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The Pros and Cons of Vertical Videos

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The Pros and Cons of Vertical Videos

Vertical videos, also known as portrait mode videos, are the opposite of horizontal videos with a 16:9 ratio. Many of us are used to viewing horizontal videos, but vertical is quickly gaining relevance. When you watch a vertical video, you may notice black bars along the sides of the screen because the video is taller than it is wider. It’s become an increasingly popular format because it fits so well on cell phone screens, which is where many people are watching videos these days. In fact, Smart Insights reports that 57% of video plays globally came from mobile devices and tablets. However, vertical video is not a perfect format. It comes with both benefits and drawbacks. Let’s explore the pros and cons of vertical videos:

The Era of Vertical Video

Vertical Video Pros:

Natural orientation for mobile devices

As mentioned above, vertical videos are a natural fit for mobile, since most people hold their phones upright while watching. As consumers scroll through social media, they’re likely to stop and pause for a moment on content that catches their attention. You want to allow them to see your content immediately, without needing to switch up the way they’re holding their phones.

Works better for social media

When it comes to creating commercials or quick clips for social media marketing, this format simply makes sense. Your audience can stop scrolling, press play, and watch your video with ease without turning their phone. A marketing video maker would be foolish to insist on only making videos in the horizontal format when social media is so critical and dominant today.

Greater completion rate

According to Impact, a whopping 90% of videos that are watched vertically have higher completion rates than horizontal videos. This makes it a must for marketers who want to get their videos not just seen but watched in their entirety.

Vertical videos

Vertical Video Cons:

Creates an unnatural viewpoint

Think about our eyesight and how the human viewpoint works. We don’t see the world in portrait mode; instead, we prefer the straight line of the horizon. Watching vertical video goes against our natural perspective. That’s why movies and television shows are created and optimized for horizontal viewing. Movie production companies are not going to start switching over to vertical videos any time soon, or ever. 

Limiting for video creators

Shooting in the vertical format can be limiting for video creators. That’s why it helps to hire a pro. Working with a professional video production studio is a great way to create vertical videos that capture your audience’s attention, especially as they’re scrolling social media on mobile devices. When done well, vertical videos can be an effective format for sharing your message and your vision with viewers.

Vertical isn’t the ideal format for all types of video content. However, it does have advantages for brands and marketers seeking to reach consumers on social sites and through mobile devices. With the dominance of mobile devices for consuming content likely to remain for the foreseeable future, it makes sense to use the optimized orientation for the platform, and that’s vertical video.

Richard Tiland

Richard Tiland

Bio: I’m Richard Tiland, president of New Evolution and dk3studios. I’ve always had a passion for video. Even as a kid folks were always asking me to take the camera out of their face. Over the last 15 years, as I watched video grow I grew with it. I learned not only the skills required for making a high quality video, but the marketing techniques needed to bring in the best results.

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