Recommended Video Size For Social Media – A Comprehensive Guide

Recommended Video Size For Social Media – A Comprehensive Guide

The social media landscape is changing in a steady manner. In this scenario, it has become a challenge for marketers to capture the attention of the audience and stay relevant. And now that the consumers like video content more than ever, it has become imperative to use the right video size specifications for social media.

The video is an integral component of a successful social media marketing strategy. A 2018 study shows that total ad spend on digital videos has risen by over 50 percent over the last two years. But with changing video ad formats and specifications on social media, the marketers find it difficult to keep up. To get maximum visibility and lower your CPM, it is crucial to tailor the video ads to the specs of each social media platform.

But keeping up-to-date with the specifications of such a huge variety of video styles available on each platform is not easy. In this blog, we have summed up the recommended video size requirements of the popular social media platforms. We will also help you lower you’re CPM with the use of the correct video size as well as compare the formats for desktop and mobile viewing.

Video Size Specifications for Social Media  

 1. Facebook

a) Facebook Feed Video (Portrait and Landscape)

  • Recommended size: 1280 x 720 pixels
  • Minimum width: 600 pixels
  • Aspect ratio: 9:16 (portrait), 16:9 (horizontal), 4:5 (vertical), 1:1 (square), and 2:3 (vertical)

Tips: Facebook recommends .MOV and >MP4 format to upload videos; square pixels, H.264 compression, stereo AAC audio compression at 128kbps+, fixed frame rate, and progressive scan. The maximum length is up to 240 minutes and should be up to 4GB large.

b) Desktop News Feed Link Video (Landscape, Right Column, and Square) 

  • Recommended size: 1280 x 720 pixels for landscape and square
  • Minimum width: 600 pixels
  • Aspect ratio: 16:9 (landscape) and 1:1 (square)

Tips: To lower your CPM, you can also showcase the video ad on the right column of Facebook. The right column video will be smaller in size and has a lower Cost Per Mille (CPM) owing to its placement.

c) Facebook 360 Video 

  • Recommended size: 4096 x 2048 pixels
  • Minimum width: 600 pixels
  • Aspect Ratio: 2:1

Tips: If your camera includes 360-video functionality by default, you can record a video and upload it in this format as you would do for any other video. If you don’t have the feature, click ‘Advanced’ when uploading the video to get the tab ‘360 controls’. This will let you easily convert the unformatted video footage into a spectacular Facebook 360 video.

d) Facebook Messenger Video Ad 

  • Recommended size: 1280 x 720 pixels
  • Minimum width: 600 pixels
  • Aspect ratio: 16:9 to 1.9:1

Tips: Make sure your Facebook Messenger video ad does not cramp up poorly in that limited space. Follow the size recommendations and ratio limits to ensure the ad does not appear frustrating to your audience.

e) Facebook Carousel Video Ad 

 

  • Recommended size: 1080 x 1080 pixels
  • Minimum size: 600 x 315 pixels (landscape) and 600 x 600 pixels (square)
  • Aspect ratio: 1.9:1 (landscape) and 1:1 (square)

Tips: Facebook Carousel ads are a great way to narrate your brand story, showcase different products in one ad, or emphasize details about one product or service. Using this format, you can display up to 10 videos in a compelling manner. When video formatting and optimization is done efficiently, Carousel ads can be 10x more effective than regular ads.

f) Facebook Canvas Video

  • Recommended size: 1200 x 628 pixels
  • Minimum size: 600 x 315 pixels (landscape), 600 x 600 pixels (square)
  • Aspect ratio: 1.9:1 (landscape), 1:1 (aspect ratio)

Tips: Clicking on a Facebook Canvas ad triggers a full-screen viewing. You can add videos both in the first page of the ad and inside the full-screen page for maximum impact.

g) Facebook Collection Video

 

Recommended size: 1200 x 628 pixels

Minimum size: 600 x 315 pixels (landscape), 600 x 600 pixels (square)

Aspect ratio: 1.9:1 (landscape), 1:1 (aspect ratio)

Tips: For effective results, you can have the video to play automatically when a user scrolls over the collection. On clicking the ad, it may open into a full-screen Canvas experience that is capable to drive more traffic to your product pages.

