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What is the optimum video length for socials?

Optimal video length varies depending on the platform you are using, your target audience and your goals. Here are Together’s top tips on how to create effective videos for your audience.

In today’s world of social media, video content has become an essential tool for businesses and individuals alike. Studies show that globally we spend an average of 17 hours per week watching online videos. So it’s essential to create content that stands out and grabs your audience's attention. This is where the length of your video can have a huge impact. The optimal video length can vary depending on the platform you are using, your target audience and your goals.

With the constant fight for your audience's attention and ever-changing algorithms, it’s important to stay up to date with the latest trends to help you create content that captivates your audience. That’s why we’ve done the detective work for you and will be talking you through ideal video lengths for different platforms and providing you with insider tips on how to create effective videos for your audience - let’s get started!

Why Does Video Length Matter?

First things first, it’s important to understand why the length of your video would even matter. Social media algorithms are constantly evolving and trying to improve user experiences, bringing each person more personalised content suited to them. Having taken a deeper look into platforms like Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, it is clear that their algorithms are prioritising shorter videos.

We took a look into why shorter videos are performing better and being prioritised, and there is a strong link to audience behaviour. Many studies show that the average human’s attention span is just 8.25 seconds - no wonder shorter videos are performing better across the board. Another reason short-form video is valuable for brands is that it can be used across platforms, and it can be easier and more resourceful to create a shorter video. It also allows you to summarise the main message concisely so it's more digestible for your audience leading to increased engagement and retention rates.

Optimum Video Lengths For Different Social Media Platforms

Now, many of us already know that short-form videos are winners across the board, but let’s take a look at the ideal lengths for each individual platform. Below is a list of optimal video lengths for each platform placement:


  • Video - <1 Minute.

As of 2021, main feed video and IGTV were combined into a new format simply called Instagram Video. Although you can upload videos up to 15 minutes (or 60 minutes for verified accounts) you should still keep your video short and sweet at under 1 minute.

  • Stories - 15 Seconds.

The max length for a single-story slide is 15 seconds. It’s best to try and keep to this, however, if you need to use multiple slides, don’t exceed more than 7, although 3 is the magic number.

  • Reels 15 - 60 Seconds.

Reels are Instagram's version of the TikTok format. The sweet spot for Reels are those first few seconds. If you engage your viewers from the get-go they are more likely to stick around for the whole video.

If you have to pick just one format to focus on for Instagram, you should dedicate resources into producing the best Reels for your brand. The algorithm promotes these the hardest, and we’ve seen most Reels generate 500% the engagement rate compared to similar static posts or ‘legacy’ videos for our clients.


  • Video - <1 Minute or +3 Minutes.

For viral content, Facebook recommends you keep it under 1 minute. However, if you’re looking to do a series of videos then aim for around 3 minutes. Keep in mind that in-stream ads need to be longer than 3 minutes to qualify!

  • Stories - 20 Seconds.

Much like Instagram Stories, these are best kept short and sweet!


  • Video - 44 Seconds.

We all know about Twitter's character limits and to no surprise, it's the same for video. The max video length is 140 seconds (or 2 minutes 20 seconds). However, it’s said the ideal time is 44 seconds.


  • Video - 15 Seconds

Although the max video length on TikTok is now 10 minutes, it’s best to keep it short and sweet around 15 seconds. TikTok is known for its fast pace in usage and growth, hence why short snappy videos tend to perform better.


  • Video - 15 Seconds - 2 Minutes.

Some may say YouTube is the king in the world of video. The optimal video length will depend on your goal, if you’re looking for an organic viral route a video around the 2-minute mark is ideal. However, if you’re monetizing your content with YouTube Ads it needs to be at least 15 seconds long and most ads only run for a maximum of 30 seconds. So keep this in mind when you’re making video content for YouTube.


  • Video - 7 Seconds.

The clues in the title, you want it to be snappy. The max ad video length is 3 minutes but let's be honest no one watches a Snapchat video longer than 10 seconds max!

Now you have the ideal specs for social media videos, let's take a look at some of our tips for creating effective videos for your brand.

Optimum video landscape

Tips For Creating Effective Videos Of The Optimum Length

Producing videos that entice your audience can be challenging, but we’ve put together a few main tips to follow to ensure every second of video you create counts, especially if you only have a short amount of time to grab people's attention.

First of all, you need to really get to know your audience. Research, research and research some more. Find out the main interests and topics of your target market. Creating content that speaks to their needs, desires and pain points will help you grip their attention and keep them engaged with the content.

As we’ve already mentioned, keeping the message short and sweet will help grab the attention of the viewers and also help with the battle against algorithms to get your video seen. People are busy, they want the main bits of information easily accessible, keep this in mind and sell the main points of your brand.

Storyboard your ideas! If you've been following us for a while you should know by now that we love a storyboard. Getting those important ideas down on paper is also a great way to help with collaborative work. We are all about collaboration and getting the whole team involved to produce the best possible experiences for our clients.

Using a mix of eye-catching graphics and captions is the key to a successful post or ad on social media. The mix of graphics, animation and text that clearly and concisely convey your message will be a winner. It’s also important to include a strong call to action at the end of the video and support this in the text. Encourage your viewers to take an action like visiting your website to learn more or commenting to join the discussion. This humanises the brand, helping get your viewers involved but also helping with a clear customer journey path.

One of our favourite techniques to talk about is storytelling, creating a compelling narrative to hold the viewer's attention is key to engaging your audience. We spoke at length about brand storytelling in this blog, take a look.

Finally, optimise your video content for each social channel. As you saw above, every platform has different video specs and ideal video lengths. When creating your video content keep this in mind, it could be an idea to produce one video that can be used across platforms to help with resources. Or you can always produce one video that can be snipped into shorter videos.

Overall, it’s important to have a deep understanding of your desired audience as well as knowing the constraints and ideal variations for each platform when it comes to producing video content. It’s clear that creating short-form videos continues to be key when it comes to social media, and when coupled with concise catchy messaging, you’re onto a winner. The best thing to do is experiment with video lengths and messages and find what captures your audience's attention.

The team here are experts at creating social media content from start to finish. Get in touch to see how we can boost your content performance.

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