How Long Can An Instagram Reel Be?

Instagram reels are short, vertical clips that automatically loop. They were created in response to the rise of short-form videos…

Instagram reels are short, vertical clips that automatically loop. They were created in response to the rise of short-form videos from TikTok, and they’ve earned a popular, well-used place on the app – both for viewers and creators of every kind.

According to Editor & Publisher, videos will continue to be the top way to advertise going forward, with short-form video being the fastest-growing segment. After all, TikTok set the tone with their format, and the platform is known as the birthplace of most trends (especially from a marketing perspective).

As such, Instagram has put a great deal of effort into making their reels interesting, easy to create, and addictive to view. They even hold their own section on Instagram, so you can easily view all trending reels and get noticed by others. 

If you’re trying to share with friends, grow your Instagram audience, or monetizing your reels by gaining reach, it’s important to craft a well-balanced, IG-compliant reel. One key aspect is length. 

Want to know how long Instagram reels are, and how long can a reel be on Instagram? Even within those restrictions, what is the best length to use? We’ll explore all that and more down below:

How Long Is A Reel On Instagram?

Instagram reels can be as short as 15 seconds, and as long as 90 seconds. If you know how to work the system, however, it’s possible to create a reel that’s as long as 15 minutes. We’ll talk about that more below.

How Long Can Reels Be Instagram?

The answer is a little confusing. Traditionally, reels are capped at 90 seconds, so that’s the limit you’ll see on the majority of content posted in this format. However, it’s possible to get upward of a 15-minute limit. 

It merely depends on how the video is made. There are two ways to create a reel:

  • The in-app camera
  • Uploading a video less than 15 minutes long

When you make a reel through the in-app camera, you will be limited to 90 seconds. There’s no way around this. 

If you instead upload an existing video, which is less than 15 minutes long, it will automatically be listed as a reel, according to Instagram itself. Any longer, and the video will be categorized as an ‘Instagram video.’

How Long Can Instagram Reels Be From Existing Video?

If you’d prefer to create a reel using a video you’ve already filmed, there are two methods for this:

  • Uploading a video: Upload your video as usual. Instagram will let you trim your video after uploading. Videos that are shorter than 15 minutes can be uploaded within the reel category.
  • Using the reel feature: While making a reel, tap on the blue plus (+) sign, found on the bottom of the screen.

Be aware that while uploading from a video, your reels will be limited to 15 minutes. If you upload using the reel feature, though, you will be asked to trim the video to 90 seconds. This is a hack some Instagrammers use to publish long-form content.

How Long Are Instagram Reels That Go Viral?

As a rule of thumb, shorter reels (7-15 seconds) garner more views, according to HootSuite. Shorter reels loop easily, which makes viewing and appreciating the content easier, and it’s more likely to be shared with others, which brings in even more views. As a plus, the more views a reel has, the more likely it will be recommended by the IG algorithm, expanding your reach naturally.

If you’re looking to boost your exposure, shorter reels (under 10 seconds) are also better for hooking a new audience. If you have an established presence and want to share more meaningful content, then longer reels will add value to your point and satisfy existing fans. Just keep in mind that these videos are likely to be low-ranking, even still.


Can an Instagram reel be 3 minutes?

Instagram reels can be 3 minutes long in some cases. To create a reel longer than 90 seconds long, you will need to upload your video as you would any other video, and not create it through the reel function. When you upload a 3-minute video like this, it would automatically become a reel.

How to post a reel longer than 60 seconds on Instagram story?

You can’t. Any reel longer than 60 seconds will need to be trimmed when uploaded as a story. Stories are only 15 seconds-long per part, with up to four parts in each story, so you only have a 60-second limit. Luckily, tapping a reel in a story will take you to the full-length reel elsewhere on the app.

How do I make my IG reel longer?

When making a reel, its length will default to 15 seconds long. You can change the length of your reel on the left side of the screen to 30 seconds or 90 seconds.

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