Use square and vertical video to engage mobile customers

To better engage YouTube viewers on mobile devices, it's best to create a variety of different video creatives, including square and vertical videos, for your App, Video, and Performance Max campaigns.


Today's mobile video experience

The video player on the YouTube app automatically adjusts to the dimensions of your video. For example, if you want to show a vertical video, such as a 9:16 aspect ratio, your vertical video will appear larger than a horizontal video and will cover 75% of the screen with organic content beneath the video. If a user then selects the fullscreen button, the video will cover 100% of the screen when the device is held in portrait mode.


Benefits of square and vertical videos

  • Campaigns that include vertical videos have seen 10-20% more conversions.
  • More creative asset variety.
  • When viewers hold their phones in portrait mode, vertical videos provide advertisers with a larger canvas to deliver their product's message.

Best practice: Diversify your video creatives

If you want your video ads to appear optimally across different devices, it's recommended to use different video ratios for Video and App campaigns:

  • Horizontal 16:9
  • Vertical 9:16
  • Square 1:1
  • Both vertical 9:16 and square 1:1

Important: Aspect ratios between these settings are allowed. On the YouTube app, the video player will automatically adjust to ratios between 16:9 and 9:16.

Tip: Upload ads with different messages

For both App and Video campaigns, upload different versions of multiple videos across the recommended ratios. For example, you might upload multiple videos of each type (vertical, square, and horizontal), with each video having a different message. Run these assets in the same Video or App campaign.


Optimize your vertical video

The video player on the YouTube app will automatically adapt video dimensions to the player, whether your video is square, vertical, or horizontal.

Safe zones for vertical video ads on YouTube

Vertical video ads may show up on in-stream, in-feed, and YouTube Shorts across mobile, desktop, or TV screens.

Overlays, call-to-actions, and buttons may appear in different places depending on the format, campaign type, and screen.

Use this image as a reference to ensure important elements like your logo, product, supers, and others are within the red safe area to avoid risk of elements being covered within certain inventory.

An image showing the safe zone area for YouTube Vertical Video ads in mobile devices


How different videos appear on the YouTube app

Vertical video on initial video impression

The image below shows how a vertical video appears in various video player modes.

  • At left: How a vertical video appears if the viewer engages fullscreen mode.
  • At center: The portion of a 9:16 vertical video that is cropped for the initial ad impression.
  • At right: How the video ad appears upon ad impression.

Square video on initial video impression

The image below shows how a square video appears in different video player modes.

  • At left: How a square video appears when the viewer engages fullscreen mode.
  • At center: Cropping behavior (none).
  • At right: How the video ad appears upon ad impression.

Viewer engagement with the YouTube app

For both square and vertical videos, when the user interacts with the YouTube app, such as by scrolling through related content under the video, the video player can compress up to a 1:1 aspect ratio. This will crop the displayed video at the bottom and top and allow the user to interact with the content they chose below.


Vertical-friendly video ads

Optimize your App, Performance Max, and Video campaigns by having vertical videos in your creative assets as a best practice. The mobile-friendly, full-screen experience of vertical videos can help improve your campaign’s engagement with mobile video viewers.

For YouTube, vertical videos are supported in all video eligible campaigns with possible placements in-feed, in-stream, on YouTube Search, and YouTube Shorts. In some cases, just by adding a vertical video asset to a Video action campaign can deliver 10-20% more conversions compared to just having horizontal videos for YouTube Shorts.

Outside of YouTube, your ads also run on Google video partners to reach more people. A large share of Google video partners inventory is vertical-focused, like gaming and video apps, to further utilize your vertical and square video assets.

Note: Vertical videos may also be served in-feed to people using desktops as your best performing assets are served based on user behavior and environment.

To start creating vertical video assets, learn more about video creation in Google Ads.


Review your performance

When you have square and vertical videos, you should review your ad performance, bids, budgets and inventory to maximize performance. For square and vertical videos, the 2 metrics "Viewable Rate" and "Viewable Impressions" reflect the viewability of the video player, unlike most video traffic, where the metrics reflect the viewability of the creative. This distinction may meaningfully impact figures for these 2 metrics.

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