Adapting Your Landscape Video for a Mobile Audience

9th April 2021

A common problem many people face at the moment is the lack of compatibility of traditional video on socials. Many businesses will have a video produced in landscape, best suited for viewing on TVs or computer monitors, and later come to find that this kind of video is getting increasingly tricky to post on social media. Although you can upload landscape video to social media it will more often than not be uploaded with black bars above or around it.

Many social media sites actively encourage users to post portrait or square video. The main reasoning behind this is because social media is designed to be viewed on mobile devices. Portrait and square video take up more of a mobile screen and therefore require more of the users’ attention. A video that requires more of your attention will always get better engagement and this is exactly why many social channels are making the transition to portrait and square videos. If you want to read more about video formats on social media read our blog here.

Landscape videos however, can be reformatted to landscape and square. You’d think a common problem would have a common solution but unfortunately reformatting a video requires some basic knowledge of video editing software.

There are a few options for a more professional-looking Landscape video that has been reformatted to square and portrait. We’ll show you a few in this blog.

Landscape video

This is the original video we are working with. It’s in 1920 x 1080 aspect ratio, landscape format, which is the standard dimensions for most video produced for TVs and computer screens. As you can see this size of video is also the most compatible with YouTube. A majority of users do watch YouTube on their mobile devices however, 7 in 10 people rotate their phone to watch the video. Rotating your phone is the best way to watch landscape on a mobile device video but interestingly 72 percent of people say they are now watching content with phones in the vertical positioning. It seems to be that YouTube is one of the few remaining apps where landscape is the favored format.

Portrait video (no reformatting)

This is what the video looks like when it’s uploaded to YouTube in 1080 x 1920 aspect ratio, portrait format. As you can see there are black bars on top and below (if you’re viewing this on a computer screen).

This is what the video would look like if it was viewed on a mobile device. As you can see it still has black bars on the top and bottom.

Black bars aren’t very desirable. They leave a lot of empty space on the screen which isn’t best for user engagement. However, with some editing we can fill the black bars with something, to make the video more visually appealing.

The video blurring effect

This video is still in portrait mode. We’ve added the same video above and below it and blurred them so your attention is on the middle video. This is quite a simple editing technique but will make it look much more professional when viewed on a mobile held in portrait.

Adding branding

Another great option is to add some branding to your portrait video. Again this helps to fill up the empty black space with something that is more engaging. Adding branding is also great for social as your audience will immediately know who’s created the content. On social media is always good to put your brand front and center on anything you post.

Another great marketing technique is to add is a call to action. Adding text to ask people to follow, like, or interact with your post will boost your engagement.

Where should I upload portrait video?

portrait video is supported by a large array of apps. Here are just a few:

  • TikTok
  • Facebook (Stories)
  • YouTube
  • Instagram (Reels, Stories, IGTV)
  • Pinterest (Video Pin)
  • Snapchat (Stories)

What about square video?

Another popular format on social media is square video. Both the techniques above can also be used when uploading square video to socials. See the example below.

square video has an aspect ratio of 600 x 600.

Where should I upload square video?

Square video is great to share on any of these socials:

  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Instagram (Main Feed)
  • Pinterest
  • Facebook (Main Feed)

How can we help?

Understanding video formats can be difficult especially if you don’t have much technical knowledge of video. Here at Feature Media, we can help you by editing your landscape videos into square and portrait formats. We can also help create a video that is specifically for social media or give offer our assistance if you’re having difficulties in uploading your videos to socials. Please fill out the contact form or feel free to call us.

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Feature Media
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0113 220 5265
Feature Media
Percy Street
West Yorkshire
LS12 1EG