Instagram guide: How to record, edit and share video

Instagram guide: How to record, edit and share video

In this fourth installment in our complete guide to Instagram, we shine the spotlight on video. Here are our top tips and tricks for saving, editing and publishing videos on the social network.

On 20 June 2013, Instagram unveiled a new flagship function: video mode. Cinemagram (iPhone | Android) and Vine ( iPhone | Android) had already paved the way, and Instagram was trying to get in on the game by relying on its strong user base. Here, we’ll show you how to make videos using the popular social network.

Please note: This tutorial was made on an iPhone, but the steps differ only slightly from one platform to another.

Image stabilization, a prerequisite for making your video a success

If you don’t want to make your followers dizzy, it’s important to stabilize your clip as best you can, a key factor for driving the popularity of the video. In the absence of an automatic stabilizer, it’s important to support your smartphone with both hands to reduce vibration. More than the quality of your camera phone, it’s the fluidity and lack of blur that are important on Instagram. Here’s are a few concrete example:

Instagram video account wildflowers_gmc13

Instagram video account stepuplp1567

As you can see above, stabilization has an important advantage. If the smartphone is well supported, the action is smooth, which in turn considerably limits blur.

Remember that there are different accessories for Android and iPhone especially designed to reduce instability.

iPhone stabilizer

A very useful accessory to stabilize your smartphone

Capturing images

The length of Instagram clips is between 3 to 15 seconds. It’s worth noting that with Vine, you only have 6 seconds. Before recording, it’s always good to plan a mini-scene. Followers will like this. Also, remember to look for the best angle before starting to record.

Most of the rules of composition that are explained in our article “Get that ‘10,000 likes’ image” also apply to video format. Think about the rule of thirds and adjusting the brightness.

Remember that just touching the screen is enough to adjust the camera focus.

Instagram video exposure

Change the focus with one touch

You’ll notice that video mode offers fewer editing options than photo mode. The composition grid is unfortunately missing, and its unclear why, but the editor isn’t integrated with video mode. It’s also no longer possible to manually control the flash when recording.

To showcase your creativity, you can create surprising effects by alternating the main and front cameras.

Create surprise effects using the back and front cameras

Create surprise effects, alternating the back and front cameras

In Instagram, you can release the red button, then press it again to create a series of scenes. Before you start, remember that it won’t be possible to change the order of scenes afterwards.

You can create stop motion videos by taking a series of short video clips.

Once you’ve recorded the different sequences, you can delete any unwanted scenes by pressing the button marked with a cross to the left of the screen. You can only delete one scene at a time, the oldest to the most recent.

Pressing on the same button a second time will delete the last recorded scene permanently.

You can only delete the most recent scene first

You can only delete a scene at a time, the most recent to the oldest

If you leave your finger on the cross button, Instagram will offer to delete the entire clip.

Another important function relates to the audio. Instagram has access to the phone’s microphone and as a result, all Instagram videos have sound. Note, there is no option to disable audio. Once you’ve finished recording, press the Next button at the top right of the screen (or a simple arrow using Android), to go to the next step.


The second step lets you preview your video without posting it. Click the moving video icon to play the clip. Take advantage of this screen to pay attention to the little details; it’s here that you’ll be able to listen to the video’s audio track for the first time. If you’re not satisfied, go back and delete the sequence that you don’t like.

It’s also in the post-production part of Instagram Video that you can apply one of 13 available filters to your creation. They’ve got different names, although the proposed effects are essentially the same (black and white, sepia, tungsten, etc.) as in Photo mode.

Scroll through the thumbnails at the bottom of the screen to the left and select the filter you want by pressing it. Note that you can select the Normal filter if you don’t want to apply a special effect to your video.

Post-production Instagram

There are 13 different filters available for videos

Once this step is completed, it’s time to move on, choosing a cover and sharing the clip.

Share good videos with the right people

The next screen gives you a few simple options. Instagram lets you choose the cover for your clip, which is basically the photo that your followers see before the video starts. The cover automatically defaults to the first scene of your video. We advise you to choose the most representative image of the video to generate the most likes possible.

The last step, for sharing your clip on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr or Foursquare, is identical to Photo mode. By linking your Facebook account to Instagram, you can post the video as a link on your Facebook wall.

Publish a video

Alternate photos and videos on Instagram

Video mode opens up new possibilities on Instagram. Brands are in on it too, as more than 40% of the 1,000 most shared videos on the network are the work of professionals. Video lets you offer original content, which is undoubtedly one of the best ways to set you and other users apart.

In an upcoming episode of our Complete Guide to Instagram, we’ll explain how to import photos and videos on your PC to Instagram.

How many likes did your last Instagram video get?

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