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Size Matters! Pick the Best Video Size for Social Media

When it comes to social media videos, video size matters, just as much as the ratio and orientation. You can make your videos vertical or horizontal, but not all video platforms will display them as such. Social media videos are the core of your marketing video production, so make them perfect! Here are just some of the reasons why:

  • Every day, people watch 100 million hours of video content on Facebook. (Tubular Insights)
  • Instagram video posts have 2 times the engagement of other types of posts (EarthWeb)
  • On LinkedIn, users are 20x more likely to share a video than any other type of post. (Buffer)
  • TikTok users spend an average of 95 minutes daily watching videos (Wallaroo Media).

These numbers show that there are millions of users out there that watch videos on different social medial platforms. That’s nothing you should miss out on.

Why Are Social Media Video Specs Important?

When you plan your video, you have the entire real estate of your screen to take into consideration. If you plan a portrait video and it turns out to be displayed as a landscape - it still might work. But a landscape video cut into a square or a portrait video? It will look bad.

Social media video specs that work best for each social media platform are different.

YouTube videos and Instagram stories are not the same. Simply put, each platform uses a certain ratio of videos and has different limitations when it comes to the size of the video you can upload. 

For example, you make a video for YouTube. The ratio you want to use is 16:9. So, you organise what’s happening on the screen accordingly. It looks something like this:

Then you need to post your entire video, or just a snippet as Shorts. Since the platform won’t be able to rearrange your video, it will just become super-small! Like this:

It could still work, but you have to be careful about the writing on your screen and the size of the elements. So - plan ahead.

Social media platforms change their video specs from time to time, looking to make the experience better for the users. Whether you are posting videos on your feed, for YouTube Shorts, or for Ads, you need to stay on top of different video specs.

That’s why we made it our job to keep on top of these for you. When you’re trying to optimise your video content, whether you are uploading social media videos or video ads, you can just export your file in the best video size for your desired platform.

All you need to do is upload the video once, and then you can download it as many times as you like, in as many different aspect ratios as you like. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

How to Choose the Right Video Sizes and Aspect Ratios

Another of the essential video specs is the right file size for your video. Compressing your video too much will result in lower quality of the video. However, video platforms have limitations in terms of the size that you are able to upload. 

Balance. It’s always about the balance between video quality and file size. And yes - it IS annoying but necessary.

Video Sizes for Facebook Videos

Facebook video size depends on the type of Facebook video posts. 

Regular Facebook feed video - You can choose between portrait and landscape video orientation. 

Whichever one you choose, the maximum file size is 4GB. The maximum video length that Facebook supports on Facebook feeds is 240 minutes. 

Depending on the orientation you choose, you will need to choose different aspect ratios. For landscape, the preferred ratio is 16:9, whereas the portrait aspect ratio is 9:16. 

You can use many video file types for your Facebook videos, but the most preferred ones are MP4 and MOV.

Facebook Reels - You can add up to 60 seconds of MP4, with no size limit for the video. The aspect ratio is 9:16 for iOS or your device ratio for Android.

Facebook video ads - The aspect ratios vary depending on the type of video ad. A Facebook video ad can have a maximum file size of 4 GB.

In-feed video ads come in many different ratios - horizontal, square, vertical videos, and full portrait.

What about Facebook carousel video ads? They are ads that use multiple images or videos, all in one post. Carousel ads use square video with a 1:1 aspect ratio, and so do collection video ads on mobile. 

Pro tip: Even marketing agencies forget to add subtitles to their Facebook ads. In that way, they are losing previous viewers. Depending on your source, it is believed that as many as 85% of short videos viewed on Facebook are watched on mute. If there aren’t any subtitles, those precious, expensive Facebook ads will fall flat.

Facebook stories - These are used for sharing spontaneously, straight from your camera, so the acceptable aspects are anything from 1:91 to 9:16.

Facebook captioning is not necessary but it is highly recommended.

