The Best YouTube Video Formats in 2022

Explore the best YouTube video formats in 2022 to create content that provides an optimized viewing experience.

The Best YouTube Video Formats in 2022

Survey results show kids are ditching traditional career paths in hopes of achieving YouTube stardom. That means books and backpacks are getting traded in for cameras and tripods.

Whether you're the next PewDiePie or a casual content creator passionate about video editing, a few optimization practices remain the same. We're starting with recommendations for video formats. Discover the best YouTube video format and size you need to provide a flawless viewing experience for users.

Best YouTube Video Formats

YouTube recommends uploading videos with an MP4 file format, a 16:9 aspect ratio, and an H.264 video codec. Following these best practices will ensure a high-quality viewing experience, resulting in improved retention and potentially an increase in subscribers. Alternative file formats are supported.

Supported YouTube Video Formats

While MP4 is the best video format for YouTube, you can use alternative formats supported by the website. You can explore the additional video formats below in addition to MP4 you can upload and publish to YouTube.

  • MOV: This video file format developed by Apple holds music, audio, and text and is primarily used with Apple's QuickTime player.
  • MPEG4: Moving Picture Expert Group 4 or MPEG4 is a compression format that holds audio and video. This format is commonly used for streaming and sharing video content on the web.
  • MPG: The MPG file format stores video, audio, and metadata. MPG uses either MPEG-1 compression or MPEG-2 compression. The first option compresses VHS and CD audio, while MPEG-2 compresses satellite and cable transmissions in addition to DVD video.
  • AVI: The AVI format is a multimedia container created by Microsoft. This format requires less compression to store high-quality audio and video.
  • WMV: WMV files, developed by Microsoft, can store a video clip, tv episode, or animation. Windows Media Player's default video format is WMV.
  • MPEGPS: Moving Picture Expert Group Program Stream is a container format for multiplexing digital audio and video.
  • FLV: A video saved in the Adobe Flash Video container format is an FLV. It is primarily used to deliver online video content with Adobe Flash Player, but many non Adobe programs support this format as well.
  • 3GPP: Developed by the Third Generation Partnership Program, 3GPP files store video and audio. This file format is commonly used on 3G mobile phones.
  • WEBM: WEBM is an open source, royalty-free format designed for sharing video on the web.
  • DNxHR: Digital Nonlinear Extensible High Resolution is a codec designed for multi-generation compositing with less storage.
  • ProRes: Apple ProRes was developed to support video resolution up to 8k. It's a lossy high quality video compression format.
  • CineForm: CineForm is an intermediate codec designed to edit high resolution footage.
  • HEVC: High efficiency video coding encodes or decodes high quality videos at lower bitrates. It's used to compress videos into a multimedia container such as MP4, and is not a file type.

Best YouTube Video Size

The standard aspect ratio for a YouTube video on a computer is 16:9. Videos with a different aspect ratio are automatically adjusted to a size that's ideal for the video and respective device. The YouTube app automatically adapts vertical, horizontal, and square videos to fill the screen. The 16:9 aspect ratio encodes at the resolutions and dimensions listed below.

YouTube File Size Limit and Video Length Limit

The maximum file size you can upload to YouTube is 256 GB or 12 hours. You can upload videos up to 15 minutes long, but verified accounts can exceed this length.  

Best Frame Rate for YouTube

Frame rate affects the fluidity of a video's appearance. According to Google, content should be encoded and uploaded in the same frame rate it was recorded. 24, 25, 30, 48, 50,60 frame rates per second are common frame rates for YouTube videos.

Convert Video to YouTube Format

You can convert your video to an MP4 format with a free online video converter. We're using a convert video tool by Kapwing, a content creation platform to convert a MOV file to an MP4. All you need is a browser to get started.

  1. Open the convert video tool
  2. Edit the video
  3. Export and download the MP4

Step One: Open the Convert Video Tool

Open the convert video tool in your browser, then tap the Get Started button or upload a file. You can also paste a video link. You can export videos up to five minutes long without a watermark and store content for two days when you sign up for a free account.

Step Two: Edit Video

The Kapwing Studio provides an intuitive timeline editor to trim, split, and cut videos in addition to graphic design tools you can easily use without design experience. Drag the ends of a layer to change the length, and make cuts with the split button above the timeline.

The toolbar has tabs to add text if you want to include captions. You can choose a font style from our growing collection, then customize the text with a drop shadow. You can also change the size and add an outline or background color.

Try the audio fade effect and reverse tool, then explore the animation tab to make your video pop. You can upload audio or click the audio tab to add royalty-free music to your video. You can upload multiple video and audio layers to your project and drag each layer to change the position.

Step Three: Export as MP4

Click the arrow next to the export button and select export as MP4. When your video is processed, click Download to save it to your device. Your video is now in the optimal format for YouTube!

How to Upload a Video to YouTube

Now that you have a perfectly formatted video for YouTube, it's time to upload it to your channel. This section will help you upload your video, and optimize your description in a few easy steps.

  1. Click the camera icon in the top left corner, then click Upload Video to select the video from your file browser.

2. Give your video a title, description, and upload a thumbnail while the video processes. Try to use key terms viewers are searching for in your title. If you need help generating ideas, visit Google, type a few terms, then let the autocomplete tool work its magic. Use these terms to formulate the perfect title for your video. When the video is ready, tap Next to proceed to the next step.

3. Add subtitles, an end screen, and cards to promote related content during your video.

4. Tap Next to check for copyright issues, then tap Next again. On this screen you can change the visibility setting to private, unlisted, or public. Finally, tap Save or Publish to upload your YouTube video.

Explore the related articles below to read more tips and tutorials about YouTube, then head over to our YouTube channel. You'll find insightful interviews, video editing tips, and TikTok tutorials. Connect with us on Twitter and Instagram to see the latest updates from the Kapwing team.

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