Oh, you kids with your Instagrams and your YouTubes. Maybe I’m just old and set in my 20th century ways. Or maybe I’ve been to a movie theater in the past year or two. Or maybe I have two eyes that (mostly) work.

Regardless, I can’t stand vertical video. It’s like looking at life through a vertical slot. Like wearing blinders. It’s like really bad degenerative eye disease. It’s the video equivalent of using “your” instead of “you’re.”

Well, now it’s been blessed with its own channel on one of the largest social media platforms in the world, thus legitimizing it. Instagram recently announced its IGTV channel. Truly, these are end times.

instagram vertical video_igtv

Here’s why this bothers me. While we mainly focus on what’s in the middle, our vision has more side to side then it does top to bottom. Movies get this. That’s why they are always much wider than they are taller. It’s to mimic how we see and to help immerse you into the scene. Have you ever gone to a movie theater and watched a film on a tall, skinny screen? Show of hands. It’s OK, I’ll wait.

Our iPhones and other smartphones our great devices that we mostly use our phones in vertical mode. By extension, the new normal is to just open the camera, flip to video, and push the button.

Please don’t.

In many cases all this will get you his extra floor and ceiling. You are missing out on a lot of good stuff that naturally occurs on the sides that help give the scene context. Like crowds, or horizon, or things with velocity.

Despite my pleas, the Influencers apparently are shooting a lot of vertical video and in the process legitimizing it somewhat. SMH.

And now Instagram has given vertical video it’s own channel for you to view on your phone, vertically. Apparently because there were not enough of us who couldn’t be bothered to rotate our phone 90°.

Honestly, it does make sense to create and optimize the content to the medium in which it most likely going to be viewed, in this case almost entirely on Instagram and Facebook on a smartphone. Instagram did not create vertical video. Users are going to create and share it. Instgram is just giving it it’s own special place.

Here are the details on the update from Instagram:

Introducing IGTV, a new space for watching long-form, vertical video from your favorite Instagram creators.

  • It’s built for how you actually use your phone, so videos are full screen and vertical.
  • IGTV videos aren’t limited to one minute, which means you can see more of your favorite content.
  • Watch videos from creators you already follow and others you might like.
  • Discover new creators and follow them right from IGTV to see more.


IGTV lives in a new icon towards the upper right side of your Instagram screen.

Instagram-vertical video-igtv

Have fun exploring the new channel. Remember, not all disruptive change is good. There is a reason why the TVs got wider and not taller a few years ago.

You will take much better videography if you don’t fight the scene with your camera, whether that means shooting your friend dancing vertically or shooting an awesome vista horizontally. Just because vertical seems to be the new norm, don’t be afraid to turn your iPhone on its side. Even if you can’t watch it on Instagram, there’s always YouTube.