How to upload longer Instagram videos

Person filming video with a smartphone

Instagram may have started out as a platform for static images and quick-bite content, but it’s now a source for longer videos — you just have to know how to make them. To adjust your video length, you can use Instagram’s in-app editor or try a third-party video editing app like Descript. Here’s a guide on how to make videos longer on Instagram.

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Types of Instagram video posts

There are a few different types of video for Instagram, each with its own length requirements. If you are looking to post longer videos on Instagram, there are a few different methods you can try.

  1. Instagram stories. For video content with less commitment, you can use the Instagram story feature to upload a video up to 15 seconds in length that disappears after 24 hours. Instagram stories appear across the top of the main feed of regular Instagram posts, with your story showing first on your own feed, followed by those of the people you follow. If you upload video content to your Instagram story that exceeds the 15-second limit (but is less than 60 seconds), the app will automatically separate the video clips into up to four segments of 15 seconds apiece.
  2. Instagram videos. Formerly known as IGTV videos, Instagram videos is a newer method for posting longer videos to Instagram. This format allows for 10-minute long videos for regular users, and up to 60 minutes for verified users (those with that coveted blue checkmark). This feature merges the original IGTV with standard feed videos, which means your content will appear in your photo feed as well as on its own video page within your profile. Select the right thumbnail to give a nice preview of your content on your page.
  3. Instagram reels. Like regular Instagram videos, Instagram reels also appear in your scrolling feed and have their own tab on your profile page (situated between your regular feed and Instagram video tab). Reels have a 60-second time limit, but they let you add extra flourishes to your videos like music, text, and graphics. They are similar to — and were built to compete with — TikTok, the video-only social media platform.  
  4. Instagram carousel. An Instagram carousel is a single post containing multiple images or video slides (or a combination of both). With this method, you can upload up to 10 one-minute video segments in the same post. Users need to swipe through the album to view each clip.

How to make your Instagram videos longer

You can edit a longer video for Instagram by using their in-app software or a separate editing program like Descript — we’ll walk you through a few methods in the step-by-step guide below. You can learn more about formatting your videos for Instagram here.

Method one: upload the trimmed video to your feed

One way to upload a long video to your page is to first edit the video to the necessary limit, then upload it through the Instagram app.

  1. Select your content. Open the Descript editing software. Drag and drop the video you want to upload to Instagram into the hub, or use the “Browse” button to locate your file. Your video will appear along with a transcription of the audio.
  2. Trim and edit. Highlighting parts of the audio transcript will highlight the corresponding areas of the video, which makes it easier to pinpoint your edits and eliminate specific parts. You can also hover your mouse over the edges of the clip on the bottom waveform until two outward arrows appear. This activates the trim tool, where you can click and drag the video limits to your desired length.
  3. Upload. Use the Descript software to trim your video down to a maximum of 10 minutes and then save the file. To post a regular Instagram video, open the Instagram app, locate your file, and upload through the Instagram TV section in your profile.  

Method two: work with smaller clips

Another way to create long videos is to compile smaller clips together, then upload them to your reels, stories, or as a carousel.

  1. Make separate clips. Use the Descript software to create and compile smaller clips. You can either upload, edit, and save each of your trimmed videos separately, or drag multiple smaller videos into the hub to splice together. To create separate clips within the same video, right-click on the bottom waveform and select “split clip,” which will separate your video into sections at the desired timestamp. That will let you work on each segment independently within the same workspace.
  2. Make a carousel. To create an Instagram carousel, cut each of your video clips down to a maximum of 60 seconds, then save each of your edited videos as a separate file. When you open Instagram, you can use the multi-select tool to choose each video clip you want to post. These videos will appear in one album on your Instagram grid.
  3. Make longer stories. For Instagram stories, you can use Descript to cut your longer videos into 15-second segments, which will give you more control over where and how your video transitions to the next clip. When you’re ready to post to your stories, select each clip in the order they should play then upload them all at once in the app.
  4. Make reels. To upload reels, trim your videos down to 60 seconds each, then upload them within the reels tab of your profile. Unlike carousels, reels are uploaded separately and don’t appear in the same album.

Final thoughts

Posting videos on Instagram is a good idea if you’re trying to reach more people on social media. Videos can help increase your engagement, as well as the time spent on your social media profile. The key is choosing the right format for the content: Instagram only supports a maximum of 60 seconds for stories, 10 minutes for Instagram TV (unless you’re verified), 60 seconds for reels, and up to 10 minutes for a carousel. Choosing your content wisely and applying effective editing techniques can help create more compelling media and boost the chances that viewers will stick around.

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