What I’m going to say in this blog could be considered blasphemy. I expect an angry mob to form outside this office window any moment now but I must speak the truth.
There’s nothing wrong with vertically-filmed videos.
There I said it. Did you have a visceral reaction? Read on and hopefully, I can convince you too.
The Ubiquity of Snapchat and Instagram
Snapchat was everywhere. Now everyone is doin’ it for the ‘Gram. Nobody uses Facebook Stories. People and brands alike are consistently filming in portrait mode as these services become more popular.
And why wouldn’t they? Have you ever seen a video shot in landscape mode on Snapchat or Instagram Stories? It looks ridiculous – as evidenced above.
These brands are forcing adoption of vertical videos on people and I couldn’t be more ok with it. This is due to the popularity of mobile devices – the main mode of publishing content to these platforms.
Mobile Makes it OK
Face it. People no longer consume media the same way they did even five years ago. Mobile now accounts for nearly 70% of digital media time. Gone are the days of viewing video on horizontal desktop screens. Further, 94% of mobile phone users hold their phone vertically. That’s really no surprise. It’s how they were designed.
It’s time to face facts, grandpa (or grandma) – viewing vertical video in fullscreen on a mobile device is just glorious.
The dreaded black bars were one of the main complaints about vertical video but most platforms now account for the format. In fact, the black bars are so much worse when viewing horizontal video holding your phone in its most natural position.
Either that or they force the user to rotate their phone. This is a big mistake if you’re trying to target the ever-elusive millennial market.
Youth Dictate Trends
Think about the great ads of the late 1960s and early 1970s. “I’d Like to Buy the World a Coke” – often considered one of the greatest ads ever – was nothing more than a transparent attempt to leverage the buying power of the already waning hippie movement.
How many commercials have you seen recently attempt – and fail – at capturing the meme market?
The vast majority millennials say they don’t rotate their phone when viewing video and advertisers are starting to take notice.
Vertical Ads are a Thing – And They Work
Snapchat was one of the first to introduce vertical ads – meant to be consumed on smartphones – and they received nine times more engagement than horizontal ads.
These ads are becoming more standard in other publications as well.
It makes sense. Vertical ads take up more valuable real estate for smartphone users, where we know people are spending the majority of their time.
It’ll Be OK
Once you realize the beauty of vertical video, you’ll wonder why you never saw it before. A baby’s first steps. Your kid walking for graduation. Flexin’ in your new Yeezys. These are all instances where shooting in portrait mode is far superior to shooting landscape. Filming in landscape would mean including a bunch of superfluous surroundings on the side or choosing which part of the subject you want to film. I mean, people are naturally vertical. You’re not against people, are you?
Besides, I don’t know about y’all but I want to see my baby’s smiling face and his feet while he’s taking his first steps.