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Vertical video is probably here to stay

Vertical video is probably here to stay

It’s 2017 and I think even the most conservative purists are beginning to see that vertical video – until recently ridiculed and regarded as something beneath many filmmakers – is here to stay.

What’s more, it sells.

As always, market forces, combined with technological advances have determined what and how we consume, at least on mobile (your TV or cinema screen may not go vertical for a while).

Both Snapchat and Instagram Stories rely on full-screen video experiences and most of the videos are vertical. Some users do flip the phone for widescreen experience (some even give people warnings to flip their phones to view their stories horizontally), but most social videos are vertical.

Publishers using Facebook or Twitter to distribute their content also made the switch. Some use a combination of vertical and square formats, others stick on one format knowing that most of their audiences consume the content on the go, i.e on mobile.

Why am I writing about all of this? I just came across this Inc. article that’s intended to convert the undecided.

Here’s a tl;dr summary if you don’t want to read the entire piece:

  1. Vertical video converts: “According to Snapchat, ads displayed vertically are 9x more likely to be watched all the way through. Engagement is 3x higher”. If it works for Snapchat, it works for others too. Probably.
  2. Vertical provides fewer distractions: debatable whether that’s really the case particularly when users add filters, emojis and scribble over the footage, but, as Inc. says, “the point of interest is more defined and focused and can create a greater sense of intimacy and engagement with the subject.”
  3. Vertical Is ‘Video Selfie’ Compatible. Well, you can’t argue with that.

More and more of our clients require videos to be delivered in alternative formats (square, vertical) too.

The signals are obvious. Time to move on: vertical video is here to stay.