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The Rise of Vertical Videos on Social Media

29th June 2020

Vertical videos are the new must-have on social media. They will increase your views, your engagements – and your ROI. In other words, vertical videos have become the default mode for a lot of AV content delivery online; this places new and different demands on your creatives and should be considered carefully when planning your social campaigns.

But wait. Vertical video?

Right. For decades, and though you may not have considered it, you’ve been watching horizontal videos. Think of a TV screen: it’s wider than it is high, right? YouTube windows, too, are horizontally-oriented. The standard ratio for video has long been 16:9 – wider than it is high.

The proliferation of mobile devices has gradually changed this standard. Yes, you can rotate your phone 90% and achieve a horizontal plane to view the video. But as you’re scrolling through your social feed, do you really want to have to do that every time you come across a video? It slows down consumption and interrupts engagement.

It was Snapchat that changed the game here: their videos are oriented vertically by default. Other platforms – most obviously Instagram and Facebook stories – now use the format, too. These videos are taller than they are wide – no need to rotate your phone to view the video in full-screen mode.

The horizontal format isn’t going anywhere. For serious video, it offers a much more appropriate canvas for squeezing information into a frame. But for the short, sharp bursts of video that make up so much of social media, vertical is rapidly becoming king.

It’s already a well-established fact that video performs better than other post types – achieving, for example, 59% more engagement on Facebook, according to Buffer. The vertical video format takes this inherent advantage and super-charges it: Wibbitz, for example, has found that, on Facebook, the vertical and square video formats get four times more engagement than the horizontal kind.

Vertical videos reach more people, too – nearly a fifth more, in fact. And they encourage a greater click-through rate, to boot. All of this is a function of their design: their orientation means they appear as integrated elements of a user’s social feed, and require no additional swipes or actions to view. This enhances the content experientially and leads to these hot ROI metrics.

So think length-wise for once – because those fantastic metrics are what has powered the rise on vertical videos of social media.

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If you’re looking to develop your social media presence then please get in touch with us. We can discuss your business requirements and develop the right social media marketing strategy for you. Call us on 024 7683 4780 or send us an email at

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