Facebook is taking a cue for Snapchat in their latest video venture. On August 26th, a Facebook spokesperson told reporters that the company will support vertical videos on everyone's mobile News Feed.
The spokesperson said the main reason why Facebook was switching over to vertical videos was to help their users have a more immersive experience on the social media giant's site. Now, users will not have to tap those square videos or ads on Facebook to get them to appear in their original vertical format. Officials at Facebook hope that by September all ads or posts intended to be experienced vertically will instantly appear vertically on a person's News Feed.
Of course, it is impossible to talk about vertical videos without mentioning Snapchat. Snapchat was the first mobile app to really encourage this video format, and it has been an extremely successful venture. Around 10 billion people watch exclusively vertical video content every day on Snapchat's platform. Also, YouTube, another giant in the digital media space, has experienced a significant uptick in vertical format videos. The New York Times reported that vertical videos uploaded onto YouTube rose by 50 percent in 2015.
People seem to really enjoy the vertical style on their mobile devices, which indicates that this will be the default mobile video format of the future. Researchers at Facebook actually found that people watch vertical videos far longer than box shaped videos. They also observed that users were more likely to turn the volume up for ads or other videos posted in a vertical format.
Since vertical videos have shown such a positive correlation with user engagement in Facebook's own studies, users can expect more of these kinds of videos to appear at the top of their News Feeds. Facebook officials said that all vertical videos will appear in a 2:3 ratio on their mobile app. Just as a point of reference, Facebook's mobile app was only able to show vertical videos through a 1:1 ratio in the past.
Companies are already developing new ads in a vertical format to take advantage of this latest craze in the social media world. Some big companies expected roll out vertical ads on Facebook and other platforms include GE, Budweiser, and Ruby Tuesday.
By ditching the square videos, Facebook hopes to attract some of the younger rectangle-loving Millennials. Facebook may be a bit older, but it is still one of the largest players in the social media world, with well over a billion active users. The team at Facebook believes that this change will organically increase traffic to their six-year old mobile app.