The Guide to Vertical Video on Social Media

Stories' Format 5 min read
Tappable Vertical video ebook
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This is just a teaser for our guide to using vertical video on social media, This ebook will show you everything you need to know about engaging your audiences on Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat, and Twitter. And we'll give you some tips and tricks to avoid any silly mistakes when you start posting your vertical content. 😉


  • Vertical videos see a 90% higher completion rate, and 4x more engagement
  • Instagram vertical video lives on Stories, but moonlights on IGTV. Learn how to prepare a great vertical video, and use all the features IG provides.
  • TikTok is a great way to reach the Asian markets, but your videos have got to be entertaining.
  • Snapchat created vertical, and it shows no signs of stopping.
  • Yep, you can tweet in vertical, too!

It’s a vertical world, and we’re all just living in it.

Think about it: when you want to film something interesting, how do you hold your phone?

Kendal Jenner

Do you hold it like t h i s, or like



Vertical video isn’t just another marketing fad.

It’s a byproduct of the technology that shapes us as much as we shape it.

And to help you paint a picture for your users and customers, we’ve prepared this guide to vertical video on social media (and other platforms). The guide is split in two parts (you can read the second part here), and it’ll cover everything you need to know.

Let’s tap in!

Wait, Why Vertical?

It’s simple: mobile phones are vertical (we use them vertically in 94% of cases). And when the folks at Instagram wanted to add a new money-making gimmick, they chose Snapchat-like Stories.

In just a few years, vertical Stories grew to 1.5 billion users.

But don’t let that convince you.

Instead, consider the fact that vertical videos see a 90% higher completion rate than horizontal, and when vertical content was used, advertisers noted a 130% increase in views and 4x more engagement.

That’s 130% more potential customers who are interested in your content.

It’s 4 times higher chances of reducing your ad spend while increasing your sales.

And it’s all thanks to vertical video.

1. How to Use Vertical Video on Instagram

Snapchat pioneered the vertical format with Gen Z’ers, but Instagram sure popularized it across demographics.

These days, vertical video and Stories are like catnip; advertisers see a 75% completion rate when they promote their products through Stories.

How to Shoot an Instagram Vertical Video

You don’t have to be Tarantino to get your message across on Instagram in a 15-second vertical video.

Then, you need a good call to action:

  • On Instagram Stories, embed the link. If you’re posting an organic vertical video, direct the viewers to follow the link in your bio (unless you qualify for direct Story links).
  • On IGTV, you can post links in the description. Invite your viewers to: “Click the link in the description!”

IGTV Vertical Video Tricks

  • Post a video preview in your feed to entice viewers
  • Create a 15-second intro of your IGTV video, and then share it through the Stories with the swipe up feature. Convert it easily with Tappable’s video converter.

Closed Captions (Open a Whole New World)

Over 80% of people watch their videos muted. So when you’re posting your vertical video, make sure you have closed captions.

Extra tip: Embed your captions in your IG or IGTV video.

The Art of IG(TV) Thumbnails

Your thumbnails are half the success when it comes to vertical video, and here’s how to make them stand out:

  • Show your pretty face. Don’t be shy. Expressive headshots generate curiosity.
  • Add text to your thumbnail. Use your title, or tease your viewers about the video.
  • Consistency. Follow a consistent style that your viewers will immediately recognize.
  • Contrast. Make sure your text contrasts with your background. It’s gotta be as easy on the eyes as your video.
  • Format: IGTV thumbnail format is 1080x1920.

2. How to Use Vertical Video on TikTok

You wanna hear a secret?

We’re obsessed with TikTok.

It’s not just the native vertical video format. It’s the fact that Tik Tok is one of the newest social networks, and it’s already becoming a marketing goldmine.

TikTok boasts impressive statistics: it had 668 million downloads in 2018 alone, and it’s an amazing way to finally breach the Asian markets (China included).

Tik-Tok, It’s Vertical O’Clock

  • Make your intro wicked good. TikTok users want to be entertained, so make your first 5-10 seconds count.
  • Prepare an entertaining script. Coffee rush? Leverage it to film TikTok videos; you need all the enthusiasm you can get.
  • Embed closed captions in your TikTok videos. People watch videos on mute on TikTok, too. It’s come a long way from a lip-syncing platform.
  • CTA: Invite your viewers to subscribe to your channel, or follow the link in your bio.
  • Not willing to invest in separate content production for TikTok just yet? Repurpose your vertical videos to fit the TikTok standards with Tappable’s video converter.

3. How to Use Vertical Video on Snapchat

Snapchat is the OG vertical video platform, and it still has a big Gen Z and Millennial user base (over 190 million).

Snapping Videos and Taking Names

  • Snapchat has a predominant Gen Z user base: make your intros as fun as you’d make them for TikTok.
  • Embed your captions in your video. Your customers don’t want everyone seeing the snaps they watch.
  • Consider using advanced advertising features like AR (augmented reality) to make your vertical video even more engaging.
  • Repurpose your Snapchat videos with Tappable’s video converter.

4. How to Use Vertical Video on Twitter

Our favorite bird app is growing so fast!

And yes, you can absolutely use vertical video on Twitter – videos get 6x more retweets than photos, and 40% of users have purchased products after seeing them on Twitter.

Chirping Vertically

  • Twitter is a smart newspaper; provide value to your viewers.
  • CTA: Invite your viewers to follow you or click the links in the tweet.
  • Embed your captions in videos natively.
  • Use the right hashtags to reach as many potential customers as possible.

Make sure you stay tuned for the part 2 of our guide to vertical video for social media, and subscribe to our newsletter for more insights.

Happy filming!

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