Mobile has changed everything. According to Comscore data it accounts for 65% of our digital media time, with desktop only a “secondary touch point” for users.
With so much of our time taken up by interacting with one device, we need to be creating content that leads itself to mobile consumption. We need to tear up the mobile rulebook, no matter how recently it was established.
In 2012 Gizmodo wrote a piece mocking the use of vertical video. Two years later they began to realise that vertical video could be art. While they haven’t gone so far as to admit vertical video is the future, there are certainly others who have.
User behaviour is shifting this perception. The majority of people still use their mobiles vertically to send messages, scroll their Twitter feeds or livestream on Periscope. Switching from vertical to horizontal and back again is too time consuming for the mobile content consumer.
Snapchat has stood by vertical videos, despite having to convince marketers to develop creative to suit their ad platform. It’s how users interact with them. Facebook have recently introduced the Canvas ad experience to their offering, and if vertical video is good enough for them, others will certainly follow.
Canvas is a great example of how you can own mobile real estate. On may social media platforms you aren’t afforded all of that space, but you can make sure you grab attention through high-impact visuals.
The “quality” of that cannot be emphasised enough. We spend between 1.7 and 3 seconds looking at individual tweets, so impact has to be maximised to catch a user’s attention. If it has an impactful visual, it’s going to stand out.
The evolution of mobile ads means that that platforms have to gamble on people interacting with paid media, and if they didn’t believe they could make it successful, they wouldn’t take a gamble.
Weber Shandwick acquired specialised mobile and digital agency Flipside in September 2016.