Vertical Video: Has the time come?

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Are mobile devices forcing us to create vertical videos?

I have to confess, I’m rather traditional and vertical videos make me cringe – especially when they are played in a horizontal frame.

With all the live video apps available now – such as Periscope (which now also works horizontally), Snapchat and the new Facebook Live (which so far only works vertically) and that fact that most people shoot with their mobiles in vertical format – it’s probably time for the video editing industry and online video apps like Animato and ProShow Web, to accommodate this change.

Plus, some say that it’s easier to watch vertical videos on a mobile device, especially in apps like Facebook.

Vertical video also has implications for YouTube

Vertical video in YouTube

Watching vertical videos on YouTube or even a regular TV is less than ideal. You get those nasty black bars. Yes, you can crop your video or add that out-of-focus background that the news networks use, but it takes a bit of editing work to do that. And who has time for that?

Maybe YouTube needs to create a vertical video player window, so you can watch or embed your vertical videos without getting black bars on the sides.

Maybe they should start with a vertical mobile player.

What about square videos?

I’ve had to modify my shooting and editing processes for Instagram and am now posting square videos. I quite like working within the square format. I’m creating square videos with the action confined to the centre area of view.

I’ve had to re-train my brain with these new compositional rules.

Here’s an example. [Warning: Lower your speaker volume before pressing play]

A video posted by Marlene Hielema (@imagemaven) on

Thinking square might be the answer to the vertical vs. horizontal video dilemma. At least until the video industry figures a few things out.

What’s your opinion on vertical videos?

  • Love ‘em?
  • Hate ‘em?
  • Like ’em square?

Let me know in the comments.

I’m curious to know what traditional video editors think.

What about you social media content creators?