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The Ideal Video For Each Social Media Platform

The rise in popularity of video has many companies thinking they should be making video content. Incorporating video into your marketing mix is a wise idea, and it doesn’t have to be complicated. This is especially true of social media, where the barrier to entry is quite low. You don’t need a fancy camera or expensive editing software. All you really need to get started is a smart phone. 

Here’s what you need to know about the ideal video type for each social media platform. No matter which platform you choose to use, it’s a good idea to watch plenty of videos on that platform before getting started because the style and approach to making videos differs from app to app. 

TikTok, the new kid in social media

TikTok limits video length to 15 seconds or 60 seconds and loops the videos. The mobile-only app is designed for vertical video. Shooting in portrait mode is the best way to record a TIkTok video. TikTok videos are casual, meaning they aren’t overly produced. Off the cuff videos work well here, as does entertainment content and quick tips or tutorials. Talking head videos are also popular. These are the simplest to make, as they involve simply holding the camera in front of you and speaking. Use a mobile phone to capture video and be sure the video is set to capture in HD, or 1920 by 1080 pixels. 

TikTok supports hashtags and the ability to search by tag, making this a good way for people to find your content. The description fits 100 characters, so you’ll have to make the message short and sweet. You can overlay text and captions on the screen, if more words are needed to get your message across. The TikTok algorithm makes going viral a bit easier than on other platforms. 


The maximum time for a Facebook video is 240 minutes, or four hours. The shortest video you can upload is five seconds. For videos that will appear in the feed, square format is best, as this gives you the most usable screen space for both horizontal and vertical orientations. For Facebook Stories video, portrait orientation is best. Traditional horizontal video works well on the news feed, although it can look small on a mobile screen.

Of all the social media platforms, Facebook has the largest audience, making it the best place for top of funnel style videos.

The important thing, no matter how long the video, is to make the first few seconds captivating. This is not the place for a slow, thoughtful introduction. Although the platform accepts long form video, shorter videos in the one minute range tend to perform best. Facebook recommends shooting at the highest bitrate and quality settings possible. 


There are several options for video on Instagram. On the main feed, square videos display the best. The app will crop your video to square when preparing a post so that you don’t have to edit it to a square format beforehand. If you really want the video to display in a widescreen, or horizontal display then that is also possible. Instagram Stories and Reels both work best with vertical video. These are similar in feel and approach to TikTok or Snapchat videos. Stories videos should be 15 seconds each. Longer videos will be broken into 15 second segments by the app. Reels videos can be 15 or 30 seconds long. 

For longer videos, Instagram’s IGTV is the place to be. It’s also where you should be uploading horizontal and longer form video on Instagram. Content on this section of the app must be at least 60 seconds and no longer than 60 minutes. This is also the place on Instagram for videos with a more produced look. 

Captions or descriptions length on Instagram varies depending on what section of the app you are using. The main feed allows for up to 2,200 characters and 30 hashtags in a description. Be sure to use hashtags to describe your content, as this is how people find things on Instagram. 

Searching hashtags relevant to your business will give you a good idea of what types of content people are posting and can help guide your content creation decisions. 


This may not be the first place to go when posting a video but it shouldn’t be ignored, either. Twitter is where the hashtag started and it is still being used. Unlike Instagram, however, Twitter posts tend to use only a couple of hashtags. Although they doubled the character limit of posts, it’s still relatively short at 240 characters. The maximum video length is two minutes and 20 seconds. Because Twitter tends to be an app for things in the moment, it can be a good place for quick videos showing things happening right now. 93% of Twitter video is watched on a mobile device, so it’s important to make sure your video looks good at a small size. Also, consider using subtitles on your video, as many people watch videos without sound. 


Being a business networking site, LinkedIn is the perfect place to post your corporate videos and B2B content. Content geared toward peers and fellow business people are your best bet for this platform. Video length can be anywhere from three seconds to 10 minutes, with a 5GB file size limit. Like other platforms, be sure to write a descriptive caption for your video so that people can find it. Hashtags should be kept to a minimum. Consider creating behind the scenes videos if you’re looking to give insight into your business, or instructional videos on how to use your products. 

YouTube, the social media home for video

When you have a video you need to post on the internet so that you can link to it from a website or other social media platform, YouTube is a great option. With millions of minutes of video uploaded each day, the competition for views is stiff. If you’re looking to build a catalog of videos, or a video knowledge base, or reach an audience purely through video, YouTube is the best option. The default max video length is 15 minutes. You’ll need a verified account to upload longer videos. Business Insider has a good explanation of how to get lengthier videos onto YouTube. 

YouTube supports 4k video as well as multiple video aspect ratios. This is convenient if you’re looking to upload old videotape footage shot in 4:3 or a movie shot in 16:9 format. Both horizontal and vertical phone video are also supported. 

Be sure to fill out the various fields when uploading your video, including title and description, so that people can find your video when searching. Using titles that describe the content is a good idea. Hashtags are not necessary on YouTube. 

How-to videos, humor, and music are all popular on YouTube, and videos are easily shared to other social media platforms.

Get your videos noticed on social media with help from the team at Dream It Reel