Posting content from your computer to Instagram seemed like a far-fetched dream just a couple of years ago. But since the release of Instagram Reels and the recent updates to the platform, you can finally upload your Instagram Reels and other video content right from your computer.
Whilst posting to Instagram was initially restricted to iPhone and Android phones. Now Instagram allows users to publish content directly from their Mac or Windows computer (perfect for anyone who is batching their content creation or wanting to streamline their content creation workflows).
In this guide, we‘ll uncover all of the best practice strategies when using the Instagram desktop version. Plus, we‘ve added our favorite tips to seamlessly create and upload content from your computer to your Instagram account.
Reels 101: Instagram Video specifications
But first, there are some specifications you need to keep in mind when posting your Reels or videos to Instagram. Here’s a quick summary of all the Instagram video sizes and specifications you need to follow in 2023:
- The file size must be up to 4 GB.
- The playback length is at 60 seconds.
- The frame rate should be less than 30 FPS.
- The maximum dimension should be less than 1080.
- The opted format is MP4.
- The landscape aspect ratio is 1:91:1.
- The square aspect ratio is 1:1.
- The vertical aspect ratio is 4:5.
Now that’s out of the way, ready to dive in? Let’s do it.
How to Make Your Own Reel
Content creation is one of the main elements of growing a business on Instagram. Creating fun, engaging and informative content will ensure your audience builds trust with your brand and remembers you when they’re ready to make a sale.
Plus, by posting consistent content your business will be seen as a leader or expert in your field. By utilizing Reels in your Instagram strategy, you’ll be able to expand your reach, boost your discoverability and increase your chances of going viral on the platform.
Plus, with Instagram moving to a new full-screen feed experience, now is the time to prioritize producing dynamic, vertical video content (a.k.a. Instagram Reels!).
Here’s an easy 10-step tutorial on creating a Reel:
- Hop into the Instagram app (on iOS or Android) or your desktop browser.
- Click on the Reels icon in the middle of the screen.
- Or Tap on the Instagram logo and go to “story.”
- Choose “reel” on the bottom-left side.
- You can choose between two options: recording footage from Instagram or uploading a video from your camera roll.
- To create your first reel, you can use specific tools to prepare your recording. Select catchy audio or import a track from your library.
- You can change the speed of your clips, select different effects, and use the timer to choose the length of your reel.
- Once prepared, tap and hold the record button. The video will record according to the timer set. You can delete or trim after recording your clips.
- Use stickers, drawings, and texts to customize your reel as per your taste.
- Now you’re ready to add a caption, pop in your hashtag, and you’re ready to publish your reel to your Instagram Feed!
Hot Tips for Creating Instagram Reels
To really elevate your Reels and boost the professionalism of your Instagram content, here are two handy hacks that will improve the quality of your content:
- You can upload your own cover image from your camera roll. Click Edit Cover > Add from Camera Roll > Profile Grid.
- Make sure to Click on High-Quality Uploads in your settings (this ensures your videos are always crisp and clear).
Top Video Editing Software for Instagram Reels
In 2023, you have a plethora of editing choices to create your Reel content. Here are our top picks for video editing to create crisp, engaging, and fun Reels videos (in no particular order).
Adobe Premiere Rush
Adobe Premiere Rush is the baby brother to Premiere Pro and is a simplified version of Adobe’s flagship software. Rush allows users to easily trim and splice videos together. You can also add titles, motion graphics, audio and other graphic elements. Adobe Premiere Rush is a paid tool and sits under the Creative Cloud Suite. A single plan costs US$9.99 per month.
Wondershare Filmora is an all-in-one video editing software that can be used on a desktop. Filmora has an easy-to-use interface that allows you to create beautiful Reels. With Filmora, you can use color grading, speed control, video stabilization, audio equalizer, split-screen, scene detection and more!
It can be used on Windows or Mac and has both free and paid versions. The annual plan costs US$49.99 for individuals.
iMovie is a fantastic choice for anyone looking for free video editing software that comes with high-quality features. iMovie is one of the few software that has 4K videos on its free version. This is the perfect choice for beginners looking to easily splice together their Instagram Reels. iMovie comes with a clean interface, video transition tools, and audio editing.
Open Shot is another free piece of software that gives experienced editors the creative freedom to edit videos without needing a paid version. This tool is best for clip resizing, scaling, trimming, snapping, and rotation. The OpenShot drag-and-drop functionality for easily adding video, audio, or image files, plus you can color grade your Reels as well.
The Instagram App
Last but not least is the Instagram App itself. Instagram is continually improving the editing features for Instagram Reels. Once you have recorded some footage, you can either pre-load it into Reels or record it straight from the app. From here, you can add text, stickers, and audio. This is an awesome option for those who want to keep things centralized and easy right from the app.
How to post Instagram Reels from your computer
Now the bit you’ve been waiting for: how to post Instagram Reels (without using the mobile app).
There are quite a few workarounds you can use to upload your Reels and video content from a laptop or computer, without using a mobile device. This can come in the form of the Instagram Browser version, Facebook Creator Studio or using a third-party app.
Let’s take a look at each of these options and their pros and cons.
Option 1. Instagram Browser Version
With the updates to Instagram’s desktop version, creators and brands can now upload directly from the web browser, no matter their location. Here’s a quick guide to get you started.
Step 1. Open Instagram.com. Then log into your account as usual.
Step 2. Once you have logged in, you’ll see your feed, stories, and the button options in the top right corner.
Step 3. Click on the ‘+’ button. Here, you can edit the photos and add your caption and hashtags.
Step 4. You can also tag people, add your location, add alt text and access advanced settings.
