Periscope Admits Vertical-Only Video Is a Bug, Fix Coming


Mobile live-streaming has made a resurgence in early 2015 with Meerkat and Periscope. But these apps have been limited to amatuer-style vertical video. Periscope is the first company smart enough to finally acknowledge that vertical-only video is, indeed, a bug to be fixed.

In a response to a technical support request about being forced to stream and view vertical video, a representative from Periscope confirmed that this is a problem that would be resolved.

Thanks to users writing in, we've identified this as a bug. We’ve relayed it to the appropriate team and we appreciate your patience as we work through improvements.

Thus, we have only to wait until Periscope fixes this bug of vertical-only video in their popular live-streaming platform.

Meerkat, however, seemed to avoid acknowledging any problem or reassuring of any coming solution.

At the moment you can only view vertical, however we have loads of exciting new features in the future, ….

Periscope is available on iOS (designed for iPhone) and Android. Meerkat is also available on iOS (designed for iPhone) and Android. The live-streams may be watched on desktop PCs through a browser.

The problem with vertical video

The problem with vertical video is that everything outside of a smartphone is designed for horizontal video. Computer screens, televisions, movie theaters, and even our eyes are all designed for viewing things horizontally.

Problems started with amatuer video-takers using their smartphone video cameras without thinking. They would hold their phones in the orientation phones are designed to be held (vertically), but not realizing the consequences this would have on video.

If you thought the old days of watching widescreen, “letterbox” movies on a 4:3 ratio TV was bad, vertical video wastes even more screen space and reduces visual quality.

Jon Steinberg, CEO of Daily Mail, reports that full-screen vertical video ads in already-vertical mobile apps perform better than widescreen video, which require either rotation or letterboxing. Though the testing protocol and other factors seem to have been ignored, such as how it's usually harder or less obvious for how to skip these kinds of vertical video experiences.

Obligatory Vertical Video Syndrome PSA

No article about vertical video is complete without this public service announcement, thanks to Bento Box's “Glove and Boots.” (Video contains profanity.)


Yes, this article is highly opinionated based on a personally held worldview, exactly like all other articles are written.

About the Author
As an award-winning podcaster, Daniel J. Lewis gives you the guts and teaches you the tools to launch and improve your own podcasts for sharing your passions and finding success. Daniel creates resources for podcasters, such as the SEO for Podcasters and Zoom H6 for Podcasters courses, the Social Subscribe & Follow Icons plugin for WordPress, the My Podcast Reviews global-review aggregator, and the Podcasters' Society membership for podcasters. As a recognized authority and influencer in the podcasting industry, Daniel speaks on podcasting and hosts his own podcast about how to podcast. Daniel's other podcasts, a clean-comedy podcast, and the #1 unofficial podcast for ABC's hit drama Once Upon a Time, have also been nominated for multiple awards. Daniel and his son live near Cincinnati.
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Android 4 Life
Android 4 Life
8 years ago

Periscope is not just iOS. I have it on my Android phone.

Mr. Ken
Mr. Ken
8 years ago

I just came here to see Glove and Boots.

John Wilkerson
8 years ago

Hey Daniel, What’s the source of this statement? Did you contact Periscope support?

8 years ago

Amen! It’s been cringeworthy to say the best.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x

Enter your name and email address below to learn “7 Ways to Get More Podcast Reviews” FREE!

Almost there!


See what Apple Podcasts and other popular podcast apps search with the Podcast SEO Cheat Sheet!

This form collects information we will use to send you podcasting-related updates with tips, offers, and news. We will not share or sell your personal information. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Almost there!


Before you go! Don’t miss this FREE checklist, “20 things you should do before recording every podcast episode”!

This form collects information we will use to send you podcasting-related updates with tips, offers, and news. We will not share or sell your personal information. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Almost there!