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Vine & Instagram video

If content is king, what tools should I be looking at to get the most out of what I have as a brand? Video sharing has had a massive boom over the past six months and here we examine its two main players, Vine and Instagram video.

In terms of creating a successful digital marketing plan for any company, audience engagement is key.

Being able to interact with customers and to get them to feel an association or bond with your brand will build a strong relationship and lead to great business. However, in order to foster such a relationship, providing interesting and entertaining content is vital. Getting creative as a company is a great (and fun!) way to create good content and will hopefully get your audience talking. Short videos are currently a very popular way to get your message across, and in this post we look at the movers and shakers in this niche.

Vine: simple and effective

The mobile app Vine has had 13 million downloads since its launch in January of this year (2013), and was last month made available for Android users having previously been solely compatible on iPhones and the iPod touch.

Its beauty is surely in its simplicity as, although its range of functions is limited as we shall explore, it is ridiculously easy to pick up. A quick registration sets you up with a profile and you’re on your way. In recording your video, simply use your thumb or finger on the screen to start filming. Releasing your thumb/finger will pause the video and allow you to create various stop motion-like film clips which last six seconds.

Although Vine has been used to create some beautiful and imaginative clips from the unlikeliest of sectors, it certainly has its limitations. For example, there is very little capacity in terms of editing as all you can really do is delete the vid and start again. You can’t delete frames and there is no ‘post production’ as it were.

There are also a few features, or lack thereof, which can get slightly irritating, including the fact that you are not able to switch between accounts on the mobile app. You must decide between a work profile or a personal profile, where one of which will surely cause problems for the other.

Introducing: Instagram video

The initial success of Twitter-owned Vine saw Instagram, run by fellow social media juggernaut Facebook, attempt to up its game with the arrival of a video function. It sought to build upon Vine’s basic features and become more ‘production crew’ than app.

Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom heralded the move by stating that “we need to do to videos what we did to photos”. That they surely have done. The video service has a distinctly Instagram-like feel to it, using its classic filters and frames to help give your clip a different ambience. Additionally the Instagram ‘clips’ are over double the length of Vine vids, fifteen seconds to be precise, and they also feature the much-coveted ability to edit frames of your recording without having to delete the whole thing.

Can’t we all just get along?

So what does this mean for the future of video sharing? Instagram video’s arrival has seen many predict the end for Vine or most certainly the end in terms of controlling a significant market share. The stats would seem to back this up with Instagram currently far out-sharing Vine on social networks, although it would seem that it has a natural advantage given that there are around ten times more Instagram users than Vine. This ability to ‘piggy back’ on the success of an already popular brand may muddy the waters and of course there is always an initial obsession with the new kids on the block.

But why can’t we have both? They do say variety is the spice of life and all that. Both products cater to different needs, for example a looping six second clip is much more suited to a funny vid while a clip using light filters and better editing is more in keeping with clips looking to maintain an artistic quality.

What really matters to you is what job it can do for your business and, in this regard, the greater the competition the better because it will result in the highest quality service.

UPDATE (October 2016: Vine announced that Twitter would be discontinuing the Vine app. It appears that indeed the emergence of Instagram Video might have precipitated its demise)