Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms. Long gone are the days when it was simply a photo-sharing app. With 2.35 billion monthly active users, and close to 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 tap the person symbol at the bottom right corner of the screen to get to your personal profile.
Tap the + sign at the top-right corner.
Then click “Reel.”
This will open up your phone’s media library.
Step 2: Select Video
Select the video you wish to upload.
Step 3: Edit Your Video
Once you’ve got the video in mind, tap it to be prompted for customization options.
As you move through the editing options, consider trimming the video, applying filters, adding stickers, including text, and adding audio.
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. To do so, simply:
- Tap Edit cover
- Tap Add from camera roll
- Select an image
If you need a standout image, we highly recommend taking advantage of Shutterstock’s infinite stock photo library for Instagram. The right stock photo can directly influence taps, follows, and hearts across your feed.
If you’re specifically marketing a product, consider the right product photography image to best represent your content.
Be sure to have your image sized specifically for Instagram’s Reels and check back often for the latest sizing requirements (more on this below!).
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, click Reel, 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. This helps your audience stay with you throughout your day for fresh, original content.
Recommended Sizes for Instagram Reels
Here’s what to know for the proper Instagram Reel size:
- 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 Within the App
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
To share Reels to Instagram, tap the + button again, then Reel, then Camera.
Step 2: Choose 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. Click either audio or speed icons to adjust those settings.
To add music and other effects, either click next or choose another video to stitch in.
Step 3: Add Effects and Adjust Speed
Now you can add in a variety of effects, including stickers, captions, GIFs, and more audio.
Once you’re set, follow the same steps as above to 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. Be sure to research latest topic trends to acquire traffic.
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
Knowing your Instagram Reels dimensions are crucial for engagement. You know that phrase, You only have one chance to make a first impression? Make it count! The wrong Instagram Reel size can jeopardize content quality and interest.
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 mobile apps for video editing, some prefer doing the bulk of their video editing on a larger screen. If you’re looking for tips on uploading to Instagram for desktop users, we’ve got you covered.
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 to MP4 videos onto 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.
In the event you need an Instagram to MP4 video and it’s not automatically downloaded as that, consider keeping a quick (and free) Instagram to MP4 video converter handy.
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.
Speaking of current, did you know that Instagram also recently launched their latest platform, Threads? Already generating 100 million sign-ups, it’s imperative to stay up-to-date with the latest online marketing strategies. The common thread (pun intended) between Threads and Instagram is finding the perfect stock photos for your content creation.
And while you’re at it, nothing pairs better with stock photos than stock videos! If you find yourself strapped for time or have a case of creator’s block, Shutterstock’s stock videos are here for the taking. To get started, find out which image plan works best for your projects and be sure to honor the appropriate licensing policies to avoid copyright infringement as well as protect our artists and contributors.
Needless to say, understanding how to post a video to Instagram is the starting point. From there, not even the sky’s the limit. The world of video is filled with endless possibilities! So don’t hold back; show us what you’re made of. We can’t wait to see what you create.
Looking to add high-quality stock video content to your designs? Shutterstock has you covered!
With Shutterstock Flex, you’ll have all-in-one access to millions of creative assets—including videos, images, and more—along with the FLEXibility you need to create trending content.
For additional reading, check out:
- How to Shoot and Edit Videos Using Instagram Reels
- How to Reach Younger Generations with Long-Form Video
- How Brands Can Boost Engagement with Instagram Stories Highlights
Or, uncover even more creative inspiration here:
Learn the ins and outs of using stock content across multiple platforms and for multiple purposes. We interviewed one of Shutterstock’s experts in licensing legalities to learn more.
With so many image formats, how do you know the difference between PNG vs JPG vs PDF (and more)? We’re here to guide you.