Adapt your video content for portrait viewing – Instagram My Story

You will have seen a rise in video being used all over social networking sites – not only within the normal content feeds but now within ‘stories’. For those who don’t know, the my story feature is available on both Instagram, Facebook and of course the originator, Snap Chat.

The purpose of My Story

A story is effectively a 24hour post which is displayed separately from your other page posts. You can upload as many story posts as you like within a day, and it’s generally a better way to share live updates with your followers. For a personal user this could be about visiting your favourite restaurant or city, for a business this could be behind the scenes of projects you’re working on, office activities or of course promoting a new product or service.

Importantly, this content is very mobile centric, meaning 99% of users will be browsing this content via mobile apps – although technically it’s possible to view both Facebook and Instagram stories via desktop as well. Due to the nature of how we hold a mobile phone, full screen content is best viewed in portrait, which is the opposite to the native orientation of video (which is generally horizontal) – this means there’s a growing need to adjust our content to work both ways!


The two styles of My Story posts

There’s arguably two styles of my story upload. The first being the ‘in the moment’ or unplanned capture. The second style being a more thought-out and pre planned approach. For in the moment posts it’s perfectly acceptable to snap a picture or video using your mobile, add filters, tag location and text using the in built features – once you get a style it’s quite easy to keep some consistency visually. However, for this blog post let’s discuss the potentially more professional side – which is promoting your products or services via specifically planned out video clips.

Professional My Story video posts for promoting business

Here’s a few things to know before you create any kind of content designed for My story…

  • It’s often possible to repurpose existing video content to work within my story
  • Each post only lasts 15 seconds maximum. If you want to get smart, you can work around this restriction by splitting a longer clip into shorter segments, then upload them sequentially.
  • Content should be edited in vertical orientation (9:16 aspect ratio). Unlike traditional 16:9 landscape video, my story videos are designed to work full screen on a mobile phone. This often means the video content will need to either be cropped, or filmed specifically to fit this aspect ratio. Again there’s another work around for this, which is rotating the footage 90 degrees during editing, forcing the viewer to rotate their phones to view correctly. Although this is the quickest solution, I feel it kind of looses its affect.
  • Content should be extremely punchy, engaging and to the point. Nicely shot footage, and / or graphics animations work well to grip the viewer. Remember most viewers do skip through stories very fast, so good content is key.

How to use pre existing video content on My Story.

When uploading existing video footage to my story, there’s a couple of ways to make it work. The most common (lazy) method is to upload a horizontally shot video, which will automatically be cropped by the app. The sides of the footage will simply be cut off. Of course this means you often lose elements of the shot which you really wanted to keep.

The more advanced method is to create an edit project file that is already formatted to portrait (9×16 ratio). You can then drop in your video clips and manually re-position clips to give the best framing possible – of course this is much easier if your content has been shot with virtual in mind! If you find that it’s just not working, then you can resort to rotating the footage by 90 degrees as mention previously.

How eldraw creative media can work with portrait video content

Wether you’re an existing client that would like content re-purposing to work in portrait, or you’ve got a brand new project that must work in all orientations… get in touch and we can discuss the most effective way to make this happen. If you’re looking for animated video or real footage capture, we can offer a fully comprehensive video production service to suit your needs. We also offer an EDIT ONLY service too.

Get it touch with eldraw on 01832 730606, or contact us here