Remember when we talked about photos in terms of how they would be printed? 5×7, 8×10, 4×6? As technology changed and we stopped printing photos for preservation, the size and proportion began to matter less and less. And then Instagram came to town. A similar visual change is happening right now in the world of video. Just a few years ago, the idea of holding your iPhone and shooting versical video was a cardinal sin.
But, not today. With Snapchat, it has become acceptable to create content while holding your phone with the same grip you use to consume.
It’s a small change with a huge impact.
Content that was once meant for widescreen consumption is being forced into a vertical frame to mixed results. Media outlets such as CNN, Vice and others end up failing to use all the available screen space. The interesting part now is to watch traditional publishers try to force fit their existing content into a new frame.
Regular consumers are ahead of the curve, already shooting vertical video and sharing it with friends.
Snapchat itself is now producing original content series tailored specifically to their new form factors. Their original series, SO YEAH DUH, is so perfectly designed for their platform it literally won’t work anywhere else.
Periscope, the new live streaming app from Twitter, is similarly vertically focused. Go ahead and turn your phone sideways while streaming and see how lame you feel.
The tools, techniques and skills needed for producing truly platform native content are rapidly changing. There is no iMovie template, no existing best practices. Brands that actively experiment today will be ahead of the game when vertical storytelling becomes a norm, not the exception.