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If a picture tells a thousand words, a video tells 25,000 every second. That’s what makes the moving image such a powerful digital marketing tool: it can help you deliver a lot of information, in a compelling way, to the most relevant audiences.

But in order to generate a return on your video ad investment, you need to ensure that the videos have been built for the job that you need them to do.

Why the size and length of video ads is important

Why does the size (the pixel dimensions and aspect ratio) and the length (the running time) of a video ad matter? Because different digital marketing platforms are optimised for different sizes and lengths.

The ideal size and length of a video ad will depend on where it will be viewed: a native video ad on a website will be different to a pre-roll YouTube ad, which will be different again to a Facebook/Instagram Reel.

Upload a video ad in the wrong size, or one that is too long or too short, and the ROI can decrease significantly. People will be less likely to watch your ad, they may not be able to see the most important information, and in the worst cases the video may not play at all.

Ultimately choosing the correct size and length for your video ads should be a basic task in digital marketing. But with so many different platforms and ad types available, getting it right can turn out to be surprisingly tricky.

To help you out, we’ve compiled all the video ad numbers you need to know.

Ideal video ad sizes and lengths across platforms

What pixel count and aspect ratio should you choose for your video ad? How long should the run time of your ad be? Here are the sizes and lengths we recommend at Traction, as well as all the other sizes and lengths each platform is capable of supporting.

Native website ads

  • Recommended size: 1280 x 720 (HD, 16:9 aspect ratio).
  • Supported sizes: Any size and aspect ratio.
  • Recommended length: 15 – 120 seconds.
  • Supported lengths: Any length.


  • Recommended size: 1920 x 1080 (Full HD, 16:9 aspect ratio).
  • Supported sizes: All sizes in 16:9 and 4:3 aspect ratios.
  • Recommended length: 5 – 30 seconds.
  • Supported lengths: 5 seconds – 10 minutes.

YouTube is a unique case, as it offers a range of platform-specific video ad types, most famously skippable and non-skippable ads. You can also check google’s video ad specs here:

  • Skippable video ads: Viewers can skip the ads after 5 seconds.
  • Non-skippable video ads: The ad must be watched before a video can be viewed. These ads can only be 15-20 seconds long on mobile devices, and up to 30 seconds long on TVs.
  • Bumper ads: Short, non-skippable ads of up to 6 seconds that must be watched before a video can be viewed.


  • Recommended size: 1200 x 720 (16:9 aspect ratio)
  • Supported sizes: Min 360 px, max 1920 px, in 16:9, 1:1, 4:5 and 9:16 aspect ratios.
  • Recommended length: 15 seconds.
  • Supported lengths: 3 – 180 seconds.

Facebook (feed)

  • Recommended size: 1080 x 1080 (1:1 aspect ratio).
  • Supported sizes: Minimum 1080p resolution in 1:1 and 4:5 aspect ratios.
  • Recommended length: 5 – 30 seconds.
  • Supported lengths: 1 second – 241 minutes.

Instagram (feed)

  • Recommended size: 1080 x 1350 (4:5 aspect ratio)
  • Supported sizes: All sizes from a minimum of 1080p, in aspect ratios from 1.91:1 to 9:16.
  • Recommended length: 5 – 15 seconds.
  • Supported lengths: 1 – 60 seconds.

Facebook/Instagram Reels

  • Recommended size: 1080 x 1920 (9:16 aspect ratio).
  • Supported sizes: 9:16 aspect ratio only, minimum 500 x 888 pixels.
  • Recommended length: 5 – 15 seconds.
  • Supported lengths: 1 – 90 seconds.

Video ad best practices

Armed with our video ad size guide, you’re now ready to upload an ad with the perfect dimensions, aspect ratio and length to your chosen platform. But getting the size and length right is just the first challenge. You then need to consider the quirks of each platform to create an ad that people will want to watch and click on.

To help you out, here are a few tips and best practices that can help to enhance your video ad efforts.

  • The first five seconds are critical on YouTube: While you can choose to invest in (more expensive) unskippable ads, YouTube’s skippable ads force you to consider how to capture your audience’s attention in the first five, ten or fifteen seconds.
  • The first three seconds are critical on social media: Social media platforms don’t offer a skipping button, because users can simply scroll past ads. This places the focus on the first two or three seconds of a video ad.
  • Website ads can be longer, but need to be punchy: Having navigated to your website, someone watching a native video ad will be interested in what you offer, so website ads can go into a little more detail (up to 120 seconds). They still have to be punchy enough to hold a viewer’s attention, however.
  • Conduct testing to find the most eye-catching ad: No matter what platform you advertise on, at Traction we recommend conducting A/B testing to find the most effective ad, such as uploading five different variations of a social media ad.
  • Always include your own subtitles: Many people will watch your ad on silent mode, so always include subtitles, and rather than relying on automated systems, upload your own text to ensure it’s accurate.

Looking for video ad assistance?

At Traction we help Kiwi businesses capitalise on the power and the potential of digital marketing. With years of video ad experience, we create campaigns that work: that capture the essence of your brand, that hone in on your target audience, and that get people watching and clicking.

If you’re looking to elevate your brand with a high-ROI video ad campaign, we’re here to help. Get in touch with our friendly team today!

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