Video Editing

What is aspect ratio? How to use video aspect ratios on social media? 

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Understanding aspect ratio is an important part of video making and marketing. If viewers are watching your branded video on different social media platforms, do they all need to be in the same ratio? This blog will explain what aspect ratio really is, how to use it correctly on social media and how to change your video’s aspect ratio for different social media platforms using our online video editor

  • What is aspect ratio?

  • What is the most common aspect ratio?

  • How important is aspect ratio in storytelling?

  • What is aspect ratio in photography?

  • What is aspect ratio in film and movies?

  • What is aspect ratio for social media videos?

  • How to change the aspect ratio of a video after filming? 

What is aspect ratio?

Aspect ratio is the ratio of the width and height of an image or screen. There are six common aspect ratios creators and video marketers tend to use. These popular aspect ratios are: 

1. 16:9 aspect ratio

16 9 Dimensions: 1920 x 1080

When it comes to YouTube aspect ratio, 16 9 aspect ratio is the go-to format. If video marketers or creators are looking for a widescreen format to be used on Vimeo, YouTube or Facebook banners, 16:9 aspect ratio is perfect. 

2. 9:16 aspect ratio 

9 16 dimensions: 1080 x 1920

If you’re creating an IGTV, TikTok, social media story or a portrait video, 9:16 aspect ratio will be your go to for vertical video. TikTok aspect ratio and IGTV aspect ratio should always be published in 9:16 aspect ratio as these media files are usually played on portrait mobile devices. 

3. 1:1 aspect ratio

1 1 dimensions: 1080 x 1080

Instagram video edits should always be published in 1:1 aspect ratio if they will be a regular feed post. Unlike IGTV aspect ratio, Instagram aspect ratio is a square, specifically designed for feed posts and Carousel ads. 

4. 4:3 aspect ratio

4 3 dimensions: 1024 x 768

4:3 aspect ratio is specifically designed for SDTV and video computer display. 4:3 aspect ratio was one of the first-ever video formats to be used, as TVs were originally square. Apple’s iPad series uses a 4:3 aspect ratio despite all other products using a widescreen 16:9 aspect ratio. 

5. 3:2 aspect ratio

3 2 dimensions: 1080 x 720

3:2 is a film aspect ratio. The 3:2 aspect ratio is most commonly used within the photography and film industry for DSLR, mirrorless and point-and-shoot cameras. 

6. 21:9 aspect ratio

21 9 dimensions: 2560 x 1080

21:9 is a film aspect ratio. 21:9 aspect ratio was designed to show films recorded in CinemaScope and modern anamorphic formats. If you want to create a video to play through your computer monitor, 21:9 aspect ratio is the ratio you’re looking for.

What is the most common aspect ratio?

The most common aspect ratios used for video content are 16:9 widescreen ratio and 9:16 portrait aspect ratio. Still camera photography is mostly shot in 4:3 or 3:2 aspect ratio. 

How important is aspect ratio in storytelling?

Aspect ratio is an extremely important factor when it comes to storytelling as it plays a big part in the deliverables and the platform your video will be shown on. Will your video be shown on a website, YouTube, cinema screen? If creators do not select the correct aspect ratio for the sharing platform, the viewer’s experience will be drastically affected. However, some filmmakers deliberately choose to include many different aspect ratios within their video to show the audience different time frames the video is portraying. For example in The Grand Budapest Hotel, Wes Anderson used all sorts of aspect ratios depending on the time period of the film.

What is aspect ratio in photography?

No different from video, aspect ratio describes the proportional relationship between your image’s width and height. Usually, the aspect ratio of an image is determined by the camera’s sensor. Most DSLR camera sensors have a 3:2 aspect ratio which has become the industry standard. 

What is aspect ratio in film and movies?

Widescreen 16:9 aspect ratio only debuted on television in the 2000s with all video being filmed and displayed in 4:3 aspect ratio prior. Many programs converted their 4:3 shows and movies into 16:9 to keep up with the new trend. Streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon and HBO all support video content in 16:9 aspect ratio. 

What is aspect ratio for social media videos?

