Instagram Video Ad Specifications

Visualizing Success: Understanding Instagram Video Ad Specifications

Instagram has become a visual juggernaut, amassing billions of users and solidifying its place as a marketing must-use platform. Running ads on Instagram is no longer a luxury; it’s essential to a well-rounded marketing strategy.

While pictures may say a thousand words, video ads take storytelling to a whole new level. But diving into Instagram video advertising without understanding its specifications is akin to jumping into a pool without knowing how to swim: it’s risky, and chances are that you might sink your budget.

So, how can you be certain that you’re effectively leveraging Instagram’s video capabilities? This article aims to illuminate the all-important Instagram video ad specs you must know. Let’s unlock the gateway to a more potent advertising strategy!

Aspect Ratios and Resolutions: Why They Matter

Imagine a beautiful cinematic trailer cut down to fit a square shape, leading to awkwardly cut scenes and lost context. That’s what happens when you ignore aspect ratios.

Instagram offers a variety of aspect ratios, from the square (1:1) to the vertical (4:5 and 9:16) and even the landscape (16:9). Each ratio serves a different purpose and affects how users engage with your ad.

Square (1:1)

This is a good old classic and the safest bet. It’s best for simple videos that don’t require much context.

Vertical (4:5, 9:16)

The elongated nature of vertical video captures immediate attention. Ideal for mobile users, this format provides more space for your message.

Landscape (16:9)

More cinematic and wide, this format is excellent for storytelling but won’t capture attention on mobile devices.


Instagram offers different time durations based on where your ad will appear. For example, Stories and Feeds ads can be up to 60 seconds, while Reels ads can be up to 90 seconds.

A common misconception is that longer is better. However, the key is not to bore your audience. If a well-crafted 15-second ad delivers a focused and compelling message can have more impact than a dragging 60-second video.

File Size and Type

The maximum file size for Instagram video ads varies between the different formats. Remember that higher-quality videos will require more space, but they also deliver a more polished look.

As for the file type, .MP4 and .MOV are your safest bets. Ensure your video meets these technical criteria for a hassle-free upload process and higher-quality playback.

Frame Rate and Resolution: The Technical Backbone

A smooth visual experience stems from the correct frame rate and resolution. Aim for a frame rate of 30 FPS (frames per second) and maintain a resolution of at least 720 pixels.

Instagram allows up to 30 FPS for all video types, and going lower than 720 pixels could result in a grainy, unprofessional appearance.


Visuals may be the main event, but audio sets the mood. Use clear, high-quality sound to complement your video, ensuring it adheres to Instagram’s audio specifications.


Although Instagram video ads autoplay without sound, adding captions can convey your message silently. Captions increase accessibility and cater to viewers who prefer watching videos without sound.

Color Grading and Filters

Regarding video advertising, color grading is more than an aesthetic choice; it’s a communication tool. Different color tones evoke different moods and reactions from your audience. For example, warm tones often inspire feelings of nostalgia or comfort, while cooler tones can evoke a sense of calm or sadness.

Instagram offers a range of built-in filters, but software like Adobe Premiere Pro or Final Cut Pro provides more customization for professional editing. Remember, your color palette should align with your brand’s identity and the message you aim to convey.

Text and Graphics

Layering text and graphics onto your video can accentuate key points and guide the viewer’s attention.

Tools like Adobe After Effects or free options like Canva allow you to incorporate these elements effectively. However, remember Instagram’s specifications to ensure the text and graphics aren’t cut off or displayed incorrectly.

Calls to Action (CTAs)

One of the critical components often overlooked in video ads is the call to action (CTA). Instagram offers several in-built CTA options like “Learn More,” “Shop Now,” or “Swipe Up” in Stories for accounts that have over 10,000 followers.

The CTA should be clear, concise, and compelling enough to encourage viewers to take the next step.

Instagram’s Algorithm

Understanding Instagram’s algorithm can give you an edge. While the specifics are proprietary, consensus suggests that engagement rates, relevance scores, and playtime contribute to how often your ad is shown.

Ensure your video ad engages from the get-go to encourage more views and higher engagement, making the algorithm favor your ad.

Custom Audiences and Retargeting: Advanced Techniques

Custom audiences and retargeting are invaluable strategies for businesses looking to take their Instagram video ads further. Custom audiences allow you to target users who have interacted with your brand by visiting your website, engaging with your content, or other criteria.

Retargeting takes this a step further by serving ads specifically tailored to individual’s past interactions with your brand. For example, if someone visited a product page on your website but didn’t make a purchase, you can retarget them with a video ad featuring that product.

Final Thoughts: Test, Optimize, Repeat

Knowing your specifications is just step one. Use Instagram’s detailed analytics to gauge performance, and never stop optimizing. Remember, staying static is falling behind in the ever-changing social media landscape.

By understanding Instagram’s video ad specifications inside and out, you’re not just following rules but optimizing for success. You’re ensuring every pixel, every frame, and every second counts. So go ahead and take the plunge, but you’ll be swimming like a pro this time.