Sitting up straight: mobile internet use and video orientation

Believe it or not, today's kids just can't be bothered turning their phones 90 degrees to watch a video.

A 3 minute read from Nick

20 Jul 2015

The rise of mobile internet use

If you’ve got the time and inclination to wade through a few hundred slides, you could read worse things than Mary Meeker’s recent Internet Trends 2015 presentation. Meeker, who runs Digital Investments for a Silicon Valley venture capital firm, releases a report every year looking at the entire internet landscape.

There are some interesting – if not unexpected – stats to start with, like how Facebook and Twitter are still growing, but at a slower pace. Revenue per user is growing more slowly for both platforms, although it’s still around the 45% mark for Twitter. In a world where 45% growth is considered sub-standard, it just goes to show how quickly the business of the internet is growing.

As for mobile internet usage, Americans are spending almost three hours per day using mobile web, which is far more than they’re spending on laptops, and up from just 20 minutes in 2008. Mobile internet use is growing faster than internet use in general: while there are 2.8 billion internet users, up 8% from 2014, the number of mobile internet users has risen by a whopping 23% to 2.1 billion. Of the 4bn video views on Facebook every day, 75% come from a mobile device.

The impact on video content

When 2.25 billion people around the world are watching videos on Facebook every day, it's worth looking at how this is affecting content. Believe it or not, the effort involved in turning a phone horizontally is just too much for today’s kids. Snapchat says that ads shot vertically are watched through to the end nine times more often than ads shot in traditional horizontal orientation. Snapchat has two billion video views a day, and they’re putting substantial time and effort into persuading media companies and marketing agencies to embrace vertical video.

What you can do about it

Advertisers, it seems, have been slow to catch on to the trend. Mobile commands 24 percent of time spent with media but accounts for only eight percent of ad spending. If you’re planning an ad campaign across a range of media, you should give serious consideration to creating at least some of your video content in vertical orientation. Instagram and Facebook will happily display your vertical videos, while Snapchat positively insists on it. If you want to tap into the combined billions of daily video views across social media platforms, don’t put your efforts to waste by creating video content that won’t be displayed in the most effective way.

We've created loads of video content for a variety of platforms over the years. If you think our expertise could give your campaign a helping hand, feel free to drop us a line.


Nick - Managing Director

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