According to Snapchat founder and CEO Evan Spiegel, the future is vertical, which means those who are watching or shooting videos horizontally are missing the latest memo.
Mobile filming has created problems for many people because phones are vertically aligned, whereas video has traditionally been framed horizontally. Because many of its users are already shooting their snaps vertically, and because the company wants to make full use of the mobile screen real estate — especially for advertisements — Snapchat is now pushing for vertical framing on all snaps, according to Adweek.
It’s a move that may run into some resistance since just about everyone and their mothers has traditionally shot film horizontally. That’s just the way it has always been. TVs are horizontal, movie theatres are horizontal, and humans’ eyes are horizontal. It’s natural to film horizontally.
Snapchat, however, intends to buck the preference completely on their platform, since most “people just don’t rotate their phones” to take mobile video anyway, according to Spiegel.
As well, the company complains that when landscape/horizontal is viewed on a mobile phone, it takes up only a fraction of the space on the screen, which is a huge problem when trying to fully maximize the screen. Spiegel told Adweek:
“A lot of folks in the transition to mobile — which is still ongoing — were taking video that was formatted for livestream desktop and TV, and they were jamming that creative into a mobile feed. That makes sense in the evolution from desktop to mobile, but since we started on mobile, it’s a blank canvas … Our baseline was [we want] full screen. And in order to get full screen, you’ve got to do vertical video.”
The Venice-based company says they want their platform to operate in a way that most appropriately engages their audience, and they claim the future is in vertically aligned video. Snapchat is currently advocating for what they call the “3V” approach: vertical, video and views.
A recent Snapchat report illustrates that ads filmed in vertical format receive nine times more engagement than ads filmed in horizontal format. These numbers fundamentally disagree with the traditional style of video formatting.
Snapchat has developed into one of the most sought-after social media platforms by advertisers for reaching young people, as 63% of the app’s 30 million monthly active users are between the ages of 13 and 24. For those who are interested in the advancements of mobile filming, as well as video advertising companies, this means school is in session.
Although it may be seen as a travesty to many to film in the vertical format, the future of mobile video is looking tall and lean.