Wouldn’t it be great to have all of Premiere Pro’s video export settings for social media in one place? Well, you’re in luck! The tutorials below will show you how to best format and export your videos for YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok within Adobe Premiere Pro.
Before you read on. My number one rule of thumb is:
Don’t export and upload the same video format on all platforms!
Instead, create specific renditions of the video for each platform. Think about how your users will engage and interact with the video on the platform you’re uploading to. Questions to ask yourself:
- How will the user engage with the video differently on each social-media platform?
- Will the user be watching with the audio on?
- What is the video duration at which people stop watching?
- Do you want the user to click on a link?
- Do you want a video teaser to entice the viewer into watching the full video on YouTube?
These questions will help you determine how to design your video. For example, on Facebook and Instagram, people usually discover the video within their feed without the audio on. So it’s a good idea to make the first five seconds of your video eye-catching and to include burned-in captions. As Canadian philosopher Marshall McLuhan wrote, “the medium is the message.” And the social media platform has a highly influential impact on the way people perceive the video’s message. So it’s important to think about the platform before you click the “export” button.
Now that you’re thinking about platform-specific content, let’s dive into the best ways to export that content in Premiere Pro.
A couple years ago, I produced one video tutorial a day for five days, each day focusing on specific export settings for a different social-media platform in Premiere Pro. I called it my “5 days of Social.” Below is the updated result of my endeavor, which I hope will still aid your social-media video export workflow.
YouTube’s video player traditionally works in a 16:9 aspect ratio, which is standard for 1920×1080 FHD and 3840 x 2160 UHD (also known as 4K). But if you have video that is not 16:9 (such as 9:16, vertical), YouTube’s player will now adapt to the size of the video. YouTube’s player is now responsive meaning that it auto-resizes to the pixel dimensions of the native upload. If you upload a vertical video, the player will be displayed in a vertical format and so on.
Before you export for YouTube, it’s important to know of a few important duration and file size limits:
- If you are unverified, you can only upload videos up to 15 minutes in length
- If you’re verified, you can upload a video up to 12 hours in duration and the maximum file size is 256gb (which is huge!).
- If you’re uploading a YouTube short, the video cannot exceed 60 seconds in duration.
When I export for YouTube, whether it be for a standard upload or a YouTube Short, I select the “H.264” format, then select Premiere Pro’s preset “Match Source-Adaptive High Bitrate”. From the Premiere Pro Preset dropdown, you’ll also find five YouTube presets. So you might ask, why not use the YouTube presets?
The reason why is because the new preset “Match Source-Adaptive High Bitrate” will export the highest quality compressed video using the optimal bitrate settings based on the resolution of your video’s timeline settings. So, if you have a 4k timeline, it will export the best 4k video in a compressed .mp4 format, and if you have FHD in your timeline, then it will export the best FHD quality in a compressed .mp4. If you have a vertical 9:16 video in your timeline, using “Match Course-Adaptive High Bitrate” will also export the highest compressed quality for your vertical video.
In short, the preset “Match Source-Adaptive High Bitrate” is the new all-encompassing optimal preset for all social video.
You can also auto-publish to YouTube by turning on the YouTube blue toggle icon on the left side bar within Premiere Pro’s export settings. This will allow you to sign in to your YouTube channel, choose a playlist, title, description, privacy settings, tags, and upload a custom thumbnail. You can also opt-in to delete the local file after upload.
While Vimeo supports almost all types of video files, such as these formats: .mp4, .mov, .wmv, and .avi files. Just like on YouTube, the most common video type for video type is .mp4 and that’s because it’s the most efficient.
Just like with YouTube, it’s important to know your file size and duration limits before you export. Unlike YouTube, Vimeo has weekly upload limits based on your membership plan. For example, the Pro plan allows for 20gb of video uploads per week, with no storage limits.
The Premiere Pro’s export settings I recommend for YouTube are the same for Vimeo. When you’re ready to export, choose the preset “Match Source – Adaptive High Bitrate” and for format choose “H.264.” H.264 is the standard codec that creates the best balance between high visual quality and small file size. If you ever need to reduce your file size further, you can always open up the Video tab and scroll down to Bitrate Settings and reduce the Target Bitrate [Mbps]. Reducing the target bitrate will reduce the file size of your video. It’s important to know the limits, however, because there are recommended minimums for bitrate depending on the resolution of your video. It’s recommended not to go lower than 10 mbps for FHD and for 4K not below 30 mbps.
If you find your not happy with the quality of your video when you upload it to Vimeo, you can try Apple ProRes 422 (HQ) or H.265 (HEVC) export formats for you video. If you need to need more info on these formats, Vimeo’s guidelines provides detailed information for these new export formats.
You can also auto-publish to Vimeo from Premiere Pro. Simply check-on “Vimeo” within the left panel in the Export workspace. After you do this, you’ll be able to login to your Vimeo account and, just like with YouTube, you will be able to select who can see or view the video and add tags and a description.
Facebook is now a platform of discovery. Most videos on Facebook delight and entertain, and some videos are designed to lead users to another place on the web. I’ve seen a trend where companies or brands will post derivatives of full-length videos on YouTube on Facebook. Often, this will involve changing the aspect ratio to a square (1:1) 1080×1080 resolution, rather than sticking with the original UHD (16:9) ratio uploaded to YouTube. Just like with YouTube and Vimeo, the Facebook video player is also not restricted to the 16:9 player, meaning it will not add black-bar pillars to the sides of square videos, but will auto-respond to the size of the video you upload.
