Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms. Long gone are the days when it was simply a photo-sharing app. With 1.47 billion monthly active users, and 100 million posts uploaded daily, it’s one of the most popular marketing platforms too.
Video is an integral part of Instagram. Videos get more views than photos and they generate more comments and engagement as well.
If you are just getting started and want to know how to post a video on Instagram, here’s our comprehensive step-by-step instruction.
There are several ways to upload your video to Instagram. The process varies depending on whether you used your phone to make a video or a third party app, like Wave.video.
If You Already Have the Video on Your Phone
Post an In-Feed Video on Instagram
Whereas videos that people see when scrolling through the newsfeed were previously called “in-feed” videos, they’re now called Reels. With that in mind, here’s how to post Reels to Instagram.
Step 1: Open Instagram
Open Instagram and click the + sign at the top right of your newsfeed screen.
If you open your profile page instead of the newsfeed, use the same + sign at the top-right corner and select “Post.”
Step 2: Switch to “Videos”
This will open up your phone’s media library. In order to switch to the folder with videos, tap the drop-down menu. Here’s where you can choose a video you want to post from your files.
Step 3: Choose and Edit Your Video
Here, choose a video that you want to post on Instagram.
When you post your video on Instagram, the platform offers you several video editing options. These include trimming the video, applying filters, adding stickers, including text, and adding sounds.
Want to share multiple videos in a single post? Select up to 10 videos and follow the instructions above. Instead of stitching them all into a single video for seamless viewing, they appear as individual videos in your post.
If you want to stitch them together, use a third-party app or create Reels (we’ll explain it below) to share your videos to Instagram.
Step 4: Choose a Cover & Write a Great Caption
Come up with a great description for your Instagram video. To make your Reel more discoverable, take advantage of the Location feature and hashtags in the description. This way, you give more people a chance to find the video once you post it on Instagram.
You can choose a cover from any frame within your video. Alternatively, you can upload your own. For a cover photo that is extra eye-catching, using a tool like Shutterstock’s Create helps you develop graphics that pack a punch.
You can get some tips on how to create an eye-catching video thumbnail here:
Step 5: Choose Your Add-On Options
Before you post your video to Instagram, you can choose to tag people, locations, or products. This can also boost the visibility of your Instagram video.
Shooting a Reel from the Instagram App
Another way to post a video to Instagram is to shoot right from within the app and post a video directly to your feed. In order to do this, after you open the app, click the + sign, and choose the camera icon.
From there, simply hold down the button to capture video (a single press takes photos). You can use this message to shoot videos “in real life” and share them with your audience right away. It also works for creating Instagram Stories.
Recommended Sizes for Instagram Reels
Here are the standard formatting requirements for Instagram Reels:
- Required video length: Up to 90 seconds if created in the Instagram app. Up to 15 minutes if uploaded.
- Required video dimensions: 1080 x 1920 pixels (or 9:16 aspect ratio)
- Preferred format: MP4 (with H.264 Codec and AAC audio, 3,500 kbps video bitrate)
- Frame rate: 30fps or below
How to Post a Reel on Instagram
In addition to using the in-feed and Stories options above, you can also create Reels on Instagram using the specific Reels feature.
Here’s how to use it:
Step 1: Open Instagram and Enter Reels Mode
To share Reels to Instagram, tap the + button again. However, instead of selecting “Story” from the bottom text, select “Reels.”
Step 2: Choose or Record One or More Videos
To record, simply hold down the capture button and shoot whatever you want to share.
Or, to choose an existing video, select the image box in the lower-left corner of your screen.
From there, choose a video, trim it if needed, and select Add. To add music and other effects, either click next or choose another video to stitch in.
The in-feed instructions above explain how to choose multiple videos and share in a single Instagram post. Using the Reels creation feature, you can stitch clips together into a single video.
Your audience won’t have to scroll through the videos one by one. Instead, they’ll play automatically.
Step 3: Add Effects
After clicking “next,” you’ll be able to add in a variety of effects, including stickers, captions, GIFs, and more audio.
Whether you select a still from your Reel or create a graphic using a tool like Shutterstock’s Create, choose a cover image that stands out in people’s newsfeeds. A caption gives context to your Reel, so share whatever information is most relevant to help people understand what your video is about.
