Let’s be honest: people hate vertical videos. Seriously, they cannot tolerate them. If you google the phrase “vertical video”, you will get a bunch of blogs that are eager to tell you why you should not shoot vertical video. But here is what you should know: vertical videos may seem bad, but they are not going anywhere. You can reject them or try to stop people from shooting them, but vertical videos will appear everywhere soon. Vertical video may even crowd out horizontal content! And Valoso is trying figure out why and how.
A Vertical Video Syndrome
In 2012, a comic video appeared on YouTube, where dolls told about the vertical video syndrome (VVS). This comedy sketch quickly became a hit on the English-speaking Internet, and it has almost 8 million views now. The essence of the authors’ claims is simple – most of the screens are horizontal. Even if people would try to create video in the portrait mode, by all means, it will still look bad because people’s eyes are arranged horizontally rather than vertically.
This video was a simple joke, but it led to a serious discussion about whether or not to shoot vertical videos. Many agreed on the fact that people who shoot vertical video need retraining, and developers of mobile apps should prohibit vertical video recording. And so it was! After 1.5 years, Horizon app started to ensure that the video shoots horizontally even if a user holds the smartphone vertically. Google joined the supporters of this movement, banning vertical shooting in its new Camera App for Android. Other developers agreed on the fact that vertical videos cannot be avoided and started to turn them using horizontal axes.
Why Do People Continue to Shoot Vertical Video?
Not all Internet users agree that the vertical video is the source of all evil. Although there is no denying that the “tall format” looks terrible on conventional screens, its existence is not surprising. We almost always keep our smartphones in a vertical position; their ergonomics and interface are designed precisely for such orientation.
So, there is nothing surprising in the fact that people shoot videos using the vertical axes. It’s an intuitive way, especially for phablet owners. Since the screens were horizontal for decades, vertical video format really made sense. However, everything became contrary when the model of behavior changed from desktops and laptops, and smartphones have flooded the world.
Not a Trend, But an Art
Over the past two years, the situation changed in favor of the vertical axis. In 2015, Snapchat released its own comedy web series Literally Can not Even, entirely created in portrait orientation mode. It was not successful, but the creators managed to succeed in another way: they proved to the Internet community that such a shooting genre has its place not only in vertical video marketing and selfies.
A popular video service Vimeo also made concessions. A few years ago, it started allowing users to embed player with support for vertical video to third party sites. For comparison: YouTube provides users with the opportunity to share only horizontal player in social networks and sites.
Tall or Fat?
Despite the obvious drawbacks, vertical video has several significant advantages, which explain its popularity.
- The number of smartphones’ users is growing. Modern people are willing to watch videos vertically, which naturally appear on mobile devices. While the trend of media consumption is shifting towards content created on mobile devices, vertical video becomes more logical.
- Our eyes are located horizontally, but… we perceive the world in the vertical axes, focusing on the land and sky. Artists who work on art installations use this feature. People look more alive in vertical projection.
- Vertical orientation is better in many cases. For example, when we shoot a musician on stage, a portrait of a man, a skyscraper, tree, and so on. Photographers take advantages of this option, but video operators have to go away from the vertical object, and a lot of “garbage” gets in the shot.
Image Credit: Panopto
Adweek proves that vertical video shows unprecedented performance of audience engagement, three times ahead of its square counterparts. So I am sure that the vertical genre will become the new standard in the near future. Given all the modern trends, it is time to stop hating vertical video content and finally accept it. There is no vertical video disease anymore.