Are you creating an absolutely amazing video for your Instagram feed on your computer, but you’re not really sure what video export settings to use in 2022? Don’t worry, check out our full list of the ideal settings and we also explain why. Whether it’s for an Instagram post, an Insta story, or perhaps even one of those new reels, with these settings, you’ll have the highest quality videos possible.
Why good quality videos on Instagram are so important
This one definitely applies more for brands and businesses, as you’re pretty much required to have a social media account and following in 2021, 2022 and beyond. Whether you’re a digital agency, a bakery, or a distributor of grills, you just need to have your social media game on point. On average, users spend almost an hour a day scrolling through the platform – and with over 1.3 billion monthly active users, that’s a lot of possible eyes on your video.
Videos on Instagram are becoming more and more important as well. Do you remember the days that Instagram was all about taking pictures? Those days have long passed, as social media now heavily aims at video content instead. The first step was the introduction of Stories, which may have been blatantly copied from Snapchat, but have proven to be immensely popular on the platform.
Not much later, the company, owned by Facebook, introduced Instagram TV to compete with YouTube. And finally, Reels were welcomed to the application, which are short videos, usually with trending music in the background. Sounds awfully familiar, doesn’t it? It’s Instagram’s response to the TikTok craze.
Why do some videos look terrible on Instagram?
This is actually usually done on purpose for the sole reason to save as much data as possible. If we would send uncompressed images and videos across the entire social network, we’re pretty sure that the whole internet would collapse underneath the tremendous data pressure. That’s why images and videos on the internet are usually sent in a compressed manner, but that compression unfortunately also ensures that the quality takes a hit. After all, sending a file that is smaller – it’s more than logical that not every bit of information is still there, leading to a (much) lower perceived quality.
Even though Instagram’s compression isn’t bad or subpar by any means, it is still very noticeable – especially if you’re using the wrong video export settings. Take a look at our full list below to make sure that your video project will have the best settings to get it onto Instagram.
The best video export settings for Instagram in 2022: (Premiere Pro, iMovie, Final Cut Pro, DaVinci Resolve…)
- File type: .mp4
- Framerate: 30 frames per second
- Length: A maximum length of 1 minute (for posts and Reels)
- Size: Video can be up to 15MB large for posts, 3.6GB for IGTV, 4GB for Stories and Reels
- Codecs: H.264 and AAC audio codecs
- Bitrate: Around 3500 kbps video bitrate
- Image: 4:5 aspect ratio and a maximum of 1080 pixels wide
We haven’t specified a specific program, but you can pretty much use any video-editing software suite and adjust all the export settings accordingly. Below this paragraph, we’ll also explain why these choices are optimal for your Instagram account. Did you know that you can even use Photoshop to export an Instagram video? You can learn how you do that in our dedicated Photoshop video export to Instagram article.
.MP4 is one of the most popular and common file types around, and also one that is easily read and edited on all kinds of PCs and mobile devices. Windows, Mac, Android, iOS – it doesn’t matter, .mp4 will play on there flawlessly and it’s also the preferred file format of Instagram. Alternatively, .mov will also do the trick.
Did you know that Instagram doesn’t accept GIF files? Luckily, there’s a way to make your own GIFs compatible with Instagram.
As you can see, we’ve chosen a framerate of 30 frames per second. 30 frames per second is the industry standard when it comes to video, and most footage is shot in this framerate. 24 frames per second is a possibility, although this will be slightly less fluid, looking for cinematic instead. Movies use 24 instead of 30 frames per second, so you can compare it to that. You can also choose 60 frames per second which will make your video look smoother, but at the cost of increased file size – you likely won’t be able to because of the maximum file size.
Length and filesize
Keep in mind that the length and file size are only applicable to Instagram posts and Reels, and they don’t (necessarily) apply to Instagram TV (IGTV) content, which is focused on longer videos. If you’d like to embed a video to your Instagram feed, you’ll have to follow the platform’s limitations on length and file size. The file size is limited to 15MB for your feed posts, 4GB for Instagram Reels and Stories, and there’s actually something funky going on with the file limit for IGTV. It’s 3.6GB maximum for videos between a length of 10 and 60 minutes but is limited to 650MB for videos that are shorter. Posts and Reels can be anywhere between 3 and 60 seconds long.
Codecs and bitrate
Don’t understand all this tech talk? No worries – you just have to know that you’ll need to use the .H264 video and AAC audio codecs. There are both the most common codecs for videos and also the ones that Instagram recommends. There are more efficient successors of these codecs, however, they are not widespread yet and require more resources during editing and rendering. The bitrate of 3500 kbps for video gives you a decent quality to file size ratio making the most out of Instagram’s limited file size and compression system.
Aspect ratio and resolution
It’s proven that vertical content captures the attention a lot more and longer than regular landscape content, and the reason for that is simple: Instagram is usually consumed on smartphones, where the orientation is vertical. Hence, you should also use a vertical aspect ratio, such as 5:4 (or you can even use a square video, 4:4 if you’d like) as these are way more popular and take up a lot more screen estate on your phone. The width of the video is limited to 1080p – it’s not a coincidence that the majority of smartphone screens also top out at a maximum width of 1080 pixels.