Social Media Video Specs 2019: Your Complete Guide With Helpful Optimisation Tips

Video’s become the tool that brands are turning to as they buckle down and strive for higher engagement and conversions. And more marketers are seeing the positive results of video performance.

Source: The Word

 

But what does this really mean for social media and what do the numbers really look like?

According to research, video definitely is getting more engagement across all major social platforms. On Facebook, videos get as much as 135% more organic reach, 6 times more retweets on Twitter, and 75% of executives say they watch world-related video each day on LinkedIn.

Source: The Word

Social Media Video Specs Change Often

But like most things in the social media world, video specs tend to change often. Most changes are related to social platforms building the most pleasurable viewing experience for their users.

All of these changes are challenging to keep up with. So, we’ve created a list of social media videos specs to help you share your very best content with the world.

In this blog post, we’ll share video specs for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, YouTube and Pinterest. We’ll also dive deeper into specs for various video formats that each platform offers, such as Facebook’s carousel video ads, Instagram in-feed video and YouTube’s skippable and unskippable video ads.

Your Complete Guide to Social Media Video Specs 2019 (With Helpful Optimisation Tips)


Facebook Video Specs

Facebook video ads appear in various formats. This is due to Facebook’s commitment to making video ads viewable on as many formats as possible (think mobile and desktop devices).

This, however, presents a fair amount of challenge for marketers. You need to produce content that is optimised for various platforms. Here’s a breakdown of the various specs for Facebook videos.


Regular Facebook Feed Video:

Recommended size: 1280 by 720 pixels

Minimum width: 600 pixels

Supported aspect ratios: 16:9 (horizontal), 9:16 (full portrait), 2:3 (vertical), 4:5 (vertical), square (1:1)

Recommended specs: Videos should also utilise H.264 compression, square pixels, fixed frame rate, progressive scan, and stereo AAC audio compression at 128kbps+. Your videos can be as long as 240 minutes, as large as 4GB large, and have a maximum frame rate of 30fps.

Source: Netflix

Tip: To get the best quality for your video posts, Facebook recommends uploading videos in .MOV and .MP4format, however, most video file types are supports. See the complete list of file formats.


Facebook 360 Video

360 videos have been around for a while. It’s a way to create immersive video that a user can explore by turning their devices or dragging their fingers through content.  

Source: Facebook

If you’re planning on creating a 360 video, here’s what you need to know about optimising it for your target audience.

Maximum size: 4096 by 2048 pixels, 2:1 aspect ratio

Minimum size: 600 pixels wide

Recommended specs: .MP4 format, maximum file size 1.75GB, maximum length 40 min, maximum frame rate 60fps.

Tip: 360 can be included with your video if the camera used to record your video automatically includes the metadata. If not, when uploading your video, head over to the ‘Advanced’ tab, then use Facebook’s ‘360 controls’ tab to convert unformatted footage into a 360 video.

What is 360 Video Metadata?

360 metadata is used to help discover and identify relevant information to organise electronic resources. This helps improve a video’s usefulness. When used in video, it helps Facebook collect information that can be used to serve up your video to users using relevant search terms.


Facebook In-Stream Video Ads

Recommended size: 1280 by 720 pixels

Minimum size, landscape video: 600 by 315 pixels (1.9:1 aspect ratio)

Minimum size, square video: 600 by 600 pixels (1:1 aspect ratio)

Recommended specs: .MP4 or .MOV format, maximum file size 4GB, maximum length 120 min, maximum frame rate 30fps. See the complete list of file formats.

Source: Identifyy

Tip: When using in-stream ads, Facebook recommends uploading the highest resolution source video available - without letter or pillar boxing. In-stream ads are 5-15 seconds long, therefore, ensure that you produce content that’s strong, engaging to get your audiences’ attention. Only Facebook publishing partners are able to host videos that are 3 minutes or longer.


Facebook Messenger Stories Ads

Recommended size: 1280 by 720 pixels

Supported aspect ratios: 16:9 to 1.91:1

Recommended specs: videos can be up to 240 minutes long with a maximum size of 4GB, and have a maximum frame rate of 30fps.

