How Long should your Videos Be?
When a video pops up on one of your social media platforms, what’s the first thing that you do? My guess is that you glance at the length of it to decide whether you are really interested in it enough to watch the whole thing or if you should just scroll straight past. How many times after pressing play have you stopped watching half way, or fast forwarded through it to skip to the end? I know that personally, I don’t even watch half of all videos that I start to watch, the entire way through. Why? Because they are just too long. I lose concentration, get distracted by a different notification or just get bored. So how long should your videos be on different social media platforms? We did some investigating and here’s what we found out…
Since the launch of Instagram TV, there are now three ways for you to post videos onto your Instagram account.
Starting in 2016, the maximum length for an Instagram video was 60 seconds. This is perfect as there isn’t even the capability for your video to be too long as it just won’t let you upload it. However, the ideal length of a video on your feed is under 60 seconds- after all, it is supposed to be a photo sharing platform!
2. Instagram Stories
According to Instagram, stories have increased the time that members spend on the platform. Unlike an in-feed video, Instagram stories can only be up to 15 seconds long, however they do allow you to add as many video stories as you like. So, do you have a story in mind? Break it up into 15 second chunks and make your subscribers click through the entire thing!
3. Instagram TV
As of June 2018, video launched a TV channel on their platform. It is recommended that if you are a smaller account with a smaller following you should try to keep your videos on your Instagram TV channel down to 10 minutes. However, larger accounts or verified accounts can increase their video lengths to up to 60 minutes.
In comparison to Instagram, Facebook users are used to longer video content.
The maximum length for an in feed video is a massive 240 minutes. Despite this, it is said that the most successful videos are on average between 24 and 90 seconds.
2. Facebook Stories
Similar to Instagram, Facebook stories are videos and pictures which disappear after 24 hours. However, this time videos can be up to 20 seconds long. You can also go live on Facebook- the time limit for this is up to 4 hours. It is ideal if your stream is at least 10 minutes long. Facebook itself states that longer streams work better due to the broadcast attracting more viewers and them having more time to tell their friends.
Twitter videos must be no longer than two minutes and twenty seconds. However, like every other platform I recommend you’re mindful of how long your videos are. Twitters very own video about using video on the platform is only 29 seconds- meaning that videos under a minute are generally more successful.
LinkedIn was the last platform to jump on the video band wagon, with video only being added in late August of 2017. LinkedIn itself uploaded some ‘best practices’ for videos uploaded to the platform and suggested that videos be kept between 30 seconds and 5 minutes long.
Youtube defies all the other rules. Videos on this platform are longer and users anticipate longer video content. People not only watch longer tutorials and how to videos but sometimes entire TV shows on YouTube, so there really is no limit as to how long your content can be (the maximum video length is actually 12 hours!!). According to HubSpot, engagement was highest on videos around 2 minutes in length. However, Wired calculated that the average of the top most 100 videos watch was between 5 and 7 minutes. It is worth experimenting on YouTube. Depending on your audience, a variety of video lengths maybe more effective, so have a play around and see which works best for your channel.
Remember, you may have nailed the length of your videos but if the content is not compelling it won’t mean a thing as people still won’t watch it!
By Katie Ware