(Published on October 25, 2022| Updated on September 14, 2023)
I kid you not, this is the last Instagram Reels dimensions guide you’ll ever need.
If you want to nail the perfect aspect ratio, margin, and sizes for your Instagram reels, then remember to bookmark this guide since it’s got all the dimensions you’re looking for.
But wait, there’s more.
We also included five juuuicy tips to make your Instagram reel campaigns a massive success.
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Reels are Instagram’s response to TikTok’s dominance during the pandemic. They are short-form videos up to 60 seconds long—perfect for the social media community’s appetite for quick entertainment, education, or information about topics they care about.
Instagram Reels share a lot of similarities with stories, which are content that only stays online for 24 hours.
Both Reels and stories can contain photos, videos, and stickers to engage Instagram users. They can also use similar filters, effects, text overlays, and other important visual elements.
However, there are a few key differences between stories and Reels that make them perfect for certain social media marketing strategies:
For a full comparison, check out our complete guide on Instagram Reels vs story.
Creating Instagram Reels is a time-consuming and creativity-intensive process.
To make each ounce of effort count, make sure everything looks right upon publishing.
If your video’s dimensions are too small for Reels, it may look “stretched out” and fuzzy when uploaded. If it’s too large, you may have a tougher time editing and publishing your content—carefully polishing details that viewers won’t see or notice anyway.
Uploading high-resolution videos, like 4K videos or higher, may also cause you to exceed the maximum file size allowed for Instagram Reels.
Using the ideal dimensions for Instagram Reels preserves video quality and sharpness. It ensures the final video is exactly how you pictured it.
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There are two ways to create Reels on Instagram.
First, you can capture clips beforehand, edit them with a third-party video editing tool (optional), and import it into the Instagram app.
Secondly, you can use Instagram’s built-in video recording tool to record and upload clips directly from your phone camera.
The latter is advantageous for a few reasons:
To record an Instagram Reels video in-app, launch the mobile app and tap the plus icon in the upper-right corner.
Tap “Reel” from the bottom carousel menu. This immediately switches you to the Instagram reel recording tool.
At this point, you can start recording your Instagram reel from scratch. Feel free to swipe through and preview the video effect suggestions at the bottom.
If you need to upload existing videos from your camera roll, tap the gallery icon in the bottom-left corner of the screen instead.
Important: When uploading video clips from your phone, the supported Instagram video formats are “.MOV” and “.MP4” only.
For more in-depth tips and strategies, read our complete IG Reels Tutorial: The Ultimate Guide.
Make your Reels more relatable and entertaining by adding popular audio clips as background music.
In the Instagram reel editor, tap the music icon from the left menu.
Pick from the suggested audio clips or search for a song using the top search bar. Feel free to preview any audio click by clicking the play button to the right.
You may also tap ‘Import’ to use the audio of another video from your device’s gallery.
Once you find the audio you want to use, insert it into your reel by tapping on its name. Use the timeline scrubbing tool at the bottom to set which part of the clip gets played alongside your reel video.
Tap ‘Done’ and then tap ‘Next’ to proceed.
That’s it—your selected audio clip will now play on top of your video’s original audio.
Tap the music icon again on the top menu to balance the volume of the original and inserted audio clips. You can also use the voiceover and sound effect tools at the bottom to further customize your reel’s audio.
If you want to upload videos from your phone’s gallery into Instagram Reels, remember the best Instagram Reels frame sizes, dimensions, aspect ratios, and cover dimensions:
Dimensions: 1080×1920 (1080p)
Aspect ratio: 9:16
When viewed through the Instagram “Reels” tab, videos play at a resolution of 1080 pixels (width) by 1920 pixels (height).
Tip: If you want to record using your phone’s camera app, set video settings to Full HD (FHD), which records at a resolution of 1080p. Don’t forget to shoot vertical videos so your Reels display correctly when viewed through the Instagram app.
Dimensions: 1080×1350 (1080p)
Aspect ratio: 4:5
When viewed through your client’s profile feed, or the user’s home feed, Instagram doesn’t play Reels in full screen. Instead, the video will be cropped vertically for a consistent scrolling experience.
Top margin: 220 pixels
Left margin: 35 pixels
Right margin: 35 pixels
Bottom margin: 420 pixels
A reel’s feed view version reflects the “text-safe” area of the reel.
This is the portion of the reel that will always show, regardless if the reel is viewed through the Instagram feed or in full screen. It’s also a part of the video that won’t get covered up by interface elements, like the comment button, like button, and information about the reel’s uploader.
