There are two types of video you can add to a Shorthand story: foreground and background video.

Background video (as opposed to foreground video) is muted, loops and sits full-screen in the background of a Title or Text Over Media section.

You may choose to show different videos on wide screens (such as typical desktop or laptop screens) and tall screens (such as phones in portrait mode).


  • 1920 x 1080px  for landscape format video and 1080 x 1920px  for 'portrait' format video. These sizes are sufficient for a clear image. Smaller sizes of a similar aspect ratio may be used, but will likely appear less clear, 
  • MP4, 
  • Max 2MB per 5 seconds - more detail below (100mb max), 
  • Muted - (we recommend you remove sound in editing to reduce filesize, as Shorthand will mute anyway), 
  • Fallback image (same aspect ratio, plus portrait screen alternative). 

View our video encoding guidelines

Additional tips:

  • If also adding text over the section, ensure the video is prepared with a text area in mind, 
  • The background video automatically loops – consider how to ensure a smooth transition between the end and start of your video, 
  • As background videos are muted it is recommended you remove any audio before encoding as this will reduce file size and prevent some older browsers which ignore the ‘mute’ command (IE9 for example) from playing any audio, 
  • For browsers or devices that do not support uninitiated background video (such as iOS and Android) the fallback image will be displayed, 
  • 1280x720px is recommended as it provides a good balance between file size and quality, with 1920x1080 the maximum we suggest. Larger videos can seriously affect page performance and as background videos automatically play when in viewport the user will be unable to stop them.