To square or not to square, that is the question? Why should you even care about square video? When I first started doing food videos over a year ago, I couldn’t even think about the shape of a video. You may (or may not) have noticed a difference in the shape of a lot of the Facebook videos over the last few year. There is a reason for that. Instagram really is to blame! Since they only focus on mobile, they only allowed a 1:1 aspect ratio (that means square) on their videos. While that is no longer a requirement for Instagram, it really made a difference when it came to a user scrolling through feeds.
Facebook followed the square video trend last April and for good reason. Those who go square have more real estate than the traditional 16:9. Square video gets more engagement. According to Laundry Service, a full service media agency, 1:1 outperform 16:9 videos by 54%. Square video receives 28% more views. Their data went further and found 67% of viewers were more likely to watch the entire square video verses an entire horizontal video.
To help you figure out what to do, I am answering some questions that I had for my own videos and how to incorporate it into future videos.
What size video do I need to be creating?
The size video you create really depends on where your target market lives. If it is on Facebook or Instagram, you really need to go square. If you want a YouTube audience, you need to continue 16:9. I think food bloggers and dietitians need to be present on YouTube as well as Facebook. It really comes down to where you want to put your time. I do both 16:9 and 1:1 but that has changed the way that I film my videos. I do make 2 separate videos for both platforms but I don’t do much tweaking to make it Facebook/Instagram friendly, keeping it a minute in length or less. On YouTube, I don’t really care how long the video runs.
What the heck is 1:1 and 16:9?
It the relationship between width and height expressed in numbers. Let’s not get too technical. Just know that 1:1 is for squares and 16:9 is for rectangles. It’s really that simple. If you are still confused, think it terms of pixels (which is different). Facebook requires a minimum of 600 pixel width. 600 x 600 is the smallest you can go. 1080 x 1080 is the highest I would go.
How do I make a square video?
You can easily manually set your videos for a 1:1 in Final Cut Pro and Premier Pro. Animoto just announced a square video builder just last week. If you do it in any other software, you may be able to manually set it using aspect ratio 1:1 or pixel size that I mentioned above.
If you can’t, my suggestion is to center all of your video when you film, and use an app. Clips was just launched by Apple. It’s free and in your app store. I can speak from personal experience that it works! You just save your video to Dropbox, download it to your phone, and upload to Facebook and Instagram. Boom, you are done!
Square if you dare!