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Best Video Formats for Instagram, Twitter & Facebook

Uploading optimized video ads to your brand’s various social media accounts will translate to more views and a more successful social media presence — putting your best foot forward is key to engaging potential customers scrolling through their newsfeeds. Blurry, pixelated video and garbled audio will turn off scores of viewers, so keeping track of the video specifications across channels is a video marketer’s key duty.

You may not have the resources and budget of Will Smith’s Instagram account, but you can win over new fans on social media by uploading videos and ads using these formats and guidelines.


Instagram’s mobile advertising revenue has skyrocketed, measuring 11 times what it was three years ago. Instagram is one of the most important marketing tools for hip brands with a young target demographic.

As a brand you can choose between square and landscape videos for native videos, or ads that will appear directly in a user’s timeline. We recommend uploading square videos on Instagram because they monopolize more space and immerse the viewer, eliminating distractions like video metrics or other posts from appearing on the screen.

Follow these parameters when uploading native Instagram videos.

  • Instagram video format: MP4
  • Instagram video file size: try to stay under 30MB
  • Maximum length: 60 seconds
  • Instagram video dimensions: 1080 x 1080 pixels
  • Aspect ratio: 1:1 (square videos), 16:9 (landscape videos)

Instagram Stories

Instagram Stories are viewed in a vertical orientation with the same dimensions as the standard smartphone screen, meaning they are an outlier for marketing videos. Because the maximum length of an Instagram Story is 15 seconds you can create short ads intended only for this use.

Stick to these parameters for Instagram Stories.

  • Instagram Story video format: MP4
  • Instagram Story file size: try to stay under 15MB
  • Maximum length: 15 seconds
  • Instagram Story video dimensions: 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Aspect ratio: 9:16


Last year Mark Zuckerberg shared Facebook’s “video first” strategy, and there’s something to it — video consumption continues to increase on the social media platform every year. While you have more flexibility on the aspect ratio of your Facebook video ad, bear in mind that on mobile devices Facebook renders all video to a 2:3 aspect ratio.

When uploading a video to Facebook use these parameters:

  • Facebook video format: MP4
  • Video for Facebook file size: try to stay under 2GB
  • Maximum length: 45 minutes
  • Facebook recommended video dimensions: 1280 x 720 pixels
  • Aspect ratio: 16:9 (landscape videos), 1:1 (square videos), 9:16 (portrait videos)


Videos on Twitter are 6 times more likely to be retweeted than images, and 93% of Twitter views come from mobile devices. Videos should be your top priority as a social media marketer, and with Twitter you should choose Twitter video dimensions and formats that are crisp and high-quality when viewed on a smartphone.

Adhere to these parameters for video posts and ads on Twitter:

  • Twitter video format: MOV (MP4 is better for desktop, but 93% of your views will be mobile)
  • Twitter file size: try to stay under 15MB
  • Maximum length: 140 seconds
  • Twitter recommended video dimensions: 1280 x 720 pixels
  • Aspect ratio: between 1:3 and 3:1

Other Formatting Considerations

For all three social media platforms there are some consistent formatting optimizations you should keep in mind.

  • Use an H.264 codec and AAC audio for compressing and uploading videos (though on Twitter you should stick with AAC Low Complexity Audio).
  • Never exceed a framerate of 30fps. Twitter can handle files with a framerate of 40fps but keeping your video at 30fps will make it cross-channel compatible.

For all your footage needs, make use of the millions video clips available in the Shutterstock video library today.

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