Why your Facebook LIVE videos are sideways

Luria Petrucci 12.12.2016 56 comments

UPDATE: Android is now doing video the same way the iPhone does, so follow the instructions for iPhone in the video regardless of your mobile OS.

Should you be using Portrait or Landscape when you go LIVE from your phone on Facebook? Are your streams coming out sideways? The device you’re using MATTERS, so here’s what you need to know!

STOP going live in portrait mode! Which is this way… long.

That’s what gives you these weird bars on the side. When your viewers click to watch the video, the bars disappear, and the video is super thin.

Instead, turn your phone sideways – in landscape mode – to get a widescreen video. SO much better looking and more professional, isn’t it?

BUT… you MUST turn your phone into landscape mode BEFORE you go live on your iPhone. You can’t start the stream, THEN turn it. It won’t change, and you’ll be sideways to your viewers.

Now, if you want to make your streams more professional, and more effective for building your business, start with our Live Streaming Quiz. It’ll tell you what kind of LIVE streamer you are, and where you should start with live video, based on your goals.

That’s it on the whole portrait vs landscape situation… for now… till things change. Be sure to subscribe to stay up to date on what the latest is on how to live stream successfully!

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56 thoughts on “Why your Facebook LIVE videos are sideways

  1. If an iPhone user is broadcasting live in landscape mode, can an Android user view it in landscape mode, full screen?

  2. Luria I livestream every morning and receive 10 – 15000 views Reach is anywhere from 40000 to 150000 per video need help monetizing we were making good money before live videos came into effect and now people will not leave Facebook to go to our website which was the revenue maker. We need some help thanks Frank granieri

  3. Works great in landscape for my iPhone 7. But, my iPad Pro 9.7 in landscape still has the boxed view. is there a way for the iPad to produce the same view as the iPhone?

  4. I have an iPhone and have been able to use it successfully, thanks to you! My question: Does is matter if the display is set on standard or zoom?

    • I did and it was really bad and had a ton of issues. I had paid for it too. Requested a refund. It’s just not well developed. Not sure it’ll ever be as good as wirecast or livestream studio. They are both just so easy to use.

  5. Hi Luria, I wish I’d read this before I did an important FB Live stream that appeared sideways! Once this has happened (and appears on our page archivally), do you know of any way to edit the video to appear correctly? So viewers don’t have to flip their heads or monitors around? Ha

    • Unfortunately what you’d have to do is download the video, edit it and upload the edited version and delete the original. Which means you’d lose all comments etc associated with that post. You can’t replace a video on Facebook. Hope that helps.

      • Thank you! Very helpful, David. I have successfully saved the video, thanks to your instructions. What software do you recommend for editing? I have a Mac laptop and the basics that come with that, but could investigate something else if you recommend.

  6. Hello Luria. No matter what I try, it’s always sideways or with the bars… I tried to turn it landscape, then touch the direct button, then touch direct button again, and put it back portrait during or not dureing the 1..2..3.. It doesn’t matter, it nevers works. (i tried all kinds of combinations) I read again the instructions above, watched your video like 5 times to try to understand what I do wrong, I can’t figure it out. It would have been great to show a complete example in your video. You always skip parts of it. I’m at a lost. I also tried to look other websites, no luck either. I’m doomed. 🙁 What am I doing wrong ? I have an iPhone 6 Plus. Thank you very much for your help…

  7. Thanks indeed Luria! This is exactly what happened with me this morning. Actually I was steaming using my Android device and on landscape mode. The result was sideways 🙂

  8. Hi, I’m on a Samsung Galaxy S7. I checked that I have the latest version of Facebook (I do), and started the Live in landscape orientation but it still came out sideways. Do you know if there are any other settings to check (I see in the comments someone did not have auto-rotate on, that’s not my problem). Such a bummer. I’d rather broadcast from my phone than my Surface but I loathe those side pillars!

  9. They should just disable streaming in portrait mode altogether. Force users to use the proper format for video.

  10. I read several places, including this post, that it was possible to shoot a FB Live video horizontally, so I did one…a very important video for work. It posted sideways. I started with the camera horizontally. What in the world? I really want all my videos to be horizontal, but I can’t risk that foolishness again. Help!

    • You started with it horizontally – and it was showing to you in landscape? I want to make sure the Rotation Lock on your phone wasn’t active. Android or iPhone?

      You can always test first by changing “Public” to “Only Me” on your profile just to make sure. Testing before anything important is always a good thing to do! 🙂

  11. I found a fix to Michel T Dallaire’s issue b/c I was having the same problem. On your Iphone, on the home screen, swipe up from the bottom. There are 5 icons above the brightness bar. The furthest one to the right is the Portrait Orientation Lock. Mine was on. When I switched it to off, the above suggestions worked.

    • It’s a bug that I’m trying to fix. 🙁 If you load in a different browser it usually pulls right up. Or you can take it via Facebook Messenger by going to Facebook.com/LiveStreamingPros and in the message box type “LSPChallenge”.

  12. I begging streaming my Facebook live video horizontal, and everything is going fine. Then all of a sudden something happens and it switches to vertical halfway through the broadcast. I have tried this on the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 7 and today on the iPhone 8. This happened on all phones. Once the broadcast switches to vertical it zooms in significantly on the viewers end and looks like a complete disaster. Any ideas why this could be happening? Thanks!! ~Maria

    • I have actually seen that happen – seems to be a brand new bug. Isn’t live video fun? 🙂 Is it doing it ALL by itself, or is the phone rotating/moving and it’s causing the flip? If that’s the case, then put your phone in landscape/horizontal, then swipe up on the screen and choose “orientation lock” – it’s a little lock icon. See if that stops it from happening.

  13. Android phones do widescreen It’s just that the FB app doesn’t. Your wording made it sound like it was android’s issue when the issue is not android it’s FB. Do it on Youtube no issue.

    • Keep in mind – that video was shot when Android did NOT go landscape. We already put an update in the show notes. 🙂

  14. Tried using FB Live in landscape mode on my iPad last night, from beginning to end, and it showed up on FB sideways. Why?

    • If the iPad supports it, you have to turn it to landscape before you go live. If your camera items and area to add text does not change when you rotate it, then it is not supported on the iPad.

  15. I didn’t work for me I have an iPhone 6 and I turned it landscape before pressing start live and I was still sideways.

  16. My iPhone 7+ takes only portrait on Facebook Live. When I open Facebook, it is portrait. If I open it while holding the phone landscape, it’s still portrait. If I then start Live, it gives me a message to turn my phone 90 degrees to portrait. If I don’t turn it to portrait the video is sideways.

    I will be very grateful if you tell me what I’m doing wrong. I thought I used to have landscape but certainly can’t now. Is it a setting?

  17. Luria:

    I have an Iphone x. I have been holding it sideways prior to pressing any buttons and it is still turning me sideways. I’ve looked at several videos, including yours, and fully understand what your saying to do to make the video landscape, YET STILL SIDEWAYS!!! aaaarrgghh!!! IOS is updated. Very frustrated!

  18. Hi! I have been successfully shooting my FB lives with my phone flipped for a landscape view. My last three lives though my phone won’t allow me to flip horizontal. It only wants to shoot the love vertically or I will be sideways. Is this a FB glitch? How can I fix? Thank you!

  19. Hi Luria I have a question. I’m trying to watch Facebook livestream from an iPhone 7. I can get it on my iPad in landscape but when I go to play it on my Samsung smart tv the screen turns sideways?

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