For those not familiar with “aspect ratio”, it’s a term used to describe ratio of the width to the height of an image or screen. Take a look at your TV, for example – the screen is wider than it is tall. This is because it has an aspect ratio of 16:9. (If your telly is a square 4:3 box that weighs 300 lb, you need to update!) Since around 2010, 16:9 has become the most common aspect ratio for televisions, computer monitors and media players. Preferred aspect ratios have changed since the beginning of motion pictures, but 16:9 works because it closely mimics the human eye’s field fo view, which is 1:1.8. So the question is: why are we seeing an increasing number of square videos on the internet with aspect ratios of 1:1.
Buffer Social embarked on a quest to answer this not-so-simple question about what makes a social media video successful –
And the results were remarkable.
– Square vs. Landscape video – which performs best?
They conducted $1.5k worth of experiments and found that square video outperformed landscape video on each social media network (Facebook, Instagram & Twitter) in terms of video views, engagement (likes, comments, and shares), and completion rate (%). In some cases, square video resulted in 30-35% higher video views and an 80-100% increase in engagement.
Further to their investigations, Buffer Social discovered that it costs significantly less to advertise to users using square video on mobile. Their experiments revealed the fact that it costs 7.5% less to get someone to engage with square video on Facebook and a whopping 33% less to get someone to engage with square video on Instagram.
What should marketeers take away?
Video format, regardless of the content, seems to play a huge roll in how many people watch your video, how long they watch it, and how willing they are to engage with it. If you are a film-buff like me, you might hate the square format and think it cheapens quality video content and artistry. But, according to these findings, if you want more people to see your videos and save your clients’ money, you’ll have to swallow your pride and adjust your export settings.
How do I create a square video?
Watch this tutorial on how to create:
- Square Video (1:1) (1080×1080)
- Square Video (1:1) w/ Letterbox & Text (1080×1080)
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