A few months ago, Facebook rolled out video capability for photo-sharing app Instagram in order to take on Twitter's Vine looping-video app. As both rise in popularity and begin to transform video into a truly social medium, marketers are asking: Which one is winning? Is Vine or Instagram a better tool for brands to connect with their fans?
To answer that question, let's go to the scoreboard and look at some basic metrics as well as at brands that are doing a great job with each one.
Round 1: Can You Tell Your Brand's Story?
A common knock on Vine is that the six-second video limit is just too short to tell a story. Instagram, in contrast, gives you fifteen seconds, basic editing capabilities, and the important ability to upload video from your iPhone. (Android phones, however, do not currently have this functionality.) This means that video can be created outside the app, or even edited from an existing professionally created video, as long as you can get it on your phone. In fairness, Vine's constraints could unleash creativity, just as Twitter and the 30-second television spot taught marketers the art of brevity (but if you really want to get external video into Vine, you can try this hack).
Ultimately, if you have a story to tell, Instagram gives you more room and options to get it across. Round 1 goes to Instagram.
Round 2: How Many Users Will See Your Video?
Vine has 40 million users, Instagram has 150 million. It'd be easy to hand this round to Instagram, but 100 million of those Instagram users joined before the app had video. I haven't found data on what percentage of Instagram posts are video rather than photos. A search on the popular hashtag #fashion returns close to 60 million results, but only two of the first 50 are video. Results for terms such as #phone, #shopping, and #haircare return similar results. By the numbers, Instagram is still a photo-sharing app with a video feature. More users will see your video with Vine than with Instagram, so round 2 goes to Vine.
Round 3: How Easily Can You Aggregate User-Generated Video Content?