IGTV Video Cropping

I’ve been dabbling with IGTV since Instagram first launched it. I wasn’t really sure what to expect from it in terms of engagement and getting eyeballs on my videos, since the service was pretty much segregated to its own app, but nevertheless, I kept uploading videos. Now that Instagram has integrated one minute IGTV previews in the Instagram timeline, I’m actually seeing more engagement and people watching, liking, and commenting on my videos.

That said, uploading a proper looking vertical video for IGTV isn’t quite as simple as uploading a 9:16 video. Without getting into too much detail, this is what I’ve learned over the last month or so.

  • IGTV takes the first frame of your video and makes it the thumbnail that displays both on your Instagram bio and in the timeline (if you choose to share the IGTV video in the timeline), or you can upload your own thumbnail (you only get one shot at this: once you’ve uploaded a thumbnail, you can’t change it). In both cases, Instagram will crop the top and bottom of the 9:16 thumbnail to show the center 1:1 (9:9?) square. So, make sure the first frame of the uploaded thumbnail looks good in the vertical center.

  • The preview that is shown in the Instagram timeline is cropped to 4:5. This applies to both the 9:16 thumbnail (which is only displayed briefly when scrolling in the timeline) and the video itself. So, make sure that whatever is playing when the top and bottom portions of the video are cropped to 4:5 looks good. People can watch the first minute in the timeline and choose to watch the full 9:16 video on IGTV at anytime within that minute.

  • Finally, IGTV doesn’t necessarily always display the full 9:16 video. If you’re using a device that has a true 9:16 display, like the iPhone 8 Plus, then you’ll see the 9:16 video without cropping. However, if you have a taller phone, like the iPhone XS Max, or the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus, or something similar, then the video will be cropped on the sides to fill in a certain amount of vertical space. I don’t know if this is a standard, defined crop amount, but for me, it looks like the zoom makes a 9:16 crop look more like a 8:16 (or, 1:2) crop by cropping off the vertical sides of the video. This can cause issues if there is text on the screen that goes edge to edge, so you must account for that.

I whipped up a template to make things a bit easier. It’s a 9:16 template that shows all of the crops I mentioned. The gray areas are transparent (it’s a .png file), allowing the content under the template to be seen. Just drop it on top in the timeline in your video editor of choice and you’ll be able to check if your video will look its best when it’s cropped in all of these different ways.

Here’s the template.

IGTV is evolving, so this all might change in the future, but for now, this template seems to be fairly accurate with the various crops of IGTV videos in Instagram.


Mikkeller Launches Their Own Fitness Apparel Brand

Mikkeller Brewing’s new running apparel brand is named Final Gravity.

From Final Gravity:

Hi, we are Final Gravity.

We unite first-time athletes with elite runners, beer lovers with fashion addicts, hedonists with control freaks. All ready to do their best, make a difference, run together or on their own, give their all and - above all - have a good time.

Final Gravity is an independent running apparel brand created by the microbrewery Mikkeller and designers Femmes Régionales. What might seem like an unusual partnership is tied together by a diverse and inclusive mind-set, a passion for running, sharp aesthetics and attention to details.

Call me a fanboy, but I think this is really cool. Mikkeller isn’t the first brewery to make their own fitness apparel (many breweries make their own branded kits for cyclists), but Mikkeller Brewing is definitely the most popular brewery associated with running, with their self-branded running club, Mikkeller Running Club.

I’m a runner, I’m into fitness brands, and I love craft beer, so... #TakeMyMoney, Mikkeller.

Update — 1-24-19: They aren't shipping to the United States. #sad

Thanks, Charlie Papazian.

Say Goodbye to Charlie Papazian As He Retires From the Brewers Association

D.J. at brewpublic.com:

Bob Pease, president & CEO of the Brewers Association issued the following statement on Charlie’s retirement…

“We would not be where we are today without Charlie Papazian. Armed with a vision, a mission and the passion to succeed, Charlie turned his love of homebrewing into a community and culture that has had profound implications for so many, both personally and professionally. His contributions are indelible and innumerable, and his legacy lives on as the Brewers Association continues to serve the community Charlie helped to create. Cheers to Charlie as he takes the next steps on his never-ending path of living and learning.”

I first heard about Charlie Papazian from “Dr. Bill” Sysak, who at the time, was a member of my podcast with Stephen Johnson, Brad Kohlenberg, and Matt Becker, named New Brew Thursday. In 2010, NBT got to interview Charlie for the first time at the Great American Beer Festival (GABF), and again in 2011, also at GABF. One of the things he talked about that stuck with me was how the festival started so many years ago with only a handful of breweries. This blew my mind because we were interviewing him at the very beer festival that he founded, but were surrounded by hundreds of breweries and thousands of beer drinkers. It’s quite amazing how far GABF and the beer industry itself has come, and Charlie played a big role in that, not only because of his role in the Great American Beer Festival, but also his influence on so many homebrewers that would one day open breweries of their own. Charlie Papazian is a truly important figure in the American beer scene. He’s also a genuinely kind person who loves beer and the vibrant, enthusiastic community that surrounds it.

Thanks to Charlie for everything he’s done for all of us beer nerds over the years, and may we all never forget, “relax, don’t worry, and have a homebrew.”