A plea for 1:1 (square) videos

Using square videos on widescreen (or “high-screen” in this context) phones creates a design that allows for space at the bottom and top of the video. This design with square video has conventionally been used in many social media sites as a place to interact with the media. Buttons are placed under the video- like, repost, comment… as well as a small preview of the comments. On top of the video is the artist who uploaded it. This design creates the ability- without scrolling- to see the artist information, the video, and the interaction buttons (like, repost, etc.).

This design is something that has always worked.

A design with vertical video- for example the same aspect ratio as the phone screen- doesn’t allow for the user to see who created the video and doesn’t allow for the ability to like, repost, or comment on the video without having to visibly cover parts of the video. This design can be seen typically in “stories” (eg. Snapchat and Instagram stories) where the media is usually temporary and involves much less interaction between the artist and the viewer. This lack of interaction is something I personally believe will hurt v2 more than anything. For a platform with short videos, it would become a waste of time to view a video in fullscreen, exit the fullscreen view, and then have the option to interact with the video only after the fact. The other design idea with fullscreen video is to overlay buttons and information on the video itself, which I personally have not had a good experience with. I also think that a design with fullscreen videos creates a lack of a sense of community or togetherness in an app- because you don’t see the videos ever connecting. You only see separate videos on separate pages, even if they’re related.

This fullscreen video design is an ugly approach.

I’m sure there are reasons why this is good, but I’m here to say that I would very much appreciate a design that has information about the video, the video itself, and the ability to interact with the video all on the same screen, without covering parts of the video.

12 Likes

Oh man, you have a great ideas, i like what you say about the Stories and the interactions

1 Like

I agree. One of the first things people look at when they fire up V2, is that the videos are fullscreen instead of what they were used to in the old Vine. They will be turned off in my opinion. If it aint broke don’t fix it.

4 Likes

Eh. I dont mind the 16:9 ratio. As long as its not vertical.

I don’t think @dom intends for horizontal / widescreen 16:9 videos- I say this because he’s posted a vertical video or two on his Twitter in between v2 updates. I think 16:9 widescreen would also create issues as well.

1 Like

i agree wholeheartedly with everything here! the original square aspect ratio was awesome not only from an iconic/stylistic perspective, but from a UI perspective too.

i also heavily dislike the idea of having to film stuff in vertical 16:9 especially for more cinematic projects - it’s a rather ugly and constricting aspect ratio for videos in my opinion. (of course i guess you could rotate the screen by 90 degrees, but that would complicate the UI even further with random videos looking flipped to one side)

2 Likes

What we have to realize, is that Dom posted 3 1:1 ratio videos on his twitter a few days ago. Could it be a sign?

2 Likes

AMEN! Square videos for the win! Screen sizes are different for different phones. Would be hard for them all to make up perfectly too!

1 Like

I would prefer to have square videos at this point, but maybe dom is doing something really cool with the vertical 16:9 aspect ratio

1 Like

The only videos I see on his Twitter are not 1:1. Are you sure it’s not because you didn’t expand the videos?

Yes it couuullldd. We’ve been seeing alot of 16:9 lately too. Maybe it’s time for a change?

Nah, you checked his Twitter too late. He posted 3 different 1:1 ratio 6-second videos in a row saying “The Weekend Is Near” where random things were going on, and different music played in each video.

Oh, well he still has those 16:9 videos on his Twitter either way.

I do agree that it would look clunky and weird, but there is definitely a certain aesthetic to having something fullscreen. And for the like buttons etc, they could just overlay them on the video.
Either way though, I’d still prefer 1:1