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Your videos are experienced differently on each social media platform. This section explores basic social media best practices to help you create videos that are accessible and engaging for all.

Platform specifications

Each social platform has different technical specifications and best practices, including dimensions, size, sound and length. For example, Instagram Stories are vertical, while Youtube videos should be horizontal. Before posting to a channel, make sure you read the latest specifications on their respective websites.

A video still featuring an elderly woman dressed very hip


Keep in mind that on some channels videos are typically viewed with sound off. On Facebook and Twitter, videos are played with the sound off while people are browsing. Viewers have to click on the volume icon to switch the volume on. Videos on Youtube are played with the sound on. For accessibility and engagement, make sure your video can be viewed and understood without sound.


To meet ADA guidelines, university videos are required to have captioning available for viewers. There are two options for captioning: open and closed. Open captions are always in view and cannot be turned off, whereas closed captions can be turned on and off by the viewer. Below are platform-specific best practices; for downloadable files and instructions, see the download section at the bottom of the page.

YouTube, Facebook and Vimeo

YouTube, Facebook and Vimeo support closed captioning, so open captioning is not necessary. However, remember to edit the closed caption file before publishing and promoting your video. Auto-generated caption files often contain misspellings and errors. In fact, auto-generated caption files supplied by YouTube and others are not considered viable according to the Department of Justice for compliance with ADA.

When uploading your video to YouTube and Facebook, make sure to correct your captions within the platform (Pro tip: To avoid duplicate effort, if you upload the same video to both Youtube and Facebook, you can correct the captions for Youtube first, then download the .SRT file and add it to Facebook). Facebook auto-plays all videos with the sound turned off, so open captioning is a best practice for higher post engagement.

Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn

Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn do not support closed captioning — open captioning is required for ADA compliance. For instructions on creating open captions, read the caption section of video elements and styles.