For Facebook and Twitter, the competition is heating up again. Facebook’s announcement yesterday that Instagram users can now create shareable, 15-second videos has spurred a healthy debate over whether this new capability will make Twitter's Vine obsolete. Vine also allows us to create short videos, but in the form of six-second looping clips.
While video for Instagram seems like a pretty useful tool, it's not going to spell the end for Vine.
Since launching about five months ago, Vine's popularity has grown quickly, amassing more than 13 million users. Within days of being released it was one of the most sought-after apps for iOS, and it continues to be among the top downloaded apps in the iTunes store, and more recently the Android store as well.
Vine has been a video platform from the start, essentially innovating the model of social storytelling through six-second videos. This first-to-market head start has allowed Vine to establish itself and, with Twitter’s resources behind it, has become a unique opportunity for businesses to market their products and services.
Granted, Instagram has more than 100 million users and also has huge resources behind it with Facebook, but it’s likely the new video product is too late to the game to kill Vine outright. As an app that was originally built as a photo-sharing platform, Instagram is now playing catch-up in the video space.
This competition is good for users because the teams from both platforms will push each other to consistently innovate. This was already apparent earlier this week when Vine announced, ahead of the Instagram upgrade, several updates of its own -- including the ability to save drafts and create multiple posts at the same time, full screen videos and the ability to send private messages between users.
Is there room for both video platforms? Sure. Users should find a lot of value in Instagram’s 15 seconds of air time versus Vine’s six seconds. An added bonus: people can add some Instagram magic to their videos by sprucing them up with 13 custom filters and a special stabilization technology.
Forward-thinking brands like Lululemon, GE and Michael Kors are already trying out the Instagram video. The videos are impressive but they look similar to what you would see on Vine, only nine seconds longer and without the loop.
For business owners, it comes down to which platform and functionality aligns best with your marketing goals. Will a quick, six-second shareable video work better or a “longer-form” 15-second video make more sense? Both will be used to tell different types of stories.