The rise of vertical video in mobile, social feeds – Grabyo

The rise of vertical video in mobile, social feeds

Mobile video consumption continues to rise at a staggering rate. Now responsible for over 85% of all web traffic, mobile video is the most effective way to reach and engage audiences at scale.

Time spent on mobile devices has now surpassed TV viewing in the US, with 50% of time spent in social, messaging, media and entertainment applications. Driving this change is vertical video viewing, a format which reflects our user behavior – we hold our phones in an upright position.

As consumers spend an increasing proportion of their waking hours on mobile devices and social platforms, vertical videos are aligned with this trend. Social news feeds are vertical too, we scroll down and not across, accentuating the trend towards square and vertical video formats.

Facebook reported this month that vertical videos are generating higher watch times and more engagements than traditional 16:9 (horizontal) formats. With more than 1bn users logging into Facebook every day on mobile devices people want to watch videos without having to turn their phones around.

This trend has forced publishers to rethink content production, creating engaging and effective video that is optimized for vertical viewing and makes the most of the available screen real estate on mobile phones.

Facebook made a number of changes to the user experience in its News Feed to ensure the success of vertical video – sound now fades in and out as users scroll through video, and autoplay starts and finishes depending on where the video is within the screen. Ultimately, by removing the need to rotate devices, Facebook has increased watch time and user engagement – a key metric for every social media platform. Key stats from 2017 include:

  • Facebook garnered 8 billion video views per day and started supporting native vertical video
  • Periscope live broadcasts are measured in years watched – with 110 years worth of video watched per day, mainly in the vertical format
  • Instagram has 300 million daily active users and was an early adopter of vertical video

Filming in vertical format straight from a mobile phone is natural for content creators. This has contributed to Snapchat's rapid growth and the even faster adoption of Stories and live streaming on Instagram. For broadcasters and federations looking to distribute live or near-live premium content, vertical video presents some challenges. Typical broadcast workflows are designed to create content in 16:9 and repurposing this in real time for digital platforms is not an efficient process.

Despite the production challenges for vertical video, the accelerating growth of mobile devices and benefits of vertical viewing means this format cannot be ignored. Grabyo provides tools that enable rights holders and publishers to quickly change the aspect ratio of live content to share in real-time across digital platforms. This means that content shot for horizontal viewing can be quickly converted to vertical format – whilst focusing on the key action within the shot. Content is not wasted and digital production teams can dramatically reduce the time spent repurposing content for mobile feeds.

Facebook found the optimum length of a vertical video to be around 15 seconds; these clips can quickly be created, optimized and distributed through Grabyo to capitalize on peak engagement around a live event or TV broadcast.

With multi-aspect ratios, GIFs and image capture, Grabyo continues to innovate digital video production for a live, mobile and social audience. Get in touch now to find out more.