YouTube Flips its Perspective with Vertical Ads

YouTube Flips its Perspective with Vertical Ads

If you dislike turning your phone sideways to watch videos, you’re in good company – YouTube’s advertisers clearly feel the same way.

The platform has decided to roll out vertical formats for ads, a move that should make its advertising clients very happy. So far, the tall and skinny ads have delivered a 33% jump in brand awareness for Hyundai, one of the first to use the format.

The move reflects a growing appetite for the portrait format stemming. from mobile use, both in consuming and creating video content. Google reported that 70% of YouTube users now access the platform on a mobile device.

Although YouTube had a bit of a disadvantage in going vertical – Facebook and Instagram, with their 1x1 formats, have had a much easier ride – the video giant has been steadily working towards a more device-agnostic approach. The platform re-jigged its app to allow full-screen vertical videos in 2017, and launched vertical videos on web in July 2018.

This may be the first time we’ve seen user-generated content influencing how big brands and media companies do video (barring the Blair Witch Project, that is). Along with the ubiquity of influencers and the emergence of smartphone cinematography, it’s just one more way the lines between audiences and content producers are getting blurrier.