Is the future vertical?

Recently, while creating some video content, I came across the opinion that the footage should be recorded vertically. Why would anyone want to record footage vertically? Doesn’t that just reduce the amount of stuff we see in the picture? That made me think about the question “Is the future vertical?”

Horizontal or vertical?

According to research, 94% of users hold their phone screens vertically at any given point and most of the content captured is actually shot vertically.  In line with this trend, Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat have all taken various steps to move towards vertical content formats. In fact, it was Snapchat that started the vertical video  rrevolution. Did you know that the full length of vertical videos is watched nine times more than horizontal video ads on Snapchat?

The rise of vertical video presents both advantages and challenges in storytelling. Horizontal content formats tend to be created for prolonged viewing so for example if you decide to watch a film on your phone it would be more comfortable to watch it in a horizontal format without having to compromise on the size of the video you are viewing.

Vertical content, on the other hand, is geared towards younger viewers who prefer to consume content in short bursts, lasting a few minutes and skipping to the next interesting item with a simple swipe. The vertical format requires a closer cropped take which could run the risk of cutting out peripheral information in order not to compromise the main focus of the content. When capturing vertical content, it is important to grab the audience’s attention while at the same time retaining the passion and character of the persons being captured in order to retain the integrity of the content.


When deciding on whether to produce vertical or horizontal content is it important to consider these three factors:


1.   Length of content

2.   Target Audience

3.   Type of content


I am not 100 percent convinced that the future is indeed vertical. Why would it be since our phones have been built in such a way that users see more of something and in a bigger size when the phone is turned horizontally. When using social media, vertical is better however with video content horizontal rules! Sometime in the future, the future WILL BE vertical however until then we will still see lots of horizontal content simply because of how we hold our phones.

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