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2024 Instagram Reel Sizes Cheat Sheet: Specs, Ratios, and More

Need a refresher on Instagram Reel sizes? We’ve got the details on frame sizes, compression sizes, ratios, lengths, and more.

Stacey McLachlan August 3, 2022
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We should have called this post “The Reel Deal,” because it’s got all the details you need to properly format your Instagram Reels. It’s the only cheat sheet you need for Instagram Reel sizes and specs.

Below, find specs, ratios, formatting tips and more — everything you need to make your Instagram Reels look great, with (sigh) no clever wordplay to be found.

(Psst: if you need a refresher on Instagram’s latest content format before you dig into the numbers, brush up with our beginner-friendly guide to Instagram Reels here or our Instagram Reels editing primer here.)

Get your free pack of 5 customizable Instagram Reel Cover templates now. Save time, get more clicks, and look professional while promoting your brand in style.

Why do Instagram Reel sizes matter?

If you’re going to take the time to make an Instagram Reel, it may as well look as good as possible, right?

You’ve spent weeks drilling the company mascot on the finer points of the latest Doja Cat dance routine and picking out the best Instagram Reels hashtags. Don’t blow this master-stroke of marketing with a silly little formatting error!

If you upload images or videos that aren’t the right proportions or dimensions, you’re risking a variety of unflattering outcomes. If it’s the wrong shape, it could get stretched and distorted. Too large? You could experience an awkward crop. Upload some low-res media, and you’re risking a final product that’s pixelated and ugly when blown up to fill the screen.

None of these are the end of the world, of course. But they sure don’t leave a great impression of your brand (unless the impression you’re going for is “unprofessional slop-ster”).

Even if the content of the Reel is an Oscar-worthy performance (as, I assume, your Doja-Cat-mascot-dance is), a weirdly stretched frame is going to take the viewer out of the moment… and probably on to the next video (which, I assume, is your competitor’s dancing-mascot video).

And here’s another good reason to care about Instagram Reel sizes: The Instagram Reels algorithm tends to favor videos with quality visuals. So using the correct Instagram Reels sizes when you edit and upload your video is going to give you the best chance to get your masterpiece reaching far and wide.

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Instagram Reel sizes 2024

These are the Instagram Reel sizes for 2024, but make sure to bookmark this page and check back regularly for the most up-to-date intel… because like all other social media dimensions, the sizes of Instagram Reels aren’t set in stone forever.

As Instagram goes through updates, these dimensions and sizes may shift to accommodate new layouts of the app, so keep your ear to the ground (or keep your eyes on this post, whatever works).

Instagram Reel cover size: 1080 pixels x 1920 pixels

Aspect ratio: 9:16

Recommended upload size: 1080 pixels x 1920 pixels.

There are few things we have control over in this world. Luckily, the cover photo of your Instagram Reel is one of them.

Here’s how to select your Instagram Reel cover:

  1. Create an Instagram Reel and hit Next.
  2. Now you’re in the Share settings. Tap on the preview image (the one that says Cover)
  3. Add a frame from your video, or tap Add from camera roll to pursue your photo album.
  4. Want to crop the image? Tap Crop profile image on the Share settings screen and then reposition or zoom in or out.

reel size for video of 1 cup mini rainbow marshmellows

Instagram Reel thumbnail size: 1080 pixels x 1080 pixels

Aspect ratio: 1:1

Display size: 1080 pixels x 1080 pixels

Recommended upload size: 1080 pixels x 1920 pixels

Once you’ve selected the perfect image for your Instagram Reels cover (see the tip above!), you can crop down to a grid-worthy thumbnail for your main feed.

While the cover is a 9:16 proportion, the thumbnail that appears on your feed will crop to a 1:1 square.

So, for best results, choose an image that’s 1080 pixels x 1920 pixels, but that has a 1080 pixel x 1080 pixel area that will be suitable to crop down to.

the reel deal instagram reel thumbnail

Reel size on Instagram: 1080 pixels x 1920 pixels

Aspect ratio in full-screen mode: 9:16

Aspect ratio in Instagram feed: 4:5

Recommended upload size: 1080 pixels x 1920 pixels.

