Facebook mirrors TikTok’s vertical video format

According to Oscar Wilde, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. If that’s true, then TikTok must be the most flattered app out there. Everyone wants to be it or beat it or both — and Facebook just made another move to do just that.

On Wednesday, Facebook announced the newest TikTok-ification of its site by rolling out a new full-screen video player on its app, much like the vertical video format TikTok made so famous. All of the Reels you see on Facebook, along with longer videos and Live content, will all be shown to you via a full-screen, vertically-oriented video. The social media giant also purports to have “improved recommendations for videos of all lengths we think you’re most likely to enjoy based on your interests.”

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“For example, we may recommend a Reel giving you inspiration for a quick, daily makeup routine or a longer tutorial video on DIY house improvements from experienced homeowners,” Facebook wrote in a blog post about the change. The new player also includes the scrubber at the bottom so you can rewind or fast forward a video, pause it, and change the playback speed. TikTok also already has this.

This change will begin rolling out over the next few weeks. If a video is made specifically to be viewed horizontally, users will have the option to watch it in landscape view and flip your phone to view it in full-screen mode, but it will still automatically appear vertically. 

Because of the format change, creators will probably want to start posting Reels if they want their videos to get seen on Facebook. It’ll certainly be interesting to see how this affects video formats that are typically horizontal by design, like movie trailers and music videos, on the app.  

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