How to Loop a Video for Your Audience to Watch on Repeat

Recording video

You might want to make a looping video for any number of reasons. To get noticed on social media, for example, or because you’re doomed to repeat the same moment over and over for eternity and you might as well just go with it. 

Looping videos have been around a long time; so long the ​​New Yorker has written about them. But with the rise of social media, and especially visual platforms like Instagram and TikTok, they’ve become a more important format than ever. At a minimum, they increase the chances of catching a viewer’s eye and sparking their curiosity. At best, they’ll capture that viewer's attention and captivate them for all of eternity. 

Read on to learn what a video loop is, what video loops are for, and how to make a video loop. 

What is a looping video?

A looping video is a video that repeats itself over and over again. They can be short, like an animated gif, or as long as you like. You can loop your videos to either repeat in full or in part—this depends on your own goals and the requirements of the viewing platform. 

Use video loops to:

  • Condense your content. Short-form videos typically have higher watch rates—successful looped videos capture the viewer's attention quickly, in 3 seconds or less. Capturing a brief instant of action and looping it gives you a better shot at presenting something simple and captivating.  
  • Abide by platform-specific requirements. If you want to share a video that’s shorter than the maximum playtime on a social media platform, you can loop it to fill up the time—and maximize your exposure. 
  • Get noticed. Video loops increase your chances of catching a viewer’s eye, because they may see multiple cycles of your loop as they scroll. 

How to create a loop video for Instagram and Facebook 

Instagram has a maximum video length requirement of 15 seconds for Instagram Stories and 60 seconds for the feed, making it a great platform for video loops. Facebook’s maximum lengths are variable by feature: The maximum length for Facebook Feed and Facebook Marketplace is 240 minutes. The maximum for Facebook in-stream video ads is 10 minutes, while Facebook Stories is 120 seconds. 

To make a video loop, both Instagram and Facebook use an app called Boomerang. The Boomerang feature is native to the camera feature in the Instagram or Facebook app—look for the sideways infinity symbol on the left side of your smartphone screen. If you shoot your video on your phone’s camera app, you’ll have to use the Boomerang app to loop the video before posting it to IG or Facebook. 

How to use Boomerang to create looped videos: 

  1. Download the Boomerang app. 
  2. Once in the app, record your video by holding the white record button. Try to include some type of action in your recording to make the looped video visually interesting. 
  3. Boomerang will automatically create a looped video file. 
  4. You can choose the Instagram or Facebook option and decide if you will post on your story or your feed. 
  5. Choosing the option “more” will allow you to save your video to another location for future use. 

Facebook Story allows you to loop videos in the application, even if you’re uploading them from elsewhere.

How to create a looping video for TikTok  

TikTok videos have a maximum length of clips or straight recording time of  15 seconds, 60 seconds, and now 3 minutes. A feature unique to TikTok is the ability to add multiple clips until you reach the max video length. As long as a viewer remains on the screen the video will play in an infinite loop until they scroll to the next video. 

To create a looped video on TikTok you can use the “repeat” feature: 

  1. Open your TikTok app and tap “upload” at the bottom right corner.  
  2. Select a video(s) from your library and then choose “select” at the top right corner. 
  3. You will then have the option to trim your video. When you're done with this part, tap “next” at the top right corner. 
  4. You can now add features like text, sound, and speed. 
  5. To loop your video, tap the “effects” button at the bottom left corner. 
  6. Scroll through the options until you locate “time.”
  7. Select time and choose the option “repeat.” This will create a looping video. 
  8. After you select Save at the top right corner, it will take you back to the effects page. 
  9. Tap the “next” button in the lower right corner which will give you the option to add additional features like hashtags before you choose to post your video. 

If you are recording a video in TikTok, you can record your video and then follow the same steps above. If you need to edit your TikTok video, download Descript today.

How to loop a video and save it for future use 

Professionally designed short-form videos are generally recorded, edited, and uploaded manually because most social platforms have limited features that don't fit everyone's needs. 

Streaming platforms like YouTube make it easy to view looped videos, but to create them you may need to go outside of their platform. 

Here is how to make a looping video using editing software, like, oh I don’t know—Descript!  

  • Open the Descript app and import your video clip(s) by dragging it into a new Composition or uploading it from your hard drive. 
  • Edit the clip so that you have what you want to be looped at the beginning. Here you can also add effects like text, captions, audio, and transitions. 
  • Copy and paste that clip and any additional tracks right next to each other until the video reaches your desired length. 
  • Publish your video, or export your video file. 
  • Your looped video is now available for upload. 

When you loop a video in editing software, you have complete creative control. Yes, it will require more work, but you are not limited to in-app features like 3 second recording times and a basic back and forth loop. 

The bottom line

Video loops create compelling visual experiences and don't require you as the creator, to be a video editing guru. While some social media platforms offer a built-in looping feature, they’re often limited in functionality—which makes editing software your best bet to create looped videos. Just make sure you know the maximum lengths allowed on your social platform of choice.

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