Facebook told Marketing Land that it is going all in for vertical video, and will display the tall format in its News Feed in full, instead of cropped into squares. It’s the latest victory in the march of vertical video, powered by two big trends and one small annoyance:
- Big trend: Video viewing on Facebook is huge, 8 billion average daily views by the end of last year, double the figure from the previous spring.
- Big trend: Mobile users of Facebook are up 21 per cent this year over last. And about half (and growing) of Facebook users only view the social media service on mobile.
- Small annoyance: People generally hold their phones vertically and don’t seem to like rotating them to watch video.
YouTube started displaying vertical videos in full screen on mobile apps in July, 2015 (Facebook’s verticals won’t take up the whole screen). At that time, YouTube said that mobile viewing was already more than half the traffic on the service.
And then there’s Snapchat. The hugely successful social/messaging mobile app is all about vertical video (and still images). Snapchat is expected to pass Twitter and Pinterest this year in daily average users.