Something to keep in mind as you’re shooting or editing your Instagram Reel is that the aspect ratio changes depending on where your viewer is watching it.

If viewed in full-screen, it’s a 9:16 ratio, but if they happen to catch your video in their newsfeed, it’ll be cropped to 4:5… which means about a third of the frame is lopped off.

elephant with text same

elephant with text same five times

If you want every single viewer to have a great experience (and you do, don’t you?!), make sure the most important elements of your video are contained to the center of the frame, and nothing vital is lurking around the edges where they might get lost.

Besides, when viewed in full-screen, the bottom of the Reel is where the caption and comments are displayed, so that’s another good reason to avoid displaying important content on the edges of the screen.

Another hot tip: Reels are the same size as Instagram Stories, if that’s helpful to know for branded collateral… or using these cool free Instagram Stories design templates.

Instagram Reels compression size

Instagram will size down anything over 1080 pixels wide to 1080 pixels.

Conversely, images and video need to be a minimum of 320 pixels wide: if you upload something smaller, it will be resized up to 320 pixels automatically.

Any image that’s between 320 and 1080 pixels wide will stay at its original resolution “as long as the photo’s aspect ratio is between 1.91:1 and 4:5.” (Other ratios will be automatically cropped to fit the supported ratio.)

Instagram Reels size in pixels: 1080 pixels x 1920 pixels

Instagram Reels are viewed in a vertical orientation, so videos and photos should be 1080 pixels wide and 1920 pixels tall (an aspect ratio 9:16).

Instagram Reels size ratio: 9:16

Viewing Instagram Reels in full-screen mode, the frame is a 9:16 ratio.

That being said: if someone is watching your Reel in their main feed, the video is cropped to a ratio of 4:5. That’s two-thirds of the size of a full-screen viewing experience, so make sure to keep important imagery and information away from the edges of the frame.

Instagram Reel frame size: 1080 pixels x 1920 pixels

Want to make sure your Instagram Reel is correctly proportioned so it doesn’t get stretched or cropped? Upload images and photos that are 1080 pixels wide by 1920 pixels tall.

Note that the frame size will change for Instagram users viewing your Reels in their newsfeed: Instagram will crop your Reel down to a 4:5 ratio.

Another vital piece of info: the bottom of a Reel is where your comments and caption live, so it’s best to avoid putting any important visual information along the bottom of the screen.

Instagram Reels length: Up to 15 minutes

Officially, Instagram Reels can be from 15 to 90 seconds long — that’s if you’re recording your Reel using Instagram’s camera.

But if you’re uploading Reels through a third-party scheduling tool like Hootsuite, your Reel can be anywhere from 3 seconds to 15 minutes long.

Instagram Reels caption length: 2,200 characters

You can type a caption that’s up to 2,200 characters (that includes spaces and emojis) to describe your Instagram Reel.

Don’t forget to save some of those characters for your Instagram Reels hashtags!

edit caption length for marshmallow "salad"

Okay, that’s it from us! You’ve got all the Instagram Reels measurements you need to make sure your content looks its very best. Follow these best practices — recommended by Instagram itself! — and your videos will be soaring to the top of the Explore page in no time.

Easily schedule and manage Reels alongside all your other content from Hootsuite’s super simple dashboard. Schedule posts to go live while you’re OOO — and post at the best possible time, even if you’re fast asleep — and monitor your post’s reach, likes, shares, and more.

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By Stacey McLachlan

Stacey McLachlan is an award-winning writer and editor from Vancouver with more than a decade of experience working for print and digital publications.

She is editor-at-large for Western Living and Vancouver Magazine, author of the National Magazine Award-nominated 'City Informer' column, and a regular contributor to Dwell. Her previous work covers a wide range of topics, from SEO-focused thought-leadership to profiles of mushroom foragers, but her specialties include design, people, social media strategy, and humor.

You can usually find her at the beach, or cleaning sand out of her bag.

Read more by Stacey McLachlan

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