While some of us cannot detect the slight difference between the two video tool flavors, others of us have already selected our top preference and are strongly standing by one video tool exclusively.
I recall Michael “Britopian” Brito’s good-bye message to Vine that he shared using the just-launched video feature, giving his loyal allegiance to Instagram and never looking back.
Jeremy Cabalona, the Community Manager at Vine recently enlightened me by opening my eyes to the amazing subcultures emerging in the Vine space. For example, did you know that the hedgehog species are reaching a celebrity status that can only be explained from their playful performances presented on Vine?
I have used both Vine and Instagram since their launch and I have an appreciation for both tools. However, I am still on the fence in declaring which is the best tool for me.
As I prepare for SXSW next week, I need to jump off the fence and choose which side of the video tool smack down I will commit to as a user. Like brands, it is important that we don’t use all tools lest we become a tool ourselves. All kidding aside, consistency and community are the key words that brands need to understand as they approach social. And, I too must conform to this best practice and be more selective on my approach to social video tools both in my usage and my community building efforts.
Many of you know the basic differences of Vine and Instagram video tools. But let’s review, as I score each category, shall we?
Vine provides 6-second videos that replay in a continuous loop. Instagram provides 15-second videos. You may be asking yourself, “Who has the attention span for 15 seconds?” Well, that was a joke, sort of. And, the truth is, Instagram provides videos from 3 seconds, up to 15 seconds. Since users have a range to select from, I think Instagram wins in the length of video options available. V: 0 IG: 1
Do you love filters like I love filters? Vine offers no filters but Instagram provides their stylish filters to their videos. V: 0 IG: 2
Both tools are shareable with Twitter and Facebook. Instagram also provides access to share to Tumblr, Flickr, Foursquare and Email. At face value, this may seem like there is more benefit for the tool that provides more sharing options. However, in my experience, Instagram’s Facebook sharing option is an all or nothing preference. Since I don’t like every action I do on Instagram to be automatically duplicated to my Facebook wall, I have opted to turn off the Facebook sharing feature. Vine allows me to select sharing on a case-by-case basis with each video I upload. Since I feel like I have more sense of control while using Vine, it wins in this category. Also, Vine encourages resharing of its videos within their own community, much like Tumblr. V: 1 IG: 2
Instagram offers simple editing features that allow users to delete frames and reshoot. Vine has no editing features. Instagram edits #FTW in this category. V: 1 IG: 3
The communities are considerably different in size. While it is true that Instagram has an astounding 150 million users leaving Vine in the dust with a fraction of that user base, the truth is, I started using Instagram for the mobile sharing fun of still photography, not video. I am not a big fan of mixing my videos with my photos from my feed. Therefore, I am not an active Instagram video user. Vine’s number of users may be minute, however, its community is stocked 100% with video creation and consumption. Am I the only one who likes to keep my video watching separate from my photo stalking? I don’t think so. I think Vine will continue to attract and grow their community and I think if we parsed out the Instagram users who were actively participating in the video capabilities, we’d see a big swing towards Vine. I’d prefer to let Instagram do what they do best, and that is photo sharing. V: 2 IG: 3
When it comes to social video communities, it’s not just the size that matters, but also the quality of each video. I’ve gotten a lot more satisfaction from watching highly creative videos in Vine than I have in Instagram. This may be due to my community connections in Instagram were followed based on their keen eye for still photography. However, I think that Vine’s user base clearly has a higher level of creativity in quick, entertaining video production. This brings the Vine versus Instagram taste test to a tie. V: 3 IG: 3
Clearly, this smack down was not a quick drawl. With no knockouts, both Vine and Instagram offer solutions that pack a mean punch in the face to the plain black and white type or still photo image in the world of content. Social sharing of video is clearly winning as a critical content element that cuts through the noise and captures the eyes, ears and mind share.
And, in the name of capitalism, I’m happy to know that there is a healthy competition between these two contenders. After all, they can only help one another improve from here on out.
And, as far as my preferred choice as I head to SXSW to capture content for you to watch in the next several days and weeks ahead, you will just have to wait and see which video tool I lean towards.
And, if you think I’m indecisive, well, that is simply not true and I can prove it. I love Caffeine-Free Diet Pepsi, cold in a can or Coke Zero as a fountain soda, in a Styrofoam cup with crushed ice and a fat straw. Sugar-free Red Bull or a Starbucks Skinny Vanilla Latte are my early in the day besties. And, when we are at a bar, then you can order me a Manhattan, on the rocks with Makers Mark. I’ll let you decide on Instagram or Vine for our toast for now. Cheers.