How Long Can Instagram Reels Be? What’s the Perfect Instagram Reel Length in 2023?

Written by Mehak Gupta
6 mins, 14 secs Read
Updated On September 5, 2023

Since August 2020, Instagram has been a hub for video creation. You must know the reason behind it; it’s the Instagram reel feature. It allows users to create video content, grabbing as many viewers as they can. While at first, there was a negative reaction to this feature, users didn’t take much time to like the new feature. With people even watching Instagram reels anonymously now, releasing the reels feature was surely a successful move for Instagram. But does anyone know what the ideal Instagram reel length is, or how long can Instagram Reels be? 

If you’re also a creator on Instagram, this question must be killing you because it’s one of the most prominent aspects of creating video content. Actually, all the other aspects of creating a video revolve around the length of the video alone. So no worries anymore; I have got your back. Here’s everything you are looking for about how long can a reel be on Instagram. So let’s dig in! 

Does the Length of the Reel Really Matter on Instagram? 

The first thing that you must be questioning is this only, does the length really even matter? Well, it does, and it matters a lot because the length of the video depends on how many users it is going to engage with. So when you have found the appropriate length for your video, the Instagram algorithm will work in your favor, and hence more and more users will discover your content! 

Here’s what Instagram usually prefers when it comes to the reels: 

  • High engagement rates, i.e., likes, shares, comments, watch time, and saves. 
  • Using original audio or music from the Instagram music library
  • For full-screen vertical videos, always try sticking to the 9:16 ratio. 
  • Using more Instagram tools like texts, filters, and effects. 

Ideally, your Instagram reel should be of such length that it keeps the users engaged with it, and doesn’t skip to something else. But this certainly doesn’t mean that your reels have to be long. Sometimes even the longer reels aren’t really preferred by the users. And if this happens, it tells Instagram that your content isn’t engaging enough to be trending on Instagram

But at the same time, shorter reels aren’t always better. Simply put, it’s a matter of your content, how you create the video, how engaging the content is, and how relatable it is to the audience. So I guess we are back to phase 1, where we are still wondering how long can Instagram Reels be. Let’s find out. 

How Long Can an Instagram Reel Be?

Officially, the IG reel length should be 15–60 seconds. However, there are some cases where the reels can be 90 seconds as well. But only a few users have access to this prolonged reel length access. It’s the other social media platforms that allow video length; in fact, TikTok allows a video length of up to ten minutes. Well, TikTok has many other features from other social networks, like you can see who views your video on TikTok. So now the question is how can we set up the length of the videos? Let’s see. 

How to Set Up the Length of Reels?

It is quite simple and straightforward to alter the length of your reels. The default time limit of Instagram Reels is 60 seconds, which you can easily adjust from 15 to 30 seconds. Here’s how to set up the Instagram reel length once you know how long can a reel be on IG: 

  • Login to your Instagram account and visit the Instagram Reels section from the bottom of your Instagram homepage.
  • There on the reel, click on the camera option present in the top right corner of your screen. 
  • There from the right side menu, click on the icon with 30
  • From there only, you can pick any duration; 15, 30, or 60
  • Once you have picked the appropriate length for your reel, you can start editing it. 
    click on the timer and pick your desired reel lengths

And that was how you can adjust the length of your Instagram Reels. Let’s now move ahead and also find how long can reels be on Instagram for the best engagement. 

What is the Best Instagram Reel Length for Better Engagement? 

There hasn’t been any ideal reel length declared by Instagram; of course, it won’t reveal its secret like that. But the truth is, Instagram itself is exploring new ideas for its creativity. So basically, it all comes down to how engaging your content is and how the audience reacts to it. In fact, it is working on an immersive feed that will be more video-focused. 

But do remember that regardless of the length, the key moments of a reel are right in the beginning; that’s when the users decide to watch your reel or to skip it, so make sure that you give them something worthy to stay. If users are staying to watch your whole reel, it’ll automatically increase your watch time, hence, increasing user engagement with your content. 

But the question remains intact; how long can IG reels be, and what should be the appropriate length for it? 

How to Find the Appropriate Instagram Reels Length? 

Since there’s no hard-and-fast rule for it, it would be like most social media marketing; you will have to apply first and wait for the results afterward. Try not to rush into things; take time to analyze the entire thing and understand the algorithm of Instagram. With time and by analyzing a few aspects, you’ll discover an adequate Instagram reel length for your content. There are certain aspects that you can keep in mind and try while analyzing these things. 

Keep a Close Eye on Your Competitors 

Do keep an eye on your competitors and see what they have been doing, whether they are reaching a desired amount of audience, and if they are, what are they doing specifically, and what tactics they have been following. Take a look at the reels they are posting and the ones that are performing the best. 

Just take a look at their account, go to the reels section, and see the ones that have the most views, the hashtags they have used in them, and other aspects. 

Try With Different Reel Lengths 

You never know what could work out for you, and of course, you can’t just identify the appropriate reel length by analyzing other creators’ content; you will have to try it for yourself someday. Short reels are definitely the safer option, but longer reels can also drive engagement if the content is liked and preferred by the audience. 

When you are just getting started, start with short and crisp videos. In fact, to date, the most viewed reel has backed up to 298 million views and around 12 million likes, and the most interesting part is that the video was only 9 seconds long.

So yes, shorter reels are much preferred, but this certainly doesn’t mean that longer reels shouldn’t be posted. 

Analyze Your Past Performance 

Once you have several reels on your profile, start analyzing their performances. Find out which one performed the best and then take a look into it and see what tags were used in it, how long was its length, and other aspects. With this, you can even find out who viewed your Instagram profile

This can help you win, learn from what didn’t go well, and don’t repeat the mistake for your upcoming reels. While doing so, here’s what metrics you should keep an eye on: 

  • Take a look at the number of users your reels have reached.
  • The total number of times your reel has been played. 
  • How many likes the reels have bagged. 
  • How many comments and what sort of comments it has, maybe your audience wants you to make more reels on such content. 
  • See how many shares the reel has. 

Follow the Latest Trends

The latest trends going on social media platforms bags the most likes and shares. You can show your own creativity, and who knows, your content may be one of the viral ones. Plus, trends are usually tied to a particular sound, so you will already have a set length of your reel, and you won’t be wasting your time wondering how long are IG reels. 


Try Experimenting with Different Types of Content

There are so many types, or even if there are none that you like, you create your own style. It’s not a hard-and-fast rule that only shorter reels will have more views; if your content is engaging enough, the user will definitely stay till the end. There are users who often post longer reels only, and their reels even have so many views. The sole reason behind that is their content is engaging enough to keep the audience hooked till the end. 

And that’s all about Instagram reel length—how long Instagram Reels should be and how can you gain more views and likes on them.  


Instagram Reels– Instagram 

Reels Upload Requirement– Instagram 

Author: Mehak Gupta