Social media video guidelines: Facebook, Twitter & Instagram

Roughly a 2 minute read from Adam

22 Jul 2016

Social media video guidelines: Facebook, Twitter & Instagram

Having left behind the static days of the internet, the world around us is flooded with rich animated visuals and video content - especially when it comes to social media. Brands are taking over our timelines with videos of their latest products and promotional offers, but how many are getting it right?

Unfortunately, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter appear to be following their own set of guidelines and rules, some of which are limiting, whilst others are simply refusing uploaded content if it doesn’t meet its requirements.

With all this in mind it’s time to get to grips with video in social media thanks to our handy cheat sheet.

Facebook

  • Preferred Format: MOV or MP4 (with H.264 Codec & AAC audio)
  • Frame Rate: 30fps or below
  • Maximum Dimensions: 1280px Wide (with a ratio divisible by 16px)
  • Playback Length: Maximum of 45 minutes
  • Filesize Limit: 1.75GB

While these are mainly guidelines, Facebook will accept video that is uploaded at any specification. What it doesn’t tell you is that anything that doesn’t meet these guidelines will be converted into their preferred format on the fly, adding further compressing and blurryness to your video.

Twitter

  • Preferred Format: MP4 (with H.264 Codec & AAC Low Complexity audio)
  • Frame Rate: 40fps or below
  • Maximum Dimensions: 1280px x 1024px (Between 1:3 & 3:1 aspect ratio, with a 1:1 pixel ratio)
  • Playback Length: Maximum of 140 seconds
  • Filesize Limit: 15mb

Unlike Facebook, Twitter will flat out refuse any media that has an incorrect frame rate. Be sure to get it right first time round.

Instagram

  • Preferred Format: MP4 (with H.264 Codec & AAC audio, 3,500 kbps video bitrate)
  • Frame Rate: 30fps or below
  • Maximum Dimensions: 1080px Wide
  • Playback Length: Maximum of 60 seconds
  • Filesize Limit: 15mb

Summary

Although these guidelines do seem a little fussy, be grateful we’re not where we are ten years ago with the likes of Xvid, DivX, WMV, RealMedia, and countless other codecs fighting it out for the top.

Our recommendation going forward to hit all channels is to work within a square sized 1080px video using a 30fps frame rate. This will ensure anything you create can be used on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram without any issues.

Adam

Adam has spent nearly a decade in the field creating vibrant and memorable designs through a wide range of mediums. With a mastery in Photoshop and Illustrator, Adam applies his multidisciplinary workflow to sculpting interactive experiences and engaging social media imagery.

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