All you need to know about video formats and resolution for social media

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    Every social media has its own rules when it comes to video formats and resolution and I’m going to break it down for you one by one. This article will provide you all the information you need in order to publish any kind of video on any kind of social media.

    What formats can you upload on YouTube?

    YouTube is a video platform and it provides wide range of video formats to be accepted, however you should always try to upload videos which will make YouTube’s life easier. In other words, not every format is good for YouTube even though it will accept it. You can upload directly from your phone for example which is .mov format and of course vertical or horizontal, it doesn’t matter. It used to be a rule not to upload vertical videos because it will give you strange looking video while watching on desktop but those days are gone. Many users upload and create vertical videos on purpose because you can watch it nicely on mobile and it looks cool. This trend was obviously set by Instagram stories and IGTV.

    So the best format for YouTube is definitely .mp4, especially with h.264 integrated codek. That means the file is reasonably small but the quality is kept. This format is the widest spread and most used on the Internet and the reason is exactly what I just mentioned in the previous sentence.

    What resolution is best for YouTube?

    When it comes to resolution, don’t ever go below HD which is 720p. So forget about 460p and 320p and less I’m not even mentioning it. It’s a killer, it won’t give you any views and most of all you will annoy your viewers to death with such low quality. Ideal resolution is of course Full HD which is 1920×1080. And for vertical video it’s 1080×1920. Of course you can also upload 4K and 8K videos but keep in mind that those videos will have incredible size and it might take forever to upload it. And you can only enjoy 4K if you have 4K TV, otherwise mobile and desktop users will never notice a different between 4K video and Full HD video.


    What is the worst format to upload to YouTube?

    I would say what is the worst video format ever in history? It’s .flv in other words flash video. It might have some success like 30 years ago but those days are way way long and gone and not yet forgotten but they should be. Flash video [.flv] is the worst quality video you can get. Framerate is horrible, it loses quality hugely everytime you edit just a little bit and mostly it’s not even supported anymore anywhere. But watch out because some free softwares for example for recording your screen will only give you .flv as a result, but that’s why it’s free. They want you buy the full version which gives you a better format. Sound quality which .flv provides is utterly rubbish so I strongly recommend to keep away from this format and forget it forever.

    How to upload videos on Instagram and Facebook?

    The best way to upload videos on Instagram is doing it straight from your phone. But if you want it to be edited like I do obviously because I’m a videographer and video editor, then follow the same principle like on YouTube. Instagram wouldn’t even allow you upload so many different formats like YouTube because Instagram is fully a platform for mobiles and there are strict rules. So follow the YouTube rules with .mov or .mp4 and resolution is the same too. For Instagram story and IGTV, set your resolution to 1080×1920.

    How to create a sqaure video for Instagram?

    Basically you need a square but there is a rule to follow. You can’t create 1000×1000 or 2000×2000. You need to create mobile friendly square and that means 1080×1080. However, you can’t upload a video with this resolution to IGTV. It’s all a bit complicated but that’s why I’m writing this article. So Instagram post is maximum of 1 minute length and IGTV is for longer videos. I can’t explain to you why you can’t upload sqaure videos on IGTV but you can upload 1080×1920 and 1920×1080. So you can upload vertical video or horizontal video. That is pretty fair, isn’t it?

    Facebook is the same thing but combined in one. You can upload long videos, squared ones, wide ones and vertical ones.

    Uploading videos on Twitter

    Twitter is basically like Instagram, you can upload square videos, however not horizontal ones. So keep it squared or wide. You can only upload 2 minutes and 20 seconds of length and there’s no Twitter TV to cheat the video length limit.

    How to upload video on LinkedIn?

    I will finish this article with LinkedIn because all the social media have very similiar rules when it comes to video formats. LinkedIn allows you to upload squared and wide videos which are the most common. If you’re asking why create squared videos in the first place, then your answer is to get the attention. In other words, you can put title of the video above the video, so you keep your wide video but put your titles above it and you have a sqaure video shouting its title to everybody who sees it. It can be quite effective that’s why so many people do it. On the other side, the space for the actual video is lowered because of the title so sometimes when you have a showreel or very visual video, go for the wide format.

    I hope this article provided you with all the information you need in order to start making and publishing your videos! You can keep in touch with me and see my work on my website and you can get in touch with me to help you started with your videos!

    Author Profile

    Nicole Venglovicova
    Media expert at ClickDo. Passionate videographer/photographer with focus on video marketing and social media.

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