SMN Insights: Vine vs. Video for Instagram

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SMN Insights: Vine vs. Video for Instagram

Written by Anneliese Herbosa, Content Manager of The Social Media Network 2013-14.

SMN Insights features the informed thoughts and opinions of our team. We probe the latest news and trends related to social media, marketing, public relations, and the vast digital space.

I sat down with Mark, Dean, Diana, and Julia, to pick their brains on the Vine vs. Video for Instagram ‘battle’ which had inevitably surfaced shortly after Instagram rolled out the new feature last month. They drew from their own personal experiences and observations, explored the unique purpose of each, and outlined patterns which emerged across the two social networks. Here is an aggregation of their thoughts on both services.

Vine: Creative hub, seamless viewing experience, captures ‘in-the-moment’ raw footage, embraces brevity

The primary attribute of Vine which resonated the most with our team was how seamless it was to view videos on their feeds. ‘Effortless’ and ‘convenient’ were words which were used to describe their viewing experiences. Upon scrolling through Vine’s home feed, they all agreed that the looping playback contributed to the ease and effortlessness of consuming the visual media through Vine. Here’s a fun-looking vine of some stylish dachshunds – they’re on a boat!

Focusing on style, Mark described Vine videos as ‘GIF-like‘ due to its ability to loop continuously. In a similar vein, Julia claimed to have experienced a more ‘home-video’ feel when watching videos via Vine. As far as content goes, the bulk of the kinds of media which our team seemed to appreciate were largely humorous and creative. For Dean, the best Vine videos which he has seen are ‘stop motion‘ vines. Diana, who admitted to not being an avid Vine user, typically found herself watching popular videos that were easily browsable. Here’s a stop motion vine of na na na na na na na na… Batman!

Video for Instagram: Richer storytelling platform, more editing capabilities, reaches already-established audiences

When discussing video for Instagram, the main aspect which stuck out for our team members was the greater amount of options that users have to capture and edit footage. Mark and Julia accentuated the filters you could choose from, and the ability to take multiple shots from different angles. Dean warranted the option to delete frames when editing a clip to be very handy.

Diana touched on how her inclination towards Instagram stemmed from the fact that many of her friends were already actively on that platform. With Vine, many users had to organically grow a following from scratch before having their updates gain some real traction. With Instagram, as it was already long-existing, long-time IG-ers are able to reach audiences which they have already established and sustained over time.

What kinds of videos via Instagram tickle their fancy? For Diana, it was videos of animals, or excerpts from a live concert. She asserted that moments like these simply cannot be done justice without video ‘evidence’. For Dean, being quite the Vancouver Whitecaps FC fan, posts including exclusive updates with players as they train or are in-the-moment during game days are those which he enjoys viewing. Check out this sweet goal by Kekuta Manneh of the Vancouver Whitecaps FC that was captured during one of their recent games:

Final Impressions

As the team reflected on both visual media avenues, they considered styles of videos and users for which they were more suitable. The breakdown:

Vine
– quick meme-like updates
– snapshots of life’s random moments
– creative outlet (i.e., comedy sketches, stop-motion clips)

Instagram
– helps tell a richer story
– play-by-play of complex activities
– better medium for a message to be conveyed

I think Vine is most suited for sudden prank videos, or sudden events (like a bird hitting a window) in order to provide more context compared to the nature of videos on Instagram which affords multiple shots at once.  (Julia)

With the short duration of Vine videos, it is best suited for creating a story without words. With Instagram videos, there is enough time to actually address your followers with a message. (Mark)

LeBron James being LeBron James:

Interestingly enough, Julia and Mark had slightly different mindsets/shared slightly different views when exploring integration of both services into the social network giants, Twitter and Facebook:

Vine, with its shorter video time, is a good supplement for Facebook, because it’s a short clip that could be described by the “limitless” word count in the status. Instagram videos would be ideal for Twitter users because it’s able to enrich the shorter, 140 word count of the platform. (Julia)

I see Twitter fiercely siding with Vine since Instagram and Facebook are seen to be one and the same. I see Instagram becoming the mainstream picture/video sharing platform with Vine for more of the hipster, counter culture feel. (Mark)

Dean donned his marketing cap as he incorporated the subject of branding into his enlightened conclusion:

It’s interesting to note that the 15 seconds is the standard Internet video advertisement time. Given the longer duration of videos on Instagram, brands have more opportunities to communicate messages. Brands can cut their typical advertisements down to 15 seconds which enables them to distribute their ads through many more channels online. (Dean)

Fairly neutral to both platforms, Diana echoed the argument made by the latter three respondents and agreed that Instagram makes for a more conducive platform for telling visual stories given the greater length. At the end of the day, here are her final thoughts:

I don’t really follow strangers… whichever platform amasses more users is where I will likely be. (Diana)

Footage time and duration aside, what makes Vine attractive? What about Video for Instagram? Since they are both unique in their own rights, do you flock/gravitate towards a certain style of updates/certain type of users on either respective platform?

These are our insights – now we’d like to hear yours. Leave a comment below with your thoughts. (If you’re feeling particularly creative and are up for the challenge, we dare you to post a Vine update or an Instagram video of yourself telling us where you stand in 15 seconds or less). Whichever platform you prefer, make sure to use the hashtag #SMNinsights to weigh in!

Featured image courtesy of HMG Creative.

These thoughts are our own and do not represent those of the organization.

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