How to gracefully repurpose content between horizontal and vertical video formats

repurpose content

By Kiki Schirr, {grow} Contributing Columnist

In a world where 57% of video is watched from a phone screen, a new debate is emerging amongvideo content creators: should we go vertical, or remain horizontal? New dark horse video platform IGTV from Instagram (and therefore, Facebook) has mandated that all videos be uploaded in vertical format. Perhaps in an effort to compete, on August 1st YouTube announced it would be hosting non-standard video formats.

What does this mean for content creators?

Be Flexible

Don’t remain rigid to a single format. One common mistake on IGTV is that many creators have uploaded their YouTube videos with black bars on the top and bottom of the screen in order to repurpose existing content easily.

This appears amateurish and screams of commitment issues.

The flipside of this coin are the videos that are shot horizontally and uploaded to IGTV sideways, requiring you to turn your phone to view them properly. While less amateurish, this can annoy your viewers.

A bad example: a video uploaded sideways, requiring viewers to turn their phone.

Instead of using the bars or uploading sideways, upload a vertical video but put additional content in these open spaces, such as your subtitles. Gary Vaynerchuk often uses this additional space as a banner to remind viewers of the topic of the video.

repurpose content

Gary Vaynerchuk fully utilizes the extra space in his vertical video

Be Square

When recording new videos, keep the action inside a square area. That way you can add a banner on top, as Gary Vee did in the previous example, for vertical video, and to the side for horizontal video.

Using software as simple as iMovie it’s even possible to run two videos simultaneously next to each other using the split screen function. This would be ideal for arts and crafts videos that have been time-lapsed. An artist can give commentary and pointers as if speaking directly to the viewer while their hand moves over their canvas in rapid speed.

Consider all your content as square and you’ll never run into the vertical vs. horizontal issue again.

Move Forward and Repurpose Content

While I don’t think that IGTV is going to be the smash hit that Facebook thought it would be, my prediction is that more and more viewers will become accustomed to watching video vertically and being versatile will be a must for any content creator.

What do you think? Do you have a strong preference for either style of video? Please let me know your predictions and preferences in the comments below!

KikiSchirrKiki Schirr is the founder of WeKiki distributed video platform (with square video!). She is a marketer and author in San Francisco. Kiki enjoys absorbing the tech scene and current trends. You can contact her easily through Twitter.


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