A recent report by Buffer showed that square video (1:1) takes up 78% more real estate in a person’s mobile newsfeed than does landscape video (16:9). In some cases, square video resulted in 30-35% higher video views and an 80-100% increase in engagement.
The experiments revealed the fact that it costs 7.5% less to get someone to engage with square video on Facebook and a whopping 33% less to get someone to engage with square video on Instagram. Over 92% of Facebook users access the platform via mobile – making it critical for businesses to optimize their content for the mobile user.
With our latest update, you can now create square videos using Lumen5!
We just released font options and you’ll find these selections under the Branding tab.
Lumen5 videos allow you to tell stories by overlaying text on photos and videos. This is great for viewers on social networks where videos often auto-play on silence. Large texts allow users to read the content as they’re scrolling through their news feeds.
Previously, all Lumen5 videos were using the Noto typeface, which resulted in lots of similar looking videos. Now you can choose from one of 5 different typefaces and we plan to release a lot more selections in the future.
We call them Square Frames, but perhaps they’re more commonly referred to as “meme videos”. You can now add these frames to your Lumen5 videos, allowing you to increase the visibility of your videos through large bold texts, but also take advantage of the popular square video format.
Square videos take up more space on mobile phones and are generally believed to generate more engagements since they take up more real estate. This means that as Facebook users are scrolling through their newsfeed, there’s a higher likely hood that your square frame video will catch their eye than the traditional landscape videos.
You’ll see the option to add a square frame in the final preview just before you publish your video!
Starting today, you’ll be able to upgrade your Lumen5 account to the Pro Plan to get even more out of your videos. The two main differences between the Free Plan and the Pro Plan are video quality and the presence of Lumen5 branding in the credit scene.
Our goal is to always offer a valuable Free Plan that remains free forever. One of our criteria for the Free Plan is to make sure it always remains actually usable. This means no giant watermarks, no crushing limitations, and basically no strings attached. We want Lumen5 to remain accessible for individual and small business users without paying a dime.
The resulting Free Plan still offers the creation of unlimited videos, access to millions of free media files, and all the customizations you need to brand your videos. We decided to settle with 480p rendering as we feel that 480p is a very reasonable resolution for social and mobile viewers, which account for a majority of traffic these days. We’ve also intentionally kept the Lumen5 branding subtle and our logo only appears at the very end of the video on the side of the credit scene.
Our new Pro Plan will empower power users with 1080p HD videos which will look great on all platforms for full screen viewing. The ability to hide the Lumen5 branding in the credit scene will also help your videos appear more professional and bespoke.
Rest assured, we’ll continue building new features to enhance both plans and keep improving the quality of your videos!
Videos are processed one-by-one by our video rendering servers and they work on a first-come-first-serve basis. For example, if 5 people submitted their videos for rendering before you did, then our servers must finish processing those 5 videos first before it can start processing your video. As you can imagine, this can easily create a bottleneck when a lot of users are on Lumen5 creating videos at the same time.
Previously, we were running a single rendering server, which was why your videos could sometimes take over an hour to render. To resolve this, we decided to rebuild our backend infrastructure from ground up. Now, we are able to run multiple rendering servers in parallel with the ability to easily expand our rendering capabilities on-demand to handle traffic surges.
With the new setup, we can now render multiple videos in parallel. In our earlier example, if 5 people submitted their videos before you submitted yours, those 5 videos must be completed first before the server begins processing your video. Now, all 6 videos can be rendered at the same time, and everyone can get their videos sooner.
The average rendering time is now consistently under 10 minutes and we plan to continue improving our system in order to process videos even faster in the future!
You can now share your Lumen5 videos directly to Facebook! Rather than downloading the video file to your computer and then uploading it to Facebook manually, you can now use our Facebook Upload integration to share the video directly to your page or timeline.
When you use the integration for the first time, Facebook will ask you for permission for Lumen5 to post on your behalf, so please make sure you Agree! The integration will only share videos when you click the Upload to Facebook button and will never post anything you don’t explicitly tell it to.
When posting to Facebook, you’ll be given an opportunity to include a Video Title and some text to go with the post. The Video Title is never really displayed on Facebook unless a visitor watches the video in full screen. The text component refers to the message that will accompany the video file, so be sure to include your commentary or call-to-action of some kind!
We’re building Lumen5 as a video creation platform with the goal of offering the world’s simplest video making experience, and our primary approach to this is to have the workflow assisted by AI. The idea is that the user would simply enter a link to a blog post or news article and Lumen5 will automatically turn the content into an engaging video. Lumen5 is designed for brands and businesses to produce video content at scale through automation.
The first bit of AI you’ll encounter is when you enter a link to a blog post or news article where our natural language processing algorithms will strive to help you summarize the article. As you know, a full article contains too much text for a short and engaging video, hence summarization is necessary. Currently, the system will detect and divide up various sections within the article and offer them as suggestions to you. There’s also a Smart Summarization feature which will help you summarize long run-on sentences. In the future, we hope to improve this algorithm further so that little to no human decisions are required, and all you get is a perfectly summarized storyboard for your video.
The next bit of AI you’ll encounter is our computer vision algorithms that automatically matches each of your scenes with corresponding background media such as photos, graphics, and videos. For example, if you entered an article about basketball, then the system will automatically seek out basketball-related media files and add them to your video. This area of intelligence will improve over time, allowing us to provide more and more accurate media matches and suggestions.
Many video details are also controlled by AI as well, such as the duration of each scene being dynamically determined based on the number of words in that scene. Computer vision is used to detect the focus of an image, such as human faces, and the system automatically positions the text to avoid covering the main subject of the background media. The system will also detect important phrases and keywords, then automatically applying a coloured highlight to bring attention to those words.
Last but not least, perhaps one of the most valuable component of Lumen5 is the built-in media library consisting of millions copyright-free photos and videos along with thousands of audio tracks. The toughest part to creating video content is securing all the assets you need to do it. Lumen5 does it all for you and you can search through the database with keywords then drag-and-drop them into your video along with an automatically generated credit scene at the end to ensure all attributions are properly in place.
The result is the ability to create engaging social videos within minutes rather than more traditional workflows which could take hours, or days!
The Lumen5 music library offers copyright-free audio tracks from the Creative Commons, allowing you to easily browse and add music to your videos. Previously, the music library offered approximately one hundred tracks.
In an effort to expand the size of our music library and improve the quality of your options, we have added a large collection of new copyright-free audio tracks. As a result, our music library has now been expanded from 100 to over 1000 tracks.
To accompany this expansion, we have redesigned the music library to offer a better user experience for browsing the new expanded library. This redesign introduces a new layout along with visible tags for each track. You can press the play icon to preview any of the tracks and use the new mood filter to browse through different music categories.
Lumen5 offers a number of branding options for customizing your videos. Previously, you can upload a single image file which is displayed as a small watermark in the top-right corner and also in the final scene of the video. Responding to user feedback, we have now separated these two options.
This new update will allow you to upload separate files for the watermark and the logo. There is also a new option to toggle each of them on or off individually, providing greater flexibility that previously available.
New scene types have been introduced in order to provide more styling options to your videos. Previously, the Text scene type was the only available option. With this new update, you can now also choose Title, Quote, or No Text.
Choosing Title will allow you to use a much larger font size for your text. The No Text option will remove all text from the scene, allowing viewers to focus on the image or video background. Last but not least, the new Quote option will allow you to stylishly include quotes into your video and also include an attribution for the quote as well.