In 2022, Instagram is valuing video over anything else, having announced it’s no longer a photo-sharing platform. Instead, an entertainment app supercharged by video and its algorithms.
Instagram video was first introduced back in June 2013. And if you’re an OG, you’ll know that it’s come a whole long way since then. For starters, you could only film through the app — there was no uploading pre-existing footage and videos were capped at a mere 15 seconds.
Today, there are four formats for video: in-feed, Reels, Stories, and Live. Within this guide, we’ll be looking at each of these in-depth. And it’s not just the fun features we shine a light on, but the techy bits too — read on.
DIY VS PROFESSIONAL
First things first, you’ll need to decide whether you’re keeping content creation in-house or if you’ll be bringing in the professionals. And the decision you make usually depends on the type of content and where it’ll be uploaded.
Creating for Reels, Stories or Live? These don’t need to be perfectly polished, so we’d recommend getting hands on. Whereas for in-feed video and IGTV, you should consider outsourcing to a video production company for a more visually striking result.
The Instagram OG. Except now, in-feed video and IGTV have merged together into its own filtered section on your profile.
We’re all familiar with the videos, Boomerangs, and GIFs that feature on our feeds and profile. But what sort of content actually deserves the mainstage spot?
The answer: anything that’s on-brand, visually creative, and looks professional. Brands are already uploading teaser trailers, product launches, and films that show off their HQ and facilities. So, if you want to stand out, take a risk and post something different.
Since these have a permanent home on your profile, hit up a creative video agency to produce content that cuts through the noise — something that’s impossible to be replicated by any old Joe. Not only will your visuals look slick, but the quality will be on another level.
Looking to the future, we expect to see many more mini-documentary series and podcasts migrating to Instagram Video.
Duration: 3 seconds to 60 minutes
Ratio: Square (1:1), portrait (9:16), or landscape (16:9)
TikTok 2.0? We reckon so. On Reels, creators share short clips using a whole host of effects, filters, and sounds.
You’ve probably seen a bunch of businesses using the feature, with trends such as: ‘what people think you do vs what you actually do’, ‘before and after’, and ‘a day in the life’.
One of the perks of Reels is that your videos don’t need to be super polished; save your more professional content for in-feed. They’re designed to be short, fun, and snappy, so don’t take yourself too seriously when creating content. Instead, show off the personality behind your brand, hop on trends, and take part in challenges.
In the near future, we expect to see new and improved editing tools that match up to their competitors.
Duration: 15 to 60 seconds
Ratio: Portrait (9:16)
Stories are a day-to-day insight into behind the scenes of your business. Team takeovers, brand collabs, Q&As, and product showcases all have a place here. It’s also worth making use of the interactive features, such as questions, polls, and quizzes, to boost engagement and interaction.
Just like Reels, your content doesn’t need to look totally clean. Since Stories don’t have a permanent place on your profile (unless added to your highlights), you can forget about the aesthetic pressures of the feed. Although, if you did want to spice them up a little, we’d recommend using Unfold — an app with over 200 templates.
Duration: 1 to 15 seconds per slide. However, you can record up to 60 seconds at a time and have your video split into separate slides.
Ratio: Portrait (9:16) for recording in the moment. Square (1:1), portrait (9:16), or landscape (16:9) for pre recorded content.
As it says on the tin, Live is Instagram’s in-app video streaming platform where up to four personal, creator, and business accounts can jump on together in ‘Live Rooms‘. Topic talks, Q&As, virtual events, you name it, they’re all happening here.
Once you have the camera rolling, you can share images and videos from your camera roll with your viewers. Or if you’re an e-commerce biz, you can tag relevant products shown within the video and they’ll appear at the bottom of the screen.
After the live’s ended, you’ll be given the option to save it to the video tab, giving the people who missed out a chance to watch.
The future? We expect Instagram to take Live Rooms to the next level. Perhaps they’ll increase the number of users that can go live together, or maybe even create an audio only option, to support the popularity of podcasts.
Duration: Up to four hours
Ratio: Portrait (9:16)