Landscape videos are horizontal videos where the width of the video (and thumbnail) is longer than the height. First, we wanted to confirm that sending a small video produces a small thumbnail. When we sent a video of 380W x 210H, the thumbnail was very small on both Android and iOS as expected. Next, we tested more horizontal videos with wider widths by sending those videos to Google Pixel 5, Samsung Galaxy A10e, iPhone 11, and iPhone SE. The goal of these tests was to find the minimum width of the video that would produce the best thumbnail on various types of phones. From the tests, we found that as the width of the video increased, the thumbnail width also increased. For example, the video of 480W x 270H dimension had a bigger thumbnail size than 380W x 210H.
We proceeded to investigate how much bigger the thumbnail would get if we continuously increase the width. We created and sent videos of 746W x 420H, 853W x 453H, and 960W x 540H. Interestingly, those thumbnails’ widths were all the same on both Android and iOS. What this meant was that after a certain point, the width of the thumbnail did not get any wider. After some more testing, we found the exact point of optimal width was different for Android phones and iOS phones. That point was 720W for Android phones and 540W for iOS phones. In other words, videos with 720W or wider all have the same full thumbnail width on Android, and 540W or wider have the same full thumbnail width on iOS. Observationally, videos with 640W had nearly the same size thumbnail as 720W on Android which we would consider a good experience.
Then we were curious if the height of the horizontal video affects the thumbnail size at all. So we tested videos with the following dimensions: 640W x 310H, 640W x 400H, 720W x 350H, 720W x 360H, 720W x 380H, 720W x 400H, 720W x 450H, and 720W x 460H. The results for Android and iOS were again a bit different. For Android, the video of 720W x 350H had a slightly bigger thumbnail than the 720W x 450H one. Also, 640W x 310H had a slightly bigger thumbnail than 640W x 400H. These results confirm that height matters for Android even if the video’s width has a good size of 640W or 720W. This was where we could confirm the ratio of width and height mattered. Ideally, the ratio of the video has to be within 2W:1H. In other words, the width of the video has to be at least double the size of the height.
On the other hand, the results for iOS were more simple. The videos we tested above had very similar thumbnails. As long as the width was 540W or above for iOS, the thumbnail size was wide enough regardless of the height.
Following the tests we described in the previous paragraph, we recommend 720W for the width of horizontal videos so both Android and iOS users can receive the optimal video thumbnails. Also, make sure that the height of the video is at least double the height to keep the ratio of 2W:1H. If you cannot provide a video with 720W, we would recommend 640W but no less than 540W to be the minimum width. If the height is bigger than half of the width, the thumbnail will get smaller. For example, the 720W x 360H video had a slightly bigger thumbnail than the 720W x 450H video.