When creating Reels, position branding elements, Calls-To-Action (CTAs), and interactive stickers within the text-safe area. This ensures that they’re visible to Instagram users via the Reels feed, home feed, or your client’s profile page.
Instagram Reels cover dimensions: 1080 pixels x 1080 pixels (profile main feed grid) and 1080 pixels x 1920 pixels (profile Reels feed)
Instagram Reels cover aspect ratio: 1:1 (profile main feed grid) and 9:16 (profile Reels feed)
A thumbnail cover draws attention to your client’s Reels when users visit their profile page.
However, Instagram reel thumbnail covers can be tricky.
One cover is displayed in your client’s Reels feed, which uses the original aspect ratio of Instagram Reels. The other version uses a 1:1 aspect ratio, making Reels blend in with the other Instagram feed videos.
Although Instagram uses two versions of an Instagram reel’s cover, you can only edit one of them directly. That’s the cover found on your client’s Instagram reel feed, which has its own dedicated tab on their profile page.
Follow the steps below to use a custom cover for an Instagram reel:
Step 1: Head to your client’s profile page, head to their Reels feed, and open the reel you want to edit.
Step 2: Tap the triple-dot menu icon to open the settings menu and tap ‘Manage.’
Step 3: Tap ‘Edit’ and then tap the ‘Cover’ button at the bottom of the reel preview.
Step 4: Choose a frame from your video or tap ‘Add from camera roll’ to use a custom reel cover.
Step 5: Tap ‘Done’ twice to save your reel’s new cover.
The maximum Instagram Reels length is 90 seconds, but you don’t have to max it out every time.
Target a specific reel length that matches your objectives:
Best reel length for generating comments: 7-18 seconds
Best reel length for getting shares: Around 18 seconds
Best reel length for more views: 3-15 seconds
Best reel length for conversions: 30-90 seconds
Instagram Reels captions can be up to 2,200 characters long.
That’s more than enough text real estate to provide more context to the video, tell a story, or communicate value propositions.
However, Instagram users don’t watch Reels to read captions. Help them stay focused on the video by keeping captions short and to the point.
The Instagram Reels algorithm decides the discoverability of videos to users, including those who don’t follow your client.
It is influenced by a handful of factors:
Proper sizing is the one factor you can guarantee when publishing Instagram Reels. Just follow the information above when creating or editing videos and you’re good to go.
User engagement, however, requires a strategic approach.
To get more user engagement with your Reels, here are tips you need to remember:
Sprinkle your Instagram reel with viral hashtags for Instagram to boost its in-app searchability.
Using branded hashtags (hashtags that are unique to your brand) is great for raising brand awareness and recognition. But if your short-term goal is to reach as many users as possible, go with hashtags that already get hundreds or thousands of daily searches.
Observe the top Instagram Reels examples to borrow inspiration and understand the type of video content your target audience prefers.
Do they want quick tutorials? How about product reviews, demos, or memes?
Don’t hesitate to use ideas that already work for your competitors. They can’t patent or copyright Instagram video formats!
Also, use trending audio and hashtags in your client’s Reels.
Instagram Reels is all about trends, so it’s important to stay on top of the latest audio and hashtags.
Using trending audio and hashtags will help your client’s content get discovered by new users and increase their reach.
Do your research and find the most relevant hashtags and sounds for your client’s brand.
Get creative. Sometimes, the most unexpected sounds and hashtags can go viral.
Repost Reels on Instagram and other social media networks to multiply its reach.
This also gives you the opportunity to try different hashtags, use new captions, or schedule content at different times. Read our guide on how to repost a reel on Instagram for the complete strategy.
Implement a thorough approval method to ensure you only publish relevant, top-quality, and brand-safe Reels.
Use a social media management platform like Vista Social to execute your approval method. You can also save Reels as Instagram drafts to let clients have the final say on whether or not a reel is ready to go live.
Invest in IG tools for video editing to spice up your Reels with premium effects, filters, audio effects, and other unique features.
Some of the best tools for Instagram Reels are:
Many people watch Instagram Reels videos without sound.
That said, including on-screen subtitles and texts in your client’s Reels will only benefit viewers while helping your client reach more users.
Adding captions also makes your client’s videos more accessible to users with hearing difficulties.
Add video subtitles to your Reels by using Instagram’s closed caption sticker.
Select the sticker icon, then Captions.
The feature should transcribe the your video’s audio within a few seconds.
After it transcribes the Instagram Reels content, review and edit the text to ensure it is accurate and correct.
Also, ensure your client’s Instagram Reels closed captions are visible in every part of the screen, whether users are using a desktop or mobile device.
