Fight! (as Harry Hill would say)
As anyone with a Twitter or Facebook account will know, the past month has been all about the short-form video clip and the Epic Battle being waged by those two afore-mentioned behemoths of the social media landscape through their new or (relatively) newly acquired platforms, Vine (owned by Twitter) and Instagram (owned by Facebook).
I love the opportunity of short-form video. I’ve been using YouTube and Vimeo for years to build up brand content, but that takes editing software and time. Obviously it’s still hugely important but the opportunity of shorter clips for brands is obvious: no one needs to be told that the way we consume content online is increasingly visual, plus most of us have attention spans the length of a BuzzFeed list when it comes to viewing that content. And I mean a short BuzzFeed list.
So, short-form video, hooray.
But which to use?
Like a lot of people, I already had personal and work Instagram accounts before Vine came along. As soon as Vine sprang up on the app store (there’s a joke here about apples and vines but I won’t make it) I downloaded it and started experimenting. I was still working on perfecting my looped videos and minimising camera-shake when Instagram roared up the track with its own video release.
For the past few weeks, I’ve continued using both. As many, many others have pointed out, each has its pros and cons. I won’t list them all, don’t worry, but if you are interested there’s a handy article with infographic here on TechCrunch and here Mashable talk to some large brand-owners about why Instagram, with its existing 130 million-strong user base, has more immediate relevance to brands than Vine, which didn’t have the benefit of being launched on an existing platform.
These are all factors of course, but for me it’s the little practical things that make me lean more to one than the other, namely:
- Length – Vine allows you 6 seconds, Instagram 15. Both serve a purpose to me, but the slightly longer format will be better for us in terms of creating decent clips. WINNER: INSTAGRAM.
- Ability to edit – Instagram lets you delete previous frames so you can go back to a certain point and start again. This is really useful to me, and Vine doesn’t do it (yet.) WINNER: INSTAGRAM.
- Embed on Twitter – Ever since Facebook acquired Instagram it’s annoyed me that when you post to Twitter the media content doesn’t automatically embed and you have to open it in the app. Obviously I know why this is, but it’s irritating – I post direct to Twitter from both Vine and Instagram far more than I do to Facebook. WINNER: VINE.
- Camera shake – Instagram has image stabilisation. This is invaluable to me and my shaky hands. Vine doesn’t have it, so – WINNER: INSTAGRAM.
- Save to camera roll – Now, apparently Instagram should allow you to save videos to camera roll but for me, it doesn’t. I’ve checked my settings and I can’t work it out, so maybe it’s something that isn’t available to all yet? Anyway, Vine does automatically save to camera roll. So in this case, for me – WINNER: VINE.
Yes, overall I prefer Instagram – even before we factor in filters and the existing user base. But the two things that really make it the winner for me are the ability to edit and the camera stabilisation. I’m not planning on deleting my Vine account just yet though – with new features being added to both platforms seemingly every week, there’s still time for Vine to come out fighting.
Because there is one thing that annoys me equally about them both. It’s the fact that you can’t upload existing videos from your camera roll. Neither lets you do this and it’s such a missed opportunity for all that old video content. In particular I don’t understand why Instagram doesn’t – it allows this for photos.
Maybe this is Vine’s chance to pip them.
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