Source: Facebook

Tip: For quality video ads, Facebook recommends uploading your highest resolution video available (that meets file size and ratio limits) - without letter or pillar boxing.


Facebook Carousel Video Ads

Recommended size: 1080 by 1080 pixels (1:1 aspect ratio)

Minimum size, landscape video: 600 by 315 pixels (1.9:1 aspect ratio)

Minimum size, square video: 600 by 600 pixels (1:1 aspect ratio)

Recommended specs: You can use .MP4 or .MOV formats. See the complete list of file formats.

Videos cannot exceed 240 minutes in length, the maximum frame rate allowable is 30fps, and maximum file size is 4GB.

Tip: Carousels are handy when creating episodic content. They allow you to use up to 10 images or videos in one ad, making it easier for your audience to get the message without having to click to visit a new page. For best results, use a 1080 by 1080 pixel square (1:1) video.


Facebook Collection Cover Video

Recommended size: 1200 by 628 pixels

Minimum size, landscape video: 600 by 315 pixels (1.9:1 aspect ratio)

Minimum size, square video: 600 by 600 pixels (1:1 aspect ratio)

Recommended specs: .MP4 or .MOV format, maximum file size 4GB, maximum length 120 min, maximum frame rate 30fps. See the complete list of file formats.

Tip: Collections are a new ad type designed for mobile users. It helps them discover, browse and buy products and services from their phones in what Facebook calls an ‘immersive’ way.

You’ve most likely seen a collection ad for apparel, like the one below.

Source: Facebook

When setting up your collection ad, you have the option of setting your video to autoplay when a user scrolls over your collection. This helps grab user attention. When users click on your ad, it opens in full-screen (using Facebook Experience, formally Canvas), creating a more immersive experience.


Facebook Experience Video (Formally Canvas)

Recommended size: 1200 by 628 pixels

Minimum size, landscape video: 600 by 315 pixels (1.9:1 aspect ratio)

Minimum size, square video: 600 by 600 pixels (1:1 aspect ratio)

Recommended specs: .MP4 or .MOV format, maximum file size 4GB, maximum length 120 min, maximum frame rate 30fps. See the complete list of file formats.

Source: Facebook

Tip: Facebook Experience Ads transform into a full-screen experience. To drive engagement, you can add buttons and include carousels, photos, and text  along with your video. Ensure that your videos are captivative and include clear calls to action to generate positive results.


Facebook Slideshow Video Ads

Recommended size: 1200 by 720 pixels

Recommended specs: .MP4 or .MOV format, maximum file size 4GB, maximum length 120 min, maximum frame rate 30fps. See the complete list of file formats.

Source: Facebook

 

Tip: Slideshows are designed to accommodate users with slow internet access. To do this, slideshow ads allow you to use a collection of 3-10 images, along with a sound file (supported formats: WAV, MP3, M4A, FLAC and OGG) and turn them into a video ad. While internet speed is a factor, for the best possible user experience, Facebook recommends using the highest quality images possible. Your images must share the same dimensions (Facebook recommends 1280 x 720 pixels or an image ratio of 16:9, 1:1 or 2:3). Using different size images will result in your slideshow being cropped and that could lead to elements or subject matter in the images being removed.


Instagram Video Specs

Instagram supports square, vertical and horizontal video. You’ve likely seen Instagrammers use horizontal video, but it can be tricky to produce.

If you’re not keen on the extra editing work, opt for square videos. They’re easier to produce and work well for both desktop and mobile users.


Instagram in-feed video and video ads

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.  See the complete list of file formats. The maximum file size is 4GB, maximum length 60 seconds, maximum frame rate 30fps.Your video should not exceed 4GB in size, must be within ratio limits, have H.264 compression, square pixels, fixed frame rate, progressive scan, and stereo AAC audio compression at 128kbps+.

Source: Facebook

Tip:Like Facebook, Instagram’s recommendations are similar and you’re urged to use the highest video resolution possible.


