How to Create Vertical Video for Instagram

Posted by on Feb 19, 2018 in Uncategorized | No Comments

Vertical video has become increasingly popular on instagram and for good reason- it looks awesome! Unsurprisingly 94% mobile users hold their phones vertically (stats from via, so it only makes sense to optimize for the best viewing experience.

As a business, your content needs to be built in a way that caters best to how it is being consumed.

If your video plays in landscape it can be viewed okay, but remember that you’re missing out on filling a users’ screen with your content and keeping their full attention as effectively as possible.


  • Looks great
  • Fits phone screens better and will offer a better mobile viewing experience
  • Majority of


  • Additional editing work involved to make this function
  • Heavy cropping of your video

Chris’s Thoughts:

There’s no right or wrong answer for how you choose to display your video, however it does make sense to lead with your best foot forward. Vertical video done right looks awesome. The only major downside is that you will have heavy cropping on your image. Depending on your content this may or may not work, so bear it in mind when you’re shooting for social media.

Settings for the Best Vertical Video:

Many people are using traditional horizontal video, or square video. Let’s take it one step further and go full vertical for the optimal viewing experience for mobile.

I use Adobe Premiere CC:

  1. Edit your video like you normally would (horizontal) within Premiere Pro. Remember, Instagram only supports videos up to 1min.
  2. When ready, export a master of it. (Command + E)
  3. Your exact settings can vary here, but in general for masters I like:

Format: Quicktime

Basic Video Settings: Match Source

Video Codec: Apple ProRes 422

Check box: Render at Maximum Depth

Check box: Use Maximum Render Quality

Chris Note: This will output a high quality, large master of your video. Now, we will convert it to vertical.

  1. I’ve created a template for you that is perfectly optimized for mobile vertical video dimensions. Download it here, and import it into your project:
  2. Create a new timeline in Premiere CC.
  3. Drag my template onto your new blank timeline. The timeline will adopt the optimized vertical video settings.
  4. Import your finished master back into Premiere.
  5. Drag it onto the new timeline. It will have very heavy black letterbox on the top and bottom at this point.
  6. You can now delete the template now, it’s served its purpose.
  7. Select your video in the timeline, and under the ‘Effects Controls’ tab, change the Scale of the video so that it takes up the entire screen and eliminates the letter boxing.
  8. It’s very likely that some shots will need to be adjusted slightly to fit best in the vertical screen frame area. If you come across a shot that needs this, you will have to manually cut it, and then under the ‘Effects Control’ tab adjust the position to the best fit the new vertical dimensions. I’ll be honest, this is the tedious part, but it’s the only way to make sure the video content can be seen properly and as intended.
  9. When you’re happy with the positioning of all your clips, it’s time to export! (Command + E)

Format: H.264

Preset: Youtube 1080HD

Basic Video Settings: Match Source

Bitrate Settings: VBR – 2 Pass

Target Bitrate: Between 16-30 (larger number will increase file size)

Maximum Bitrate: Between 16-30

Check box: Render at Maximum Depth

Check box: Use Maximum Render Quality

  1. Now we need to get the file to your phone. If you have an Apple, simply airdrop it to phone and upload. If you’re on another device, upload it to Dropbox and use their mobile app to access it.
  2. Upload the video to Instagram.
  3. Success! You’ve just created a perfectly optimized vertical video!


Hope this helps guys. Yes, vertical video is a bit more work, but it does look awesome and is best suited for the Instagram platform. Have fun.


  • Chris

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