Step 5. Then you’re ready to post videos to your Instagram account!
So, is the Instagram desktop site better than the app experience on mobile phones? Here’s what you need to know.
Pros: The Instagram website version allows users to add captions, locations, tags, and hashtags. Additionally, this option is easily accessible from any browser (including Safari, Google Chrome, Firefox, Bing, etc.).
Cons: The web version has many limitations that make it difficult to use Instagram. There are limited photo-cropping options and minimal add-ons when clicking share, and you won’t be able to schedule content or upload Instagram Stories.
Option 2. Facebook Creator Studio
In August 2019, Facebook announced that creators and businesses could link their Facebook Business Page to upload content to Instagram from the Creator Studio. This new feature enables businesses to manage their Instagram accounts from a desktop browser.
Here’s what you need to know to use the Facebook Creator Studio:
Step 1. Connect to the Facebook Creator Studio with your Facebook Credentials.
Step 2. Navigate to the Instagram Icon and click on Instagram Studio.
Step 3. From here, you can upload, schedule and publish posts. You can upload your content by clicking in the top-left corner to select the content you’d like to upload.
Step 4. You can also get powerful insights into your content’s success from the studio!
Pros: The Creator Studio allows you to draft, publish and track a wide range of Instagram content, such as feed posts and Instagram videos (or long-form videos, previously IGTVs).
Cons: Unfortunately, uploading Reels is not a feature yet added to the Creator Studio. You also won’t be able to create carousel posts, upload stories or edit your content once it’s been scheduled.
Option 3. Using a Chrome Extension
1. Deskgram (Mac)
Deskgram is one of the more popular options for uploading your Reel content via the desktop app. It seamlessly integrates with Chrome, and you can upload a range of different content right from the extension. The only downside of Deskgram is that it is for Mac users, but fret not! Window users can use the second option below.
2. Desktopify (Windows and Mac)
Desktopify is a simple Chrome extension from which both Windows and Mac users can benefit. You can upload videos in different formats, download Instagram content, and engage with other accounts. You can upload your video content from Dropbox, Google Drive or your computer desktop.
Pros: Using a Chrome extension is a great way to upload and publish different Instagram content. They are generally free to use, so they are suitable for beginners and small businesses.
Cons: There are no ”in-app” editing tools on these extensions, so you’ll have to edit your Instagram Reels or feed posts outside the extension and then upload them to the Chrome extension. They also don’t have analytics on Instagram videos, so you’ll need to check this on other platforms!
Option 4. Using an App to Schedule and Auto-Post Instagram Reels
This is by far our favourite option for uploading your Reels to Instagram. Using a third-party app, you can upload and schedule Reels to auto-post directly from your desktop, with all of the bells and whistles to ensure your audience sees your content.
When growing your business with social media, there’s nothing more refreshing than having a singular all-in-one platform to help you do this. With Instagram scheduling and a myriad other social media platforms like TikTok, Facebook, YouTube and more, creating content, scheduling, and tracking performance can be done from one browser.
Sked Social is the number #1 Instagram Scheduling tool, easily upload your Reels, and schedule them to go out at the perfect time for you! It’s never been so easy to grow an Instagram account on social media in 2023.
Best Practices when Posting Instagram Reels from Your Computer
Launched in 2020, Reels have gone from strength to strength over the past two years. With creativity knowing no bounds over on Reels, businesses and creators have the opportunity to wow their audience.
But with more than 500 million people active on Instagram, it’s a question as to how you’ll stand out from the sea of content flooding the platform every day. We’ve rounded up the best practice tips and tricks for producing a successful Reel!
- Tell a story or share your expert knowledge with informative Reels: You can list some industry news, your hot tip for the month, or share a recent success story with a client or customer.
- Consider the auditory experience (audio can take your viewer on a journey): Reels work so well due to their audio feature, they are little movies in 30-60 seconds. Pick audio that paints a picture for your audience.
- Create Evergreen content: Evergreen content is content that never goes out of date. It is always relevant to the audience, it can be repurposed later, this is content such as “How-to guides” or “Faqs”.
- Find your niche and create ultra-specific content around that: You are the expert in your field, choose content that reflects your skill and knowledge so that people can rely on you for the top information in your niche.
- Monitor your competition: Look at what other users in your industry are creating. What popular audio are they leveraging? Are their captions attention-grabbing? What trending formats are they replicating? The key isn‘t to copy your competitors, but to use them as a source of inspiration.
- Have a clear Call-to-Action: Ending your Reel with a clear Call-to-Action means that your audience is left with a decision after they’ve watched your video. Direct them to your DM’s, your profile or your website to drive lead generation.
The Benefits of Using Instagram Reels to Grow your Business
Instagram has migrated from a photo-sharing platform to a marketing machine, with excellent features geared toward business growth. There are now a million and one benefits to using Instagram to grow your business in 2023. As we can’t list a million benefits, we’ll pick out some of our favourite Reel benefits:
- Boost awareness for your brand in a captivating way.
- Increases engagement from your followers.
- Expands the visibility of your content through hashtags and the Explore Feed.
- Showcases the personality behind your brand.
- Build trust between you and your audience.
There you have it! Some of the best hacks for posting your Instagram Reels from the desktop browser and utilizing different desktop apps for Instagram.
And why not streamline your social media strategy even further by scheduling your Instagram stories ahead of time? Yup, you can plan, schedule ahead and then relax, all with the help of Instagram’s number scheduling tool: Sked Social.
With Sked, you can plan visually beautiful content, track analytics, and cross-post to Facebook, LinkedIn, TikTok and more! Start your free trial today.