The Big Battle of Micro Videos: Vine vs Instagram

We can thank technology and the internet for our ever-dwindling attention spans. To feed our hunger for quick content, bite-sized videos became popular with Vine – the 6 second video sharing platform that made it easy for anyone to edit and publish real-time videos through social media. As of today, Vine may begin to wither. Instagram saw videos as a ripe opportunity to add more content to their already popular app on both iPhone and Android. The social photo sharing app, part of the Facebook family, introduced the 15 second video. Let’s not forget some of the other short social-video contenders that originally kicked off the race. Viddy and SocialCam were the first to bring video to social media and bred a unique category of content from real-life moments of birthdays, roller coaster screams and a game winning goal to short-form artistic creations that play with the medium. So, what does all this mean for the social video sharing community? It could simply result in options for us the user or it could turn into an all out social-video war.

The Right Time Mix

Vine enforces the “shorter-is-better” philosophy and has had success with 6 seconds, a length Twitter settled on after testing videos between 4 and 10 seconds long. Among the most successful clips for Vine are stop-motion videos, animations and how-tos. If you’re looking to be impressed with 6 seconds, take a look at Wyoming’s Casper-Star Tribune rodeo roundups of best performances. That’s a lot of action packed into a few blinks of an eye. Vine co-founder Dom Hofmann backs up his app by saying, “Posts on Vine are about abbreviation — the shortened form of something larger.” The blog post originally announcing the app said the 6 second videos were to be looked at as “little windows into the people, settings, ideas and objects that make up your life.” Viddy went the opposite direction and expanded it’s initial 15 second time limit to 30 seconds in response to user requests. Jason Rapp, chairman of Viddy, said, “Life keeps going on past 6 seconds.” Instagram video now falls in between with 15 seconds. This provides both advantages and pitfalls to micro videos. With a longer length than the popular Vine platform, we could see a rise in creativity with more information packed into a digestible time frame. However, this could also spur laziness. Hopefully we won’t see lazy ad campaigns paste in commercials that we are all trying to avoid in the first place.

Vine Loyalists vs Instagrammaholics

Now on to the good stuff. Let’s take a hard look at what everyone is truly interested in: what’s the difference?
  • Video length — Instagram: 15 seconds  /  Vine: 6 seconds
  • Filters — Instagram: yes  /  Vine: no
  • Image stabilization — Instagram: yes  /  Vine: no
  • Save to camera roll — Instagram: yes  /  Vine: yes
  • Looping — Instagram: no  /  Vine: yes
  • Cover frame — Instagram: yes  /  Vine: no
  • Embeddable — Instagram: no  /  Vine: yes
To wet your appetite, here is our first ever PaceCo Instagram video! Click the image to watch.

Vine Plans to Grow

Don’t assume Vine will simply stand back and whine (wine?). They already have a solid user base of video-sharing addicts. The co-founders posted several Vines recently that suggest users will soon have the ability to save drafts, splice bits of multiple Vines together and browse content based on categories or genres. There seem to be other features growing on Vine that we can expect to see in the near future.

What’s Your Verdict?

Long or short? The social-video battle has begun and the winner will ultimately be determined by us, the users. Is 6 seconds all we really need before we get bored? Or can we push our brains to accept longer bursts of video content (without abusing laziness) with a social sharing app already engrained into our smartphones. Share your thoughts in the comments!
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