 

 2. Instagram

a) Instagram In-Feed Video (Vertical, Landscape, and Square)

 

Minimum size: 600 x 600 pixels (square), 600 x 750 pixels (vertical), 600 x 315 pixels (landscape)

  • Aspect ratio: 1:1 (square), 4:5 (vertical), 1.9:1 (landscape)

Tips: To deliver awesome viewing experience, upload the video with highest possible resolution and one which meets the ratio limit and file size specifications. The .MOV or .MP4 format is ideal for Instagram videos and should have H.265 compression, fixed frame rate, square pixels, stereo AAC audio compression at 128kbsp+, and progressive scan.

b) Instagram Carousel Video Ads (Vertical, Landscape, and Square)

  • Recommended size: 1080 x 1080 pixels
  • Minimum size: 600 x 600 pixels

Tips: Instagram carousel video ads are a fantastic way to capture the audience’s attention and create strong brand awareness while lowering your CPM. The maximum length of each of 10 carousel videos should be 60 seconds and be in .MOV or .MP4 format. The ad style is a good way to leverage most of the space available.

c) Instagram TV Video

  • Recommended size: 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Minimum size: 720 pixels
  • Aspect ratio: 9:16

Tips: You can use this video style to drive organic traffic (paid ads are not available now) by showcasing the details of your campaign, product or service for a maximum of 1 hour run time, the full-screen story-like experience makes Instagram TV a preferred choice for brands. Since it helps draw organic traffic, there is no investment in posting such types of videos on Instagram. But the results can be dramatic.

d) Instagram Stories (Organic Posts and Ads)

  • Recommended size: 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Minimum size: 600 x 1067 pixels
  • Aspect ratio: 9:16

Tips: Instagram Stories are a great place to showcase your video ads or organic posts, and gain immediate attention of the audience. Using this format, brands can integrate their videos seamlessly between other users on the platform. However, keep the video content in-the-moment and raw to make it look more like an organic post and less as an ad, which the users have a tendency to leave.

 3. Twitter

a) Twitter Videos – Portrait and Landscape

Recommended size for portrait videos: 240 x 240 pixels (240 x 240 (256K bitrate), 480 x 480 (768K bitrate) and 640 x 640 (1024K bitrate)

Recommended size for landscape videos: 320 x 180 (256K bitrate), 640 x 360 (768K bitrate) and 1280 x 720 (2048K bitrate)

  • Minimum size: 32 x 32 pixels
  • Maximum size: 1280 x 1024 pixels
  • Aspect ratio: Minimum 1:2.39; Maximum 2.39:1

Tips: Twitter in-feed video format is available to upload videos to Twitter directly. One cannot share Vimeo or YouTube links. It is a good way to engage the audience with some organic content that they will not run away from. However, make sure you follow the correct video size specs because the dimensions may vary with changing bitrates. The maximum video file size you can upload is 512MB, and the formats available are .MOV for mobile and .MP4 for the web. The maximum video length is 140 seconds.

The same recommended size and specifications are applicable for Twitter video advertisements.

 4. YouTube

a) Standard YouTube Video (YouTube Video Player)

Recommended size: 426 x 240 (240p), 640 x 360 (360p), 854 x 480 (480p), 1280 x 720 (720p), 1920 x 1080 (1080p), 2560 x 1440 (1440p) and 3840 x 2160 (2160p)

  • Minimum size: 426 x 240 pixels
  • Maximum size: 3840 x 2160 pixels
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 and 4:3

Tips: YouTube recommends uploading videos that are “as close to the original, high-quality source format as possible.” All video should have an aspect ratio of 16:9, but you can also upload at 4:3. The small ratios will pillar box the sides automatically to make it fit in the YouTube video player. Upload the video in its original aspect ratio, and should not include pillar boxing or letterboxing bars.

b) YouTube Video Ads

Display Video Ad

Recommended size: 426 x 240 (240p), 640 x 360 (360p), 854 x 480 (480p), 1280 x 720 (720p), 1920 x 1080 (1080p), 2560 x 1440 (1440p) and 3840 x 2160 (2160p)

  • Aspect ratio: 16:9

Skippable, Non-Skippable, Bumper Video & Mid-Roll Ads

Recommended size: 426 x 240 (240p), 640 x 360 (360p), 854 x 480 (480p), 1280 x 720 (720p), 1920 x 1080 (1080p), 2560 x 1440 (1440p) and 3840 x 2160 (2160p)

  • Minimum size: 426 x 240
  • Maximum size: 3840 x 2160
  • Aspect ratio: 16:9 and 4:3

Tips: The recommended maximum length for Skippable video ad is 12 hours, skippable after 5 seconds. The maximum length of an unskippable video ad is 15, 20 or 30 seconds. The minimum length of mid-roll video ads is 30 seconds, and the maximum length of bumper video ads is 6 seconds.

 5. Snapchat

a) Snapchat 10-second Video Ad

  • Recommended size: 1080 x 1920
  • Aspect ratio: 9:16

Tips: You can make the ad appear in live stories, discovery or after a Snapchat user’s own story. You can also link the video ad to a long-form video, article or any page with a clear Call to Action. Do not place any logo or other elements in the top 15 percent or bottom of the video; otherwise, it can get cut off. Also, avoid uploading videos with letterboxing. Snapchat does not allow videos having graphics/text that provides the message “swipe up.”

b) Snapchat Long-form Video

  • Recommended size: 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Aspect ratio: 9:16 or 16:9

Tips: The long-form video must be in .MOV or .MP4 format with a minimum length of 15 seconds. There is no maximum length. It must contain “live and/or motion graphic video” and no “silent or still videos.” The audio specifications are PCM or AAC codec, 48 KHz sample rate, 16 or 24 bit only, 192 minimum kbps, and 2 channels. Although Snapchat allows horizontal videos, to have better results it is suggested to use vertical videos only.

