The rise of phones has changed the world of video dramatically in recent years with Instagram introducing the use of square video, and Snapchat the use of vertical video. Facebook and Instagram went on to copy Snapchat's story feature, cementing the use of vertical video in modern day media.
To understand which to use, you first need to understand the term aspect ratio. The aspect ratio is the mathematical relationship between the width and the height of an image.
Traditionally, online video used the TV and broadcast standard aspect ratio of 16:9 which means for every 16 pixels across there are 9 pixels up. This is the rectangle video we're most used to seeing.
Square video has an aspect ratio on 1:1 which means for every pixel across there is one pixel up, creating a square.
Vertical video is traditional video flipped on its side making it 9:16 which means for every 9 pixels across there are 16 pixels up.
When posting videos to YouTube or Vimeo, you need to use the TV standard 16:9 aspect ratio. When posting on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn or Twitter, however we recommend you use square 1:1 video. This is because the videos are larger in people feeds, increasing their likelihood to engage. Lastly for Facebook and Instagram Stories, and IGTV, we recommend you use 9:16 vertical video as that is the native aspect ratio for those platforms.
At Story Ninety-Four, we optimise our clients videos for distribution across all platforms by providing standard, square, and vertical versions of their videos.