Square vs. Widescreen: Which is Better for Video Marketing Online?

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When it comes to video, perspective is paramount. Just like different camera angles evoke different emotions, watching the same video in different formats affects us differently.  This leaves businesses with one key question: which format works better for video marketing online, square or widescreen?


Mobile Friendly

VentureBeat found that 92% of Facebook users access social media platforms on their mobile devices, making mobile optimization extremely important for video marketing online. But which format works better on mobile? Most cellphones are taller than they are wide, so widescreen videos must be cropped to fit the vertical screen. Square videos don’t need to be cropped, so they take up 78% more space than widescreen on mobile devices.

Studies from Adobe show mobile video consumption has increased 233% since 2013 and will only continue to grow. Also, over 50% of internet views came from mobile devices in 2016. Since square video takes up more screen space, does this mean it is more pleasing to the eye? Furthermore, does more space mean more views?



Square videos perform better than widescreen videos on mobile devices across all social media platforms. Square videos had more likes, comments, and shares overall based on the above studies. In addition, the digital shop Laundry Service found that square videos had a 67% higher completion rate than widescreen mobile videos.

VentureBeat found that in certain situations, the square video had up to 35% more views and an 80-100% increase in engagement (likes, comments, shares) when compared to widescreen. This means that video format is an important factor in how many people will watch your video, how long they watch, and how many are going to engage with the post. This is extremely important information for video marketing online.

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More engagement and prolonged screen time mean a video costs less per click to advertise. Buffer Social’s analysis showed using square video on Facebook costs 7.5% less than widescreen when viewed on a mobile device. Square video is even cheaper on Instagram, with a 33% price reduction for engagement. However, it is cheaper to engage desktop users with a widescreen format than a square format. It seems the shape of the screen determines how a format will perform.

Buffer Social also found that the cost per click for a desktop video is nearly double the cost of a mobile video. Advertising on mobile platforms is cheaper, yet still reaches a wider audience. This means using square videos on mobile platforms is the most cost-effective way to capitalize on your video marketing strategy.

Advertisers have an obligation to reach as many people as possible at the cheapest price, and it seems the square video is the way to go. Choosing a square format for your video saves you money on video marketing online while achieving greater results than widescreen.



What has yet to be mentioned is the letterbox video, a format that is both square and widescreen. The letterbox video has a widescreen image cropped into a square format by adding black bars to the top and bottom of the screen. They can often be found in humorous memes where a caption is written above and below a widescreen video. Buffer Social found that letterbox video outperformed widescreen on mobile devices and was essentially on par with square video. This means that simply letterboxing a widescreen video will improve its performance on mobile devices.

video marketingVideo Marketing Strategy

If you are a videographer creating clips for video marketing on mobile platforms, your best bet would be to go with a square format. But what does this mean for your video production strategy? If you take a widescreen video and crop it into a square format, you will be losing visual information and throwing off the composition of your shots. In order to get the best square video, you need to think about the format during production. Frame shots in a way that keeps all of the focus in the middle of the screen. This will make it easier to obtain a visually appealing square video.


Lights, Camera, Action!

Still unsure as to the difference between square or widescreen, mobile or desktop? The best thing to do is leave video marketing online to the professionals. Creative Click Media’s expert marketing team can help you your ideas into a successful video campaign, combining professional equipment and know-how to conceive, shoot, edit, and publish a professional video for your business. Contact Creative Click Media to engage more viewers and bring your idea to life.

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