Instagram has debuted a big new feature – 15 second videos can now be recorded and posted. Vine has mostly owned the social video creation landscape, but Instagram presents a huge challenge to them. To date, I have 550 followers on Vine and have posted almost 220 videos. On Instagram, I have almost 2,500 followers and have posted almost 1,800 still photos. At the time of this posting, I’ve made six videos with Instagram. Here’s what I’m seeing so far.
1. Out of the gate, Instagram has an advantage. They have 100,000,000+ users, most with very established networks and relationships. Vine is two years younger – everyone’s networks are smaller. For instance, the NBA has over 1.1 million followers on Instagram. They immediately started using the new video feature during game 7 of the Finals, and the videos were getting between 30,000 and 60,000 likes. They have 141,000 followers on Vine and got between 1,000 and 2,000 likes on their Finals videos. They used Instagram much more extensively during game 7. At this point, they could continue to build both services, but I’d say Instagram has an insurmountable advantage.
3. Instagram video has filters (naturally). I think they’re awesome, and I can’t imagine Vine isn’t going to add filters ASAP.
4. Instagram videos are 15 seconds, while Vine’s are six. People will automatically point to longer videos as being desired and advantageous, but I don’t necessarily think that’s so. Who knows what the “right length” is? Maybe 20 seconds would be better? Maybe six seconds does force and spark creativity.
5. I think it’s easier to start-stop-start-stop recording on Vine. So producing stop-motion videos certainly seems easier. On Vine, you just touch the phone’s screen anywhere. On Instagram, you have to press the little red record button. One bonus on Instagram is that touching the screen in a certain spot allows you to focus. There are times on Vine where I wish I could bring the camera into focus by touching the screen, but that starts recording video. This often forces me to delete and start over.
6. Many people are going to like exhibiting their photos and videos in one place. I don’t think this is going to cause brand or product confusion. It is entirely possible to do two things well. Why can’t Instagram nail this video feature and rule online video? Remember, they have over 100,000,000 users, and those users love the filters.
7. Advertisers buy 15-second TV spots. I wonder if the 15-second video length was merely pulled out of a hat.
Overall, I disliked seeing people post “Vine is so dead!” and “R.I.P. Vine” on the day Instagram video came out. Those seemed like kneejerk reactions to me, and paid no attention to the fact that Vine and Instagram are more than photo and video services – they are communities. There are some tight-knit communities on Vine that aren’t just going to go away. Chobani is kicking ass on Vine, and they can continue to do so.
After using Instagram video a few times, I have to say that I love the image stabilization and filters. And I don’t mind admitting this (and neither should you), but I like sharing my handywork with almost 2,500 people instead of 500. Instagram’s community size is a plus. For brands, the question need not be “Which should I use?” If your videos are connecting with consumers on both services, then use both services.
Here’s a link to the story on Fox 2 Now, in case the embedded video above doesn’t cooperate.
Here are a few more articles worth reading:
1. Instagram video is the phablet of social networking. I didn’t agree with the premise of the article. I think Instagram CAN pull this off. In this case, I don’t think trying to do two things well at once is going to be a problem for them.
Tell me: what have your experiences with Instagram video been like so far? Leave a comment below. And be sure to link up your Instagram account in the comment so we can find you.