The Most up-to-date Social Media Video Specs (April 2020)

If there’s one constant in the world of social media advertising, it’s change. As platforms evolve, so too do the “best practices” that act as a guideline for marketers in all industries. Regardless of which platforms you utilize, video should be a part of the plan.

In order to maintain your spot in a competitive space, it’s crucial to abide by all recommendations. Read on to get the latest updates in video sizing and resolution specs as provided by each platform.

 

Facebook (newsfeed) video

Video consumption is at an all-time high, and has been growing significantly over the past several years. Utilizing video allows businesses to tell their story in a captivating way.

If you’re looking to use a long-form video as part of your strategy, here’s what you need to know:

Resolution criteria: Upload the highest-resolution video available that meets file size and ratio limits.

Minimum width: 120 pixels

Supported aspect ratios: 16:9 (if horizontal) to 9:16 (if full portrait) – keep in mind that although horizontal has long been the preferred way of doing video, increased mobile consumption is making vertical video formats more important than ever before.

Tips: Facebook’s recommendations include uploading videos in .MP4 and .MOV format (although there are other formats that are supported), with H.264 compression, square pixels, fixed frame rate, progressive scan, and stereo AAC audio compression at 128kbps+. While videos can be up to 240 minutes long, up to 4GB large, and have a maximum frame rate of 30fps, it is okay to go shorter.

Facebook 360 video

Looking to put a twist on traditional video production? Facebook 360 video is an immersive experience for users.

If you’ve never given it a shot, put on your creative hat and give it a try. When you do, here are the guidelines:

Maximum size: 5120 x 2560 pixels (monoscopic) or 5120 x 5120 pixels (stereoscopic)

Supported aspect ratios: 1:1 or 2:1

Recommended specs: .MP4 or .MOV format, up to 10GB, up to 30 min, with the recommended frame rate 30fps. As you may assume, if you’re uploading larger file sizes, you could experience longer processing times.

Tips: If the camera you recorded your video on automatically includes 360 video metadata with the video file, you can upload the video like you would any other video. If not, click on the ‘Advanced’ tab when uploading to bring up Facebook’s ‘360 controls’ tab, which will let you convert unformatted footage into a 360 video.

 

Facebook in-stream video ads

The results are in, and Facebook’s in-stream video ads are becoming increasingly effective for brands. Not only does Facebook show your ad on the newsfeed, but it can extend to Facebook’s many platform offerings.

If you want to gain favor with the algorithm and your audience, follow these guidelines:

Recommended size: Though others are supported, a 16:9 ratio is highly recommended for best performance. Upload the highest-resolution video that meets file size and ratio limits.

Recommended specs: .MP4 or .MOV format, maximum file size 4GB, maximum length 15 seconds, maximum frame rate 30fps. Videos can be longer than 15 seconds, but the data shows that they’re less effective than their more concise counterparts.

Tips: For in-stream ads, Facebook recommends uploading the highest resolution source video available without letter or pillar boxing.

 

Facebook Messenger video ads

One of the best ways to create a personal experience for your audience is by reaching them through messenger ads. They’re direct and put your brand right in front of the eyes of potential customers.

See specs below:

Size: Upload the highest-resolution video available that meets file size and ratio limits.

Minimum size: 500 pixels wide

Supported aspect ratios: 16:9 to 1.91:1

Tips: Videos can be up to 15 seconds long, up to 4GB large, and have a maximum frame rate of 30fps. As a general best practice, try to include the name and/or logo early on in the video (first 5 seconds preferred)

 

Facebook Carousel video

Can’t choose just one video to showcase? Facebook’s carousel ads let you feature several in a single ad! Users can scroll through different “cards” and see more of your content in one place.

Keep in mind that even though you can use up to 10 images or videos, those with 3 to 5 typically perform best.

Recommended size: At least 1080 x 1080 pixels (1:1 aspect ratio)

Minimum size: No minimum provided

Recommended specs: .MP4 or .MOV format, maximum length 240 minutes, maximum frame rate 30fps, maximum file size 4GB

Tips: For best results, use a square (1:1) video. Also, if including text on your image or video, make sure it follows Facebook’s 20% text rule to avoid reduced delivery.

