Is it Truly Hip to Be Square?

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Is it Truly Hip to Be Square?

Is it Truly Hip to Be Square?

Many of you may remember the Huey Lewis and the News’ classic song, “Hip to Be Square.” These words are still true to this day. Well, sort of. It sure is hip to be square; however, it is in fact even more hip to be vertical.

We are talking videos, of course!

Did you know that square Facebook videos actually perform 30-35% better than landscape videos? Buffer and Animoto did a $1.5K research study on this back in 2017 where they also found that in fact Square Videos (1:1) take up 79% more real estate in a person’s mobile newsfeed than landscape video (16:9). Square Videos also have an 80-100% increase in engagement as well. So, it is still hip to be square!

Why is this important to you?

Now, more than ever, consumers are using their mobile devices. A recent Nielsen report showed that adults are spending 10 hours and 24 minutes per day interacting with media (whether watching, listening to, or reading content across all of their devices).

When marketing to your customers or potential customers, you want to be strategic about how you are reaching them. Don’t go all old school with widescreen and landscape videos, be sure to stay relevant and use either square or vertical videos. It will actually be more cost effective in the long run for you as well. Trust me, your audience will appreciate it.

Is vertical the new rage?

Yes! Although square videos are still outperforming landscape videos, vertical videos are becoming the most popular in today’s digital/mobile world.
Just look at the way that you hold your phone. Mobile users hold their phones upright 94% of the time, so vertical makes sense. Also, vertical video will take up the entire screen on a cell phone, grabbing your viewer’s undivided attention.

You may be asking yourself, “What size do I make my vertical video?”

A vertical video has a very specific aspect ratio: 9:16 (width to height).
However, this ratio does change slightly based on the platform. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Facebook + Instagram accept vertical videos with ratios of 4:5, 2:3, and 9:16 (full portrait/vertical).
  • Youtube will dynamically adapt whatever size viewers choose to watch it in.
  • Snapchat and TikTok are the true homes for vertical video, and both accept the 9:16 aspect ratio.

So many options, what do I do? Square? Vertical?

Don’t panic! Social Media is always evolving along with the digital/mobile space. In the end, you really need to recognize who your target audience is and how they connect to various digital platforms. Is your content going to be viewed on YouTube? Will it be viewed on an Instagram or Facebook story? A digital ad?
Square video content can be versatile and can be used effectively across various social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and twitter.

I would encourage you to look at your social media strategy, and if you need help give us a call. I’d be happy to discuss.
Bill Gibson, Sean Hopper and Huey Lewis – you got it right when you wrote these lyrics back in 1986, but maybe you should also include, “vertical.”

Molly McGill

Senior Writer