Now that you’ve learned how to share videos to Instagram, it’s time to share your Reel with your audience.
Recommended Video Sizes for Instagram Reels
Here’s how to get the optimum Instagram Reel size:
- Required video dimensions: 1080 x 1920 pixels (or 9:16 aspect ratio)
- Required video length: up to 60 minutes
- Preferred format: MP4
- File size: less than 650MB for videos under 10 minutes; 3.6GB for videos up to 60 minutes
- Cover Photo Size: 420 x 654 pixels
How to Post a Video on Instagram When It Was Made on a Third Party App
If you pushed your creative skills further by making a video with a third party app like Wave.video, here’s how you can share that video on Instagram.
Most video editing mobile applications allow saving the video directly to your media library. From there, you can easily upload it to your Instagram account following the steps described above.
How to Upload Instagram Videos on Mac or PC
While there are some mobile apps for video editing, many people do the bulk of their video editing on a larger screen. If you’re looking for tips on how to upload high quality videos to Instagram, you probably are in this camp.
Can you do it? Yes.
However, by creating your video using an online video maker before posting to Instagram, you’ll have to do one of two things:
- Upload with an online scheduling app
- Or transfer it to your mobile phone
If you’re using an online scheduler, follow the instructions provided by your app, as each has slightly different requirements.
However, most people prefer to transfer new Instagram videos to their mobile devices. You can use any file-sharing program like Google Drive or Dropbox. Upload the video from your computer and then simply open it on your phone.
Or, if you have a Mac computer and an iPhone, if both devices are set to sync to your iCloud, you can use the native Photos app to move images and videos between the two devices.
In your phone, go to settings > Apple ID > iCloud >Photos and select “Sync this iPhone.” In your Mac, open Photos, go to Settings > iCloud, and select “iCloud Photos.”
Once confirming that the devices are set to sync, simply save the video to the Photos app on your Mac and allow the app to sync to your iCloud. Once the sync is complete, you can open the Photos app on your iPhone and access the video.
What to Look Out for When Transferring a Video From Your Computer to Phone
Sometimes, when we shoot a video using a DSLR camera, it doesn’t upload to an iPhone. This has to do with the video file format. Apple can be picky about the files it reads.
Convert a video file to an iPhone-friendly format using tools like Handbrake. It’s free and can convert your videos to/from a whole bunch of formats.
On a side note, Android phones seem to handle the most popular video formats without any problems.
What Happened to IGTV?
If you’re wondering how to upload videos to IGTV, the truth is that this functionality went away in 2021. While Instagram’s IGTV started out as Instagram’s very own YouTube, it has been incorporated into all Instagram video content. All in-feed, live, or existing video content is now shared as Reels, not IGTV.
Because all of these functionalities now fall under one bucket, it’s easier than ever to upload high-quality videos to Instagram. Better yet, they can be just about any length, which makes it possible to tell your story in a variety of Instagram video styles, based on your audience.
How to Save Instagram Videos on PC or Mac
It’s easy to keep a copy of a video on your PC or Mac, then save it according to the topic or date shared. However, if you’re creating a new Instagram video or Reel in the app, you may want to keep a copy on your computer.
If you’re wondering how to download Instagram videos to your PC or Mac, there are two options, and both involve your mobile device. When you post a video to Instagram, it automatically saves a copy on your phone. If you’ve accidentally deleted the original file, you can still get a copy of the video. Here’s how:
Step 1. Find the Video
Open Instagram, go to your profile and scroll your grid until you find the video.
Step 2. Open the Video and Download It
Open the video and tap the three dots in the upper right corner. Then select the option to download the video.
Once you have the video on your phone, upload it to your PC or Mac following the same options as above—namely, Google Drive or Dropbox. And once again, if you’re using the Apple ecosystem, you can use the Photos app on your Mac and iPhone devices.
Final Thoughts on Instagram Videos
Video is clearly the future of Instagram. Because it’s changing rapidly, you want to pay attention to current video trends—both on and off of Instagram. Whether or not you choose to show up on other platforms, like TikTok or YouTube, pay attention to trending music, sounds, and phrases to keep content current for your audience.
Understanding how to post a video to Instagram is the starting point. From here, the world of video is filled with endless possibilities!
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