Instagram Carousel Video Ads

Recommended size: 1080 by 1080 pixels

Minimum size: 600 by 600 pixels

Recommended specs: .MP4 or .MOV format, maximum length 60 seconds, maximum frame rate 30fps. See the complete list of file formats

Source: Facebook

Tip: Similar to Facebook carousels, Instagram allows you to show anything from 2 to 10 images or videos in one side-scrolling ad. This allows marketers to get creative with different media formats and boost engagement.


Instagram Stories Video Ads

Recommended size: 1080 by 1920 pixels

Minimum size: 600 by 1067 pixels

Supported aspect ratios: 16:9 to 4:5 and 9:16

Recommended specs: .MP4 or .MOV format, maximum length 15 seconds, maximum file size 4GB. See the complete list of file formats

Source: Facebook

Tips: Instagram story videos are short videos, up to 15 seconds long, that appear between stories from profiles users follow.

As with Facebook recommendations, it’s a good idea to use the highest resolution video possible.

Video dimensions can be tricky to bed-down as some devices have smaller screens. This leaves little room for viewers to see the complete ad or click on ‘more’ links to see the rest of the text without clicking on the call to action. To get around this, try leaving the top and bottom 14 percent (approximately 250 pixels) empty.


Twitter Video Specs

As a mobile-first platform, Twitter video is naturally optimised for mobile device-captured video. This, however, doesn’t mean you cannot upload video in other ways. For details on how to upload video recorded on other devices, see Twitter’s video specs recommendations and best practices.


Twitter horizontal videos

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

Recommended sizes:

  • At 256K bitrate: 320 by 180 pixels
  • At 768K bitrate: 640 by 360 pixels
  • At 2048K bitrate: 1280 by 720 pixels

Recommended specs: use .MP4 for web, .MOV format for mobile, video cannot exceed 140 seconds in length, however, we have seen longer videos as shown above.

Source: Bill Gates

The maximum file size is 512MB with maximum frame rate 40fps. Videos must use progressive scan, have 1:1 pixel ratio, audio should be mono or stereo and not 5.1 or greater.


Twitter Vertical Videos

Recommended size: 1200 by 1900 pixels

Minimum size: 32 by 32 pixels

Recommended size at 256K bitrate: 240 by 240 pixels

Recommended size at 768K bitrate: 480 by 480 pixels

Recommended size at 2048K bitrate: 640 by 640 pixels

Recommended specs: use .MP4 for web, .MOV format for mobile, video cannot exceed 140 seconds in length, however, we have seen longer videos as shown above.

The maximum file size is 512MB with maximum frame rate 40fps. Videos must use progressive scan, have 1:1 pixel ratio, audio should be mono or stereo and not 5.1 or greater.


Snapchat Video Specs

Snapchat 10-second video ads:

Recommended size: 1080 by 1920 pixels (9:16 aspect ratio)

Recommended specs: .MP4 or MOV, H.264 encoded, between 3 and 10 seconds long, maximum file size 32MB

Audio specs: 2 channels, PCM or AAC codec, 192 minimum kbps, 16 or 24 bit only, 48 KHz sample rate

Tip: Snapchat videos can be used to drive traffic to other assets, such as, long-form videos and articles, and landing pages. But as you create your video, as with Instagram, leave a little room at the top and bottom of your video. Around 15% will do and it will prevent important content from being cropped automatically due to smaller user device screen sizes.


Snapchat Long-Form Video Ads

Recommended size: 1080 by 1920 pixels

Supported aspect ratios: 9:16 or 16:9

Recommended specs: .MP4 or MOV, minimum 15 seconds long (no maximum length), maximum file size 1GB

Audio specs: 2 channels, PCM or AAC codec, 192 minimum kbps, 16 or 24 bit only, 48 KHz sample rate

Source: New Balance

Tips: Longform videos must contain “live and/or motion graphic video” (no “silent or still videos”). Although horizontal videos are allowed, Snapchat recommends vertical videos.

Snapchat video ads also come with 16 restrictions covering everything from the use of letterboxing and one line call to action text, to promotion and Snapcodes. Be sure to review all 16 restrictions before planning your video content.


