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When you post images, videos, and ads on Instagram and Facebook, it is important to target optimal engagement.

This means planning every detail from the type of content you post to the time of day when you post your content.

While these choices might not seem vital, they can make a difference when it comes to your engagement. In fact, even something as seemingly simple as video orientation can influence your performance.

Your choice between square and portrait videos can make the difference between attracting your target audience or causing them to scroll past your content.

Because of this, we conducted an A/B test comparing the performance of portrait and square videos on Facebook and Instagram.  Here are some factors to consider to help you decide which orientation you should use when you post your video content on these platforms:

Square formatting is typically used for organic videos

When consumers watch organic videos on Facebook, they are typically in a square format. 

The how-to video about making the perfect pesto sauce? Square. 

The video with a skateboarding dog? Square.

This means that if you use the square videos on Facebook, your content is more likely to be viewed than if you use portrait videos.

Square video content is better for mobile users

Roughly 56% of Facebook’s active users are mobile-only users. That’s why square videos are far more popular among mobile users because they are easier to view. 

When mobile users scroll through their newsfeeds on Facebook or Instagram, square videos fill up more of the feed. Because these videos provide a 1:1 ratio, they expand so that they fill the screen without users needing to adjust their phones. This leads to more views, a higher video completion rate, and ultimately more engagement from mobile users.

As a growing number of consumers are accessing social media using their smartphones, providing square videos that are easier to view will help boost your engagement and your bottom line.

Square videos outperforms portrait videos

When we did an A/B testing audience engagement with square and portrait videos on Instagram and Facebook, results showed that square outperformed portrait videos on both platforms.

Square video content had 13% higher post engagement on Instagram than portrait.

On Facebook, square video content had 3.4% higher post engagement and 3.4% greater reach than portrait.

In a society where marketing is becoming increasingly competitive, every view, like, and comment matters. You will want to make sure you are doing everything to give yourself a competitive edge so that users will choose to engage with your content.

On Facebook and on Instagram, square orientation videos outperform portrait videos, and it can help you garner more views and engagement.

Square video has a lower cost per engagement than portrait video

When it comes to choosing the right format for your content on Instagram and Facebook, every dollar counts.

Your brand wants to share videos that will draw attention and engagement from your target audience without breaking the bank. For both Instagram and Facebook, this means using square orientation.

On Instagram, square videos had 20% lower cost per engagement than portrait videos. 

On Facebook, it costs 3.5% less to get users to engage with a square video than a portrait or landscape video.

If you want to see higher levels of engagement for a fraction of the cost, choosing square videos might be the right option for your brand.

While ultimately, it will be important for you to provide your viewers with high-quality, relevant content if you want to maximize engagement, you can tilt the odds in your favor by using square orientation on Instagram and Facebook.

Choosing to use square instead of portrait orientation for your videos will help you expand your reach and engagement. It can also help you be more cost-effective and attract more mobile users.

Ready to take your videos to the next level?

Want to learn more about creating quality content and optimizing your social media presence? Visit Repurpose House and schedule a chat with us today. 🧡

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Shaina Weisinger


Shaina Weisinger is the founder and CEO of Repurpose House, which turns your content into unlimited videos and images. Shaina is on a mission to show content creators the untapped potential and repurposing power of the content they already have. Shaina loves to laugh loudly, be obnoxiously competitive on the volleyball court, treat her dogs as her kin, and recover from tripping on or running into almost everything within a five-foot radius.