Length best practices for social media videos

29 June 2023
15 minutes
La durée idéale des vidéos sur les réseaux sociaux

Table of contents

Videos have undoubtedly become a vital marketing tool for businesses, as they can effectively communicate a brand’s message, showcase products, and even help close sales. 

However, with social media platforms such as Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter having video length limits, it can be challenging to create compelling content that fits within those constraints. 

If you’re struggling to make the most of the social media video length limit, fret not! We’ve got you covered. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through some tried-and-tested strategies that will help you maximize your social media video content’s impact.

Get started with social media videos

Did you know that video is the number 1 source of information for 66% of people? 

A social media video is a short audiovisual used to communicate with a large audience. They can be used to: 

  • Connect with customers and followers
  • Share information about your business or product
  • Reach new customers and promote your products or services
  • Build brand awareness for your company or product

What are the benefits of using social media videos?

Some benefits of using social media videos include

Increased brand awareness

By sharing a well-made and engaging social media video with enough information about the product or service being discussed, you can increase brand awareness for your company or product among potential customers online.

Greater engagement

When viewers feel engaged in a social media video, they are likelier to continue watching it.

More response rates

Users who hear about products or services through a well-made and engaging social media video are more likely to contact you directly for further information.

Increased traffic

When users see a social media video that is relevant to them, they are more likely to click on the link to learn more about it.

Social media video best practices

While there are numerous rules to follow when creating videos for social media, it’s important to note that not all rules are set in stone. However, with so much competition on social media, it’s crucial to implement at least some best practices to help your brand stand out and succeed.

To help you get started, we’ve compiled a list of the top best practices to follow when creating marketing videos:

Make your videos accessible to all

Making your videos accessible means ensuring that anyone can easily play and engage with your content. 

Adding subtitles or captions is essential for making videos accessible to all, regardless of their location or situation. By including captions, you can ensure that your audience can still understand your message without sound. 

This is especially important on social media platforms, where viewers often watch videos on-the-go or in public places where sound is not an option. It’s ironic that videos, being audiovisual content, may not always be watched with the sound on.

Keep videos short

While not always applicable, it’s generally recommended to keep your videos short and to the point. Videos between 15 and 45 seconds tend to have a higher retention rate and perform better on most social networks. This is because viewers are more likely to finish shorter videos that are quick and concise.

However, it’s important to keep in mind the attention span of your audience and hook them from the beginning. The first five seconds of your video are crucial in capturing your viewer’s attention and keeping them engaged throughout the rest of the video. Therefore, it’s essential to make those first few seconds count by starting with a strong and attention-grabbing hook.

Optimize your video for each social media

Posting the same video on all social media platforms is not recommended since each platform has its own video characteristics, such as size, ratio, and formats. To ensure that your videos perform well on each platform, it’s crucial to optimize them for each specific social media platform.

This means creating video adaptations that match the requirements of each platform, such as the correct size and aspect ratio. By optimizing your videos for each platform, you can ensure that they look their best and perform well, leading to higher engagement and increased visibility for your brand.

Length doesn’t matter

While it’s generally recommended to keep your videos short, it’s important to understand that video length isn’t the only factor that determines a video’s success. If you have a great product or a captivating topic that your audience loves, they may not mind watching a longer video that provides value.

Ultimately, the length of your video should be determined based on your goal, audience, and key message. Rather than focusing solely on statistics and averages, it’s important to tailor the length of your video to your specific audience and purpose. By doing so, you can create videos that are both engaging and effective at achieving your desired outcome.


Ideal video length for each social media network

Today, you can watch videos on every social media platform. They have evolved to add videos to their catalog and content consumption. Below are the best practices for video length on each platform.

Facebook video length

Possible duration on the platform: up to 8 hours,
Ideal duration for an explainer video:  between 1 and 2 minutes.

Videos on this platform can last up to 8 hours; however, 1 or 2 minutes is ideal. Most importantly, ensure your video is understandable, and the message can be delivered without audio, as 85% of Facebook users watch videos without sound.

This platform has also developed other areas, such as

  • Facebook Stories lasts 20 seconds and, for the moment, is frail. We will see how it will do in the upcoming years. Will it be removed like LinkedIn Stories? 
  • Facebook Lives are long videos, with a maximum of 8 hours if transmitted through a computer. And 4 hours through a cell phone
  • Facebook Watch hosts content such as series, TV shows, or live sports broadcasts.

Instagram video length

Possible duration on the platform: up to 1-minute
Ideal duration for an explainer video: 30 – 45 seconds

No more than one minute, but no less than 15 seconds. Instagram is where the average user is mostly attentive to value image and video quality. On Instagram, we have several video options:

  • Normal posts that accept up to 90 seconds.
  • Instagram stories of 15 seconds

Here, the ideal length of the videos is 45 seconds on average. Unlike other platforms, Instagram focuses on visuals; therefore, users’ scrolling through content is faster than in any other network.

Videos on this platform must be eye-catching, fun, and immediately engaging.

LinkedIn video length

Possible duration on the platform: up to 10 minutes
Ideal duration for an explainer video: 2 minutes

It is a social network targeted to professionals that contain serious content. This platform allows videos up to 10 minutes, but the ideal time ranges between 30 seconds and 5 minutes. 

At Pharos Digital, we recommend 2 minutes for explainer videos intended for promotional purposes

LinkedIn’s users are employees who, on average, are 75% more likely to watch a video than read emails, documents, or articles on the web.

The wide time margin is explained by the fact that both long and short videos can interest followers. It is recommended to consider the type of video and the audience for a successful video campaign.

YouTube video length

Possible duration on the platform: up to 12 hours,
Ideal duration for an explainer video:  Between 2 and 5 minutes.

This platform supports a default length of 15 minutes or a maximum of 12 hours if you check your account. But the ideal length of an explainer video is between 2 and 5 minutes.

If you want to go deeper into a topic, creating a playlist with several short videos is better than one very long one.

Twitter video length

Possible duration on the platform: up to 2 minutes and 20 seconds,
Ideal duration for an explainer video:  45 seconds

This social network has recently become an efficient platform for publishing videos. On this platform, 93% of videos are consumed through mobile devices. Its maximum duration is 2 minutes 20 seconds, and the ideal length is 45 seconds.

Surely, you know that each publication has a limit of 140 characters. This categorizes Twitter as a fast-consumption platform, and it is even called a microblog. That’s why videos should go straight to the point.


Social media videos can be a great way to reach a larger audience, drive traffic to your website, and create a sense of community around your business. However, it’s essential to take some time to prepare your video and ensure it’s of the right length per social media network

By choosing the appropriate length for each social media network, you can ensure that your video is of the best quality and reaches its target audience effectively.

Does this seem like a challenging task? Creating a video will not be as difficult if you count on our support. At Pharos Digital, we help you to produce your video from scratch, advising you on the best duration according to your objective and audience. 

Thank you for reading us, we hope this article has helped you, and don’t forget to leave us your comments.

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Pharos Digital is a communications agency specialized in video production, web-design and digital marketing. Our team creates and designs unique solutions to help your company develop its reputation on the Internet.


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