Snapchat Sponsored Geofilter

Snapchat geofilters are special overlays that can only be accessed in certain locations.

Source: Hootsuite UK

Recommended size: 1080 by 1920 pixels

Overlay format: .PNG with transparent background, maximum 250kb


YouTube Video Specs

YouTube Video Player Specs

Recommended sizes:

  • 426 by 240 pixels (240p)
  • 640 by 360 pixels (360p
  • 854 by 480 pixels (480p)
  • 1280 by 720 pixels (720p)
  • 1920 by 1080 pixels (1080p)
  • 2560 by 1440 pixels (1440p)
  • 3840 by 2160 pixels (2160p)

Minimum size: 426 by 240 pixels

Maximum size: 3840 by 2160 pixels

Supported aspect ratios: 16:9 and 4:3

Recommended specs: .MOV, .MPEG4, MP4, .AVI, .WMV, .MPEGPS, .FLV, 3GPP, or WebM, maximum file size 128GB, maximum 12 hours long.

Tips: As the second largest search engine in the world, YouTube reaches an audience with varying internet connectivity speeds. To ensure that you video can be enjoyed by as many people, YouTube recommends that videos be uploaded using the highest possible resolution.

Use native aspect ratios, and letterboxing or pillarboxing bars are a no-no as YouTube automatically frames videos to display them optimally in their video player. See this complete list of YouTube video encoding settings.


YouTube Video Ads

Skippable video ads: maximum length of 12 hours, skippable after 5 seconds

Unskippable video ads: max length of 15, 20 or 30 seconds

Mid-roll video ads: minimum length of 30 seconds

Bumper video ads: maximum length of 6 seconds

Important: In 2017, YouTube announced it would remove unskippable 30 second ads in 2018. You can, however, use TrueView ads that run to a maximum of 30 seconds.

Tip: Aim to make your ads as compelling as possible by using call to action text and interactive elements.


LinkedIn Video Specs

Linkedin Shared Videos

Maximum size: 4,096 by 2,304 pixels

Minimum size: 256 by 144 pixels

Supported aspect ratios: 1:2:4 to 2:4:1

Recommended specs: .ASF, .AVI, .FLV, .MOV, .MPEG-1, .MPEG-4, .MKV, and .WebM, maximum file size 5GB, maximum 10 minutes long, maximum frame rate 60fps

Source: Scott Barker


LinkedIn Video Ads

Maximum size: 1080p (1440 x 1080; wide 1920 x 1080)

Minimum size: 360p (480 x 360; wide 640 x 360)

Audio format: AAC or MPEG4

Audio size: Less than 64KHz

Aspect ratios: Video ads created with a 1:1 aspect ratio should have a minimum resolution of 600 x 600px, and a maximum resolution of 1080 x 1080px.

Recommended specs: .MP4, File size between 75 KB and 200 MB, maximum 30 minutes long, maximum frame rate 30fps

Source: YahClick

Tip: LinkedIn recommends keeping your video ads to 15 seconds or less in length based on stats they’ve collected over time. It is, however, possible to use longer video ads if your social media marketing strategy includes running a native ad series, or have created a collection of ads as part of an episodic content campaign.

LinkedIn has a set of specifications for sponsored content. See all specifications.


Pinterest Video Specs

Pinterest Video Ads

Minimum size: 240p

Recommended size:

  • Square videos: 600 by 600 pixels (1:1 aspect ratio)
  • Vertical videos: 600 by 900 pixels (9:16 aspect ratio)

Recommended specs: .MP4 or .MOV, maximum file size 2GB, maximum length 30 minutes, maximum frame rate 25fps

Tip: By nature, Pinterest is all about pins and boards. A smart way to showcase all of your ads in one place is to create a board. This works particularly well for content such as how-to videos or promotions you plan to run for an extended period of time.


Summary

Using video on social media but so is optimising yours. The extensive list of social media video specs covers all you need to produce videos that can be enjoyed by your audience across multiple devices.

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