlight key points and strong CTA. Meanwhile, there should be a proper flow in your reels with a clear beginning, center, and end.

Experiment and analyze

Here you need to experiment with different reel lengths to check out which one works better for you. You can later check insights to know which time frame is working better for your reels. Moreover, analyze the data using the audience retention provided by Instagram. This data will help you understand where your audience drops off from your reel. You can leverage this information to make changes and improvements required in your reels.

Engage and collaborate

Prompt your audience with a strong CTA and ask them to like, share, and comment on your reels. In addition, stay active to give a quick reply and further engage with your audience. Other than engaging, make collaborations with other creators so that you can promote each other to reach a much wider audience. This will increase the chances of meeting a new target audience in a wider range.

Your reel should not be based on outdated ideas and trends. Stay up-to-date with the latest ideas and trends moving around the platform. The latest trends and challenges should be properly aligned with your content. This will attract your viewers as they are more involved and attracted to fresh ideas.

Maintain consistency

Consistency is the key to success. Stay consistent and focused on making regular posts on Instagram. This will eventually keep your profile fresh with regular postings. Moreover, you must post fresh content so that your viewers can regularly watch and engage.

The length of your reel may vary according to the niche selected, and the different content types you may use. This makes it essential to experiment with different reel lengths and analyze the performance of your reels. Eventually, this will help you understand your viewer’s requirements.

Overall take on Instagram reel length –

Overall speaking, the reel length of various reels depends on the type of content. Keeping in mind what type of content it is, the length of the reel should be kept as small as possible. The time frame to be used is influenced by the type of content. Hence, it does not entirely depend on the time frame but partially on the content as well. The content has to be engaging for the reels to get maximum impressions.

This way we know that content quality can be enhanced by further using a proper time frame. It is important to experiment with the reel lengths and also make it shorter to make the audience watch it fully without skipping it. This will make the content get better impressions through the Instagram algorithm and make your social media marketing successful.

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Tanmay Ratnaparkhe

Co-founder @Predis.ai, 2X Entrepreneur, tech enthusiast, and SaaS expert, specializing in Instagram marketing and AI. With a knack for leveraging technology for marketing success, they share valuable insights and strategies to boost your digital presence and productivity.