Horizontal, vertical, and now square video. What’s next, diagonal video?
It may sound surprising, but square video has actually become a lot more popular as of late (and for good reason). Because square video takes up more real estate on the viewer’s feed than landscape video does, channels like Facebook and Instagram are perfect playgrounds for square video. The more real estate on a user’s screen your content occupies, the better. And according to the folks at Buffer, over 90% of people use their phones to engage with social platforms like Facebook, so it’s crucial to optimize for mobile users!
So, how do you actually make a square video? Whether you’re on a computer or on your phone, you’ll need software to crop your video to a 1:1 square aspect ratio. And luckily, in this post, we’ll walk you through exactly how to do it.
If you’re shooting and posting square videos on your phone, there are a ton of apps out there that can help you crop your video into a square format.
The simplest, most straight-forward cropping app I’ve found so far is an app called, well … Video Crop! This app felt the most user-friendly — simply import your video, select the 1:1 square aspect ratio, and move the selection to your desired crop point. Then, click the export icon, let it render, and save it to your camera roll. Upload your video to Facebook or Instagram, and you’re good to go!
Another bonus? This app lets you try out a bunch of different aspect ratios in addition to the 1:1 ratio, making it super-simple to toggle between one another.
If you’re on a desktop, iMovie is the standard, free video editor that most folks use. However, it doesn’t support editing in different aspect ratios. So, what’s a video marketer to do?
Enter: Keynote. You may know and love it as a presentation tool, but haven’t ever dared to use it as a video editor. From all of my digging around on the Internet, it seems to be the only totally free workaround I’ve found for creating square videos on your desktop.
Here’s how you can get started on a desktop:
- Start editing your video in iMovie
- Then, export your video file and open Keynote
- Make a square presentation at 1080x1080
- Import your video file from iMovie into Keynote
- Adjust the crop of your video
- Save your Keynote presentation as a video file
- Then upload to the platform of your choice
Admittedly, this is a pretty hacky way to create a square video on your desktop. But, for those of you just starting out, this is the most inexpensive solution to getting that coveted square crop — and it’s completely free!
Already editing video with Premiere? Say no more! Here’s how you can start exporting videos in a square format.
Create a new sequence — I use the “Digital SLR > 1080p > 24fps” preset. Name it accordingly, and then head into the “Settings” tab to change the aspect ratio to 1080x1080. Now you have an empty square sequence. Grab your finished video and place it on the timeline.
Choose “Keep Sequence Settings” and adjust the crop by using the position sliders under the Motion tab. Export your square video by going to “File > Export > Media” or by simply hitting Command + M. Make sure your video format is set to H.264, and that the preset it set to Match Source. Then, export your video and start sharing it on your social networks!
This technique also works well when cropping vertical videos in Premiere, too. All you have to do is follow the same, simple steps!
So there you have it! Square videos demystified. Have you ever made square video for social media? What are some tips and tricks you’ve found? Leave' em in the comments!