It seems like any time I post a video from YouTube where the person’s shot the footage in portrait mode holding their phone vertically I get no less than ten thousand comments complaining about how the phone should always be held horizontally, and how video should ALWAYS be shot in landscape mode. Well, as it turns out Snapchat says otherwise. Snapchat’s actually trying to create an Internet where video content is all shot vertically in portrait mode, and Snapchat’s even gone so far as to convince brands and advertisers to start shooting vertical video content.
The logic is sound: who the hell holds their phone horizontally? Nobody. Not me, not you, not anybody who uses Snapchat. So why would anyone ever bother shooting video horizontally?
Recent estimates claim that web traffic is up to 60% mobile (but that number tends to be higher for content sites), and the shift from web to mobile is growing more and more with each passing app, smartphone, and device (like the iWatch) that hits the marketplace. In order to keep up with the times Snapchat is pushing brands and advertisers who want to operate on the Snapchat platform to get into the game of shooting content in portrait mode (vertical video), and to ditch the industry standard of shooting ads and clips in landscape mode.
Snapchat is asking digital video advertisers if they are straight shooters.
The popular messaging app is encouraging marketers and media companies to shoot ads vertically, a clear departure from the common practice of using wide-angle landscape shots.
Snapchat touts itself as the go-to platform to reach millennials, and the most effective way to engage them is by turning the camera to fit the app’s vertical perspective. The move is prescient, given the latest video apps Meerkat and Periscope also stream vertically.
“We’re starting to meet with the top creatives at agencies and CMOs, and in terms of education, shooting vertical is in that conversation,” said a Snapchat rep. Marketers now have to be more thoughtful about adding Snapchat to a campaign, and it requires this customization, the rep added.
One of Snapchat’s main features is its network of media channels under its Discover brand where Comedy Central, ESPN, Cosmopolitan and others post daily roundups of their best content. The channels host original shows and other digital video snippets mixed with ads.
Snapchat said the best-performing shows and ads are those that are shot vertically; ads are viewed to the end nine times more frequently than horizontal ones, it added. That’s because users are watching with their phones in the upright position. This new reality in video consumption should be a hot topic this week as marketers gather in New York at the Digital Content NewFronts. Any disruption before consuming an ad unnecessarily discourages users, said Troy Young, president of Hearst Digital.
What’s this mean for you and me? Well, in the short term I’d reckon that we begin to see a lot more branded content shot vertically, clips ranging from straightforward ads to clips that we can’t really tell if they’re ads or not, but are good enough to click on and spend 5-seconds watch. In the long term I’d expect we seen an Internet where people stop pissing and moaning about people shooting video vertically, and hopefully this pic dies off in the coming days:
Snapchat’s an absolute BEHEMOTH of an app these days, so it’s pretty incredible that they’re already able to move the needle like this in the market.
For more on this story feel free to click on over to ‘Snapchat Persuades Brands to Go Vertical With Their Video Mobile phones change the way we watch By Garett Sloane‘