vertical video

When do I post a standard, square, or vertical video?

The emergence of smartphones has radically altered the world of video creation in recent years, with Instagram pioneering the use of square video and Snapchat inventing the use of vertical video. Facebook and Instagram quickly copied Snapchat's story feature, and now TikTok also became an immensely popular social media channel in the world, all solidifying the use of vertical video in modern media.

To know which one to choose, you must first understand the word aspect ratio. The aspect ratio is the mathematical relation between an image's width and height.

Online video has traditionally used the TV and broadcast standard aspect ratio of 16:9, which indicates that for every 16 pixels across, there are 9 pixels up. This is the most common type of rectangular video.

Since the aspect ratio of square video is 1:1, there is one pixel up for every pixel across, resulting in a square.

Vertical video is just regular video that has been turned on its side, making it 9:16, or 16 pixels up for every 9 pixels across.

It is neccesary to use the 16:9 aspect ratio that is typical of television broadcasts when uploading films to sites like YouTube or Vimeo. However, I would advise you (although it is not a must) using square 1:1 video for uploading on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, or Twitter. Because those videos appear bigger in people's feeds, their probability of engaging is higher. 

Finally, as 9:16 is the native aspect ratio for Facebook stories, Instagram stories, IGTV and TikTok I advise you to use vertical videos on those sites.

At Headline we can optimize your videos for distribution across all internet and broadcast platforms by offering standard, square, and vertical versions of your videos. Please contact us if you would like to use our services.