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It’s hip to be square!

Social media has created a new form of video and we can’t ignore it anymore.

When TV was first invented, we watched everything in a square format (pretty much, or 4:3 ratio to be exact) until high definition came about and we moved to the beautiful wide-screen (16:9 ratio) format we enjoy today.

But social media is changing the game. The way we consume video content on a daily basis has evolved and it’s all down to that humble mini-computer in your pocket, the smartphone.

We stare at our phone screens constantly, and although we could ‘tilt’ our phones into landscape mode for a wide-screen video experience, that means effort – so we generally don’t bother. Most people keep their phones upright as they scroll through the days’ social and online content.

This has paved the way for the re-birth of square video (with subtitles, so we don’t need to waste time plugging in our headphones to understand what’s happening). This text has become just as important as the video. It’s the hook in today’s video advertising strategy, vying for our time, keeping us entertained and – most crucially – watching.

Requests for square video is on the rise, so it’s time to step up and own it. Let’s create something new, rather than shoehorn a beautifully crafted wide-screen video into square format.

Take this example from one of the latest triple-A games on the market:

https://www.facebook.com/naughtydog/videos/10159098280720246/

The filmmakers haven’t let the square video format own them and become a restriction. Instead, they have used the box full screen instead of being happy with the black bars you’d usually find.

When it comes to shape and size, it’s a new world for video in this ever-changing digital landscape. It’s time to take the squares seriously.

This article is part of our Autumn 2017 newsletter