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Instagram & Vine – The Mobile Video Showdown

Wednesday, July 17th, 2013 by Erin Peters

blog-image-mobile-videoIf the Buggles had only known how forward thinking their lyrics were back in 1979, they may have danced to “Longer bite sized video with custom photo filters & editing features slowed down the other video app Star,” in their hit song. But it just doesn’t have the same ring to it.

The app best known for photo-sharing added video last month. Now, when any company with a large user base announces a major change to its app or site, the reaction can be both positive and negative. In this case, most of the negative reviews are due to amateur videos clogging up the users’ feeds or slowing down their ability to view photos.

Similar to Twitter’s Vine app, holding down the video icon will capture video. Releasing it will allow you to pause the video.

“It’s everything we know and love about Instagram, but it moves,” Instagram co-founder and CEO Kevin Systrom said.


But dissimilar to Vine and the main draw to the photo sharing app lies in their filters. Users can now shoot Ansel Adams caliber short videos.

  1. Length: No need to constrain your creativity, as Instagram Video offers up to 15 seconds of video recording. Vine offers a maximum of 6 seconds.
  2. Editing: Instagram offers users the ability to delete a segment from their video. Simply click the delete button marked with an “X” to remove the last frame.
  3. Image Stabilization: Cinema mode stabilizes video to make sure it isn’t shaky. You can see the difference by selecting and de-selecting the “vibrate” icon during your edit. Cinema Mode will only be available for the iPhone, at first.
  4. Filters: Created by an artist specifically for Instagram video, they have added vignettes and contrasting features. These 13 video filters range from the black-and-white effect to others that brighten oGRA-mobile-video-inforgraphic-200pxr blur. And they have all new names like Moon, Dogpatch and Maven.
  5. Audience: Instagram is currently used by over 130 million people. Vine’s audience is counted at 13 million users.
  6. Tap to Focus: Tap within the frame to focus your depth of field, which adds for a more professional-looking footage. In Vine, there is no force-focus.
  7. Integration: The Instagram video feature is housed within its existing product, making it immediately accessible to all users who update the app. Vine is a stand-alone app. Instagram users with large followings will have their work seen by many more people.
  8. Cover Image Selection: You can still have the enticing photo to allure users in. Select a frame from the video, which will be the cover or photo that appears in the stream. After all, first impressions count.
  9. Facebook In-Line Viewing: One of the most important differences is that Instagram videos play in-line on Facebook for desktop users. Like YouTube and Facebook videos, a Facebook user can click and watch the clip right within Facebook. Vine videos must be viewed by clicking out of Facebook.

So, how can you or your company utilize Instagram Video?

  • Create a lookbook or tutorials: Are you a chef? Do you remodel homes? Do you teach swim lessons? Create “how-to” videos for your audience to make it even easier for them. Shoot a product demo. The possibilities here are endless.
  • Humanize Your Brand: People appreciate honesty and when companies are more open and transparent. Showcase your culture & style in short, easy-to-digest segments.
  • Add previews: Add previews of upcoming products, events or services.

Was this a major improvement to the photo sharing giant or an answer to the Twitter and Facebook rivalry? Or, rather, are the two apps too different to compare? Perhaps Instagram 15-second, non-looping videos, and Vine 6-second, looping videos can just get along?

I plan on using both, afterall.

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo tells an audience at the Brookings Institution in Washington D.C. that he’s not worried about video on Instagram competing with Twitter’s six-second looping video app, Vine.

“If we do what we want to do, and go where we want to go, we don’t have to worry about what that guy’s doing over there.” – Dick Costolo, Twitter

Whatever your motivation for moving pictures, the world looks just a little more interesting through video.

“Instagram not only is about lattes, babies, cute dogs,” said Systrom. “It’s also about these moments in the world that let you peer in to understand different cultures, different political situations.”

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