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Instagram Reels Dimensions 101 | Size & Formatting Guide (2024)

Master your content with our Instagram reels dimension guide. We share the suggested reel resolution, aspect ratio and length for top-quality videos.
Kendall Breitman
Social Media & Community Expert
Last Updated:
March 5, 2024
Reviewed by
Ortal Hadad

Research shows 35.4% of total Instagram likes are attributed to Reels content. Clearly, it’s time you include them in your content strategy. 

But before you start, we suggest taking the time to understand Instagram Reels requirements. This will leave your content looking best and ensures you don’t have issues uploading or viewing your content smoothly. 

Read on if you’re wondering what you need to know about Instagram Reels dimensions and other formatting guidelines. Here is your comprehensive Riverside guide to all the basics. 

Why does the size of your Instagram Reels matter?

The Instagram app supports specific dimensions and content types. By aligning with the rules, you ensure your content remains shareable on Instagram.

But it’s also about how you appear to your audience. By following Instagram guidelines, your content appeals professional and you’ll deliver a better viewing experience for your viewers.

Complying with Instagram guidelines and regulations can also make for a smoother uploading and distribution process. Instagram’s algorithm favors videos with high-quality visuals. This means that your videos are more likely to receive a boost that shows them to a wider Instagram audience, improving reach and engagement.

Instagram Reels dimension requirements for 2024

There are a few Instagram Reel dimension requirements to be aware of before sharing video content on the app. Following these guidelines will ensure you give your audience the best viewing experience without worrying about technical issues.

To make things easier, we’ve covered a few aspects to keep in mind:

Reels resolution

Currently, the minimum video resolution for Instagram Reels is 720 pixels, and the maximum is 1080 pixels. Videos with a resolution that is too low, below 720 pixels, are not available in high definition. A resolution that is too high, above 1080 pixels, is unsuitable, as Instagram compresses higher-resolution clips to reduce file size.  

By staying within Instagram’s specs, you can ensure that your video content is sharp and clear, delivering professional-quality viewing. By avoiding higher resolutions, you can ensure that your video is compressed enough to upload and playback with ease. These guidelines exist to help you balance priorities and enhance video results. 

Reels aspect ratio

The ideal aspect ratio for Instagram Reels 9:16. This aspect ratio fills an average user’s mobile screen, which is in line with the way that most users consume Instagram Reels content. 

Instagram Reels dimensions for aspect ratio

Aligning with Instagram’s optimal aspect ratio won’t just help you ensure you can upload and share your content without encountering any problems. It will also help you deliver a full-screen watching experience to people who find your content on the app, driving better engagement outcomes. 

Reels cover or thumbnail

When sharing an Instagram Reel, you can select a cover image from your video frames or upload an existing image from your camera roll to act as a thumbnail. This displays before your video begins or when automatic playback is not available. It also displays when your Reel appears on your Instagram profile feed.

Instagram Reels cover dimensions

Often, it’s best to choose a Reels cover that matches the Reel itself with a 9:16 aspect ratio. A 9:16 cover can cover the whole video screen before your content begins to play. However, you can also use a square-shaped cover, which can be a good choice if you are mostly concerned about the appearance of your Instagram profile grid. Either way, make sure you keep important details within the square frame so that they are not cut off by grid display.

Instagram reels cover dimensions on gid

Reels length

Instagram Reels can now be up to 90 seconds in length. However, shorter videos are often very successful, with many users sharing clips that are only a few seconds long and achieving great reach or even viral content based on these. But, your ideal length is specific to your audience and your content.

You can use an AI tool like Riverside’s intuitive Magic Clips feature to automatically identify and create bite-sized, Reels-friendly content extracted from your long-form video materials. This way, you’ll easily stay within the recommended length guidelines without having to stress about content creation. 

videos for Reels made with Riverside Magic Clips
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What to keep in mind with Instagram Reels dimensions

While working within Instagram Reels dimensions is important, there are also several other factors you need to consider if you want to maintain premium content quality and achieve the best results for your account. 

Understanding common pitfalls can help you avoid issues that could compromise content quality. This allows you to take control of your Instagram Reels and produce content you’re proud of.  

Text-blind spots

When applying text or subtitles to Instagram Reels footage, remember that Instagram obscures some parts of the screen in feed display. This could mean that some users have trouble seeing all your text or captions

It’s usually best to place text elements well within frame, towards the middle of the screen, and away from the edges. The 4:5 aspect ratio is usually a text-safe zone. This means that your text will be fully in frame no matter how users access your content. 