 6. LinkedIn

 Linked in Video Ads

a) LinkedIn Shared Videos

  • Recommended maximum size: 4096 x 2304 pixels
  • Minimum size: 256 x 144 pixels
  • Aspect ratio: 1:2:4 to 2:4:1

Tips: The maximum video length should be 10 minutes, while the file size should be maximum 5GB. The recommended video formats are .MOV, .ASF, .MPEG-1, .MKV, .MPEG-4, .AVI, and .WebM.

 7. Pinterest

a) Pinterest Video Ad

 

 

  • Recommended size: 600 x 600 pixels (square), 600 x 900 pixels (vertical)
  • Minimum size: 240 pixels
  • Aspect ratio: 1:1 (square) and 9:16 (vertical)

Tips: Pinterest video ads will play automatically without “sound on loop” in the feed when they are 50% in view. Clicking on the video will provide a large screen to play the video with sound and no looping. Pinterest videos are available only on mobile devices.

In What Format Does Social Media Videos Perform Best?

Comparing the performance of various social media ad formats and across desktop and mobile, here are some important takeaways from expert studies:

  • Square video (1:1) outperformed landscape video (16:9) on all social media platforms in terms of many views, engagement, and completion rate in percentage. In certain instances, square videos captured 30-35% higher views than landscape videos, with 80-100% increase in engagement.

The image below will clarify why square videos grab more audience’s attention. They have no black borders that can distract the audience. Furthermore, square videos fill the screen more when viewing and thus, can be more engaging on both mobile and desktop devices.

 

 

  • Square video on Facebook costs 7.5% less to garner user engagement, while it costs 33% less to engage someone with a square video on Instagram. User engagement increases and CPM lowers when more videos are uploaded on social media.

This clearly indicates that the best video size for Facebook and Instagram is the square format. It also has the lowest CPM as compared to traditional landscape videos.

Desktop vs. Mobile

For any digital marketer, it is crucial to understand the impact of desktop vs. mobile on video results.

Over the past few years, mobile content consumption of social media has grown at an alarming rate. For Facebook, 92% of total users access the social networking platform via mobile devices. The same is for other platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. This has made it imperative for businesses to optimize their video content for the fast-growing mobile market.

Based on several experiments done by Buffer, the following desktop vs. mobile key points can be summed up:

  • To maximize your profit with video marketing on social media, target mobile users via square or landscape videos. When comparing the two devices on the basis of Cost Per Thousand, it was found that the CPM for desktop video is almost 2x the CPM of mobile video advertising. This means the cost of desktop video advertising is 2 times higher than mobile video. Maximum market penetration, higher video views, and better engagement are the primary reasons that help lower the ad spending for marketers.
  • The square video is the most popular size on mobile devices. They engage more audience, which automatically lowers the CPM for mobile video advertising.
  • While square videos steal the show on mobile devices, it is the opposite for desktops. Landscape videos are more popular on desktops, and thus, the cost to reach the users with landscape video is lower than square videos.

Top 4 Social Media Video Tools to Use

As the role of videos on social media is increasing at a rapid pace, the importance of cutting-edge tools to cut, edit and publish videos is also rising. The key features that you should consider when choosing the right video tool are editing capabilities, different video formats and sizes, usability, direct import, and pricing.

Here is a quick overview of the top 4 tools to create social  media videos:

  • Animoto: It is a cloud-based tool that helps build professional-quality videos quickly and efficiently. Animoto allows you to add videos in different sizes and file formats as required for each social media platform. Additionally, there are hordes of editing functionalities.
  • Magisto: The video tool enables you to build magical videos for various social networks. It is available as a web-based tool for the PC as well as an app for iOS and Android. It features multiple editing styles, video sizes and formats applicable for Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Google+, and Twitter.
  • Renderforest: This video creation and marketing tool lets you create high-quality animated videos quicker and easier. It also allows you to post the videos directly to various social media channels such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest.
  • Shakr: The tool particularly targets marketers who want to promote videos on Facebook and Instagram. In just a few clicks and easy drag-and-drop features, it helps create professional videos in minutes. A key feature is that you can easily convert the videos into ads for Facebook and Instagram.

Conclusion

Keep up-to-date with the latest video specifications for social media. Easily create, publish, schedule, and promote your social media videos for maximum visibility, lower CPM, and higher ROI.

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