Things have certainly changed since the days of VVS (Vertical Video Syndrome) and With 50% of all digital media consumption happening within mobile apps, it’s quickly becoming all about vertical video. It comes down to user experience. It’s far easier to view and interact with content on a mobile device when held vertically, especially since most of the time, we are multitasking and looking at our phone one-handed.


Vertical video is the clear path forward in a mobile-first world, and Boost Media is here to help reframe your thinking for a smooth transition from horizontal to vertical video creative.


Video really is going vertical

In the wake of Snapchat, which is largely responsible for popularizing vertical video, YouTube updated its mobile apps to support vertical video in 2015. Facebook also just released vertical video ads. Across these three platforms alone, that gives us an estimated 2 billion-strong audience, waiting for brands and publishers to provide vertical video for consumption. To ensure you’re reaching as much of this vast audience as possible, consider the following when testing your video creative:


1. Test vertical versus horizontal video on mobile

There’s strong evidence to support that vertical is the way forward and is crucial to reaching Millennials on social media platforms like Snapchat. Vertical video also performs better: According to Snapchat, vertically shot ads are viewed to the end nine times more frequently than horizontal ones. But don’t take our word for it, test for yourself to quantify the lift.


To get started, use existing 16:9 landscape videos (what’s commonly referred to as widescreen video) and edit them vertically. Distribute to similar audiences to understand how these two formats perform. If you find video editing resources a roadblock, reach out to Boost. We can help you!


2. Test vertical video on desktop

If you’re going to create vertical videos, you might as well get the maximum bang for your buck. Test vertical video placement on desktop, too. To make it look natural, test these two approaches:


  • Create vertical video and publish it to both mobile and desktop—use the left or right rail with accompanying text next to it for the desktop version.



Source: Business Insider

  • Another option for showing a vertical video on desktop is to insert an image of a phone that is playing a vertical video.



Source: Virool


3. Test text overlays at the top and bottom of the vertical video

text overlay vertical video

Source: Business Insider

Considering a lot of mobile video is auto-played with the sound off, vertical video content provides an excellent opportunity to get a message in front of users despite there being no sound. This can be accomplished by adding text headings to the top and bottom of frames. Text overlays also help tell a story quicker, which is important with video moving to shorter and shorter pieces.


Additionally, text overlays present an opportunity to utilize subtitles, which comes in handy when translating videos to a foreign language, for example.


Where to go from here

It’s time to start thinking about vertical as “mobile-first.” It’s only a matter of time until the hardware and editing software catch up to support vertical video production and editing. In the meantime, start testing your creative to find out what garners the most interest. Just think of the possibilities! A rocket launch or an Olympic high-diver plunging gracefully toward the water will be far more eye-catching in vertical format! Time to get to reframing.