Facebook’s Vertical Videos Are About to Appear in Your Mobile News Feed

Snapchat-like function may be a hit with marketers

Headshot of Christopher Heine

Facebook no longer wants to look square to the kids, so it's going rectangular like Snapchat. And brands are already on board. 

The Menlo Park, Calif.-based company today revealed it will soon support vertical videos on its 6-year-old flagship mobile app after previously only offering box-shaped clips. Vertical videos, which snugly fit the rectangular view most people experience on smartphones, have been Snapchat's calling card for users and brands in recent years. 

"We know that people enjoy more immersive experiences on Facebook, so we're starting to display a larger portion of each vertical video in news feed on mobile," a spokesperson told MarketingLand, which broke the news late Friday morning. 

For about a year, marketers and users have been able to upload vertical videos, though such clips have appeared as squares until the user taps the post—then the videos go vertical. Ruby Tuesday, Mountain Dew, GE, Axe and Budweiser are among the brands testing the feature in its early stages. 

Here's an example from Ruby Tuesday earlier today (which looks awkward on desktop because it's designed for mobile):

Likely starting next month, though, the clips will automatically appear vertically in mobile news feeds. Expect brands to jump on board in a huge way at that juncture. 

Considering the success platforms like Snapchat have had with vertical video, particularly among millennial and Gen Z users, the new feature should be a hit. 

Digital platforms of various stripes have been busy copying Snapchat of late. To learn more about those developments, check out our report from the Aug. 22 issue of Adweek magazine here.

Meanwhile, it's been a busy week at Facebook. It's been disclosed that its messaging app WhatsApp will start sharing user data with its parent network, and the company is testing header bidding with a select group of publishers. 

UPDATE: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that VaynerMedia's clients were already testing Facebook's new mobile video feature.

@Chris_Heine Christopher Heine is a New York-based editor and writer.