When National Geographic launched “Wild Life with Bertie Gregory,” a new digital series on Vancouver Island’s predators, for its Nat Geo Wild channel, there were YouTube videos at the hub, supplemented by videos specifically created for Snapchat, Facebook and Instagram.
Two years ago, Nat Geo would have shot one digital video and published that exact same clip on every platform it distributed to. Today, with the advent of new social platforms, its videographers are expected to shoot video that can run horizontally and vertically so it can be spun up into different versions destined not just for its own site but YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. From 2014 to 2015, Nat Geo has nearly quadrupled the number of videos it produced.
This is digital video in 2016, where the ability to reframe video seems to be as important as its creation in the first place. The tipping point came in 2015, with the advent of vertical video on Snapchat and rise of silent, autoplay video on Facebook. Suddenly, you couldn’t just publish the same thing everywhere. Viewers, with increasingly specific expectations for each channel, would tune out. Each platform demands its own style, length and format.