Video Sizes for Instagram Videos

Instagram as a platform is purely visual, so it's important that every video upload is in compliance with their specs.

Regular Instagram in-feed video - It can come in three video format variants: vertical video (4:5), square video (1:1) and landscape video (16:9). They should be in MOV or MP4, with a maximum file size of 4 GB. The supported video length is up to 60 minutes.

Instagram reels - These use the same video file extensions, with the allowed maximum length of up to 90 seconds. The file size can be no bigger than 4 GB, and the aspect ratio is anywhere from 0.01:1 to 10:1.

Instagram carousel video ads - These should be designed as square videos with an aspect ratio of 1:1. The video mustn't exceed 4 GB or be longer than the maximum length of one minute.

You have to burn in your captions into Instagram videos and Instagram ads. That’s the only reason to reach those people who watch it on mute.

Video Sizes for Linkedin Video

LinkedIn is not the most versatile network when it comes to video, however, in-feed video content is still very popular. You can still share YouTube links on your feed but the options are very limited when it comes to sharing your own videos. 

Also, it’s never stated overtly, but the LinkedIn algorithm is not that crazy about linking out-of-the-platform video content. It prefers uploaded videos.

The LinkedIn video specs differ depending on whether you want to share a video on your feed or post video ads.

Standard LinkedIn Video - the range of aspect ratio is from 1:2.4 to 2.4:1, and the maximum file size is 5 GB. The maximum length of the video is up to 10 minutes. 

LinkedIn video ads - the specs differ depending on the video ad formats. Verticals have a maximum video resolution of maximum: 1080 x 1920 and an aspect ratio of 9:16. Landscape ones use a ratio of 16:9 and resolution up to 1920 x 1080. Finally, square videos have a 1:1 aspect ratio and video dimensions of 1920 x 1920.

While LinkedIn videos allow for SRT subtitles, it is much safer to use open captions (the ones that you burn into the video) when you’re making video ads.

Video Sizes for TikTok

If you want to be relevant with your video posts, TikTok is the social media platform for you. Their stats are wild, and they are still on the rise and show no signs of stopping. TikTok is largely a mobile-based platform and that is reflected in its specifications.

TikTok is geared toward a simplified process of creating videos. The idea is that you post videos directly from your phone. There's not only one desirable aspect ratio, you can choose between 9:16, 1:1 or 16:9.

With video dimensions too, you have a choice between 540×960, 640×64 or 960×540. The maximum file size is 500 MB. The smaller file size makes sense because TikTok videos are normally pretty short. The maximum TikTok video length is 10 minutes, but most videos are no longer than 15 seconds.

Video Sizes for YouTube

YouTube is still the most popular video platform and one of the most popular social networks.

YouTube video specs are, in a lot of respects, more option-rich than that is the case on other platforms.

Standard YouTube video - you can use a whole range of file extensions - MOV, MPEG4, MP4, AVI, WMV, MPEG-PS, FLV, 3GPP, and WebM. YouTube video sizes also come in a bunch of dimensions with the highest resolution video being 3840 x 2160 (2160p). Video length goes to a whopping 12 hours, and the standard ratio is 16:9. The allowed file size is also quite impressive at 128 GB.

YouTube video ads - Whether you are posting skippable video ads, bumper video ads, mid-roll video ads or non-skippable video ads, they all follow more or less the same specs. The main difference is the allowed video length which ranges from 6 seconds to 6 minutes depending on the type of the video ad.

YouTube videos support SRT subtitles. People are used to using them, so they will turn them on if they need them. However, when it comes to ads, you need to be a bit more proactive. Burn your subtitles into YouTube video ads and force them onto the users’ screens.

Knowing exactly what specs work on which platform can save you a lot of work and ensure that you consistently put out the highest quality of videos. With the help of a handy, multi-purpose tool like Subly, you can save hours of time. 

You’d normally spend uploading, subtitling, and downloading your videos in different sizes and ratios. Now, you just upload it and subtitle it once and download in different formats and ratios, as many times as you like.

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