What’s different about social videos

Video stories that aren’t going on television have tremendous flexibility in format, duration and style. Make sure you use strong footage to keep your audience watching – and be creative!

Audience behaviour on social media is very different to watching scheduled news. Your story must grab the viewer’s attention within three seconds and remain interesting, to stop your audience from scrolling on to the next post in their timeline.

This means social videos can be as short as a few seconds, and rarely longer than five minutes. Videos for social media platforms may also be landscape, square or portrait, and they often make use of dramatic captions and music for added effect.

This gives you tremendous freedom in how you approach telling your story. Here are some examples.

A traditional television-style package with a voiceover

A social package that uses captions and music instead of a voiceover

Plastic-eating caterpillars

Could caterpillars be the answer to solving plastic pollution?

Posted by Al Jazeera English on Friday, April 27, 2018

Dramatic raw footage without captions

A short, powerful excerpt from an interview or speech

An animated audiogram with an image for online audio

A combination of images, video and audio

The huge mass of plastic waste floating in the Caribbean

Some New Year's resolution inspiration – cut down on plastic in 2018!

Posted by BBC on Monday, January 1, 2018

A vertical video about social action

The global protest movement explained

People are mobilising in growing numbers across the globe from Hong Kong to Lebanon. We look at why so many protests are happening now and how they are connected. #CutThroughtheNoise

Posted by BBC News on Thursday, 21 November 2019

Apps for social videos

There’s a huge range of apps you can use to achieve the same or similar effects as the videos above to make your story stand out. Learn more in our apps section.

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