Vertical video 

Instagram Reels display vertically on the user’s screen with automatic playback. This approach is optimized for mobile viewing, as opposed to the horizontal display you’d find on YouTube. This means that vertical content is able to thrive. 

For the best impact, we suggest creating content that aligns with Instagram’s vertical playback design. You should crop your Instagram Reels and trim them so that they are clear and powerful as vertical video files. 

Varying dimensions

Your Instagram Reels will use different dimensions depending on where they appear on the app, so it’s a good idea to plan for all eventualities. This can help you ensure that your content makes the right impact for all viewers anywhere on the app. 

In full-screen mode, Reels will appear with a 9:16 aspect ratio. On the feed, viewers may only see the 4:5 portion of your video, and on the grid, your thumbnail will appear as 1:1. Consider all of these when designing your video and its thumbnail image.

Best practices for Instagram Reels sizing

Feeling overwhelmed by the prospect of navigating Instagram Reels sizing requirements? Don’t panic! Just keep these things in mind to help you stay on track throughout the process. 

Prioritize quality

Great quality can make a big difference to the overall professionalism of your Instagram account! Clear visual and audio materials can help you show off your production skills and make your content easier for others to understand and enjoy. 

While aligning your content with Instagram’s required dimensions and file size specs, don’t forget to keep quality at the center of your approach. Put in the extra work to ensure your video is the very best it can be before it goes live. 

Check the specs

Before producing a video for Instagram Reels, refresh your knowledge to ensure you’re planning the right way! This way, you can avoid wasting time while ensuring that your content is built for Instagram Reels success. 

Check Instagram’s latest specs and guidelines, and optimize your content to align closely with these before attempting to share. Choose the right formats and styles to work with the Instagram system as much as you can. 

Use presets

You don’t have to do all the work on your own. Presets and automations give you the support you need to create Instagram-suitable content quickly and easily, even if you struggle with some finer formatting details. 

Instead of painstakingly editing your video to adjust its aspect ratio or sizing, use an automated tool like Riverside. We have set aspect ratios in the Editor, and with our Magic Clips tool you can instantly turn one long recording into multiple short-form reels. You can even burn in video captions, and style your video to polish it all set for posting.

Replay and review

Replay and review your Instagram Reels content before publishing it on the app. This can give you an opportunity to revise your content if needed and resolve any issues that may occur. 

Reviewing your content before you publish it allows you to ensure that your video is working in line with optimal dimensions ahead of time. This can help you dodge potential technical glitches while checking that your content is what you want it to be. 

FAQs on Instagram Reels dimensions

Still unsure about the requirements of Instagram Reels dimensions? Here are our answers to a few of the most frequently asked questions. 

Are Instagram Reels 4x5?

Typically, Instagram Reels have a 9:16 aspect ratio. However, a 4:5 aspect ratio may be all that shows for users who view your content in the feed instead of launching full-screen Reels viewing. This also means that the 4:5 aspect ratio is the safest place to position important visual elements, like on-screen text. Despite this, your video’s total aspect ratio should still be 9:16, even if you don’t place any important materials at the edges of the screen. 

What is the horizontal size of Instagram Reels?

Instagram Reels are for vertical viewing. This means that it’s not a good idea to attempt to share horizontal video files. If you are working with horizontal video footage. In that case, the best solution is to trim content and/or apply a border so that horizontal materials appear as part of a larger vertical frame. Alternatively, use a CTA to encourage users to turn the screen.

What format are Instagram Reels videos?

Instagram currently accepts video uploads that use either a MP4 or MOV file type. These file formats allow for easy, high-speed uploading without stripping detail and compromising the quality of your final video projects. 

Is Instagram Reels 4K or 1080?

Unfortunately, Instagram is still working its way up to 4K video quality and does not currently accept uploads with a resolution this high. The maximum video resolution for Instagram Reels right now is 1080 pixels. In the future, it’s hoped that this will increase. 

Final thoughts

By planning ahead to stay in line with Instagram dimensions guidelines, you can achieve the best results for your Reels and do better for your overall Instagram strategy. 

If you want to improve your content, Riverside is here to help. Our studio-quality recording and editing tools are built to make video production quick and easy! Capture long-form video, and instantly repurpose your recordings into short-form, Reels-friendly content pieces using the Magic Clips feature.

Ready to get started? Try Riverside today!

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