How long should videos last? Hey guys, Jordan Lung here from JL Video. The rule of thumb is to keep most videos under two minutes, but optimal video length varies depending on where you share or embed the video. This is the key distinction in answering this question. We’ve come a long way in video lengths since I started JL Video in 2013. Most brand story videos were 3-5 minute long and the thought of doing 15 second long videos was not the norm. A lot has changed since then.

No two social media sites are the same, so no two video lengths are the same. A YouTube viewer, for instance, may happily watch for four minutes whereas an Instagram user probably won’t give it more than 15 seconds. On top of all that, social algorithms are always being updated, so what’s true today will change in the near future. Here are some really interesting video length stats based on the social channel:

Facebook:
Successful in-feed Facebook videos tend to be 24 to 90 seconds long. Facebook videos are permitted to roll for an epic four hours, but just because you can upload Gone with the Wind doesn’t mean you should. It probably far exceeds the Facebook user’s attention span, and that’s a lot of video to produce.

On the other end of the spectrum are Facebook Stories. Those user-generated videos expire after 24 hours and can’t exceed 20 seconds. For Facebook ads, put the juiciest information in the first 5 to 10 seconds, though these can also be four hours long.

Facebook Live is a great way to connect with customers in real-time. You can broadcast for up to four hours and, as with Instagram Live. The longer your live video runs, the greater your chances that people will discover it. Just make sure not to go below 10 minutes, which is about how much time it takes for people to be notified and tune in.

Pro Tip: To make your brand’s Facebook page more engaging, replace the cover photo with a 20 to 90-second video.

Instagram:
Make your Instagram videos around 30 seconds long. Although the platform gives you up to 60 seconds, the midway point is the sweet spot for Instagram’s busy, multi-tasking, often traveling audience. When it comes to video ads and Instagram Stories ads, try to cover your key message in the first 15 seconds.

For IGTV, videos can be 10 minutes long. Larger brands can petition to have their video limit increased to one hour.

For Instagram Live Videos, hit record and just keep filming. The longer you roll, the larger the audience you’ll have the opportunity to attract. The maximum length is 60 minutes, but you can start another live broadcast immediately after, if desired. Shoot for at least 10 minutes, but longer is often better when it comes to this format.

YouTube:
Make B2B videos on YouTube 2 minutes or less. Though YouTube videos can run for up to 12 hours, demand for that type of content probably isn’t there for most branded content.

As for video ads, our advice is to stick to 15 to 20 seconds if you’re using pre-roll ads, or six seconds for what are known as bumper ads, which are intended for brand awareness.

If you do a lot of product unboxing or software tutorials, it’s fine to go 5-10 minutes long. YouTube actually likes it when you make longer videos since it, in theory, keeps people on YouTube longer. The longer someone is on YouTube, the more ads they can make you watch, thus keeping the beast fed.


Well, now you know the ideal video length based off of the social channel you’re on. Go out there, make some content, and watch your audience grow. If you got some value from our chat, please smash the like and subscribe button and share this video on your favorite social media platform. See you in the next video! JL Video produces videos for all types of brands trying to connect to their audiences in the greater Tampa area and the entire country. Throughout our portfolio, we’ve worked with businesses across every industry. Schedule your meeting here to talk with our team!

Our experience, courtesy, and knowledge are what will take your video to the next level. Contact us today to learn how we can take your concept and turn it into a marketing success.