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Video Q & A: Should I Be Using Square Video?

Question: Should I Be Using Square Video?


It wasn’t all that long ago that the big shift in aspect ratio in videos evolved. From the older 4:3 format that was associated with standard definition, to the fancy, new 16:9 widescreen format that came along with high-definition televisions and screens. The rectangular movement was on! But now, square video is the hip, new trend, and that seems puzzling…but actually makes more sense than you may think or even realize. So why sacrifice that newly-found extra space on the sides of the screen? After all, it allows you to show more in the frame and offers a more movie-theater like experience. Well, here’s a simple visual to show you why.

Do you see it now?

Square Video and Social Media

In a world where more video than ever is being created with social media in mind, and often as the primary place where videos will be viewed, square video, while seemingly a step back into the past, is actually an incredibly forward thinking way to capture additional real estate on a screen and ensure that you piece stands out from your competition and other distractions, which there are plenty of on social media.

The popularity of square video among forward-thinking brands has been slowly increasing in recent years and you’ve probably seen it many times, especially with Tasty/Buzzfeed-style videos. In fact, Instagram has been onto this for years. While most people didn’t even realize it, and may have even wondered why the app wanted them to crop their photos into a square, there was always a method to the madness.

How People Hold Their Phones

The science behind it is simple. Most people watch videos while holding their phones the way they were meant to be held - in portrait mode. Nearly all websites and social media applications fill the screen horizontally with the video/photo content. By creating square content specifically for these uses, you’re commanding the maximum amount of screen space possible. (See that visual above, again) Since the apps are designed the way they are, it’s almost silly not to take advantage of it.

But Is It For You?

All of this isn’t to say that your next video will be shot in a square format, but it’s something that is important to think about before your shoot. If you know that it's something you’ll be looking to do when distributing the content on social, we can plan for that when framing shots during the process. This will allow us to still film your piece in the widescreen format you know and love for a website or more traditional uses, but also create a square version for your social media accounts or for smaller breakout videos.

It’s all about planning properly at the start of a project, and our experienced team can help guide you through your next video project and make sure you’re ready to take advantage of all the latest trends, like this one. Send us a note, and let’s get started in bringing your brand to life, in whatever shape is best!


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