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How to Convert a Video for Instagram

Edited by Pat Bitton

July 24, 2019

The popularity of Instagram lies in its simplicity, as it’s mainly built around the concept of sharing visual content. Initially, the service was more focused on photographs, but now its video segment has improved a lot. This has inspired many users to share their GoPro footage, travel videos, recordings of music concerts, etc. However, there are still a few technical limitations in terms of resolution, quality, and length, which can cause problems for users.

First of all, you should be aware that there are three types of videos you can upload to Instagram: feed video, story, and IGTV video. Depending on how you want to publish your clip, you need to prepare it differently. Let’s have a closer look at these three kinds of Instagram video:

  • Feed video. When uploading a video to your feed, Instagram suggests cropping it by default to an aspect ratio of 1:1, which is a square format. However, it also allows for uploading in 16:9 or 4:5 if it is no possible to fit all the necessary details of the video into a square frame. The video in your post must be no longer than 60 seconds, otherwise you will have to trim it to that length.
  • Story. Video stories on Instagram are short 15-second clips which are kept in your profile for 24 hours only and then are archived. Story videos use the full screen area of your phone, thus allowing you to upload clips in a 9:16 aspect ratio and portrait orientation. Note that you can split one long video into several 15-second clips, as they will be automatically played one after the other.
  • IGTV. If you like the story format but you want to upload a longer video without splitting it into smaller clips, that’s when you need IGTV. Basically, it has the same parameters as the story type, but with the maximum length increased to 10 minutes instead of 15 seconds. Users can also upload widescreen videos with a 16:9 ratio in landscape orientation to IGTV, which can easily be watched with your phone turned horizontally.

You should also bear in mind that the app supports only few video formats, meaning that you may also have to convert your video for Instagram. But if you think that all this information is too difficult to handle, you just need to find a decent Instagram video converter to help you get the right aspect ratio, orientation and format. In this case, it would be a good idea to try Movavi Video Converter. Using this powerful yet user-friendly software, you’ll be able to not only convert your videos into the most appropriate format, but also crop and rotate them. Download Movavi Video Converter for PC or Mac and read the guide below to learn how to easily prepare your Instagram video.

Install Movavi Video Converter

Launch the downloaded file and follow the instructions to install the program. Double-click the desktop icon to launch the converter.

Add a File to the Program

To add a video, open the import menu by clicking Add Media, choose Add Video, and browse your system’s folders to find the video you want to work with. Remember that you can convert a GIF to a video for Instagram as well. To do this, click Add Media, choose Add Image, and browse for the animation file on your hard drive. Alternatively, you can simply drag and drop your media file directly to the program interface.

Step 2 - How to convert a video for Instagram

Make a Video for Your Instagram Feed

To make your video square with an aspect ratio of 1:1, you need to crop it. Click the Edit button, located to the right of the video you’re working on, to open the editing tools.

Step 3 - How to convert a video for Instagram

Go to the Crop tab and in the preset list, choose 1:1. Change the size of the area selector by dragging its edges, and move the frame to the desired place on the preview. Make sure that the width of the selected area is equal to its height (for example 720 × 720). When you’re done, click Apply and Done.

Step 3.1 - How to convert a video for Instagram

Make a Story or an IGTV Video

If you want to publish your video as a story or IGTV video, you will need to change the ratio to 9:16. There are two ways of doing this, depending on how you want your video to look.

Crop Your Video

When you try to upload a 16:9 video as a Story or IGTV video, Instagram crops it by default, but only to the center of the video, so you won’t be able to move the focus to any elements on the left or the right side of the video. In this case, you can crop it manually. To do this, click the Edit button.

Step 3 - How to convert a video for Instagram

Go to the Crop and choose the 9:16 preset. Move the area selector to the position you want to crop, then click Apply and Done.

Step 3.2 - How to convert a video for Instagram

Rotate Your Video

If you don’t want to crop your video because you want your friends to see the full view, you need to rotate it. When you rotate a 16:9 video, it changes the aspect ratio to 9:16, but now you will have to flip your phone to landscape mode to watch it. In the Edit window, go to the Rotate tab and choose Rotate clockwise. Click Apply and Done to go to the next step.

Step 3.3 - How to convert a video for Instagram

4. Change the Output Format

Instagram is a mobile app, which means it works better with the video formats used in smartphones and tablets. So if your video is saved in MOV, AVI, or MKV, you’ll need to convert it to a more accessible format like MP4. To do this, go to the Video tab, choose the MP4 group of presets and select the MP4 H.264 - Original Size preset. If your original file was in Full HD or even 4K quality, it shouldn’t be a problem, as Instagram works well with such files. However, the app does compress all files by default, so there’s unfortunately no way to upload your video without losing quality.

Step 4 - How to convert a video for Instagram

5. Convert Your Instagram Video

When all the editing is done and the format has been chosen, select the destination folder by clicking the Folder icon. Now click the Convert button to save the final result. When the conversion is complete, the folder containing your file will open automatically. Now all that’s left to do is to transfer your video to your device and upload it directly to your Instagram account.

Step 5 - How to convert a video for Instagram

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