The Video Branding Battle: Instagram vs. Vine

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Visual content continues to grow and short videos are becoming integral to a brand’s relevance. With Twitter and Facebook now both having video services, the need for brands to incorporate these apps into their digital strategy becomes even more important. Instagram, the mobile photo-sharing app owned by Facebook, announced a new feature that now supports videos on its timeline. Users can create and post 15-second videos to share with their followers. The update has stirred up public controversy that this new feature will put an end to Vine, the short-video app owned by Twitter.

There are many differentiating factors between these two apps.  For one, Vine allows you to record a six-second looping clip, while Instagram offers you 15 seconds of non-looping content. Also, Instagram allows you to edit videos and Vine does not. The new editing tool allows you to delete pieces of video and once satisfied, you can choose one of 13 filters to customize the look. Instagram allows you to tap within the frame to focus depth of field, while Vine does not. When finished, Vine allows you to share your video to Vine followers as well as to Facebook and Twitter. Instagram allows videos and photos to be shared to Instagram followers, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Foursquare and email. Similar to YouTube videos, Vine videos can be embedded in any blog or Web page. Instagram doesn’t do this, and in my opinion is a major disadvantage. Cross-platform sharing of content can be a very useful tool in marketing your brand.

So, will this update put an end to Vine? I highly doubt it. The most recent iTunes Chart of free apps shows Vine ranked number seven and Instagram ranked number eight. With more than 130 million users, Instagram users uploaded five million videos in the first day after Instagram video was released. We know Instagram is popular, but it is not popular enough to run Vine out of business.  Vine snatched 13 million video-sharing addicts between January and June of 2013, and launched on Android early June.

For a business, you need to decide whether to use six seconds or 15 seconds of video to send a message or story. Many people have short attention spans and say that 15 seconds is too long for a video. However, companies are accustomed to these 15-second spots, considering this is a common length for a commercial. With Vine, you already know what to expect, a short six-second looping video. Twitter’s science behind Vine found the perfect length for video consumption in today’s fast-paced culture. Vine’s video content allows you to create a piece of “art” that is focused on originality and creativity. It may be too early to know what is going to happen to Vine,but as for now not much has changed with its popularity.

Brands have flocked to both platforms and the two apps can be used to educate viewers about your product or service, to share company news, to entertain, to share behind-the-scene moments and more. Businesses need to evaluate what video platform will keep their audience the most engaged. For now, the battle will continue, and the competition between Twitter and Facebook will increase motivation for both companies to improve their apps. Stay tuned.

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