Instagram reels length – All you need to know.

By: Tanmay Ratnaparkhe

Last Updated:


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 Instagram app has introduced. Among these features was the introduction of reels just like the ones in TikTok. Reels 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 reels 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 to add 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 stories stickers in the reel section. For example, the ask me anything sticker is now free to be used in the reels section. Let’s look at how Instagram reels 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 on how to and what to post on the reels. The major criteria to increase engagement is the proper use of Instagram reel length. Accordingly, the use of proper audio will help in creating 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 on the right top corner of the app.
  3. Click on the reel option.
  4. Once the camera opens click on the Instagram reels 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 middle corner 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 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 the engagement.

Setting Instagram reels length for various contents –

There is no particular range of time frame as such for Instagram reels. The reel can range anywhere from 7 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 –

Text over reels is mostly used to narrate a story, mention facts or mention 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 reels 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.

Informative reels should be made short, taking the content from 15 to 30 seconds. This ensures more views and likes. If the video content is long, try to make it in two parts, but it is better to keep them short to keep audience consistency.

A reel with an interview or any conversation is seen to be longer to fit in the conversation and 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 reels length. This is how content is kept in a time frame to match the type of content.

Business reels –

Instagram reels length for business pages is supposed to be shorter to attract more audience. 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 is 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 span of time 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 reels 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 former, the reel length is preferred to be smaller and crisp 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 is supposed to be small to catch the eye of the audience. 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 of 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 has 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 to it. 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 it will still be engaging. This is why experimenting with the 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 will help you to 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 reels length is based on the required engagement.

The Instagram algorithm works based on insights. It gives an idea based on 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 insight option near the Ad tools button.
Insights on Instagram

3. Once you open the insights you can see the number of accounts reached, accounts engaged and total followers gained after posting a particular content.

Instagram feature showing insights on an account

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 one view insights.
  4. 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 reels 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 reels length and work on it. Moreover, it will also help in making the reels with better content quality.

Overall take on Instagram reels 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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