Square format video

It’s Hip to be Square – How To Choose the Right video Format

To optimize the outcome of your marketing, you should always adapt it to the platform you are posting on. The same goes for video! 

Many companies still post 16:9 (the “standard”, horizontal video format) in all channels, and we get it! It’s old habit, and many video production companies have yet to adapt to the digital landscape as well. But if you think about it, the 16:9-format was developed for TV-and movie-screens, not for mobile.

A quick Google-search reveals that nearly 80% of social media time is now spent on mobile devices (mostly smartphones). And when a smartphone is vertical as opposed to a horizontal computer screen, it doesn’t make much sense to create horizontal video for social media. By posting video that is square, tall square, or vertical, you utilize the screen of the smartphone in a much smarter (pun intended) way – giving your video more visibility.

These are some of the video formats you can experiment with:   

video formats

Here’s what we recommend for the most used social media platforms:


Facebook accepts most formats – horizontal, square, tall square and even vertical! If you’re using Facebook Ads Manager or Power Editor, you can choose to show your video only to users on mobile devices. On smartphones (with a vertical screen), vertical video fills the screen 100%, and you therefore have your audience’s full attention. As of right now, vertical video is a rare sight on Facebook – which means your video will stand out even more! So now is a good time to test it out.

If you don’t want to go for full on vertical, a square or tall square is also a much better utilization of the screen than horizontal. This also means that the text you put on the video will show up better. 

Instagram + Instagram Stories

Instagram has traditionally been based on square content, but now you can also use tall square images – which (again) fill the screen even better! So our recommendation is to go for square or tall square here as well.

For Instagram stories, vertical is of course the way to go. If you try posting a horizontal or square video on your story, the sides will be cropped out – and we don’t want that, do we?


Here’s one of the only platforms still based on the horizontal format. Even though a big proportion of all Youtube views come from mobile devices, their video player is still 16:9, which means that you will end up with black on each side of your video if you upload a square or vertical video. Let’s hope that they’ll change this soon – but as for now, users have to flip their phone around to get the most out of their experience..


This depends on the video player you are using on your website. If you’re using Youtube or Vimeo, then the video should also be horizontal. However, you can usually easily embed other video players to your website as well, like Facebook. Maybe you should head into your analytics and check out where most people are visiting your website from, and choose your format and video player based on that!

Here are some examples in the different formats:

Horizontal (Facebook cover video):
Horizontal (16:9):
Tall square (4:5):
Square (1:1):
Vertical (9:16):

On our video platform, you can easily order video editing tailor made to your brand – and of course in the format(s) of your choosing.

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