Consider positioning the captions at the center for maximum visibility.
Instagram Reels are limited to 30 seconds. That means you need to get your message across in a short amount of time. Ensure your client’s content is snappy, engaging, and to the point. You don’t want to bore your audience with a long, drawn-out video. Keep it short and sweet so you reel in viewers quickly with your client’s Reels (See what we did there?) while giving a great viewing experience.
Boring Instagram Reels won’t get your client’s content anywhere, so ensure your Reels are engaging, humorous, or informative.
Use editing tools and effects to create visually appealing Instagram Reels that stand out from the crowd.
Throw in some pizazz and personality.
People connect with other people, so let your client’s brand personality shine through in their Reels.
User-Generated Content (UGC) is a great way to encourage your client’s followers to create and share their own Reels using your client’s products or services.
You can think of UGC Reels as more relatable content that serves as reviews and even personal recommendations from followers’ friends.
Nail weaving UGC into your client’s Reels and you can increase engagement and showcase your client’s brand to a broader audience.
Plus, sharing UGCs as Reels can be a great way to show followers that your client values their opinions and input.
Don’t forget to ask permission and credit the original content creators when sharing UGC as Instagram Reels.
Don’t limit your client’s IG Reels on Instagram.
Promote your client’s Reels on other social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, or any other platform where your client has a presence.
You can also embed your client’s Reels on their website or blog to help drive traffic to a client’s Instagram account.
The more people see your client’s content, the more likely they are to engage with it and follow your client’s brand.
One of the best ways to level up your Reel game is to collaborate with other brands or influencers.
Slide into their DMs and see if they’re down to create a Reel together.
Create Reels dedicated to showing off your client’s brand and connect with new followers.
Give your client’s followers a sneak peek of what goes on behind the scenes of your client’s brand.
Take audiences on a virtual tour of your client’s office or show them how products are made. It can help build trust and make your client’s brand feel more personal.
Use Instagram Reels to drop some knowledge bombs on your client’s followers. Share your client’s industry expertise or give them tips and tricks for using your client’s products.
It’s a fun and engaging way to show that your client’s brand knows their stuff.
Remixing Reels is a great way to collaborate and create synergies with other users. It allows brands to interact authentically. Users who remix Reels often enjoy an increase in audience engagement and content reach.
“Remixing a Reel means creating one that includes content from someone else’s Reel. It’s a great way to engage with other users and create side-by-side interaction.” — Caroline Foresy, Principal Marketing Manager, Hubspot
When it comes to making Instagram Reels, ensure your content is looking top-notch.
Here are some things to avoid:
Most social media marketers post 5 – 7 Reels a week.
However, don’t get too obsessed with the numbers.
Pay more attention to the quality of your Reels. Publish high-quality Reels while maintaining consistency.
If you can only realistically afford to publish 3 – 5 high-quality Reels a week, then stick to that frequency.
Instagram accepts videos with an aspect ratio of between 1.91:1 and 9:16. The minimum frame rate required is 30 FPS, while the minimum resolution is 720 pixels.
The recommended Instagram reel dimensions are 1080 pixels x 1920 pixels. That’s exactly the same resolution as 1080p—only it’s for videos designed to be viewed vertically.
You can force your video to use the recommended Instagram reel dimensions by zooming in and out via the in-app reel editor. Alternatively, do pixel-perfect resizes using apps like Pixelcut, KineMaster, and InShot.
Navigate to the Reel you want to hide and tap on the three vertical dots at the bottom right corner.
Select Manage and Hide likes, and the likes should no longer be visible to other users.
Unfortunately, you can’t see who viewed the Reels you manage or posted for your clients, unlike Instagram Stories.
However, you can see who liked your client’s Reels.
Go to the Reel and tap the Liked by option at the bottom to see all the accounts or users who liked the Reel.
Go to the Reel you wish to boost. Then, tap on the three vertical dot icon or the Boost post option on the bottom right corner and select Boost Reel.
Next, enter your ad’s details, such as your audience, goal, duration, and budget.
After reviewing your details, select Boost post and you’re all set.
Put your Instagram Reels strategy on steroids.
Use an all-in-one social media management platform like Vista Social to schedule, track, and optimize your Reels strategy over time. You can also get real-time hashtag suggestions to maximize your content’s visibility.
Get started today with a free Vista Social account.
About the Author
Jimmy Rodela is a seasoned freelance writer and content marketer with over 8 years of experience, with work appearing on sites such as Business.com, Yahoo, SEMRush, and SearchEnginePeople. He specializes in digital marketing, small business strategy, marketing automation, and content development.
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