 

Facebook Collection cover video

If you’re looking to show off new products or promote existing favorites, Facebook collection gives users a great opportunity to see what you’re selling. Not only that, but they can purchase straight from the newsfeed making the consumer journey as easy as possible.

Here are the guidelines:

Recommended size: 1200 x 675 pixels

Supported aspect ratios: 1:1 or 16:9

Minimum size: none listed

Recommended specs: .MP4 or .MOV format, maximum file size 4GB, maximum frame rate 30fps, no maximum length listed

Tips: Collections make it easier for users to browse and purchase products directly in the Facebook feed. You can choose to have your video autoplay when a user scrolls over your collection, and clicking the video will open Canvas, a full-screen experience designed to drive traffic directly to your product pages.

 

Facebook slideshow ads

If you have a set of images you’d like to put together to feel more like a video (which could gain more engagement), slideshow ads are the solution. Through Facebook’s ad platform, you can create video content in a matter of minutes using your still-frame images.

View the guidelines below:

Recommended size: Minimum 1280 x 720 pixels.

Tips: To reiterate, slideshow ads let you utilize a series of 3-10 images and a sound file (supported formats: WAV, MP3, M4A, FLAC and OGG) into a video ad. For best results, Facebook suggests using the highest quality images possible, all the same dimensions (ideally 1280 x 720 pixels or an image ratio of 16:9, 1:1 or 2:3). If you use different sizes, the slideshow will be cropped to be square. Additionally, you can add text to the image to bolster your message!

 

Instagram In-feed video

For all things visual, it’s hard to beat Instagram’s adaptive platform offerings. You can upload video in square, vertical or horizontal format. If you aren’t sure which to use, square is a good standard to use.

NOTE: Instagram in-feed video and video ads share the same specs. Here’s what else you need to know:

Recommended size: Use the highest resolution video that meets file size and ratio limits.

Minimum width: 500 pixels.

Recommended specs: .MP4 or .MOV format, maximum file size 30MB, maximum length 120 seconds, maximum frame rate 30fps

Tips: Instagram has the same recommendations for video as Facebook—upload the highest resolution video possible that fits file size and ratio limits, H.264 compression, square pixels, fixed frame rate, progressive scan, and stereo AAC audio compression at 128kbps+

 

Instagram carousel ads

Similar to Facebook, Instagram allows advertisers to show off several different products in one ad.

Try compiling a few high-quality photos and images and put them into the following format:

Recommended size: At least 1080 x 1080 pixels

Minimum size: 600 x 600 pixels

Recommended specs: .MP4 or .MOV format, maximum length 60 seconds, maximum size 4GB, maximum frame rate 30fps

Tips: Just like Facebook carousels, Instagram carousels let you showcase between two and 10 images or videos in one side-scrolling ad.

 

Instagram Stories ads

One of the biggest areas of growth in terms of relevance for social media ad placement is undoubtedly Instagram stories. The reason? They feel like organic content – not an advertisement.

While there are a number of best practices to learn in terms of creative, here are the specs:

Recommended size: Upload the highest-resolution video available that meets file size and ratio limits.

Minimum size: 500 x 889 pixels

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

Recommended specs: .MP4 or .MOV format, maximum length 120 seconds, maximum file size 30MB

Tips: These videos appear between Instagram user stories for up to two minutes (or until dismissed) and take up the whole screen. Because stories are tailored to the size of the device, exact dimensions are hard to predict. Upload the highest resolution video possible, and consider leaving the top and bottom 14% (roughly 250 pixels) empty of any important information, so that it isn’t obscured by the profile icon or call to action.

 

Twitter video

It might not be Instagram in terms of its optimization for visual content, but Twitter is still a platform with billions of users watching videos daily. It’s a great place to provide updates on events, new products, or any information that can be easily-shared.

Here are the guidelines:

Recommended size: 1:1 ratio (1200 x 1200 pixels) is optimal.

Minimum width: 600 pixels for square video (preferred), 640 pixels for other ratios.

Supported aspect ratios: between 1:1 and 2:1. Keep in mind that if the height exceeds the width, the video will be cropped to 1:1 in the feed.

