Before this year, we constantly reinforced the need to shoot mobile videos in landscape rather than portrait mode. We begged you to do it for the sake of your viewers. Think for a moment. How often do you hold your phone horizontally? How often vertically?


However, as “mobile-first” ideology continues to change, so does the way we view video on mobile devices.

In the past, most platforms didn’t support vertical video, and uploads weren’t visually appealing. The standard aspect ratio for most video production, HDTV and cinema screen sizes is 16:9, so mobile video was best viewed horizontally.


In vertical shots, the infamous “black bars” on either side of a video made it appear smaller and difficult to view, ruining a company’s opportunity to use mobile video effectively.

Now, however, most social media platforms are optimized for vertical video. Snapchat even reported that vertical ads on its platform are viewed nine times more often than horizontal ones.

Most of us hold our phones vertically most of the time. Ads that require viewers to rotate their phones could see as much as a 50 percent drop in engagement.

It’s time for you and your organization to take note of vertical video and its ability to captivate viewers in new ways. You should build part of your social media strategy around it.

Here are three tips for creating vertical-optimized video:

1) Decide whether vertical-specific content fits your overall video strategy.

If you use Instagram Stories or Snapchat regularly, a vertical strategy will work for you. Note that Instagram Stories now allows integration of  “square” pictures. Determine what looks best for you and your content.

2) Make sure your content fits within the aspect ratio of the screen.

When you begin planning video content design for standard orientation and vertical platforms, make sure that important images and words fit within the screen. When creating video, note the aspect ratio. The rule of thirds is still important. Be careful if you choose to repurpose older video because text and graphics may not fit on the screen.

3) Focus quickly on your main subject.

The camera must focus on one subject. Action must take place in the center of your frame because space is valuable. You have a limited amount of time to get to the point.

This 2016 ad from Spotify, an early adopter of the vertical video model, encapsulates most of the tips cited above.

BosebrandedmomentsRemember to start simply. Begin by using Instagram Stories or Snapchat a bit more often. Don’t limit your strategy to vertical video. Try it with GIFs, photos and more.

If you decide to incorporate vertical video into your social media strategy, Twice Media Productions can help you create something that tells your story beautifully.

When you’re ready, contact us at