Square Facebook and Instagram Videos

Square videos perform better in terms of average engagement, media views and reach. As far as landscape videos are concerned, completion rates are better on desktop, but perform similarly on mobile


Why you should be using square videos

The need for square video is linked to the dramatic shift from desktop to mobile: businesses need to optimize video content-posting for the mobile-feed user’s environment. Optimizing can mean changing the aspect ratio to square to increase visibility, adding text to convey the message without sound, and put the initial brand mention earlier in the video. Facebook ads guidelines report a 3-point increase in advert recall, 2x more impressions reaching the branding section of the video and an 8-point increase in message association, compared with 5.7 points for the original landscape advert. 

This format fills the full space of a newsfeed when viewed on a mobile device. Most of the latest studies and tests have demonstrated the unmatched potential of square videos for mobile viewing, proven to get more likes, comments, and shares on social media.


Square-Shaped Videos

It is now proven video is one of the most efficient content type for social media – especially since networks have updated their algorithms to push video over text and pictures. Each day, “an average of 100 million hours of video are watched on Facebook” (see note 1 at the end of this post) and this trend should keep growing at a steady pace. Indeed, Cisco predicts that “78% of the world’s mobile data traffic will be video by 2021” (Note 6). This currently means that users spend on average 50 minutes on Facebook/Instagram each day (19). Social video also converts better than any other content: 74% of consumers say there is a connection between watching a video on social media and their decision to make a purchase. Thus, learning to harness social video’s potential is a clear win for your business.



Why (square) video is a perfect social media content type

According to one of the latest studies by Buffer, which quantified engagement (clicks, likes, shares) across types of content, Facebook video clearly engages audiences better.


The study however also shows that social video content is still under-used by many brands: from the chart above, Facebook video get 3x as much engagement as other content types, but in business’ average of 7 weekly Facebook posts, less than 1% are videos (80% are links and 19% are photos). This creates an enormous opportunity for brands to grow on social.


  1. Average Engagement per video: square videos outperform landscape and letterbox
  2. Average Media Views per post: square videos outperform landscape, letterbox are also interesting
  3. Average Reach per video: square videos get way more reach on mobile, but perform equally on desktop compared to 16:9
  4. Average Completion Rate per video: landscape videos have a slightly better completion rate on facebook than square videos, boosted by increased desktop completion rates for landscape videos.