The Complete Guide to Video Formatting on Social Media

When it comes to marketing, social video is the proverbial queen of engagement. Marketers in 2020 need to make sure that their organizations focus on developing a strong social video strategy if they plan to remain relevant. 

But before you embark on your next social video project, you should be aware of the video file formatting requirements of each of the major platforms. Don’t worry – Green Buzz Agency has you covered! This article will give you all the details regarding aspect ratios, file formats, maximum dimensions, and maximum lengths on a platform-by-platform basis. Be sure to bookmark this page as we will be updating it periodically to ensure you have the most up-to-date information out there!


Facebook video dimensions and formatting chart
Facebook Video Specs

Facebook remains one of the most popular social networks for the older millennial, Gen X, and boomer generations. From livestreams to shareable post videos to 360 videos to carousel ads, news link videos, and stories, Facebook is truly an all-you-can-watch buffet for video content. It also benefits content creators who favor lengthy videos, say for branded documentaries, with max length up to three hours for carousel ads.


Instagram video dimensions and formatting chart
Instagram Video Specs

Instagram has soared in popularity since its acquisition by Facebook in the early 2010s. It is one of the preferred platforms for influencer marketing and is now rolling out integrations for e-commerce as well, making it a must-use platform for direct-to-consumer brands. 

With stories, video posts, and now video reels as well, Instagram is a treasure trove of video marketing potential and, with “views” requiring three seconds of watch time, every frame counts! 

Its various aspect ratio options give you tons of flexibility in deciding what type of video you want to feature. Whether you’re looking at making traditional posts in landscape, portrait, or square, or creating something special for IGTV or ad roll outs, Instagram is a pretty versatile platform for content marketers. Beware, however, long-form content is capped at a max length of fifteen minutes for IGTV and is considerably shorter for other video types. 


YouTube video dimensions and formatting chart
YouTube Video Specs

When it comes to ad-supported user-generated content, YouTube is the shining star. YouTube is considered the quintessential video platform and the progenitor of this entire era of digital video-driven content. Many brands have used YouTube as a means of connecting with audiences of all ages. As such, YouTube remains one of the most engaging and sticky platforms out there. 

While YouTube is relatively inflexible with respect to technical specs like aspect ratios (for which it only offers 426 x 420 and 16:9), YouTube allows users to upload videos in many different file formats including .MOV, .MPEG4, MP4, .AVI, .WMV, .MPEGPS, .FLV, 3GPP, and WebM. And, with a maximum file size of 128 GB, you have plenty of room for uploading super high quality and lengthy videos. 


LinkedIn video dimensions and formatting chart
LinkedIn Video Specs

LinkedIn has led the B2B marketing space for over a decade. More and more professionals (of all age groups) are becoming addicted to scrolling through LinkedIn both on their phones and on their desktops. Creating a LinkedIn profile that attracts followers and draws leads is now a crucial part of every company’s marketing mix. 

LinkedIn’s video capabilities have slowly begun to diversify away from the typical shareable post video to include live streaming as well. Max file sizes and minimum resolutions vary depending on whether the video is a post or ad. As such, it is best to consult this page before starting on your LinkedIn video production journey!


Twitter video dimensions and formatting chart
Twitter Video Specs

Once known for its character-limited tidbits of text copy, Twitter has warmed up to different types of content – video being one of its most salient additions. Twitter is an excellent option for marketers who’s audiences are avid followers (or guilty pleasure readers) of celebrities, politicians, and even the world’s most (in)famous celebrity-politician, @RealDonaldTrump himself. 

Marketers should not ignore the high level of engagement that Twitter aficionados have for that platform and should look for ways to incorporate video content to augment their tweets – just remember to aim for quality, not virality. It is, however, worth noting that Twitter has very specific requirements for its video content. No matter what type of video you’re trying to upload, the specs are the same. 


Pinterest video dimensions and formatting chart
Pinterest Video Specs

When asked to name the platforms they think would be the best for social video, Pinterest likely doesn’t come to mind right away. That being said, Pinterest has steadily grown its user base and continues to dominate in the work-from-home era. Let’s face it: we’ve all gone on Pinterest to figure out how to make the perfect dish in our slow-cookers, look for makeup or hairstyle inspiration, or just marvel at people’s arts and craft abilities. One savvy individual even followed his wife’s Pinterest account to plan the perfect wedding. He managed to do all this relying entirely on the wedding-related posts she pinned on her Pinterest. 

Given Pinterest’s uncanny ability to convince people to make, buy, or try products, it is a very natural option for marketers to target with video content. It is also quite simplistic in terms of its specs, with portrait and square as the only video types and .MP4 and .MOV as the only file types supported. 


Snapchat video dimensions and formatting chart
Snapchat Video Specs

What started out as a way to send people pictures taken on your phone with captions that disappeared after being opened by the recipient has now evolved into an entire ecosystem for social video. Snapchat is far from yesterday’s news. It is finding ways to remain relevant in the multi-platform era. 

Snapchat has managed to stay connected with young users and millennials, offering yet another area for marketers to place their ads. Snapchat’s specs are also straightforward, varying only in terms of whether the content is short-form or long-form. 

To Sum it All Up

If you are new to video marketing and have additional questions about how to best position your video content on social, please feel free to reach out to our team! We’re happy to help answer any questions you may have.