Rotate your phone (?)

Apr 10, 2015 · 2 min read

Last week, while I was watching a video streaming at Periscope (the new app from Twitter that's been trending recently), I started to think about how there are lots of people using their phone’s camera vertically to record videos. And there are some apps that stimulate it like never before: Periscope is the newest one but, before that, Snapchat, Vine, among others, all of them have an interface that is mostly vertical.

Then, immediately came to mind that, so far, YouTube did not design a good experience for vertical videos on its own app: you’ve got to watch it within the same video player that has been created for horizontal content (even if you decide to watch it on fullscreen).

Interesting fact here: if you watch exactly the same video embedded in a site or even at, and you go fullscreen, you'll watch it vertically:

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Left: Youtube mobile site (vertical video on fullscreen). Right: Youtube iOS app (horizontal video on fullscreen)

Vimeo and Facebook also has this interaction:

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Youtube Capture

At that moment, I recalled an app from Youtube named Capture that literally prohibits users to record videos using the camera if not horizontally.

I know, YouTube, you would rather that they were made in a horizontal way. But people are doing it and they’ll do it more and more (even though there’s a lot of people who are fighting against what they call vertical video syndrome)

Not mentioning the film industry that produces 100% of its content to our TV screens and movie theaters (with horizontal orientation). An important exception that came up recently are contents produced for these new apps (like Snapchat).

But despite the aesthetic standards imposed by the industry and great supporters of video production (Youtube as an example), many people are still recording its videos vertically.

We can't ignore the power of apps like Snapchat. I bet that we’ll see an increase of vertical content made by these big producers but, at least for the next couple years, most of the content produced by big companies will be horizontally and widescreen. And, meanwhile, people will produce more and more content vertically, mostly because of their phones.


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