Before you post a video / video ad to social media, it’s important to recognize that it could appear to your audience in a vast variety of formats depending on how they will access it, and where they will be viewing it from. From phones to computers, news feeds, message inboxes, and Stories, it’s worth becoming familiar with the various social media video posting specs and consider these when uploading your video to optimize it for social media.

We’ll start by looking at Facebook. Facebook is fairly versatile compared to other apps / websites, but recommends .MP4 and .MOV file formats.

An appealing and unique thing about posting videos to Facebook news feed is that it can support videos up to 4 hours long and 4 gigabytes large. In addition, it can support aspect ratios of 16:9 (horizontal) and a variety of vertical formats including 9:16, 2:3 and 4:5 as well as the standard square 1:1. Facebook recommends a resolution of 1280×720 and has a minimum width requirement of 600px.

  • Max file size: 4GB
  • Max video length: 240 minutes
  • Aspect ratios: 16:9 (horizontal), 9:16, 2:3. 4:5 (vertical), 1:1 (square)
  • Minimum Resolution: 1280×720
  • Minimum width: 600px

Instagram operates a little bit differently. While still a massively popular social media app like Facebook, the video specs are slightly less flexible. The suggested video types for the main news feed remain .MP4 and .MOV and the maximum file size is still 4 gigabytes, but the maximum length for an Instagram news feed post is 1 minute even. Instagram supports vertical (600x750px 4:5), horizontal (600x315px 1.9:1) and square videos (600x600px 1:1).

  • Square video: 600 by 600 pixels (1:1 aspect ratio)
  • Horizontal video: 600 by 315 pixels (1.9:1 aspect ratio)
  • Vertical video: 600 by 750 pixels (4:5 aspect ratio)
  • Recommended specs: .MP4 or .MOV format, maximum file size 4GB, maximum length 60 seconds, maximum frame rate 30fps

For videos / ads meant for Instagram stories, the maximum file size is still 4 gigabytes and the file types .MP4 and .MOV remain ideal – however, since these videos play in users’ stories instead of the news feed, the maximum length is only 15 seconds, and vertical video is highly preferable. Since users will be viewing the stories on various sizes of phones, there is no exact set of dimensions. Because of this, it would be a good idea to leave the top and bottom edges free of any important content to be certain that it doesn’t get obscured by parts of the phone or story features.

  • Recommended size: 1080 by 1920 pixels
  • Minimum size: 600 by 1067 pixels
  • Supported aspect ratios: 16:9 to 4:5 and 9:16

Twitter also supports both horizontal and vertical videos, and is optimized to handle video taken on mobile devices. Twitter recommends .MP4 files for web usage and .MOV for mobile. Twitter also works with a variety of aspect ratios between 1:2.39-2.39:1. Twitter works best with shorter video content, maxing out at 140 seconds and 512 megabytes, with a recommended size of 1280x1040px, a maximum size of 1920x1200px and a minimum of 32x32px.

 Twitter horizontal:

  • Recommended size: 1280 by 1024 pixels
  • Minimum size: 32 by 32 pixels
  • Maximum size: 1920 by 1200 pixels
  • Supported aspect ratios: between 1:2.39 – 2.39:1

Twitter vertical videos:

  • Recommended size: 1200 by 1900 pixels
  • Minimum size: 32 by 32 pixels

Since Snapchat videos are meant to be quick, once-viewing and disappearing, the specs of this platform stand unique. Typically, Snapchat is meant for vertical video viewing and the app recommends a 9:16 aspect ratio with a suggested resolution of 1080x1920px. If there is a downside to using Snapchat, it’s that the videos are typically meant to be viewed only once, and should run between 3-10 seconds long with a maximum file size of 32 megabytes.

  • Recommended size: 1080 by 1920 pixels (9:16 aspect ratio)
  • Recommended specs: .MP4 or .MOV, H.264 encoded, 3- 10 seconds long, Maximum file size: 32MB

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