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Vertical Video Syndrome (VVS) is a fictitious disease which satirically claims that those afflicted can only shoot videos in a portrait orientation, as opposed to the more viewer-friendly landscape mode.
On June 5th, 2012, the gloveandboots YouTube channel uploaded a video titled “Vertical Video Syndrome – A PSA,” which featured several talking puppets complaining about videos that have been shot in a portrait orientation. Within the first year, the video gained over 3.2 million views and 3,100 comments.
The same day, the video was posted to the /r/videos subreddit and highlighted on the Internet news sites Laughing Squid and UpRoxx. On June 23rd, 2012, YouTuber pogobat uploaded a video titled “Steve Jobs is an Asshole,” criticizing vertical video haters and blamed the company Apple for the rise of portrait orientation footage (shown below).
On June 25th, Urban Dictionary user Zioma5 submitted an entry for “VVS,” describing it as a “major problem” on the video-sharing site YouTube. On July 18th, Redditor Mungo9000 posted an image to the /r/iphone subreddit, which scolded people for filming videos in portrait mode with their mobile devices (shown below). Prior to being archived, the post received more than 2,100 up votes and 200 comments.
On February 9th, 2013, blogger James Watt published a defense of vertical videos on his person website, which argued that sometimes portrait orientation is necessary and that sites like YouTube should fix their video embeds to correctly display vertical content.
Vimeo Vertical Embeds
The video-sharing website Vimeo allows users to upload videos recorded in portrait mode, which are then embedded without extra black space on the sides (shown below).