How to Make a Square Video in 4 Easy Steps

How to make a square video

What are you, square?

Well, in this day and age, yes!

Gone are the instances where you encounter a stunning video online but it’s strictly showcased in the traditional widescreen, 16:9 format. Is there anything wrong with that particular ratio? No, nothing at all actually, but it makes viewing things on the fly a bit more involved than they need to be.

Gone are the instances where you encounter a stunning video online but it’s strictly showcased in the traditional widescreen, 16:9 format.

In a fast-paced era where everyone wants to ingest content at breakneck speeds, having to potentially unlock your screen and turn your phone to the side to properly watch a video might be too much to ask for.

In fact, it IS too much to ask for.

When autoplay rules the social landscape, requiring a few extra finger swipes from your audience can really break the experience. If you’re trying to convert or get the word out, your video must be front and center to make an impact.

When autoplay rules the social landscape, requiring a few extra finger swipes from your audience can really break the experience.   

In order to be influential, ride the popularity wave and format your social media video posts into the now beloved square format. Your audience will certainly thank you for it, as well as your general view count and traffic. 

What Makes Square Videos So Great?

While desktop and laptop computers are still very popular, smartphones are where it’s at when it comes to logging into your favorite social media accounts.

Besides, social media is all about sharing in the moment and people around the world are more likely to share and access content, particularly video content, on their phones than they are on their computers.

Social media is all about sharing in the moment.

Smartphone screens, although growing larger with each new model release, are much smaller than their lap and computer desk counterparts. Due to this, a landscape video, with its 16:9 format, isn’t going to display very well on your skinny phone screen.

A square video nestles right into your phone’s display and keeps everything nice and orderly for your viewing pleasure.

So, what is there to be done?

Here comes the square video.

Reason 1: Square Video is Better for Your Phone Display

When you shrink the display ratio to 1:1, everything changes. For one, you no longer have to turn your phone horizontally to view a video in all its glory. For some, that’s already a huge win. A square video nestles right into your phone’s display and keeps everything nice and orderly for your viewing pleasure.

When you shrink the display ratio to 1:1, everything changes.

Reason 2: Square Videos Are Preferred on Social Media

Most major players in the social media game, like Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram, actively format their video advertisements in square formats. Why you ask?

Well, the team at Buffer took a deep dive into the matter and discovered square videos occupy roughly 78% more screen space than their landscape brethren on mobile.

Source: Buffer

After all, If you’re looking to catch someone’s eye, it’s best if you present yourself as stunningly as possible. Square videos not only draw in a lot more viewers, but they require nothing from your audience aside from their attention. Since Facebook sees more than 90% of its audience utilizing the mobile app, attention is something you’ll certainly get.

Make a square video with Wave.video

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How to Make a Square Video with Wave.video

Square videos are ideal for Facebook video ads and other social ads. Here’s how to make a square video in Wave.video, an online video maker.

Step One: Select Your Square Formats

To start, you’re going to want to select the square formats you’re interested in. Are you making the video only for Instagram, or are you trying to share on Snapchat and Facebook too? Choose the ones that you need and you’re good to go for the next step.

A photograph of some square video formats available in Wave.video.

Step Two: Choose Exciting Videos or Images

When operating with a square format, you need to understand that while your video will take up more screen real estate within feeds, you’re limited to what is actually displayed within that square. In order to draw viewers in, you’ll want to be sure to utilize every bit of available space you can for maximum impact.

Make sure the video you choose is fitted for the square frame.

In order to achieve this, aim to include striking images or videos that draw the eye. If what you put in the frame is bland or not very exciting, there’s nothing to entice users to keep watching. If the video is good looking, though, it’ll outperform a dull one by leaps and bounds.

With this in mind, choose your content smartly. Once you’ve gathered your chosen materials for the video, it’s time to frame them. This part of the process is highly important because you’ll be determining what aspects of your images and videos the audience will be able to see.

A gif showing photo readjustment for a square framed video.

Once you have an image or video uploaded, simply click on it and hold. From there, you can move the mouse around to position your photo or video within the frame. Instead of having to tediously crop everything, Wave makes it as easy as a drag around.

Step 3. Add Your Text, But Not Too Much

As is the case with most videos, it’s important to keep things concise, especially when it comes to text. You never want too many words occupying the screen at any one time, as that can detract from the otherwise beautiful material in the background.

Sit down and focus on what you’re trying to get across to your audience. Once you’ve narrowed down the general message you’re trying to get across, see if you can condense it further and still have it make sense.

Keep your messages for each different frame limited to one short and sweet sentence or question. When it comes to square videos, brevity is key. By controlling the amount of text that appears on screen, your video can communicate with your audience through text and visuals in equal measure.

A photograph of text added to the square video frame.

If you feel as though your text is lacking a bit of pizazz, change up the font or background color. Font animations and effects can help deliver your message in a way that amplifies the meaning. There are plenty of options to keep things dynamic from frame to frame, so don’t be afraid to experiment!

A photograph showing the text effects available in Wave.video.

Step 4: Pepper In Transitions and Music

Since you’ll be dealing with limited screen space for your square video, keep the audience engaged with other effects as well. A nice touch is having varied, appropriate transitions throughout.

You don’t want to jar your audience with wild transitions if the tone doesn’t call for it, however, so remember mood matters. At the same time, though, you don’t want every transition to be the exact same. There are eight options available, so test them out and see which ones fit the tone of your video best.

Music is another great way to keep your audience tuned in through to the end of your square marketing video. You also have the option of including voiceovers as well.

A photograph of the voiceover button in Wave.video.

If you don’t have a pre-recorded voiceover to upload, you can record your voice right in the interface and edit it accordingly like a music file. Simply click the microphone button to the right of the large play button and you can begin recording.

Once you’ve tinkered and crafted your square video into a masterful mix of quality content and effects, you can download, share, and see how beautiful your 1:1 video looks across your social feeds.

If you’re not looking to start a video from scratch per se and already have a pre-existing video formatted as a landscape 16:9, it’s easy to get that formatted into a square video with Wave.video’s help.

Turning a Landscape Video into a Square Video with Wave.video

To get a video you already love formatted into a square video, all it takes is a little tinkering. To start, upload your video file and choose your square formats accordingly.

If you’ve already made a landscape video with Wave and are looking to transform it into a square video, just click into the existing project and select the square formats you’d like.

When it comes time to edit, you’ll realize just how different the two aspect ratios really are. The unique thing about turning a landscape video into a square video is that you can focus on specific aspects of the video that otherwise may have blended in or been missed in its previous iteration.

When it comes time to edit, you’ll realize just how different the two aspect ratios really are.

For example, a specific person in the background can now become the main focus of your video if you see fit to do so. Square video can also be useful for getting rid of a lot of empty screen space too.

A gif showing the frame differences between a landscape video and a square video.

Remember, both the amount of text you have on screen and the size of the font factor into the equation here. Since you’re losing out on some essential space by converting your landscape video into a square video, you may have to return to the drawing board for a quick review of your branding message to ensure it won’t take up too much space within the frame.

Go through each new frame of your video to make certain everything is settled into the square format nicely. If things look a little bit wonky, adjust accordingly. Just by changing the format of your video, you can transform a video you love into a whole new creation.

There’s no denying the fact it’s cool to be square, so give your followers engaging videos to latch their eyes onto by changing up your aspect ratio. Jumping on the bandwagon of squares may just be the push your video marketing strategy needs to rise up to the next level.  

How to Make a Square Video

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