Instagram vs. Vine
Tech blogs and tech news sites have been buzzing about video apps lately.
Why? Because a week ago, photo sharing network and photo filter app Instagram introduced a new Video on Instagram feature.
The buzz around the announcement wasn’t just because Instagram is popular – it is, with around 130 million monthly users – but because Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, was adding video to compete directly with the Vine app, which is owned by Twitter.
So it sets up two social media superpowers at war over the smartphones and eyeballs of millions of consumers. Like you.
The Vine comparison was also inevitable Vine is the early leader in social video sharing and because Video on Instagram would, like Vine, come with a short time limit. The popular Vine videos (or Vines) have just a six second max. The new Instagram videos come with a 15 second max.
How Do I Get It?
If you don’t already have an Instagram app, you can download it from either the iTunes App Store (for iPhones, iPads, and iPods) or the Google Play Store for Android devices. You can get Vine in both places as well. Both apps are free.
If you’ve already been using Instagram for photos, you’ll need to update the app to add the Video feature.
How Do I Use It?
Open the Instagram app and click the blue oval camera icon to access the camera on your mobile device. Tap on the smaller movie camera icon to the right of the photo icon to enter video mode. Then tap the large red movie camera icon to start and stop recording for up to 15 seconds total.
Instagram became famous for its filters (as well as it’s large and active community) and Video on Instagram carries on this tradition. There are 13 video filters built into the app. Instagram on iPhone 4S and iPhone 5 also has a video stabilization feature called Cinema, which is on by default. To turn the stabilization off, click the Cinema icon (looks like a camera with two sets of parentheses around it).
When you share your videos you’ll also be able to select your favorite scene from the video to be its cover image.
Comparing Videos for Instagram vs. Vine
The most important differences between the apps are probably video length, looping, filters, editing, and sharing.
As mentioned above, the most obvious and important difference between the two are the length of videos. Both are short, but Instagram gives you 2.5 times the length of Vine. Of course, both companies said they studied and tested the length issue and settled on the optimum (but curiously different) length.
Of course, there’s no one, universal, optimum video length. For quick, tweet-like videos (remember, Vine is owned by Twitter), six seconds may be plenty of time. That’s especially true when the content is really boring (or may get boring with any more time).
On the other hand, it can be very difficult to communicate in any detail, tell a story, or be instructional in six seconds. For that reason, many people will likely feel more comfortable with the extra nine seconds on Instagram.
(In many cases even 15 seconds is way too short, which is why the official Instagram video announcing the new Instagram video feature on the Instagram blog isn’t a 15-second Instagram video. It runs 69 seconds.)
Another obvious difference is looping. Videos from both apps play automatically (no click required). But Vines play over and over in a continuous loop; Instagram Videos stop after the first play. People seem split about looping: some like it, some don’t.
As noted above, Instagram is synonymous with photo filters and they’ve brought that expertise to their videos. That’s likely to appeal to Instagram’s huge base of photo filter users. Vines, on the other hand, are all about speed and immediacy, so they do not include filtering.
Aside from filters, Instagram gives you some ability to edit your video. Vine does not. In Instagram you can delete the last clip you’ve taken. So, if your 15-second video is comprised of a series of 2 – 4 second clips and your last one is a dud, you can delete it and try again.
Both apps let you share your short videos, but Instagram gives you more built-in options. Vine lets you share to Twitter (of course) and Facebook. Instagram adds Tumbler, Flickr, Foursquare, and Email to the sharing options.
Let us know if you use either app and what your experience has been. And if you’ve used both, tell us your preference by leaving a comment below.