Best Video Format for YouTube, Facebook, Twitter & Instagram

MP4, MOV, AVI, and lots of other video formats, but which one is correct for your favorite social media or video sharing site. Today we are sharing the Best Video Format for YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram so that you never face problem while uploading your videos.

Between YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram hundreds of millions of hours of video are being served continuously out on a daily basis. In recent years videos have gone from strength to strength on social media, and the number of videos uploaded each day just keeps on increasing.

Considering the number of videos uploaded to these platforms, you’d be surprised how many are in the wrong format. Some may get the format right but fail to meet one of the other specifications for the platform.

Admittedly finding out the latest recommended video format and settings for some platforms is tricky, but it is still worthwhile if you want to upload videos.

Importance of Following the Video Format and Specifications

While YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram each have their own set of ‘guidelines,’ ‘recommended settings’ or ‘specifications’ – they all approach it in a slightly different way.

Some of the platforms are strict in enforcing their format and specification guidelines, and will outright reject any video that does not match it. Others are more flexible and won’t reject videos, but will internally convert any video to match its guidelines.

In short, if you don’t follow the recommendations of these platforms your video may be converted and compressed – which could affect its quality, or it could be rejected. As far as which fate is better, ask yourself: Would you rather the video not be uploaded, or it is uploaded, but its quality looks poor?

To put it simply neither of those options are ideal – which is why it is important that you follow the video format and specifications of these platforms if you want to avoid any difficulty uploading your video, and ensure that its quality is excellent.

Best Video Format for YouTube, Facebook, Twitter & Instagram

Recommended Video Format and Specifications

YouTube

  • Container: MP4
  • Video codec: H.264, progressive scan, square pixels, fixed frame rate
  • Audio codec: AAC-LC (Low Complexity)
  • Frame Rate: Recommended to match recording frame rate and deinterlaced
  • Resolution: Recommended standard resolutions in 16:9, 1:1, or 9:16 aspect ratios
  • Maximum duration or video file size: 12 hours or 128 GB (whichever is less) for verified accounts

Generally, YouTube accepts any video that is uploaded, though it does have issues with some areas – i.e., there should be no edit lists, and videos cannot be interlaced.

In the past videos using resolutions other than 16:9 would automatically have black bars added to them for desktop viewing, but recently YouTube changed that policy and now uses a dynamic video player instead. Still, as a rule, it is best to use standard resolutions, to avoid the video being upscaled or downscaled when it is displayed.

Facebook

  • Container: Most formats are supported, but MOV or MP4 preferred
  • Video codec: H.264, progressive scan, square pixels, fixed frame rate
  • Audio codec: AAC
  • Frame Rate: 30 fps or less
  • Resolution: Highest-resolution possible with an aspect ratio between 9:16 to 16:9
  • Maximum duration or video file size: 240 minutes or 4 GB (whichever is less)

Facebook has a liberal approach to accepting video uploads, but anything that does not match its recommendations will be internally converted. Furthermore, it is difficult to optimize the resolution and aspect ratio due to the fact that Facebook delivers videos in a variety of forms across desktop and mobile.

Recently many users are favoring square (1:1) videos for Facebook’s feed as it occupies more display real estate on both desktop and mobile. Furthermore, it is recommended that the video be 1280px wide.

Instagram

  • Container: Most of the formats are supported, but MP4 preferred
  • Video codec: H.264, progressive scan, square pixels, fixed frame rate
  • Audio codec: AAC
  • Frame Rate: 30 fps or less
  • Resolution: Highest resolution possible with the landscape (1.91:1), square (1:1) or vertical (4:5) aspect ratios and minimum video width of 500px
  • Maximum duration or video file size: 60 seconds or 4 GB (whichever is less)

Unsurprisingly Instagram’s guidelines are similar to Facebook’s, albeit with more restrictions on its maximum duration. Although the platform supports a wide range of aspect ratios, it is best to optimize it based on the video type – with square videos (1:1) occupying more display real estate than landscape videos.

Twitter

  • Container: MP4 for the web, MOV for mobile
  • Video codec: H.264, progressive scan, square pixels, fixed frame rate
  • Audio codec: AAC-LC (Low Complexity), mono or stereo
  • Frame Rate: 40 fps or less
  • Resolution: Below 1920 x 1200 (or 1200 x 1920) with aspect ratio in the 1:2.39 to 2.39:1 range
  • Maximum duration or video file size: 140 seconds or 512 MB (whichever is less) and the maximum bitrate of 25 Mbps

Compared to other platforms, Twitter is much stricter when it comes to enforcing its requirements and videos that don’t follow its guidelines will be flat out rejected. In particular, the frame rate must be 40 fps or less, and videos that are longer than 140 seconds will receive a prompt to edit them.

How to Convert Video Formats and Settings

Now that you’re aware of the recommended format and specifications for YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and understand their importance – you may want to convert your video to ensure that it meets them.

If you would like to try a video converter that will make it easy to convert your videos into the right format – you can try Movavi Video Converter. After you download and install it, all you need to do are follow these steps to convert your videos:

  1. Click on the ‘Add Media’ button in the upper-left corner, select ‘Add Video,’ then browse and select the video file that you want to convert.
  2. Click on the ‘Video’ tab near the bottom part of the interface.
  3. Select the ‘MP4’ category and choose the preset with the resolution that you want, or select the ‘Online Video’ category and choose a preset for the platform you’re using.
  4. Click on the ‘folder’ icon in the bottom row and select the destination folder to store the video once it has been converted.
  5. Click ‘Convert’ to start converting the video.

Movavi Video Converter

For more detailed instructions you can refer to www.movavi.com/support/how-to/how-to-convert-mov-to-mp4.html.

Along the way, there are a few other options within Movavi Video Converter that you may want to consider using. It also lets you resize your video using a variety of methods so you can alter its aspect ratio without causing the video to look stretched or compressed.

Additionally, you could opt to automatically share your video after it has been converted by clicking on the ‘Share’ button and using the Movavi Share Online App.

To be completely honest there are other features in Movavi Video Converter that you may want to use to add captions, enhance the video quality, and prepare it in other ways. In any case, you should be able to reliably convert your videos to comply with the specifications of any of the social media platforms listed above.

Final Words

One should note that while the format and specifications listed above are currently best and are recommended by Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter respectively – they are subject to change. For example, in the not so distant future, the AV1 video format is slated to be supported by most of these platforms.

In light of the fact that social media platforms are constantly changing, it is important to stay abreast of the latest developments – especially if you’re uploading and publishing videos on a regular basis. That way you can ensure that your videos are constantly displayed in the quality that you intend for them to be.

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