YouTube Shorts Dimension and Aspect Ratio: A Complete Guide

YouTube Shorts Dimension and Aspect Ratio: A Complete Guide

There is no doubt that YouTube is the biggest video-sharing platform in the world and the second-most popular social media platform, with 2.49 billion users as of January 2024. But while most of us have come to think of this platform as a long-form video content platform, YouTube Shorts is changing this stance.

This new trend, kickstarted by TikTok and Instagram Reels, is also a prominent feature of the video-sharing platform. Since it was rolled out in 2021, Shorts content has reached 70 billion daily views, making it a format you cannot miss out on.

To stand out in the Shorts game, the ideal approach is to tailor your videos to this format. Unlike the long-format horizontal format of the YouTube videos, shorts is:

  • Vertical
  • Ideal or smartphone and hand-held devices
  • Concise and not more than 60 seconds long

The best Shorts are designed per YouTube’s Shorts dimensions and optimized for this platform. If you want to up your YouTube Shorts game, this guide is your compass, navigating you through the world of YouTube Shorts dimensions.

Understanding YouTube Shorts Dimensions

To understand YouTube Shorts’ dimensions and ratios, we need to understand the purpose of YouTube Shorts.

YouTube Shorts dimensions

YouTube Shorts are short-format (up to 60-second long), vertical videos that you can directly upload on your YouTube channel using a smartphone and its camera. Unlike its counterparts like TikTok videos, Snapchat Snaps, or Instagram Reels, YouTube Shorts will not disappear after 24 hours and will stay forever on your channels. This helps you in two ways:

  1. Users in your community can watch it as many times as they want.
  2. It will help you stay on top of the algorithm, promoting your channel’s videos or content style.

To ensure that your YouTube Shorts look perfect on all devices (ideally smartphones), you need to follow the dimensions below:

  • Aspect Ratio: This refers to the width-to-height ratio of your video. For YouTube Shorts, it’s a strict 9:16, mimicking the portrait orientation of your smartphone. Imagine holding your phone vertically – that’s the space you’ve got to play with.
  • Resolution: This translates to the number of pixels packed into your video, impacting its overall quality. The recommended resolution for Shorts is a crisp 1080×1920 pixels. Think of it as more pixels, sharper visuals, and happier viewers.

Get these wrong, and your Shorts may look pixelated or have black bars, which will hinder your viewer’s experience.

Why Dimensions Matter for YouTube Shorts

Now, you might be asking, why are these specific dimensions important? 

Choosing the correct dimensions isn’t just about meeting YouTube’s technical requirements; it also helps you maximize the impact your videos have on your audience and ensure they look exceptional on all devices.

By adding content in the correct YouTube Shorts dimensions and aspect ratios, you can gain several benefits:

Exceptional Viewing Experience

There are thousands of creators on YouTube, meaning there is tons of Shorts content being created and uploaded on the platform. Imagine scrolling through endless Shorts content, and a blurry, stretched video shows up. Are you likely to stay on this video or scroll past?

Your target audience may do the same if your YouTube Shorts content is not optimized for their device or platform. By following the Shorts guidelines, you ensure that your content looks crisp and perfect on all devices, helping improve your viewer’s experience and, thereby, improve engagement.

Easy To Create Powerful Thumbnails

Your thumbnail is your mini-billboard, the first glimpse viewers get of your content. With the correct dimensions, your thumbnail displays flawlessly, showcasing your creativity and drawing clicks.

The Psychological Edge

Studies show that humans are drawn to visually balanced compositions. The 9:16 aspect ratio creates a natural and comfortable viewing experience, subconsciously influencing engagement. By adhering to these dimensions, you tap into this inherent preference and subconsciously captivate your audience.

Look Good On All Devices

From smartphones to desktops, viewers access YouTube Shorts across various devices. The 9:16 aspect ratio guarantees your video fills the screen on any device, offering a seamless and uninterrupted viewing experience. No more black bars or awkward zooming – just pure, immersive storytelling.

Be Compliant, Get Rewarded

YouTube has specific guidelines for Shorts, and dimensions are no exception. Straying from the recommended format can lead to penalties, like reduced visibility or even removal of your video.

Play by the rules, ensure consistent quality, and avoid unnecessary roadblocks to success.

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Stay active on Shorts and achieve your goals with AI


Best Practices for Utilizing YouTube Shorts Dimensions

When creating YouTube Shorts, the quality and content of your video will determine just how successful it is on the platform. 

Even the most seasoned creators can often overlook the importance of YouTube Shorts’ dimensions and aspect ratio, leading to a drop in their engagement or virality. To ensure that this doesn’t happen to you, here are a few tips to keep in mind when uploading YouTube Shorts:

  • Mind the Edges: Uploading videos with incorrect aspect ratios often results in black bars appearing on either side. This not only wastes valuable screen space but also disrupts the visual flow. Stick to the 9:16 format to ensure your content fills the screen seamlessly across all devices.
  • Do Not Compromise on Quality: Uploading low-resolution videos is a surefire way to turn viewers away. Ensure your videos meet the recommended 1080×1920 resolution for crisp, high-quality visuals. Even if recording on your phone, check your camera settings and choose the highest resolution option available.
  • Don’t Just Convert Horizontal Videos into Vertical Ones: Stretching horizontal videos to fit the 9:16 format is a visual disaster. This distorts your content, making it pixelated and unpleasant to watch. Remember, repurposing without considering aspect ratios can backfire.
  • Text & Overlays: Misplaced text overlays can be confusing and visually jarring. Remember the safe zone! Keep text within the central area to avoid getting cropped out on different devices.
  • Mind the File Size: Exceeding YouTube’s upload limits for Shorts (up to 10MB) can result in blurry videos and slow loading times. So, even if you use compression techniques, ensure that you maintain quality while keeping your file size under the limit.

Make YouTube shorts with AI 🌟


It may seem easy to create YouTube Shorts content at first glance, but once you get into the game, you will realize that this is not true. Getting more done in less takes time, and you will need to put some effort into ensuring that your YouTube Shorts content is impeccable. This leads a lot of creators to reach a point of mental saturation, where they struggle for ideas.

If you want to create impeccable short-format videos with the ideal YouTube Shorts dimensions and aspect ratio, is the game-changer you need. This AI-powered content creation tool will help you generate highly engaging YouTube Shorts in the exact size and format needed for YouTube. With dedication and a dash of pixel-perfect finesse, you’ll be crafting Shorts that not only fit the frame but also capture the hearts and minds of your audience!

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Tanmay Ratnaparkhe

Co-founder, 2X Entrepreneur, tech enthusiast, and SaaS expert, specializing in Instagram marketing and AI. With a knack for leveraging technology for marketing success, they share valuable insights and strategies to boost your digital presence and productivity.