Quick & Dirty Breakdown: Instagram Video Formats

Instagram video

Instagram, formerly regarded as the best site for sharing images, is now flooded with video material. Four video formats—Stories, Instagram Video, Live, and Reels—now give advertisers excellent chances to communicate with users on Instagram. IGTV and feed videos were combined into Instagram videos.

Many visual producers use Instagram as their social media platform, with 1.2 billion users expected by 2023. For both organic and paid campaigns, using video on Instagram may be incredibly successful because it enables you to:

~Gain the confidence of your audience

~Tell your brand's narrative

~Establish a closer connection with your audience

~Display your products and demonstrate them in use

The key to using video on Instagram successfully is to pick a format that suits your needs. To produce what's best for your brand, read our article to learn more about the different sorts of Instagram videos.

Video Types?

As we have stated above, there are four primary sorts of videos on Instagram, and each one may be used to advertise your goods or services.


Short 15-second films called Instagram Stories are only available for 24 hours. In contrast to the more polished in-feed or IGTV marketing videos, ephemeral content has become a popular way to display unpolished, informal, and quirky content. Instagram Stories will appear to viewers to be more polished and more authentic.

Instagram Story videos can only be up to 15 seconds long. However, a slideshow narrative lets you make a collection of Stories. In Stories, photos are visible for 7 seconds.

Brands are free to publish as many Stories as they like. Stories movies appear in vertical mode, filling up the entire smartphone screen, just like TikTok videos do. Emojis, text, and stickers can all be used to improve your Stories.

Stories are a fantastic approach to grab people's attention and increase brand exposure due to their transient nature. This format takes advantage of FOMO since viewers want to watch the video before it vanishes.


To increase traffic to its website's articles, The Economist employs Instagram Stories. They engage users by asking users to predict details and elements from the most recent news items in a weekly quiz.

Instagram video (Instagram video post)

The quiz employs a variety of photos and video assets, as well as the interactive polling sticker, to construct ‘True or False’ type questions or multiple-choice questions asking visitors to guess the correct fact. The quiz goes live on the same day every week. With eye-catching and odd remarks, each Story draws the audience in, and when each correct response is revealed, they are prompted to “Swipe up” to read the story on The Economist website.


This style, which mixes IGTV and in-feed videos, debuted in 2021. This kind of video can be up to an hour long and uploaded via the Plus sign in the top right-hand corner of the app, just like IGTV videos. Trimming, location tagging, and filters are some of the new features that have been included. These videos may be found in Instagram's brand-new "Video" tab.

You must ensure that the first few seconds of the video are engaging to get viewers to watch the entire thing as it appears when someone scrolls through your feed.

To give viewers a preview of longer videos, you may also make 60-second trailers for them.


You may stream live videos to your followers using Instagram Live. Followers can watch live when you stream or later on in a Story.

Live broadcasting requires bravery because there are so many potential problems! Live video is a compelling format that allows you to be more “genuine” and “at the moment,” so it’s worth giving it a shot. You can expose consumers to aspects of your company they wouldn’t often see.

This kind of video is perfect for presenting a “day in the life” of your company or workforce and brand events, demos, or tours. You may make live videos more engaging by asking viewers to leave feedback or ask questions.

Even though you don’t want your live video to be overly scripted, meticulous planning is still required. Make sure your internet connection is good, and try making your broadcast as reliable, high-resolution, and straightforward as possible. Additionally, before going live, ensure your narrative is crystal clear. Your live video should have a storytelling component to interest a potential client or consumer.

And if something goes wrong that day, just work the errors into the live performance!

Interestingly, during Covid-19, demand how-to and tutorial videos increased by 600%, making this Instagram video genre a wise choice for marketers when developing their campaigns.


Reels are Instagram's interpretation of the TikTok-famous vertical video format. Instagram has produced full-screen, portrait-oriented videos, unlike TikTok.

Multi-clip videos called reels typically last 15 to 30 seconds. Due to the availability of AR filters, timed text and green screen mode are perfect for showing creative content that uses effects and music.

Users can find Reels under the Explore page of their Instagram feed or the “Reels” tab on their profile. Younger users, including Generation Z and Millennials members, are huge reels fans. Marketers must remember that people can find your Reels without following you on Instagram.

Reusing your TikTok clip for Reels can be alluring. Keep in mind, though, that your Instagram followers are probably older than your TikTok fans.

Utilising Reels, you may integrate hashtags and product keywords while showcasing fascinating facets of the brand’s personality. Users frequently view reel content as more “genuine” than professional video content.

Which Format To Use?

We’ve taken the liberty of codifying which format to use and what it’s used for into a neat little table below for you to save and refer to when necessary quickly.

Instagram video (Instagram video format)

Closing Words

And that’s a wrap! You are now an Instagram video expert. From Videos and Reels to Stories and Live, you know all there is to know about the different types of videos on Instagram and how best to use them. Remember, your video format choice should be based on your goals for the post and what kind of content you have. And don’t forget to have fun with it! Check out our other articles to learn more about using social media for business. Thanks for reading!

Posted on 14 February 2023