It's Hip To Be Square!
Updated: Nov 29, 2018
Even as the newest video cameras boast 4K, 5K, and even 8K image sizes (with pixel dimensions as wide as 7,680 pixels), when shooting for Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, it’s time to adopt a square video aspect as standard. Landscape videos appear much smaller in your mobile newsfeed, so you’re giving up valuable ad space on the already small screen. In fact, square video (1:1) takes up 78% more real estate than landscape video (16:9).
According to agency reports to Adweek, square videos are also much more effective. Digital shop Laundry Service reported Facebook users were 67 percent more likely to watch the full length of a square video vs. the same video presented in a horizontal aspect ratio, and campaign performance was 54% better with the square.
What does this mean for advertisers and video directors? If you’re delivering an integrated ad campaign, reserve your 16:9 videos for broadcast and YouTube, but the new social video standard is 1:1, so frame your content accordingly. Unfortunately, most video cameras, and even iPhones don’t have 1:1 guides or shooting options built in (there are plenty of apps for that, though). If you're resizing a 16:9 video using standard editing software, Jones Advertising recommends a 1080x1080 pixel ratio for delivery on most social media sites.
And as you're prepping your file for upload, keep in mind that clicking to turn on a video's sound is also becoming increasingly rare. So never leave critical information to the soundtrack alone.
Of course, one thing hasn't changed; content is still key. Entertaining, eye-catching, and relevant videos are still more likely to be viewed and shared. But when it comes to video size on social media, wider is "old fashioned," and it’s hip to be square.