The Ideal Length for your Video Content on Different Social Platforms
When you’re creating video content for social media, there are a ton of decisions to be made. From the platforms you want to use for content distribution, who the target audience is, what style should your video have and what goal is it achieving.
The actual content is, of course, the most important part of a video. If you want to get into the nitty gritty details, length matters too. Just like written content, if your video goes on more than viewers are willing to watch, even if it’s great, they may leave before they finish it.
Understanding what the right length for each video is will maximize retention rates and maximize engagement.
Facebook is one of the most important social platforms where video is increasingly popular for both organic and ad campaigns.
While long-form video on Facebook still generates interest, shorter clips are dominating for both organic and PPC video. As people scroll through their feed they’re willing to stop and dedicate a short period of time and not watch a lengthy video.
Studies have shown that 2 minutes is the longest your video should go on Facebook. A study from Hubspot found that user engagement was strongest on videos of about 1 minute long, maximizing user interest without losing them before the video ended.
Instagram has even shorter video requirement than Facebook. However, with the introduction of IGTV, there may be additional opportunities for longer format content.
Since Instagram is a mobile-first platform, it has a shorter ideal video length at around 30 seconds. You can stretch your videos to one minute and still get decent performance, but 30 seconds is the target you should aim for. More specifically, 26 second-long videos have been found to have the highest engagement rates.
Pinterest doesn’t immediately strike as a video platform because it operates so different than other conventional social sites.
A study conducted by Pinterest found that video length on their platform had no correlation with viewer completion rates and that it depended on the quality of the content. The vital aspect was to encourage users to take some sort of action, which aligned with the basic intent to research, discover, and eventually purchase something they found there.
Twitter has strict video length requirements, allowing content uploads of up to two minutes and twenty seconds long. Generally, videos around 45 seconds long performed best and had the highest engagement rates. Twitter was after all built for short-form content that is easy to consume. Videos should adhere to that standard as well.
YouTube, while the most popular video platform, is hard to put a number on. There’s some content that should definitely be capped at two minutes, but there is content that can easily go to five, fifteen, or even thirty minutes.
The most important factor here is user search intent. Someone who is searching for quick tips isn’t going to want an hour-long explanation and will prefer a 3–5 minute video at most. Someone who is looking for a guide or learn some new topic could be willing to sit through a 20 or 30 minute video. On YouTube, it depends on the user you are targeting.