Video Aspect Ratios – Which are the Best?
You have many video aspect ratios available to post your animated video online. Their usage depends on the platform and target audience. To achieve a high-performing advertising or organic campaign it is crucial to make an insightful choice. I’ll breakdown the different video aspect ratios available. Pointing at the same time the best options to achieve your goals.
Before starting you should decide which social platforms you’ll upload your animated video. Then you should ask if you plan to reach organic traffic, paid traffic, or both.
What is the Video Aspect Ratio?
The Aspect Ratio of a video or image is the ratio between its width and height. This ratio determines how wide or long the video screen is. You can find the ratio represented as X: Y. Where X is the width and Y is the height.
The standard video aspect ratio is 16:9, also known as landscape format. This ratio can consist of the 1920x1080p dimensions. Suitable for high image quality animated videos. On other hand, you can use smaller video dimensions. One example his the 1280x720p. Used on lower image quality videos.
YouTube Video Aspect Ratios
You might only want to upload your animated promotional video to YouTube. In this case, the only aspect ratio you need is the standard 16:9.
It does not matter how viewers access the video. It can be through your website, paid ads, or mobile traffic. In all cases,16:9 is the only aspect ratio available. There is a caveat for mobile traffic. The user can watch the video on full screen. This way the video is shown horizontally. You can see it in the image below.
Social Media Video Aspect Ratios
You can upload a 16:9 video to the Facebook feed. But it results in poor screen usage. This is especially problematic for mobile traffic, as you can see in the image below.
A 16:9 video on a mobile screen uses less than half the space compared to the screen ratio of 4:5. All this lost space is important to fully capture the viewer’s attention. And consequently to have him engage with your content.
It is reported that 82% of Facebook users access it only through mobile devices This makes it imperative to address this space limitation.
Facebook Video Aspect Ratios
The best screen aspect ratio for videos delivered through the Facebook feed is 4:5. It is a vertical size optimized to the screen dimensions of mobile devices. Mobile devices make up the vast majority of the traffic.
The 4:5 vertical screen ratio doesn’t exist on the desktop feed. Facebook automatically adds one black vertical bar on each side of the video. The result is a 1:1 aspect ratio.
If your desktop traffic is relevant, you can upload a 1:1 square video. It is better than the standard 16:9 landscape for desktops and suitable for mobile. It is not the best for mobile (4:5 aspect ratio) but does the job.
Through paid marketing on the Facebook feed, you can have the best of both worlds. Use an ad to target only mobile devices with a 4:5 screen ratio video. And another ad to target desktop devices with a 1:1 square video.
Another video delivery option is through Facebook Stories. Here the required screen ratio is 9:16, also known as the portrait format.
This ratio is optimal for mobile traffic since the video covers the whole screen. Thus better capturing the viewer’s attention.
Facebook stories are also delivered solely using the 9:16 aspect ratio for desktop traffic.
Other Facebook Video Placements
There are also less popular Facebook video placements for various aspect ratios:
- Video Carrousel and Facebook Shop – Square 1:1 format.
- In-stream videos – Standard 16:9 landscape format.
- Audience network placements. Places outside the Facebook platform where you can place your ads – 9:16 Vertical portrait
Instagram Video Aspect Ratios
The Instagram feed is pretty much like the Facebook feed.
While you can upload a horizontal video with a 16:9 screen aspect ratio, it doesn’t work in your favor. There is a better way to maximize your mobile results. Uploading a vertical video with a 4:5 screen aspect ratio. Like Facebook, the majority of traffic on the platform comes through a desktop device.
You can also upload a square video 1:1 to the Instagram feed. It performs better than the standard landscape format 16:9. Still, it is not as good as the vertical 4:5 aspect ratio.
The other size you’ll need is the vertical 9:16. It is required for Instagram stories, IGTV, Instagram live videos, and Instagram Reels.
LinkedIn Video Aspect Ratios
The LinkedIn feed is the only place where you can upload videos on the platform. To do it, you have two options: LinkedIn Native Videos, and LinkedIn Video Ads.
LinkedIn Native Videos
Let’s start with the LinkedIn Native Videos. They are uploaded to your feed as a post on your profile or company page. For them, there are three screen aspect ratios available.
The first is the landscape aspect ratio of 16:9. It looks good on a desktop, but as discussed before, it performs lower on mobile traffic. On LinkedIn, the organic desktop traffic is more relevant. Its share is higher on this platform. Reports place it at 47% (compared to 18% on Facebook). Still, you need to consider the experience of your mobile viewers.
The second aspect ratio for LinkedIn Native Videos is 4:5. The videos make optimal screen usage with this ratio on mobile screens. However, they won’t look very good on the Desktop feed.
On the Desktop placement, the video receives a blurry black framing on the sides is automatically added. This results in a 1:1 aspect ratio.
The third and best aspect ratio is the 1:1 square size. This ratio uses more space on the desktop feed screen than the 16:9 landscape format. Plus, it still looks very good on a mobile screen. It uses just a little less screen space than the 4:5 aspect ratio.
LinkedIn Video Ads
The LinkedIn Video Ads are videos also shown on the feed but through paid ads instead of organic traffic. There is a crucial difference from the regular feed. Instead of the vertical 4:5 aspect ratio, you have the vertical 9:16. Mobile devices showing videos with this ratio cover the whole screen.
When talking about LinkedIn Video Ads targeted to desktop devices, there is a winner. The 1:1 square format. This ratio is also okay for mobile devices. For top results, you should have separate campaigns for each viewing device.
You can use one video with the 1:1 square format for desktop viewers. Then another 9:16 video for mobile viewers.
If you’re looking for video animation services, you can start by considering the standard 16:9 ratio. It is the ratio you need to upload to YouTube. You can use the embed link of the video to show it in other places. The most common is the company website.
After this, you can take this version to other platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn. While the video is not optimized for mobile devices, it can be a good starting point. If paid ads are an option, you can have the video delivered only through desktop traffic.
To take things further and increase the social performance I recommend an additional 1:1 screen aspect ratio. You can use it on the Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn feeds. It will also give better results for desktop traffic.
The 1:1 square format also fits other Facebook placements. Examples are the Facebook Shop and Facebook Video Carousel.
You can further optimize the mobile social media feed results. A 4:5 aspect ratio will provide you with the best results.
Finally, there is the 9:16 screen ratio. It is mandatory if you want to take advantage of the Facebook and Instagram stories or the LinkedIn sponsored feed.
Producing an Animated Explainer or Promotional Video
If you’re ready to proceed with your video animation production, Grow Animation Studios is here! We can help you create an engaging and eye-catching animated video. We deliver any screen aspect ratios you need. You can check our portfolio here and a guide about the explainer video cost here. Plus, you can contact us via email@example.com.