tl;dr

If you want to share videos online and avoid the pain of long uploads but also want to make sure that your followers see a high quality version of your recording, the best way to go about this is to convert the input video to MP4 (with H.264 or VP8 as the video codec and AAC or Ogg/Vorbis for audio). Clipchamp helps you achieve this through either its “Optimized for Mobile” or “Optimized for Web” 720p or 1080p output options and the “high quality” setting.

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The longer read

Video, if employed as part of a more comprehensive digital strategy, is an effective tool for lead generation, customer engagement, brand creation and SEO. As a consequence, sharing videos on social media is core to the digital marketing strategy of many businesses, for instance in the real estate industry.

Frustratingly, uploading video files to social media sites can be a cumbersome experience. After you already spent considerable time recording and editing the clip you want to put up on YouTube, Vimeo or another video sharing service of your choice, uploading the file should be a quick last step.

Instead, it often takes a very long time due to large file sizes and a number of other factors that can affect video uploads as mentioned in a previous post.

YouTube-upload-progress

Luckily, there is an easy fix to this problem – convert videos to MP4 and reduce their size in the process before you upload them to social media sites. This will save you hours in the vast majority of cases.

It’s important to point out that reducing file size can negatively impact image quality for some videos if they’ve already been encoded using a modern video codec such as H.264 and you’re trying to squeeze the size some more.

However in most cases there is still enough leeway to convert and compress the video without yielding a noticeable difference between the original and the converted version.

If in doubt, it’s always worth trying the conversion (for instance with our free web app clipchamp) and to compare the output video with the original to help you decide, see below for an example I recorded at the end of last year.

Original video (shot with a Canon 7D)

 

Video converted to MP4

I’m guessing that you won’t see any quality difference between these 2 samples. However if you do notice one with one of your own videos – if it’s minor it will certainly be offset by the much smaller file size of the converted file and by therefore avoiding the pain of endless upload times.

Another approach that some of our users choose is to reduce the resolution of their video from 1080p to 720p while converting at a very high quality setting. This will bring down the total file size due to the lower resolution, though image quality will remain high and sharing the video in HD instead of Full HD is “good enough” for many scenarios.

This is especially true if the video you want to share on social media comes straight off your camera or smartphone where it usually gets recorded in the highest possible resolution, fps, bit rate and quality setting using a codec that is not optimised for smallest file size and highest image quality.

It also happens if you use high quality recording equipment and professional editing tools where the exported file can often be optimised some more for quicker online sharing without noticeable loss of quality.

While you may want to keep the original file on your hard drive for future use, it is a good idea to create a compressed HD MP4 version for easy social sharing.

The way this works in more detail is that H.264 encodes video files much more efficiently than most other commonly used codecs. It comes with a range of quality profiles that video converter apps such as clipchamp use behind the scenes to influence the trade-off between file size and image quality.

mp4-social-media

This post was updated on 28/11/2016.