Vertical Storytelling is here. Google has predicted that in 2019, on average, users will spend more time online than in front of the television. Much of this time will be spent viewing online videos via mobile devices in a vertical format.

This means websites will need to start prioritising AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) to retain traffic and business will start to prioritise online advertising over broadcast. Horizontal storytelling could feel stale and old. It is no longer just a quirk of smartphones, it’s a legitimate format that your audience loves to engage with.

Instagram’s 250 million daily Stories and Snapchat’s 166 million (as of August 2017) have enabled brands to have huge success engaging with vertical storytelling. In June 2018 Instagram launched IGTV and brands are getting on board. (Search for M&S and see how they have re-purposed video content for the vertical storytelling format)

As of February 2017:

Facebook,           -Vertical videos publish with no black borders

Instagram            -Vertical videos publish with no black borders

Snapchat             -Vertical videos publish with no black borders

Twitter                 -Vertical videos publish with no black borders

YouTube              -The Android version of the app hides black borders when device is held vertically and video is viewed in full screen

Creating content for a vertical story is a very different concept from the conventional multimedia stories. It’s not just about videos – it’s about storytelling on mobile devices – it’s about the interactivity of text, pictures, sound and video to grab the consumer by the eyeballs and to make them pay attention. It is worth knowing that Google have developed a story component and could help content creators bring vertical stories to their platforms and possibly increase traffic from Google Search. Google has already adjusted its advertising and measurement tools for vertical marketing. 

So we are asking, Is it time to turn your laptop or desktop screen on its side? Is the future vertical?