How long should videos be on different social media platforms?

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Video is the undisputed king of online content. While we all want to incorporate video into our digital wardrobe, it’s important to remember that one size does not fit all. We could boggle your brains with the techy details of frames, post-edits, file exports and more-which we know all about because video is our life-but we’ll keep it simple by going over the preferred video lengths for optimal performance on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

How long should Facebook videos be?

Facebook gets over 8 billion average video views per day, meaning, as a business you can’t really afford to ditch the ‘book. However, if you’re not using the platform effectively, what’s the point? With videos accounting for about 11% of all Facebook posts, competition for reach is pretty high. For organic reach, meaning non-paid reach, Facebook recommends keeping your videos around 3 minutes or longer. 

A 3-minute video makes sense for explainer videos, story-telling or breaking down difficult concepts, but only if you have enough information to fill 180 seconds. Ultimately, your video should be as long as it needs to get your message across…and not a second longer. 74% of a video’s value is delivered in the first 10 seconds, so capture attention quickly and cut to the chase.

 For paid reach, meaning boosted posts or sponsored ads, the recommended video length is 15 seconds or less. Short, sweet and to the point. This will not only increase the likelihood that your full message is received, but your video will also reach more people through optimal placement; 15 second videos can be placed as story ads, too. 

social media video

How long should Instagram videos be?

13.7% of content on Instagram is video. Newsfeed videos are limited to 3 seconds minimum and 60 seconds maximum, with the optimal length being reported at 26 seconds. But if you’ve got a lot to say and 60 seconds won’t cut it, don’t fret. With the introduction of IGTV, the average account can post a video up to 10 minutes long, and a verified account can post a video up to 60 minutes long from a desktop.  

Even though the IGTV platform feature allows long-form video content, it should only be used when absolutely necessary. Remember, attention spans are short and many followers won’t hang on past 30 seconds unless the content is super engaging. Follow the golden rule that your video should only be as long as it takes to convey your message.

The trending benefits of video on IG are in the stories. Over 500 million users use Instagram stories daily, and this number has been continuously rising since stories were introduced in 2016. Story-based videos are 15 seconds long, but can be linked together to create a longer story. Stories with 3 parts receive the most engagement.

How long should LinkedIn videos be?

LinkedIn has reported that their viewer retention drops after 10 seconds, making 15 seconds or less their recommended video length for sponsored ads. However, the LinkedIn platform allows videos up to 10 minutes long on its newsfeed. 

LinkedIn is designed for individuals to promote their personal brand, so longer videos can perform better with a quality script. Ensure that you capture your audience in the first few lines, and once they are hooked you can expand on your topic. Content hangs around a lot longer on LinkedIn, with only 1% of LinkedIn users contributing content. The opportunity for reach is high on this platform if you optimize your content.

Stretch your content.

With every platform suggesting different video lengths, you’re probably wondering how in the world you’re going to keep up. The answer: planning. Quality videos are built in the planning stage.

Prior to shooting your video, decide where you’re going to put it. Write your script and organize your shot list in a way that allows the video to be cut to different lengths, while maintaining its message and overall objective. Stretching your content in this way not only saves time, but is also more effective for message recall.

Platform limitations are constantly changing, so be sure to keep up with social trends and updates. Regardless of average performance, keeping your video to as long as it needs to get the point across is the best rule to follow.