It’s been over a year since Facebook announced they would support vertical videos. It was confirmed by a Facebook spokesperson that the social network is making that support even more obvious in people’s mobile news.
in an email correspondence with Marketing Land, it was said by the spokesperson that “we know that people enjoy more immersive experiences on Facebook, so we’re starting to display a larger portion of each vertical video in News Feed on mobile.”
Before, any vertical videos that were shown had been cropped into squares when displayed in people’s news feed. If users wanted to see the vertically oriented version, they had to click on the video. This is not the case anymore. The vertically formatted videos, which include ads and Live broadcasts, will appear as vertically formatted videos in iOS and Android users’ news feed.
“If this is rolling out wide, it’s because Facebook has tested it at scale and data shows that people prefer to engage with vertical video,” said Jason Stein, CEO of digital agency Laundry Service and media company Cycle. “If that is the case, it is in line with many other trends on mobile, including what Snapchat has pioneered and Instagram now also has in its feed. Of course, for advertisers and publishers, the more real estate per video the better.”
It seems that more and more people who are using Facebook are spending more tie watching vertical videos and watching with the sound on. This could end up leading to more clerical videos appearing in people’s feeds. Not only would this cement the format’s popularity among previously hesitant brands and publishers. It doesn’t seem that Facebook’s current news feed algorithm doesn’t necessarily favor vertical videos over horizontal ones, which is something it does do for live videos over recorded ones. If vertical videos end up outperforming horizontal ones in the engagement metrics Facebook algorithm takes into account, it would then be favored indirectly, in the way Facebook has come to indirectly favor its native videos over ones shared from other video services like YouTube.
Facebook, despite them getting more obvious about their support of vertical videos, isn’t supporting the format as fully as Snapchat, which has managed to popularized vertical video to the point that Facebook and YouTube had gotten on board with them last year.
The videos are going to be displayed in people’s video feeds in a 2:3 aspect ratio, which means they aren’t going to take up the entire screen. If you want to see a full-screen vertical video on Facebook, you’ll have to click on the expanded video. Arrows will appear in the upper right corner to finally make the video full-screen.