What should be the aspect ratio of a YouTube video? 

When uploading video content to YouTube, the YouTube aspect ratio to follow is 16:9.

What should be the aspect ratio of a Facebook video?

Facebook recommends uploading video content using either square 1:1 or vertical 4:5, 2:3 or 9:16 aspect ratio for vertical video. 

What should be the aspect ratio of an Instagram video?

For Instagram feed uploads, the Instagram aspect ratio should be square 1:1. For all other uploads like stories and IGTV’s, the IGTV aspect ratio should be 9:16 for vertical video. 

What should be the aspect ratio of a Pinterest video?

Pinterest aspect ratio is 9:16 or 2:3 for all vertical video uploads. Story Pins should be made in 9:16 aspect ratio.

What should be the aspect ratio of a Twitter video?

The Twitter aspect ratio size for all video content should be square 1:1 ratio. 

What should be the aspect ratio of a TikTok video?

The TikTok aspect ratio is vertical video 9:16. TikTok aspect ratio should never change as the videos are always made in vertical format. 

How to change the aspect ratio of a video after filming?

If you’ve created an awesome video but it’s not in the correct aspect ratio for a particular platform, don’t stress! We’ve got the answer. Clipchamp’s aspect ratio changer! Change your Tikok video into YouTube aspect ratio in no time. All you need to do is upload your existing video to our editor, change the aspect ratio then save it. It’s that simple. 

How to change the video format from 9:16 to 16:9?

Many of us record videos on our smartphones without even thinking twice about if we should use landscape (16:9) or portrait (9:16). That’s why our aspect ratio changer is one of the most used tools! Below is a quick step by step on how to turn vertical video into widescreen format. 

Step 1. Log into Clipchamp or Sign up for free

Sign up today for free, or log into your existing Clipchamp account. 

Sign in-What is aspect ratio? How to use video aspect ratios on social media?-Clipchamp blog

Step 2. Create a new project  

Once logged in, select the Create a Video button at the top left corner of your screen. You can choose from any of the five ratio options. If you would like to change your 9:16 vertical video into a 16:9 YouTube aspect ratio, click on the widescreen format 16 9 aspect ratio. The editor will automatically open once you have selected your ratio. 

Create new project-What is aspect ratio? How to use video aspect ratios on social media?-Clipchamp blog

Step 3. Add your vertical video footage

To upload your vertical video, click on the + Browse Files purple button on the editor. Select the video you would like to convert into 16:9 widescreen ratio to return back to the editor. You can also drag and drop your video file into the library. Once your vertical video is uploaded into your library, drag and drop the video onto your timeline to start editing. 

Vertical footage-What is aspect ratio? How to use video aspect ratios on social media?-Clipchamp blog

Step 4. Change vertical video into widescreen format

Click on Transform then under resize click Crop to fill. This will enlarge your vertical video to fit the widescreen format. You can also click on the video preview to change the ratio. Two options will appear, click on the second option Crop to fill. You can freely move the video around the preview screen when the video is highlighted green, to adjust the centre. 

Change format-What is aspect ratio? How to use video aspect ratios on social media?-Clipchamp blog

Step 5. Export video 

Once finished, click on the purple Export button at the top right corner of the editor. Save video in 1080p for best widescreen quality.

Export video-What is aspect ratio? How to use video aspect ratios on social media?-Clipchamp blog

What is a good tool to crop videos from 16:9 to 1:1?

Are you wondering how to reduce the aspect ratio of video? It’s easy. Simply upload your 16:9 video then change the aspect ratio to 1:1 in Clipchamp. Follow the above tutorial for more in depth instructions. 

Now aspect ratios aren’t so scary! 

As you know social media platforms accept all different ratios for videos. Hopefully, you now have an understanding of the most common aspect ratios used for video and photography, as well as an idea on how to change the aspect ratio on your very own video using our online video editor

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Written by Christie Passaris on March 11, 2021
About the Author

Christie Passaris is a freelance writer by day, and fashion designer by night. While she enjoys creating iconic looks and teaching others about Clipchamp's latest features, her true love is for her dog, Billy the Beagle.

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