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Lights, Camera, Action: It’s Video Time on Instagram

Lights, Camera, Action: It’s Video Time on Instagram

There has never been a better time to invest in video content for your brand’s social strategy. Adam Mosseri, Head of Instagram, recently shared that the platform would be deploying changes to video content as part of Instagram’s on-going effort to improve their four key categories: creators, video, shopping, and messaging. As chronic users of social media, we’re all aware of the magnitude of video-focused platforms such as YouTube and TikTok. But how will Instagram’s changes impact marketing teams and social strategies? To start, it’s time to place an emphasis on video posts.  

Although Mosseri announced that Instagram was no longer a photo sharing app, the ability to share pictures on the app isn’t disappearing – yet. Users can expect video content to become even more algorithm-friendly than before as Instagram focuses on user entertainment. Seems like the perfect opportunity to dust off your director chairs, right? We agree. 

When creating video content for Instagram, you have five placement options: In-Feed, Stories, Reels, IGTV, and Live. Not sure which to use? We’re pressing play on each video placement to help you understand which option – or combination of options – works best for your specific goal or campaign. 

In-Feed Video 

Instagram’s In-Feed videos seem like they’ve been around forever. But believe it or not, there was a time when you couldn’t post videos on Instagram at all! In-Feed videos were first introduced to the Instagram platform in 2013. Although these videos can’t exceed more than sixty-seconds, In-Feed videos have driven engagement from the start. Don’t get too caught up in the time limits, though, because IGTV offers the perfect solution. More on that later. 

Instagram Stories 

A staple piece of Instagram, Stories have been around for nearly five years now and continue to produce meaningful results within social media marketing. Stories range from quick, candid updates to carefully planned out frames and can include photo or video taken within the app or uploaded from elsewhere. You can even add GIFs, polls, quizzes, and question boxes to Stories all within the Instagram app. These features enable followers to interact with your brand in a fun, no-pressure way. 

Remember, Stories only stay live for 24 hours. Luckily, Instagram gave us Highlights in 2017 as an archive or album to showcase important Stories from the past. 

Instagram Reels 

Debuting as the newest video option on Instagram, Reels was designed in 2020 and was arguably launched to compete with rival TikTok. This short-form video content has a time limit of 15 seconds, requiring creators to think outside the box to communicate their point effectively — but that’s what makes it fun! Reels remain extremely algorithm-friendly and are often shared on the Instagram Explore tab, allowing you to reach people you might not traditionally. Reels display full screen meaning vertical video clips make the most sense here. 


In 2018, marketers were granted access to posting longer videos on Instagram thanks to the launch of IGTV. Like In-Feed videos, IGTV videos will be displayed on your profile so followers can access them easily. IGTV videos can be up to 60 minutes long when uploaded from the web and 15 minutes long when uploading from a mobile device. IGTV can be used for content including tutorials, product releases, company updates, and any other long-form video content you need to share with followers. The opportunities are endless.  

IGTV videos display full screen, so it is best to have a vertical video. No worries, though, if you only have access to a horizontally-oriented video – Instagram will automatically fill the rest of the screen with a black frame.  

Instagram Live 

As the name might give away, Instagram Live allows you to broadcast live and interact with your community of followers in real time. Lives can and should be used for Q&As, announcements, fundraisers, events, casual conversations with followers, and more. This feature allows you to connect with people who want to be engaged with your brand but cannot because of physical distance. Once you go live, followers will be sent a push notification which when clicked, will take them straight to your stream. After the Live has ended, you have the option to add a replay to your profile so that people can watch it even after it is over. Otherwise, the footage will disappear.  

Is your business ready to enhance your current IG video approach or start one from scratch? The MCG team would love to create a social strategy tailored for your niche target market. We’re always staying up to date with algorithm updates and best practices to ensure your social media is a worthwhile investment – on Instagram and beyond. Contact us for a no-obligation consultation.