Recommended specs: .MP4 for web, .MOV format for mobile, maximum length 140 seconds, maximum file size 1GB, frame rate 29.97 or 30 fps, must use progressive scan, must have 1:1 pixel ratio, the audio should be mono or stereo.

 

Snapchat video ads (single video)

If you’re looking to reach a younger audience, Snapchat provides a great place to share easily-consumable content. With a range of video ad options available, it’s becoming more popular every year in the digital advertising community.

Because it’s mobile-only, it’s important to follow the specs below for the best user experience for single video ads:

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

Recommended specs: .MP4 or MOV, H.264 encoded, between 3 and 180 seconds long, maximum file size 1GB

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

Tips: These are the ads that appear in discovery, in live stories or after a user’s own story, and can link to an app installation page, article or long-form video. Do your best to avoid placing logos or any other important elements in the top and bottom 15% of the video, to prevent them from getting cut off.

Snapchat also restricts videos with letterboxing, and text/graphics that encourage the user to “swipe up.”

 

Snapchat long-form video content

Have more to say? Snap chat offers a long-form video option to get your message across. This is a good option for brands who create organic-feeling content that has some entertainment value to it.

See the guidelines below:

Recommended size: 1080 x 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

Tips: Longform videos must contain “live and/or motion graphic video” (no “silent or still videos”). Although horizontal videos are permitted, because of the mobile aspect, Snapchat strongly suggests using vertical videos only.

 

Snapchat sponsored geo filter

If you’re hosting an event that people where people will be posting Snapchats (which seems to be very common at most gatherings) Snapchat’s sponsored geo filters are perfect for spreading the word.

They’re pretty easy to put together, too! See spec guidelines:

Snapchat sponsored geo filter:

Recommended size: 1080 by 2340 pixel image

Format: .PNG with transparent background, maximum 300kb

Tips: If you’re unfamiliar with how to create them, see this article.

 

YouTube videos:

When it comes to video advertising, YouTube is unsurprisingly still the top option out there. It’s massive user base and diverse audience means you can reach whoever you’re targeting effectively.

If you’re simply creating a video to upload to your channel, use these specs:

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: YouTube encourages its users to upload videos that are “as close to the original, high quality source format as possible.” Videos should be uploaded in their native aspect ratios, and should never include letterboxing or pillar boxing bars, since YouTube frames videos to ensure that they are displayed correctly, without cropping or stretching, regardless of the size of the video or player. This is a nice feature that helps make the platform easier to use for uploaders.

 

YouTube ads:

Showing off your brand with a YouTube commercial is not only easy, but highly effective. Keep in mind that the first few seconds are crucial, as users have the option to skip through to their content in many cases.

Follow these specs to get the best results:

Skip-able video ads: maximum length of 12 hours, skip-able after 5 seconds

Non skip-able video ads: max length of 15 or 20 seconds (depending on region)

Bumper video ads: maximum length of 6 seconds

 

LinkedIn video

One of the major trends in the digital marketing universe over the past couple of years has been the growth of LinkedIn user engagement. This platform is a great choice for businesses looking to recruit, and works well with B2B marketing strategies.

Here’s what you need to know to optimize your video:

Maximum size: 1920 x 1920 (square), 1920 x 1080 (landscape), 1080 x 1920 (vertical)

Minimum size: 360 x 360 (square), 640 x 360 (landscape), 360 x 640 (vertical)

Supported aspect ratios: 16:9, 1:1, and 9:16

Recommended specs: .MP4, maximum file size 200MB, maximum 30 minutes long, recommended frame rate 30fps

 

Pinterest video ads

Another social network that can fly under the radar for marketers is Pinterest. With its addictive nature, users are always looking to consume more content.

If you’re considering creating a video ad, follow these guidelines:

Minimum size: 240 pixels wide

Supported aspect ratios: Between 1:2 and 1.91:1.

Recommended aspect ratios: 1:1 (square), 2:3 or 9:16 (vertical at standard width), 16:9 (maximum width).

Recommended specs: .MP4, M4V, or .MOV, maximum file size 2GB, maximum length 15 minutes, maximum frame rate 25fps

 

Wrapping up

In order to stay relevant and engaging to your audience in 2020, video should be a priority in your strategy.

If your business needs help in formatting or developing an effective plan for using video or animated content, get in touch today for advice and recommendations!

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