If you are repurposing landscape video into a square format, you can use Premiere Pro’s new auto-reframing tool to quickly transform your sequence into a new aspect ratio. Watch the video below to learn how it works.
Facebook, owned by Meta, has the following video settings:
Optimal Facebook Video Settings:
Format: H.264 video codec, .Mp4 format
Resolution 1080p or less
Recommended Aspect Ratios: Square 1:1 or Rectangular 16:9 or 16:9 (Mobile Phones)
File Size limit: Supports video file size up to 10GB
Video Length: Videos must be less than 240 minutes long.
Audio Codec: Stereo AAC audio compression with 128kbps
There is a Premiere Pro Facebook 1080p Full HD export preset — which you should use if you want to export a video with a 16:9 ratio. But, as I mentioned before, many content creators are creating square-format videos for Facebook because it works better for viewing on the Facebook mobile app. In that case, instead of using the Facebook 1080p FHD preset, instead use the “Match Source – Adaptive High Bitrate” (the same as for YouTube and Vimeo). By using this preset, it will export your square video in the correct dimensions and in the highest quality.
But before we create an export preset, you need to set up your sequence settings for a 1080 x 1080 Facebook video. Go to “New Item” in your Project Panel and select “New Sequence.” Select “Digital SLR 1080p24.” All you have to do is change the 1920 horizontal to 1080, then hit “Save Preset” and name it “Facebook 1080×1080.”
Once you’re done editing your video, go to the Export workspace. select the “H.264” format and select “Match Source – Adaptive High Bitrate.” If you want to auto-publish to Facebook, simply turn on Facebook publishing from the left tab. Then you’ll be able to login, choose the page you want to Publish to, and add a title and description.
If you have a captioning layer in Premiere Pro, you can select the “Captions” tab and choose to “Burn the Captions into Video.” I would highly recommend burning your captions into Facebook, as most people watch Facebook videos with the sound off. The captions tab will refer back to the captioning layer you added to your sequence.
Did you know that Instagram accepts almost any type of video aspect ratio? This was news to me! If you’re specifically creating a video for Intagram Reels, however, your video must be in a Vertical (9:16) 1080×1920 pixel resolution. Here are all the specs you need to know:
Video aspect ratio: You can upload videos with any aspect ratio between Landscape (1.91:1) and Vertical (9:16). But the most popular are: Square (1:1) 1080×1080, Portrait (4:5) 1200×1500 , Vertical (9:16), 1080×1920
Minimum Frame Rate & resolution: Videos should have a minimum frame rate of 30fps and minimum resolution of 720 pixels.
Maximum length and size: The maximum file size for videos that are 10 minutes or less is 650mb. The maximum file size for videos up to 60 minutes is 3.6gb.
Instagram Reel Length You can upload videos up to 90 seconds with Instagram Reels.
Video Format: H.264
When you’re ready to export your video from Premiere Pro, go to the Export workspace, and just like with the other formats, I recommend using the preset “Match Source – Adaptive High Bitrate.” And if you want to burn-in your captions, go to the captions tab and select “Burn into video.”
Since Instagram doesn’t let you upload videos from its desktop version, you need a way to move and save the video file onto your phone. I have an iPhone, so I send the video file to iPhone using Airdrop. Using airdrop, will automatically save it to my camera roll. If you’re using a PC, you can use Dropbox or Google Drive to share the file to your mobile device.
For Twitter there are not a lot of restrictions, the only limit for video on Twitter is that you cannot upload video longer than 2 minutes and 20 second. Of course you can select a video longer than that, but you’ll need to trim it within the Twitter app before it can be uploaded. For better engagement, Twitter even recommends to keep your videos less than 15 seconds.
According to Twitter’s help pages, here are the limitations on resolutions and aspect ratios:
- Minimum resolution: 32×32 (which is a small!)
- Maximum resolution: 1920×1200 (and 1200 x 1900)
- Aspect Ratios: Anything between 1:2.39 – 2.29:1 range (inclusive). Recommended 1920×1080 HD
- Maximum frame rate: 40fps
- Maximum bitrate: 25mbps
These settings are a bit odd, and not standard, this is why I recommend just sticking with the standard 1920×1080 FHD with Twitter and use the same preset as YouTube, which is “Match Source – Adaptive High Bitrate.” You won’t go wrong with this.
As for captions, you can burn in your captions, but Twitter now allows you to upload a caption file (.srt). This will give the viewer the choice to turn your captions on or off.
Unlike the other social media platforms, with TikTok the video format is the most straightforward, because everything is in a vertical (9:16) aspect ratio with a 1080×1920 resolution. Of course, you can make your video using the TikTok app on your mobile phone, but if you’ve editing your video in a separate program like Premiere Pro, you’ll need to airdrop it or use Google drive to send it to your phone for upload.
When you’re ready to export your TikTok in Premiere Pro, just like with Instagram, choose the H.264 format and the preset “Match Source – Adaptive High Bitrate” for the highest quality and smallest file size.
Here are some important length restrictions for your TikTok videos to consider:
- Videos you create on TikTok can be up to 60 seconds long
- Videos you upload (and create on a different app) can be up to 3 minutes long.
I hope you all found this guide useful. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to leave them in the comments or contact me directly. I create a new video tutorial every week on my Premiere Gal YouTube channel, so be sure to subscribe to keep up to date with all the latest trends.
If you want to learn more about export settings in Premiere Pro, you can watch my full guide below: