Instagram Stories Length: What You Need to Know

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Instagram Stories have become one of the most popular and engaging features on the platform since launching in 2016. Over 500 million accounts use Stories every day, allowing users to share photos, videos, text, stickers, and more in a vertical, full-screen format that disappears after 24 hours.

But one of the most common questions people have is: How long can an Instagram Story be? The answer has changed over time as Instagram has updated the feature. Here's everything you need to know about Instagram Story video lengths and best practices for creating compelling Stories content in 2024.

How Long Can Instagram Story Videos Be?

As of 2024, the maximum length of a single Instagram Story video is 60 seconds. This is a significant increase from the original 15-second limit when Stories first launched.

In late 2022, Instagram started gradually rolling out the ability for all users to post 60-second Stories. Previously, videos longer than 15 seconds would be automatically split into multiple 15-second segments. Now, you can record or upload videos up to 1 minute long as one continuous Story.

However, there are a few caveats to the 60-second Stories limit:

  • Videos posted to your Story from your Instagram feed are still limited to a 15-second preview. The full video can be viewed by tapping "Keep Watching" and going to the original post.

  • Sponsored Instagram Story video ads are also limited to 15 seconds in length.

  • If you upload a video longer than 60 seconds, only the first minute will be included. On iOS, you can use the built-in trimming tool to select 60-second clips from a longer video. This functionality is not yet available on Android.

So in most cases, 60 seconds is the maximum length for an individual Instagram Story video. But you can still share longer videos by splitting them into multiple 60-second segments.

How Long are Instagram Story Photos Shown?

While videos can be up to 60 seconds long, the maximum length of an Instagram Story photo or image is about 7 seconds. After 7 seconds, the Story will automatically advance to the next piece of media (photo or video) in your Story sequence.

Keep this in mind when adding text overlays to your Story photos. Your audience will have less than 10 seconds to read any text, so it's best to keep it short - one or two sentences at most. Or you can split longer messages between multiple Story frames.

How Long are Instagram Stories Visible?

No matter the length of individual Story photos or videos, your entire Story will be visible to followers for 24 hours after posting. After that, it will disappear from your profile and feed.

The only way to make an Instagram Story permanently visible is to add it to a Story Highlight on your profile. Highlights remain on your profile until you delete them and can be viewed at any time, even if the original Story has expired.

You can add any active or archived Instagram Story under 60 seconds to a Story Highlight, including photos and videos. Longer videos will need to be trimmed down or split into multiple Highlights.

Can You Post an Instagram Story Longer than 60 Seconds?

Yes, it's possible to share videos longer than 60 seconds as an Instagram Story, but it takes a bit more work. Since the app limits individual Story videos to 60 seconds, you'll need to manually split longer videos into multiple 1-minute segments.

Here are two ways to post a longer video as an Instagram Story:

  1. Use Instagram's built-in trimming tool (iOS only). When you select a video longer than 60 seconds from your camera roll, a video trimmer will appear at the bottom of the screen. Drag the handles to select up to 60 seconds. Post that clip, then go back and repeat the process with the remaining portions of the video.

  2. Use a third-party video splitting tool. For more precise control, or if you're on Android, you can use a video editing app to split your longer video into 60-second clips before uploading to Instagram. Free tools like Kapwing make it easy to trim and split Story videos.

By posting the clips in order, your followers can still watch the full video as one cohesive Story. Just be aware that longer Stories have a higher drop-off rate, so aim to keep your total Story length under 2-3 minutes for the best completion rates.

Tips for Creating Engaging Instagram Story Content

Now that you know how long Instagram Stories can be, here are some tips to make your Story content as compelling as possible:

  1. Use the first few seconds wisely. Viewers are most likely to drop off in the first few seconds of your Story. Use an attention-grabbing intro, whether it's a punchy headline, vibrant visual, or speaking directly to the camera.

  2. Mix photos and videos. Varying the media in your Stories will make them more dynamic and engaging. Aim for a mix of static photos, short video clips, boomerangs, and text graphics.

  3. Add interactive stickers. Poll, quiz, question, and chat stickers are a great way to encourage audience participation and get feedback. Plus, they can boost your Story's reach and discoverability.

  4. Incorporate music and effects. Adding popular songs and creative effects like filters, gifs, and AR elements will make your Stories more fun and memorable. Just make sure they complement your visuals and brand.

  5. Design for sound-off viewing. Many people watch Stories without sound, so make sure your content is still effective without audio. Use captions, text overlays, and descriptive visuals to get your message across.

  6. Include a strong call-to-action. Let viewers know what you want them to do after watching your Story, whether it's visiting a link, DMing you, sharing the Story, or watching your other content. Use verbal and visual CTAs to prompt action.

  7. Post consistently. Like most social media content, posting to Stories consistently is key to maximizing reach and engagement. Create a regular Story posting schedule, whether it's daily or a few times per week.

By following these tips and understanding the ideal lengths for Instagram Stories, you can create thumb-stopping content that resonates with your audience and drives real results for your brand or business. While the maximum length may be 60 seconds, the most effective Stories are often much shorter - it's all about telling a concise, compelling story that hooks viewers from the first frame to the last.

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